This blog does not claim to be always right. The blogger has no pretensions about being morally, politically, or ideologically correct. This blog contains random thoughts, rants, raves, hysterical protestations and sporadic thinking aloud by a person who is not out to please anyone or pander to anyone's idea of what is acceptable or ideal. Feel free to disagree, it is a free country.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
A mother's love
This is my column today.
A riveting sidebar story to the whole Jason Ivler caper involved Marlene Aguilar, the fugitive’s mother. Up until last Monday, Aguilar projected the image of a grieving mother, the stereotypical Mater Dolorosa who shed copious tears on public television, at turns appealing to her son to surrender to the authorities and blaming everyone else for her son’s tragedy from Uncle Sam to allegedly overzealous government authorities. It was easy to empathize with her and I know many did.
Everyone can relate to a mother’s grief; after all, everyone has a mother and mothers by nature are supposed to be nurturing, fiercely protective of, and are supposed to have unconditional love for their children.
In the interest of transparency, I will disclose that I am not exactly an objective and disinterested party in this case. I have written in this space about my close relationship with Renato Victor Ebarle, the victim of Ivler’s uncontrollable rage. I am one of those who want Ivler and his accomplices brought to the bar of justice. But most of all, I am of the firm belief that Ivler poses serious risks to the life and liberty of many other citizens and should not be allowed to roam our streets. The fact that he harmed two members of his arresting party last Monday more than proves this point.
Just like others, I had doubts about Aguilar’s sincerity particularly when she started making a sales pitch for her book “Warriors of Heaven.” If we are to believe Aguilar, Ivler’s woes were mainly caused by her supposed unflinching criticism of United States government policies as contained in her book. To be fair to her, I haven’t read the book. I did pick the book up and scanned through it many months ago, long before Ivler murdered Victor Ebarle in cold blood (as many witnesses attested to) and I remembered feeling a little queasy over the rather graphic artwork. The book featured a nude Aguilar on the back cover. I am not saying that a book’s artwork is enough indictment or confirmation of its literary or commercial worth but I have this thing against overt efforts to sell a book through gimmickry such as the use of shocking or prurient images masquerading as art.
At any rate, I had my doubts and was suspicious of Aguilar’s complicity to her son’s cloak-and-dagger operations. However, like most everyone else, I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. I think that most people in this country have so much affection for mothers in general that we’re all willing to go the extra mile to accommodate, tolerate, even forgive a mother’s eccentricities. God knows I too have a mother who probably is capable of exhibiting the same flair for dramatics and the same level of obstinacy.
Last Monday’s dramatic capture of Ivler at Aguilar’s house has thrown a proverbial wrench into the discussion. Aguilar has been catapulted from being a mere sidebar to being the main issue. Her actuations are now the subject of intense debate and there’s now this whole discussion over the breadth and scope and the morality and ethics around a mother’s love.
The footages taken prior, during, and after the shootout that eventually resulted in the capture of a wounded Ivler (whose overall appearance and demeanor during the shootout was likened to that of movie icon Rambo) cannot dispute Aguilar’s complicity. She tried to mislead authorities. She harbored a fugitive. She tried to obstruct justice.
I didn’t get to watch footages of the dramatic encounter until the truncated version shown during the evening newscast but a friend who works at a media network relayed his description of Aguilar’s behavior. According to my friend, Aguilar displayed a whole range of emotions and behaviors associated with mothers fiercely protecting an offspring. My friend likened Aguilar’s behaviors with that of other members of the female species of the animal kingdom—from being a hen hysterically protecting her clutch of chicks by screaming and posturing indignantly like an aggrieved victim, to being a tigress ferociously blocking the way to her kitten’s den, to being, in the end, like a forlorn and dejected sloth who had lost a bitter battle to protect an offspring. The footages I got to watch during the newscast showed only snippets of Aguilar’s various transformations as a mother but they were enough to elicit mixed emotions and reactions from viewers.
The question that is foremost in people’s minds is: Were Aguilar’s actions justifiable in the context of a mother protecting her own son?
There are those who have admitted, albeit apologetically, that given a similar situation, they probably would have done the same thing Aguilar did. There are those who have put her to task for failing to do what they say is the ultimate test of a mother’s love: Teaching her child on what is right or wrong and instructing him, perhaps by example, to be responsible and accountable for his actions. There are those, of course, who insist that a mother who tolerates the criminal activities of her children is a criminal herself. Somewhere in between are those who said that they probably would have helped Ivler escape or would have offered continuous assistance such as money or other kinds of resources to keep him alive or safe but would not go as far as directly offer him sanctuary in their own houses.
Quite a number were taken aback by the seeming brazenness of Aguilar as manifested by her decision to actually keep Ivler in her house despite the major manhunt launched by the police to capture him dead or alive. The act seems like a direct insult on the capabilities of the police as if the family was openly taunting the ineptness of our law enforcers. There are unconfirmed rumors that she may have done so not purely out of maternal affection but simply because she had no choice. According to scuttlebutt, Ivler has major emotional issues (his overall demeanor seems to confirm this) and may have posed more harm to other people outside of his mother’s house.
I suspect that the discussion over Aguilar’s behaviors and the social, cultural, even legal and ethical implications of these will be a hot topic of conversation in the next few weeks. I doubt if there will be a consensus. Motherhood is a particularly emotional issue for most of us and I doubt if there is a standard job description for mothers. Aguilar’s behaviors certainly run counter to those of another famous celebrity mother who recently went on public television to castigate her celebrity daughter even going to the extent of saying that her daughter’s cancer was probably God’s way of reminding the daughter of the way she dishonored her mother. Ouch.
Those who think Aguilar’s behaviors are justifiable on account of the fact that she was just being a mother and therefore deserves empathy are best reminded that there is another mother in the equation—Renato Victor Ebarle’s mother. She lost her only son in a senseless, tragic, and brutal way. She also deserves our empathy and support.
At any rate, Aguilar now has all the time and opportunity in the world to shower her beloved son with all the maternal affection she can muster—while he rots in jail.