One brave woman
It has been weeks since the name Ma. Lourdes Mangaoang, deputy collector of the Bureau of Customs, hit the headlines. She came out and bravely proclaimed that the magnetic lifters seized in August contained “shabu” (crystal meth) worth billions of pesos, contradicting the commissioner and indirectly even President Duterte himself.
Before the commentary, “Who’s afraid of Lourdes Mangaoang?” (10/30/18) by Kevin Mandrilla, I have been waiting for people, particularly women religious, the Commission on Human Rights and other concerned citizens, to come out and rally behind Mangaoang’s courage. But nobody and no group came out.
Not many persons, men included, would have dared what she did. Our more outspoken bishops and priests were silent, in spite of our rallies against extrajudicial killings and other perceived human rights abuses.
What they used to say of Golda Meir, and later of Margaret Thatcher, past prime ministers of Israel and the United Kingdom, respectively, we can say the same of Lourdes Mangaoang, with apologies for the graphic words: “In a world dominated by powerful men, she was the one who had the balls…” And, we might add, perhaps ones made of steel, stronger than the one used to make the magnetic lifters.
Lourdes Mangaoang is a Filipino “sa isip, sa salita at sa gawa.” May there be more like her.
ANTONIO MARIA ROSALES, OFM, [email protected]
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