Today, the people of Antique remember their hero, who, 28 years ago, was assassinated in broad daylight.
Evelio B. Javier (EBJ), or Beloy, to those who really knew him, especially to his beloved Antiquenos who supported him during those long, dark and dangerous years of the fight for freedom and democracy, is a true hero. His death, in the hands of ‘greedy for power’ people, came at the time the Filipino people were looking for a good way to finally release their frustrations and hatred for the ruling dictatorial regime of Marcos and his cronies.
Just as the assassination and death of Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino was seemingly orchestrated to instigate the Filipino people’s hatred for the Marcos regime, which led then to continuous uprisings on the streets, finally compelling the dictator to submit himself to a snap presidential election, so was EBJ’s assassination and death a leading part in the scene of the historic EDSA People Power Revolution. To his avid supporters, EBJ was the ‘sacrificial lamb’ of the EDSA Revolution.
EBJ’‘s death, indeed, was so cruel and so horrible that people who saw his hapless and blood-stained body on the papers and the tubes, shouted “sobra na!” (too much) addressing their hatred at the ruling administration.
His blood, shed in advance, was vital to the success of the peaceful revolution which ensued only days after his death. No less than the late President Cory Aquino, on the day EBJ was gunned down by his assassins while guarding the counting of ballots (from the February 7 snap election) at the Antique Provincial Capitol released a statement and said: “Evelio B. Javier was a man of peace and an amiable fellow whose horrible death was a cruel price to pay for dedication to the betterment of his fellowmen.”
The former president, when she spoke during Ateneo de Manila‘s special mass for EBJ, wherein EBJ’s remains were taken to the university’s chapel, two days after his death, also said, “Evelio’s death was an exact semblance of what really transpired with my husband Ninoy since both died a very meaningful death.”
And both their deaths, if I may say so, remain unsolved up to this day.