Priest lauds SAF widow’s courage

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MANILA, Feb. 1, 2015—A member of the clergy expresses his admiration for Erica Pabalinas, the young widow of Sr. Insp. Ryan Pabalinas, one of the “Fallen 44,” for her courage in putting into words the anguish of those who, like her, either lost a father, husband, brother, son, or friend, in that fateful “misencounter” at Mamasapano, Maguindanao on Jan. 25.

Fr. Jerome R. Secillano, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)’s Permanent Committee on Public Affairs (PCPA) (Photo: Maricel Divinagracia)

“We should admire this young widow for the bravery  and strength of character she showed in face of adversity. She spoke of the sentiments of not just the bereaved families, but of the whole nation as well,” Fr. Jerome R. Secillano told CBCP News in an interview in reaction to the speech Pabalinas gave in front of President Benigno S. Aquino III (PNoy) during the necrological services held at Camp Bagong Diwa Friday for her husband and his 43 comrades who died in the line of duty.

“[But] what stood out from her is the fact that she evoked that sense of dignity and calmness knowing and rationally accepting that her husband and the other 43 SAF warriors did not die in vain but in the service of our beloved country,” he added.

While many in a similar situation would have been carried away by their emotions, and would heap the blame on others as a recourse, the priest pointed out Pabalinas is simply looking for justice.

“We can only hope that this justice is based on truth and not as a result of compromise and political expediency,” he noted.

According to Secillano, the commander-in-chief should be made aware of this fact.

The priest asked, “…and what better way to remind him than a grieving widow pleading to his face that justice must be served?”

“This widow is grieving and others are crying but behind their grief and tears are the support of the entire nation, the prayers and compassion of the Filipino people and a collective desire for peace based on justice,” Secillano explained.

“May the Prince of Peace guide us in our pursuit of world peace,” he added. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)

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