Hazing victim buried in Tarlac; ‘brods’ send wreathBy Jo Martinez-Clemente
Inquirer Central Luzon
RAMOS, Tarlac—The wreath was big and imposing, and could not easily be missed. But nobody seemed to have noticed it as it stood by the door of Diocesan Shrine of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, the town’s parish church, where hazing victim Marc Andre Marcos spent his last night.
It carried a card that read: “Condolence from: Brods of Andrei Marcos.”
Who these “brods” were and what organization they belonged to, nobody seemed to know.
Most of Marcos’ friends and relatives declined to comment about it. His father, Mac Ferdie, said he did not want to speculate but accepted the gesture of sympathy.
“I want to believe that whoever sent these flowers were sincere in their intent to condole with us,” he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Marcos, 20, died from serious injuries on Monday, a day after attending a fraternity initiation in Dasmariñas City in Cavite. Members of the Lex Leonum Fraternitas were suspected to be behind his death.
The elder Marcos said the wreath, which was bought from a local florist, probably came early Saturday night while Marcos’ body was being transferred from their Tarlac ancestral home to the parish church.
“That was why we did not notice it,” the father said.
An employee at Gloria’s Flower Shop in Tarlac City said a man who declined to identify himself called the shop on Friday to order a wreath. The man told the store staff that he would deposit the payment for the wreath in the shop’s bank account.
The wreath was delivered to the Marcoses’ ancestral house here on Saturday afternoon.
‘Justice for Andre’
A sea of white shirts filled the church as friends, classmates, town mates and relatives came to attend the funeral Mass yesterday morning. The shirts were printed with the picture of Marcos.
Many wore pins and arm and wrist bands printed with the sign, “Justice for Andre.” Streamers with the same message fluttered from vehicles and were also displayed in several houses.
Rev. Fr. Aloysius Ma. Maranan, OSB, San Beda College rector and president, led the Mass that was concelebrated by Tarlac priests.
Marcos’ classmates from San Beda law school attended the burial at Ramos Memorial Park. His classmates from a local high school, as well as his classmates at the University of Santo Tomas, arrived on Saturday night for the final vigil and funeral.
United for justice
Maranan, in his homily, talked about death and justice and how one wanted to be remembered. “No one asks how do you want to die but how you want to live,” he said.
He asked how would Marcos want to be remembered.
“Andre left us a legacy and he wanted us, those whose lives he had touched, to be united in pursuing justice,” he said.
Maranan said the sorrow and pain that the family, friends and community were experiencing would be compensated when the justice they all sought was given.
He said this could be achieved if Marcos’ friends and family continued to be united and fought for justice until the people behind his death were charged in court and sentenced.
Joan of Arc
Simple justice, Maranan said, is exemplified by the death of Jesus Christ.
“Jesus’ death is the beginning of justice; it is coming back to life. Resurrection is justice and freedom,” he said.
Maranan likened Marcos’ life to that of Joan of Arc, the 15th-century woman who led the French army against the English in the Hundred Years’ War. She was burned at the stake in 1431 after she was tried and condemned by an ecclesiastical court for sorcery and heresy.
“She wanted justice but she gained justice not in her time but in Jesus’ time,” Maranan said, referring to the annulment of Joan of Arc’s condemnation and her eventual canonization in 1920.
Death is a crossing one has to take to gain new life, he said.
‘Let this be last’
Maranan left the Marcos family with a poem by Ellen Brenneman titled, “His Journey’s Just Begun.” In part, it says: “And think of him as living / in the hearts of those he touched … / for nothing loved is ever lost— / and he was loved so much.”
Maranan promised that the San Beda administration would cooperate in whatever way it could to bring justice to Marcos.
“Let Andre be the last. We cannot afford to lose another son to senseless killing,” he said.
After the Mass, Marcos’ father thanked all those who condoled with and helped the family.
He thanked God for the 20 years he had his son. “Salamat kay Andre (Thanks for Andre). It was pure happiness,” he said.