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My father, the judge

Hero33Hero33 King of Dreams PExer
this is for my father, who was assassinated on june 10, 2004...
this is so that people may know of his love for God, his family and country.

he did not earn much, and it did not bother him as my mom made ends meet for us. He just wanted to serve...

My father, the judge
Posted: 0:03 AM (Manila Time) | Jun. 16, 2004
By Vic Rosales
Inquirer News Service
An upright man

MY FATHER, Judge Voltaire Rosales of Tanauan, Batangas, was an upright man. He never stole from the government. Jueteng and drug lords would offer him bribes, but he would refuse them. He would tell people from the underworld to give the money to the church. He was a lay minister for 16 years. He always told me that integrity cannot be bought.

One time a guy left a big box full of thousand-peso bills at our house. He threw it back at him and told him to never come back.
My dad became a judge because he had always wanted to work for his province. Every day, he would motor to Batangas from our residence in Dasmari?as Village, Makati. He didn't mind not making money. We were okay as mom is the business type. They were married for 21 years and their love for each other was unwavering.

My dad was my best friend. Every day, he would call me up to ask what time my dismissal was. He would then look at the movie schedule and we would always meet at Greenbelt 4 (he would come all the way from Batangas).

We would watch a movie practically every day of the week. It didn't matter what movie. We would even watch the same movie twice if we had the time. It was because of his constant company that I never tried smoking or drugs.

But he would cancel the treat if he had to work overtime in Batangas. At one time, when I was with him in Batangas and he was about to close shop at 6, he saw several old women crying. When he learned that their young kin had been arrested but they could not post bail because no one wanted to bother with them, he said we'd catch a later show and ordered the office hours extended to allow the women to post bail. "Justice delayed is justice denied," he said.

When it came to high-profile cases, he never liked being on camera. In a celebrated promulgation covered on television, he just had the secretary read the verdict while he walked away from the cameras.

Somebody once offered to write an editorial in praise of him, but he just said that God is the only one he wishes to please.

He was my billiards buddy. Every night, we would play a game, a rotation of 9-ball, either race to three if he was tired, or race to five if he was not.

He always made time for me. When I was diagnosed with clinical depression, he would stay by my bedside and watch TV with me till I fell asleep. I once saved up and bought him a nice billiard cue.

It was he who taught me to be happy staying at home-with my family. While people my age were clubbing or partying late, I was at home enjoying my family.

My father was the pillar of my family. He was such a family man. He made our simple four-member family seem very big. He always told me to take care of my sister. I promise you, Dad, I will.

He was a nice person. To this day I cannot find a single person who could say he was a mean man. He was always considerate and polite.

A holy man

My father was a holy man. When I was 6, he wanted me to become an altar boy, just like him when he was a kid. But I guess the rebel in me wanted to be different.

Whenever we quarreled, he would tell me, even with my weak faith, "Son, no matter what, there is a God."
Even if he knew I hated going to church, he would tell me, "Even if you just pass by or sit outside, that is good enough, as long as your intention is sincere, God will help you get back."

It was he who taught me to pray in the chapel whenever I had problems. I got the habit from him to pray and reflect in the chapel, to ask God for strength. I have to admit the habit has helped me in the toughest of times. My daddy gave me the string that has kept me connected to God.

He always told me, "Son, I may not be able to give you the luxuries of life, but know that what I am doing is right and it is what must be done. Someday you'll have this, the only thing I can give you."

It was his ring that his father had given him. It had a "V" on it. He had shown it to me so many times. I wear it now.

I lift my dad up to the Lord. I ask the Lord to take care of my dad and give him peace. I ask the Lord to give me the strength to take care of my mom and my sister.

My daddy used to tell me, "Son, as long as you do what is right, do what God wants for yourself, your family and your country, you will be protected by God."

That is why he never bothered bringing along a bodyguard.

In this sick system we have in the Philippines, it is the good people who get killed while the evil ones enjoy their loot at the expense of the people.

My dad did not deserve to be killed. He was no criminal to be shot in the head.

He died because he refused to give in to peer pressure. He died because he refused to tarnish his name and the judicial system's integrity.

We are alone now. At night it will be just us. My days after school will be much lonelier without the after-class movies and late-night billiards. Saturday-night movies will never be the same again without the wisecracks of my dad.

But Dad will always be with us. And I know he can be an inspiration to those who work in government, that by loving God and others with a sincere heart, they can be happier than anyone and have the joy that no material possession can ever give.

