Light a Candle for Connie

by Leah Navarro

Light a candle for Connie.

Concepcion “Connie” Jayme-Brizuela was only fifty-six when she was viciously murdered. She was shot in the face and chest several times, her brother Manuel Jayme could not fathom why anyone would use so much force against a woman that stood at only 4’8”. Her mother, Irene Gepolio-Jayme, was too distraught to cry upon seeing Connie’s body. Mothers should never see their children so violated. Connie’s three children did not deserve to be orphaned so soon.

 

Atty Brizuela -- Rest in Peace and Justice

Connie was a famous human and women’s rights lawyer in Mindanao. Her friend, Rep. Neri Colmenares, remembers her as “feisty and fiery”, especially when prosecuting cases against the high and mighty. That she encountered difficulty would be an understatement. Neri always felt more confident when working with her. She was a relentless force for the downtrodden and never shirked from a challenge as she practiced her formidable legal skills all over Mindanao.

 

Connie was a founding member of UPLM, the Union for People’s Lawyers in Mindanao and a co-convener of INPEACE (Initiatives for Peace), a grassroots movement dedicated to bringing peace and justice to Mindanao. She was no stranger to death threats, moved away to Negros when the threats intensified. But, that move was meant to keep her family safe as she continued to travel back to Mindanao for work.

It was no surprise, then, that Connie Brizuela would lend her expertise as a volunteer lawyer to the Noynoy/Mar campaign. She probably believed, as so many of us believe, that she could help return good governance to our country through Noynoy and Mar. And so, ever the helpful one, Connie accompanied Genalyn Tiamson-Mangudadatu and the rest of her party on the trip to Sharif Aguak. She went along as the Liberal Party lawyer tasked to assist Genalyn in filing her husband’s certificate of candidacy at the Comelec office.

One can only imagine the terror that took hold of Connie and her fifty-six companions that Monday morning. How can anyone picture the inhuman butchery inflicted on defenseless human beings? