On October 12, 2007, Marin, who was brutally gunned down after leading a protest
of local anti-mining activists in San Fernando, Sibuyan Island last October 3, will
be brought to his final resting place on the very same ground hollowed by his blood;
on the very same soil which the miners, out of salivating greed, want to bleed dry
of its gems.
It will be a sad day for all Sibuyanons and Romblomanons who care for their dear
Yet, Armin shall not truly rest. Not yet.
His physical body may become one with the earth on which he walked tirelessly for
42 years, but his spirit, the engulfing, burning being of his person, will still
roam the fastnesses of Sibuyan and demand just retribution.
s long as the loggers and the miners remain in Sibuyan, his spirit—the ideals he
had lived by and the causes he had advocated—will remain burning in the hearts of
the Sibuyanons. His spirit will continue to envelope the whole beings of those he
had touched and influenced and served while he was alive. This will fuel their resolve
to continue the fight against the spoilers of Sibuyan, and harden their commitment
never to give up an inch of their land to the enemies of the environment.
It will haunt his murderers and those who caused his untimely passing. Councilor
Marin will not rest, not until the day when the last—final—screws of the machine
threatening to hakar the bowels of Sibuyan have been pulled up and thrown out of
The murder of Armin Marin had drawn the line between greed and self-preservation,
between decency and deceit.
The loggers and miners now prowling on the island personify greed. Those who declared
themselves on Armin’s side at the time of his numerous battles and up to the hour
of his death have cultural and social preservation—apart from natural heritage protection—as
Armin was decent to declare, from the very start of his short-lived socio-political
crusade where he stood. He stood for his people.
Deceit was the undeclared weapon of those who snuffed out his life. It was the currency
of the spoilers of the environment, who made sure they stopped at nothing, including
perhaps blasting to kingdom come those who try to resist their malevolent scheme,
Thus, when a mining company dishes out a press release blaming Armin’s murder on
Armin’s army of unarmed protestors, and saying that Armin’s fatal shooting was accidental,
and further saying that the mining company is gathering information for possible
legal action against the protesters, then it is high time to serve notice that deceit—with
disinformation as its tool—is slowly worming its way into the bowels of the Sibuyanon
t is now plausible that this disinformation will take root, particularly among those
whose minds have been poisoned by the beneficence of the mining companies. The resources
of the miners for such disinformation are as enormous as their appetite for profit.
“We’re already been crucified as the bad guys. Our people were not the aggressors.
They were not the instigators either. Rather, they were the victims,” Jose Miguel
Cabarrus, president of Sibuyan Nickel Properties Development Co., was quoted by the
Manila Times to have told reporters.
Hello! Armin Marin was dead. He is clearly the victim here. What does Mr. Cabarrus
expect the people of Sibuyan to do? Rush to the provincial capitol prison and fall
in line for a chance to visit the alleged murderer and offer their sympathies that
he was divorced from the jeep he drove on the day of the murder?
If only for this piece of garbage of a statement, then Armin shall not rest. Not
Not until the day when the likes of Mr. Cabarrus learn how to respect the sensibilities
of the Sibuyanons and remain silent for a while—as he should have been advised—until
Marin’s body is interred and the outrage over the murder has dissipated a little.
It’s a Romblon tradition never to desecrate the memory of the dead.
But until that day, Armin’s memory as a crusader will remain richly etched in the
Sibuyanon soul. He can—and will—forgive his murderer/s, for the Sibuyanon has an
infinite capacity for forgiveness.
As Sibuyanons, Armin and the living he left behind will not forget. They have an
infinite capacity for remembering, for we are certain that even if the miners like
SNPDC have left fifteen years after they have exhausted Sibuyan’s treasures, the
Sibuyanons will remain on the island, sharply aware that Armin’s decency and courage
and heroism, which were abruptly ended by the deceit and disinformation of his enemies,
are beyond forgetting. (By Nicon Fameronag.)