I miss my father, I miss my best friend.

God bless you, Dad. I love you.

The author is the 20-year-old son of Judge Voltaire Rosales who was ambushed recently by a lone gunman in Tanauan City. The killer is still free.

Comments

  • Fairy_nd_meadowFairy_nd_meadow Member PExer
    Hero?!? You probably know my father too - he's from Tanauan Batangas - Justice Juan Laurel Lanting?

    I am sorry to hear about your dad. That is a tough experience. But I'm sure things will turn out alright. My father died, too, when I was a little girl. This incident shattered the life of my mother who was a plain, simple housewife. We felt her sufferings and this did affect the way I view life. Mahirap mawalan ng ama.

    Pero after all that has happened, I guess things have turned out fine. And I know you'll be alright too, and I know your mom will be fine, too.

    My father's memory, the way he served the Court of Appeals, the way he served the International Labor Organization, has inspired me tremendously. I know your father inspires you too.

    When someone dies, we don't get over it by forgetting. We get over it by remembering.... He remains alive in our hearts, in our hopes and ambitions, in who we are and who we want to be....

    My deepest condolences.
  • fajArdO851fajArdO851 Banned by Admin PExer
    mY faTheR is a jUdge toO. a judGe in thE beaUty cOnteSt.
  • Hero33Hero33 King of Dreams PExer
    Love Can Be Silent
    By Vic Rosales ([email protected])

    Sometimes the sound of silence can be deafening. Love in silence though, can be the most unbearable. To those who must feel love through articulation or verbal expression, silence is the cold air that chills the heart in times of loneliness. Not with my father. Everyone who has met my father has always said that he was a quiet man. His demeanor was that of a wise man; listen to all, speak what is needed. With my father, his actions of love spoke much louder than the few I love yous that would ever leave his mouth. His love was always felt, even when he was not physically present. One way this was done was through his cell phone. He probably had the highest bill among all of us in the family, but it was worth every peso because we knew majority, if not all his calls were to each of his family. He rarely texted us, but he always called. The few texts he would send were very concise. “Where are you?”, “how are you doing?” and “please take care of yourself” were one of the most common messages I would receive. Concern would be felt with every reply.

    I often wondered why he was so quiet. I guess he always felt good intentions are better seen than heard. Everyone says they want change, but it is the individual who works for it, who sees beyond the pessimism of the world and actually perseveres for what is right, not popular, will be the one who makes the real change he would express to me as I grew up.

    He tried to prove that to me on a daily basis. Seeing and reading about the news had made me cynical. I often questioned what he could do to make a difference and why didn’t he just accept all the offers from the private sector. He would just reply, “Money isn’t everything. Many people have different priorities, but I know that I can make a difference. To each his own, but just watch me son, I will make a difference.”

    One time we had a fight because he hadn’t been taking care of his health, he was diabetic. I ended saying an expletive at him and saying “ganyan na pala? Kanya kanyang buhay na? Bahala ka na diyan!” I left his room and not even five minutes later, I texted him “I’m sorry dad it’s just that we have some much to worry about you have to live long for me, I love you very much.” He replied with, “Its ok, I love you too.”


    The week before his death, it happened again. Same fight, but this time I could sense him being very tired. He replied, but this time it was only an “its ok”. Troubled I walked to his room constantly saying sorry and asking if he was mad (which was rhetorical cause he wasn’t ever mad, it was more of leading to what could have been really bothering him.) He said, “it’s nothing, I’m just very tired”. It wasn’t uncommon for him to be tired, I have been accustomed to his diabetic ways, but that Sunday was the most disturbing experience I’ve ever had with my father. For the first time in quite awhile, I felt something was tiring him more than usual. Maybe it was his foresight, maybe it was a case he was holding, but I had never feared so much for my best friend.


    The moments preceding his death was a testament to his beautiful love which he blessed our family with. My father had a gruesome death that not even an animal should be given. He was shot 5 times according to the autopsy. All of which entered his head, shattering his brain. All close range, one going through his shoulders and lodging in his head. It was meant to destroy him, not scare or warn.


    By all accounts he should have just dropped and died. That is not like my father, and with God’s grace in his heart, with the silence that accompanied much of his actions, he got out of the driver’s side of the Pajero (he had been driving when he was ambushed) and got out of the car and fell on the street. Any other man would have been shocked still if shot down like that, but, my father had the strength to move. My father lived for more than 2 hours with his wounds. I’ve heard stories of praise of how, with the injuries he had sustained, that it was unbelievable that he had such a strong heartbeat. No cries of pain were heard, knowing my father, he kept it to himself and like other times when he was sick, he prayed for God’s mercy.

