Fw: Letter to Loren Legarda from an Assumption batchmate

I received a forwarded email last month. I forgot all about it until I was cleaning out my yahoo account. I noticed that it hasn't taken the round yet with any of my egroups (I have several) so I guess most of you haven't read it yet. It's such a courageous piece. I admire the woman who wrote it, whoever she may be since I don't know her personally. I'd like to share it with you because I feel exactly the same way as the writer was feeling. (I hope that by this time, Loren Legarda had already read this too).

Dear Loren,

A couple of weeks ago, in a bus from Baguio to Manila, I overheard the conductor ask the driver, "Sino pare'ng iboboto mo, si Noli ba o si Loren?"

And the driver replied, "Ang ibig mong sabihin, yung tanga ba o yung traydor?"

At about the same time, I saw a newsclip showing you and FPJ, among others,dancing with some gaily costumed people.

I saw it for just a minute, maybe even less, but as I watched, the image of you - hands up in the air, face smiling so widely, body moving to a rhythm I couldn't hear - eerily reminded me of another dancing lady senator, only three years ago, looking just so in the august halls of the Philippine Senate-turned-Impeachment Court: Tessie Aquino-Oreta. You were there too. But if I remember right, you were weeping while she did her two-step, and I was weeping with you. Now, uncannily, you were the dancer, and I felt like weeping again.

When I read in the papers that you had left your party, I had goose bumps.

And I smelled something not unlike fish. Soon enough, I was reading about you being FPJ's vice presidential candidate. My heart sank.

If you care to know, my heart's been sinking a lot lately. I don't need to detail the issues confronting our country to you, of all people. Though I never really expected it would also sink on account of you.

I will be honest. I did not vote for you when you ran for Senator. When you won, I had my doubts. But I decided to give you the benefit of it. I knew you to be intelligent and hard-working, and I believed you would pour those qualities into your service to the nation. When you turned Senator-Judge, I put you on my prayer list. And up until the proceedings were overran by history, you made me so proud: of being an Assumptionista, of being a woman, of being a Filipino. Like you.

There was a recent get-together at Rina Lopez's home, which I missed, where some batchmates expressed their disappointment over your alignment with FPJ.

I heard that the long and the short of it is that you had made up your mind and that you believed in FPJ and in Tito Sotto. This should be when I ask the how-could-you question, but having heard also how you made it clear that it was okay for these disappointed batchmates to not support you as they belonged to a mere 1% of the electorate, I have frankly lost all appetite for what might be your answer.

Instead, I will withdraw from you the benefit of my doubts from almost six years ago. For I have doubts no longer.

You are, however, still on my prayer list. Additionally, I will pray that should the future prove me wrong and vindicate your choice, I may have the grace to apologize to you. But first, I will also pray that in the coming elections, for the sake of our nation, you and you running mate may both lose.

I have absolutely no expectation that this letter will affect history one iota, not national history anyway. But in my personal history, it will affirm that I spoke my piece, and my children might perhaps appreciate that.

I did not, in conscience, remain indifferent. You see, ako ay Pilipino, sa isip, sa salita at sa gawa. I always have been.

Sincerely, and very sadly,

Annie Panlilio Salvador

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