Saturday, September 08, 2007

For Good Men

by RmOlano

Brother Edmund Burke (1729-1797) of Jerusalem Lodge No. 4, London, a staunch supporter of American Colonies, advocates anti-slavery among other things, once said, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

In Brother Ric Alvares of Bagong Buhay Lodge No. 4 aptly titled article, “A Cry for Justice,” the lack of progress in solving the assassination of Brother Bishop Alberto Ramento (1936-2006) is not unforeseen. Thief or thieves stole what they want, often when spooked usually ran away but there are cases then cornered, resort to homicide. When a victim was attacked while sleeping on his bed, it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that the missing items were just ploys. Murder is one of the most difficult cases to solve and when you throw political angle on the case then issue become extremely thorny.

Reading our late Brother Bishop Alberto Ramento memberships and affiliations, one would not doubt the highly charged ground he threaded on. The very same reasons of his character bear the testimony of this long list of type of undertaking he was involved. Our Brother stood up for what he believed--- an act worthy of emulation contrast to many excuses we often heard about fighting corruption. How often we heard full range of noise from loud bravado voices, to cries of anger against graft and corruption only to whimper the rationalization that the sickness is so malignant that one person effort would not make any difference.

Once upon a time our Craft made a difference; once upon a time our Craft were composed of ordinary men and did extraordinary effort under extraordinary circumstances. They are not perfect and so was the result nevertheless, the Filipino people inherited a Nation. Being aware of recent events in our brand of Craft, one could be labeled presumptuous to say that our flavor is that of extraordinary men doing ordinary effort under less than ordinary times. The institution became a reflection of the society that supposed to be mirror image of the former. Though the purple became spotted and it is sad event indeed, it is comforting to see that there is a glow from a lighthouse of hope. Our Craft can again be a catalyst to nation re-building. We, as an individual Mason should realize that the drama of the second section of third degree is as real as the Brother Bishop Ramento exemplified. Standing for the righteousness of one belief is a lesson we must never forget. It is a notion that could be among other things as deadly and dangerous. But then again only true and worthy Brothers of the Craft would understand that Freemasonry is more than rings, decals, dues card or impressive sounding titles. The concept takes us to Brother Burke statement---for a good man to do nothing almost always assured the victory of what is not right.

The Filipino Freemasonry needs men like our departed Brother Bishop Ramento who displayed his unfeigned piety to God and his inflexible fidelity to his trust. This is the kind of example the Filipino Masonry deserved to be exposed, to emulate and follow. The Filipino nation is desperately in need of worthy examples of courageous leaders and a lighthouse to steer to. The country more than ever needs the like of men who have the moral and ethical resolve to do what is right—the kind of Mason Rodel J. Ramos was looking for in his “The Legacy of Freemasons in Philippine History,” which was a stinging indictment of Filipino Freemasonry. Brother Bishop Alberto Ramento was an answer to Brother Edmund Burke statement, the kind of Filipino Mason Mr. Rodel Ramos was wondering about and an example not only to Juan dela Cruz but most importantly, to all Filipino Masons regardless of affiliations and jurisdictions. The kind of Mason we wanted to be.

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