    My mother on the other hand was determined to be with dad right away (as other loving wives would be put in the same situation). She was rushing with my sister, grandmother and aunt from our house to Tanauan, Batangas which is a good one hour and a half away. She was praying to God, “Please, Lord, Just one minute!” As the car speedily drove towards our province which my father dedicated his life to serving, my mother got a call telling her my father was still alive with his heart beating very strong. They continued the journey.

    I was on the way home from Katipunan when I heard the news. I rushed home and could not even get into the driveway because my body felt too weak. My legs felt like jelly as I took every step and I was close to breaking down as I entered the house. Every moment I could feel my dad’s pain and at the same time, feared for the unknown as contact to my mom and sister was hard. I fell into a delirium talking to my father asking him to give me strength to take what had happened to him.

    It was about 1 o’clock when my mother reached him. It was a sight no wife or daughter should ever see. A husband, a father, drenched in a pool of his own blood lying before you hanging on to dear life with only the beat of his heart and God’s favour keeping him alive. His silence was a knife cutting through their hearts, something that even I could feel all the way from Makati. My father, before my mother had one eye shut and the other half open. My mother wishing for my father’s pain to end and for him to rest closed his last open eye. Then the miracle was to be seen. With what was suppose to be someone long gone, my father opened his eye and then my mom knew that God had answered her prayers for one minute with him. Tears falling from her face, she told my dad “I love you, and I know you love me” and with that my father smiled for the last time and let go.

    It is a tale that will forever echo in my mind. Even with my father’s silence he touched us with his love to the very end. In a way it was as if God taught him to prepare us to be this way. It’s not easy being just three now, but dad always said God does things for a reason. He always said, to each his own, and we all live our lives for the better of the many. Sometimes I feel he is still there. His silence has taught us to feel him even without his physical presence. It is a surreal experience to lose someone so violently. I always believed a man of God would always be protected. I am proud of the fact that besides his Eucharistic duties he was also a man of the sacred heart, being president of the local chapter even.

    God though has a bigger mission for him. That is probably why he had to go that way. Going quietly would have made him just be put aside as another statistic. I reflect and it is with the help of family that I also see that maybe the pain of his permanent silence must also be seen as only a physical one. The good people always go first they say. I pray my father’s death will touch people on the importance of reciprocating love for others and having the initiative to give as well. With that I also hope that people see the importance of supporting the justice system in our country. There are less than 163 heinous crime judges in the country. Less than the number of congressmen that makes the laws. They are the first line facing the criminals that roam the country, looking at them eye to eye on a daily basis, sentencing them to their death without an ounce of protection or sense of dignity handed to them by the government. They are a mighty tough crowd that silently serves their country, risking life and family in the hopes of dispensing justice.

    Let this be the last atrocity to face our judges. It is no piece of cake losing a father, a best friend all in one. In ways I would have to say I am even lucky I have a mother who can provide. There are a lot of judges out there who have spouses who do not work. Judges as of now are the only government officials with outdated benefits for surviving loved ones. When my father died, it took the Supreme Court three days to even acknowledge him. He is a hero without a doubt. To this misguided government he was a statistic. That should not be the case, they are humans with loved ones just like any other mayor or congressman or any other official from the 2 other SUPPOSEDLY co-equal branches of government. There must be reforms to protect and support judges and their families during their life and after their demise.

    I would like to believe though, God has reasons. My father exemplified not only the great traits a judge should have, but what a loving father and devoted husband must have as well. This and the fact he always silently carried God’s cross must have been the reason he was taken away from my mom, my sister and I and was put in the limelight to be a model for others. I have felt this with the many people that have expressed their being touched by my father’s love. They would search for me through the internet while some would just come up to me and tell me how touched they were after they read about him in the newspaper. His physical presence may be gone, and will always be surely missed, but his undying love for God, his family and his country will be eternally remembered for as long as people make it a point to put God in their hearts and in all their actions. His actions during his life will forever give me the warmth in my heart when I miss his caring voice, loving shake of his hand or the tight hugs he would give me in the happiest and worse of times. When all of this will be done, we will return to the silence of our home, but we will always feel the silent presence of my father, my dad, my hero and as always, my best friend.

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