TO LIGHT A FIRE!
TO COLONEL ARIEL O. QUERUBIN’s LETTER
NOTE: Ariel Querubin is a former Marine Colonel of the Armed Forces of the
Recently he announced that he is running for the Senate. His handwritten letter to me is as follows:
May 8, 2009
Dear Sir Ed,
May the Peace of Christ be with you!
I have no doubt in my mind that the Lord has all the while been preparing me for public service. I was left for dead in 1989, and he allowed me to spring back to life. I have been imprisoned as a soldier, but I fully regained the honor and right to wear a soldier’s uniform after having been awarded the Medal of Valor in 2001. As my military career was very much back on track, I was again challenged to choose between right and wrong, between honor and injustice, between good and evil.
Even as we all work for a vibrant and prosperous Philippines, my dream is for every Filipino to enjoy the essence of freedom from poverty, fear, and injustice, to feel the tangible benefits of good governance, and to live comfortably in a society that fosters the unity of the family, protects human rights, and upholds the dignity of all.
I have not had an easy life. My life story has been replete with vivid encounters with injustice, poverty, corruption, and war. These painful experiences have shaped this dream. I never succumbed to the lure of material wealth. The physical, mental, and emotional hardships have been painful, but I never sold my soul.
I am fully aware that some people would insist that men in uniform should stay away from politics; that we would serve best our nation if we were fighting wars in Mindanao; that we have no business in meddling with the affairs of the state as we have been formed and trained in the rudiments of war, and not in the civil service, much less in politics. I agree but that assumes that the people who have been entrusted with the public trust have been sincere, honest, and have been true to their pledges.
As a young soldier, armed with idealism and the fire of youth, I have offered my life to defend this country from all its enemies. I have suffered long and hard for the principles that I hold dearly. Many of my loved ones have suffered with me – maybe not physically, but certainly have shared in the misery and hardships that I have endured. The fire of idealism still burns in me, but I have been wiser not to engage fire with fire.
With a lot of circumspection, I have decided to run for the Senate in 2010. I have no political pedigree. I have no political machinery. I have no financial resources. But I do have honor. I do have principles. I do have courage.
I believe I am ready to take on this new role, (and) with your prayers and support this dream is not too far-fetched. It takes the collective effort of every member of this society to make things improve for a country in disarray… a country that has been plundered… a country whose hope is running dry…
All I can do on my end, is to make the best effort possible to make society better, stand by my principles, and fight for what is right. There is hope for this country and our people; all we have to do is believe.
This I will do, if not for myself and our generation, then at least for our young children and their children. My warmest regards and God bless us all.
Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!
ARIEL O. QUERUBIN
Here was MY REPLY to him:
May the Lord God, of whom you say that you have no doubt in your mind, “has all the while been preparing (you) for public service”, BLESS and INSPIRE YOU even more so. But above all, may the Lord grant you the grace to keep in your heart and follow HIS Gospel’s words and instructions FAITHFULLY ALL THE TIME, not only during your forthcoming election campaign but above all, if and when He graciously allows your truly successful election as a Senator of the Philippines.
For your trials and temptations if and when you will become a Senator, particularly those involving lust for power, money, adulation and flattery - - aside from that of the flesh – will be exponentially far more intense than whatever you may have already experienced as a Catholic Christian soldiering for the Philippine Marines.
As you well know yourself, many other prominent Catholics and/or Christians who have been so elected, or are still the top officials of our country, probably had the very same highly noble thoughts, and motivations when they first pursued their public service ambitions. But to our Nation’s collective grief and near despair, most of them have UTTERLY BETRAYED their own souls -- and more so our people, time and time again, particularly when they were already occupying the highest seats of power and influence in our government.
I dare say that you too will probably end up just like them, IF YOU WILL HAVE STRAYED AWAY from the Lord’s Gospel, into mere mouthings of seemingly pious platitudes and hypocritical public speeches.
However, ever since the few times I have visited you in prison, you have led me into again being hopeful despite having been fooled a number of times into believing other politicians or at least very disappointed with their selfish partisan antics, to say the least. I shall therefore continue to pray for you and help you to pursue your noble objectives, modest as my contribution will be in the estimation perhaps of our very materialistic society. And so, I wish and pray that HEAVEN HELP THE
Again, may God bless you, your loving wife Bong, your dear children as well as your loyal, sincere friends and political supporters.
Yours in the Lord,
EDUARDO B. OLAGUER
Catholic Xybrspace Apostolate of the
To Light A Fire