by Atty. Alnie G. Foja
Today, I was awakened with thoughts of Doc Merry and Rey. Doc Merry (Dr. Merry Mia-Clamor) and Rey (Reynaldo Macabenta) are two of those illegally arrested at a health training in Morong, Rizal and who are now being illegally detained at Camp Capinpin.
Who are Doc Merry and Rey? Doc Merry is the humble doctor who very diligently checked up my father’s ears sometime in 2008. She is the doctor who would, every now and then, check up Manang Grace, a member of my household. Doc Merry is the same doctor who looks after Lisa and me and who also entertain us every time we visit the CHD office, which is a very short drive from where we live, for acupuncture treatment from Celes.
When Manang Grace saw her on TV as one of the Morong 43 accused of being an NPA medic, she frantically ran up to the third floor to tell Lisa about it. She simply could not believe it! And rightfully so, for Doc Merry was always at the CHD ever ready and willing to provide practically free medical service to whoever comes in. Doc Merry is one of the few medical practitioners who chose to help bring the medical service closer to those who can least afford it.
Doc Merry is also the same doctor who accompanied her friend Celes and me to court hearings in Pasig. For a time we joked at how she was almost refused entrance to the courtroom for wearing a nice and decent but sleeveless blouse. She ended up wearing my coat. After the hearing, she celebrated with members of my law office the dismissal of the case against Celes. And so when people at my office learned that Doc Merry was one of Morong 43, they too were as dumbfounded as Manang Grace was.
Rey, on the other hand, is that quiet young man at CHD. He is almost always at the clinic every time we visit. He has been CHD’s full-time and regular driver for 5 years now. I was told that, aside from being a driver, Rey does the technical repairs of CHD’s appliances and equipment and that in December last year he enrolled in a TESDA training. Rey now is being accused as one of those who had been identified as member of the NPA team that allegedly raided a police post in Rodriguez, Rizal on December 20, 2009.
It is at CHD that I came to know Doc Merry and Rey. CHD’s clinic is located at Examiner’s Street in Quezon City, not so far from Pres. Cory’s residence. Its doctors and health workers are respectable medical practitioners who provide medical service to those who, as I said, can least afford it. And what is a lawyer like me doing at CHD? I am regular visitor because the acupuncture that Celes gives me relaxes my muscles and puts my mind to rest.
In case you are wondering, let me assure you, I am not an NPA.
I find myself writing an article such as this because I cannot seem to erase from my mind the looks in Doc Merry’s and Rey’s faces when I personally saw them in their detention cells at Camp Capinpin last Thursday. Doctor Merry managed to smile but her eyes betrayed the suffering that she and the rest of Morong 43 are heartlessly made to go through. We hugged several times, said a few things to each other, but I cannot even remember what she told me (or what I told her) – her eyes said it all.
For his part, Rey was simply speechless for a while but what I can’t forget was what he said about having to admit that he is an LFS member after the military insisted that he is one. I was told that the military found a student ID in his belongings – – perhaps the ID that he was issued at TESDA. In the military’s documents, Rey is being claimed to be an NPA member who took part in the Rodriguez raid and who has “admitted” to be an LFS member of LFS’ Cubao Chapter. Now, I do not know if that chapter exists!!
In closing, I have to admit that writing this arouses some fear within me. Fear that I would, henceforth, be branded as an Atenean lawyer (who also happens to be Liza Maza’s and Gabriela’s and Gabriela Women’s Party’s lawyer, an NUPL member, a part of Atty. Romeo Capulong’s team in the Batasan 6 and Nueva Ecija cases, and a friend of many activists) who patronizes acupuncture and who must, therefore, be an NPA lawyer or sympathizer.
Now, that’s talking of how rules of logic and evidence must have drastically changed!