Inday Nita and my social realities awakening

By: Bencyrus Ellorin February 25,2014 - 07:26 AM

AS a gradeschooler in Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental, the voice of Inday Nita from that ubiquitous transistor radio provided me my first lessons in Philippine social realities.

Ranting over the radio the ‘fake’ lifting of Proclamation 1081 (Martial Law) in 1981 because of Amendment no. 6, Inday Nita’s scathing remarks of the dictatorship provided the flames of resistance to the dictatorship.

From our home in the middle of a coconut grove near the shoreline of Gingoog Bay, people listened to Inday Nita’s broadcast over dyRC in Cebu. We came to learn about Cebuano libertarians and anti-dictatorship personalities across the Bohol and Visayan seas like Hilario Davide III, Marcelo Fernan,  Antonio Cuenco and John “Sonny” Osmeña.

Davide and the late Marcelo Fernan became chief justices while Cuenco and Osmeña remain active in local politics.

In contrast, people were talking in hushed voices about local opposition led by personalities like Homobono Adaza, Aquilino Pimentel and Reuben Canoy. Open association with them increases ones vulnerability to the heavy hands of state forces – especially the Philippine Constabulary.

Although Martial Law was formally lifted by President Marcos in 1981, Amendment No. 6 was a sword of Damocles as it retained the authoritarian powers of Malacañang, like the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus – which in effect encouraged warrantless arrests and searches, involuntary disappearance; and generally the superiority of the military over the civilian authority.

Inday Nita’s daily discourses against the excesses of the Marcos dictatorship was important in informing the people that ‘normalcy’ has not been revived with the lifting of Martial Law.

High profile cases of involuntary disappearance, like that of the case of Redemptorist priest Rudy Romano were regular topics in her daily radio program. Fr. Romano whose remains were never found was believed to have been abducted by state security forces in Cebu City on July 11, 1985.

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