March 28, 2023

The world we have pushes each one to strive hard for survival, for work, for food, for money, for pleasure, for wealth, and even for fame. The sad part is, we tend to be focused on our personal life and personal needs, neglecting others.
Because of social pressure and the social status that couples it, people want to accumulate more at the expense of morality, common good, and rights of others.
Nevertheless, God is not sleeping. He sends modern prophets to shake our life, redirect our focus, and bring us to God.
Luke 6:22 says, “Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man.” This biblical verse had been my inspiration and strength in living my prophetic life as a priest.
I recall being threatened four times for the sake of evangelization and social justice. I was poked with a gun three times for correcting an election dishonesty, for being truthful, and for facilitating a prayer service in one barangay. I was also chased with a bolo for defending a church property. I knew I was innocent. I was hated for living out my prophetic life.
The near-death experiences overcame me with fear but the biblical verse kept resounding in my heart, “Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man.” Fortunately, I was able to evade the pending threat and God indeed protected me.
I want to share the story of the late Hon. Salvador Liked who was recently gunned down in Bauko, Mountain Province.
I was driving home one rainy evening when somebody signaled me along the way for a hitch. I picked him without any fear.
Driving along the dark road amidst the heavy rain, he started to narrate stories and at one point, he introduced himself as Salvador Liked.
Upon hearing his name, many things began to ring in my head. He was talking about his advocacies. It was unsolicited. He became more confident when I told him I am Padi Marcs. He immediately associated me with my pen name, “Pachie’s Point.” True enough, we shared our common advocacy against graft and corruption. He was all the more given life to work for good governance.
He was friendly and grateful. Before he alighted at Nacagang, Sabangan, he gave his number and he displayed a great volume of gratitude.
We met at Radyo Sagada when he was airing his platform as a candidate for councilor.Unfortunately, he did not make it.
I have heard some of his advocacies and noble moves against graft and corruption. I admired his being a staunch advocate for good governance. However, due to human limitations, he was not able to earn his desired support from people but his vision pushed him. He was even mocked and hated for his advocacy.
He was confronted by his enemies in various levels but he was determined to advance his activism against graft and corruption. He may have failed some of the proper procedures but he was impelled by his spirit to move on. Some who were affected by his battle considered him as a controversial man.
Last week before I said my 6:30 a.m. mass, somebody informed me via SMS: “Padi, Sir Salvador Liked is dead. We pray for his eternal repose.” I took the information lightly because I treated it as wrong information. But after the Holy Mass, I received another SMS confirming the bad news. “He was gunned down by an unidentified man in his own house.” I was saddened and shocked.
I paused to pray for his eternal rest and to pray for Mountain Province. I cannot imagine, in this time of pandemic, for a person to allow himself to be used by the Evil One to end the life of Liked.
I encourage everybody to please pause for some moments to pray for peace in Mountain Province, for the murderer to be radiated by the light of the Divine Mercy for justice and conversion, and for the eternal repose of Liked. If this man may have hurt you or broke your heart, please let go of that hurt and resentment. Holding on to those feelings will not help. Instead, offer forgiveness. Who knows, he will be interceding for you in your workplace? For his shortcomings too, we pray for forgiveness that he may rest in peace.
I encourage each one to condemn the murder of Liked. Let the prophetic voice of this man disturb the conscience of the murderer, even the mastermind.
Let us continue to be prophets in these modern times and in these trying moments. Jesus said it: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)
I extend my condolences to the bereaved family of Liked.
Reach me at [email protected] or at 0908-727-6735.