We were appalled, to say the least.
Almost two weeks have elapsed since the gruesome events during the last hour of the 28th of October. Since then the public imagination and curiosity have been tickled beyond belief --- or disbelief. We have read about such unspeakable events or caught them in the news but when this involved high-profile people gravitating around that wondrous world of politics and show business, we are still left speechless.
If the characters involved were the most common of the common --- or say the kind you find giving spice and bite to shows like Face to Face, then this would have flown over our heads. Judgmental and prejudiced as this may sound --- but we would not be surprised. But since this event involved a prominent family who takes pride in being rich, powerful and beautiful, we cannot fathom how such crimes could have possibly happened.
At age twenty-three, Ramgen Revilla --- son of Don Ramon Revilla (whose agimat has displayed such great power in being the royal family of Cavite as well as the head of a clan comprised of eighty children from sixteen women) and half-brother of Senator Bong Revilla --- was shot and stabbed to death right inside the sanctity of his bedroom. His girlfriend, Janelle Manahan, was also shot under the right eye but survived the ferocious attack.
But even as we all started playing junior sleuths, piecing together events fed as information, a shocking twist literally knocked us off our feet. Who should be implicated as the mastermind of the crime but two of Ramgen's younger siblings --- Ramona and RJ --- with ages twenty-two and eighteen. Yes, eighteen!
We all thought this was not possible. You could not even include twists such as these in prime time telenovelas because no amount of fantastic plot manipulation can justify the sheer audacity and immorality of such an act. Yeah, yeah, yeah ... we all know that man, despite his evolution, education and so-called spirituality will still succumb to the temptation of money. We even have such convenient and sweeping statements such as "there are no friends and relatives when it comes to money." Point well taken.
But still the thought of two younger siblings willing to pay two hundred thousand bucks to hired killers to eliminate their eldest brother makes one think too many questions all together. Inasmuch as it is equally wrong to be judgmental or to breathe certainty into events that still require clarification and verification, we are still very, very disgusted. No, dismayed! To quote someone watching the news as the police put together the pieces of the puzzle, "Anong klaseng mga tao yan?"
Better yet --- is this really, really possible?
Somehow it is no longer a matter of who was killed by whom --- but more of a question of why. Better yet, when we remove the veil of fiction and realize that we are dealing with facts --- we are made to confront a vicious interpretation of the word evil. And we cannot believe that this should happen to the rich and powerful. Or should we even be surprised at all?
Reviewing the private history of the affluent and powerful could jolt us into realizing that they may be different --- but they are also no different from us. The rich are capable of the same crimes and misdemeanors --- and even worse perversions and aberrations because some of them believe in entitlement.
Entitlement is tantamount to the privilege of being not only immoral but somewhat amoral because given the right chance and circumstances --- they can get away with --- uh, murder.
Again we react with the same degree of disgust as we re-examine what has become of us in terms of our values and beliefs. The more we learn from the updates and investigations, the more disgusted we become as we find out that the root cause of all this bloodshed is simply money. Money among the rich. No, it is not even money for survival --- as a stolen loaf of bread from the bakery to feed a hungry family.
If we should believe all these accounts and interpolations from those close to the siblings, it was about allowances and cars. It is about rich kids who knocked off their kuya because they wanted more money or whatever. And this disgusts us even further.
No, this not a crime brought about by the challenges for survival: this is about over-privileged spoiled brats who believed they were miserable --- and there was only one solution to end all that. Control + Alt + Delete.
So again, we ask ourselves: is this possible? Can two kids really do this to their older brother?
Our junior sleuth-ing was challenged even more when Ramona did not exactly slip away from the country to fly to Hong Kong en route to Istanbul. Somehow doubts were seemingly confirmed but then even more questions were borne out of that surreal development.
The young woman checked into the airport at 6:30PM and flew out of the country at around 9 in the evening --- and in the distance of two and a half hours (with news flashes being aired on TV that she was flying out of the country), nobody was able to stop her or hold her because she had no restraining order? OK. I guess people were too busy that night trying to figure out if Ramona's mother is indeed the same starlet who used to appear in Kuya Germs' That's Entertainment. Even if the whole country knew she was in the airport about to fly off to Turkey, people just watched. OK. We will take it at that.
And for someone who wanted to be as inconspicuous and unnoticed as she slipped out of the country, Ramon really had a taste for the dramatic, veiling herself with a lipstick red scarf and impersonating Little Red Riding Hood in a Departure Lounge full of wolves.
It was just that this story was turning more and more surreal. This has turned out to be the best telenovela aired on all networks ... including cable channels. Thus we are not even thinking of ex-President Gloria looking like R2D2 in her ridiculous neck braces that looks like a snow sled. We couldn't even find the humor in that ...because we are all focused on this two-week old murder mystery.
Careers in show business and politics are at stake. The most private of family secrets are suddenly flung to the arena of the carnivorous public who would gnash their teeth on any available explanation or rumor. Reputations are questioned, mocked and ruined. And the news bits keep on coming.
In the meantime, Ramgen Revilla --- who has not even reached the prime of his life --- lay quietly in his coffin six feet underground and pleading for justice.
At whatever cost. We may be feverish with curiosity and sick with disgust ... but a young man was slaughtered right in his bedroom. Regardless of who he was or why he was butchered, there shall be no peace unless there is justice. We remind ourselves that this is real life we are dealing with ... and not some convoluted piece of fiction meant to gather ratings and provide a means of escape from our dreary lives. This is real life, Folks. There is an immediate need for justice.
Evident and transparent justice. This is more than just a murder in a rich and powerful family.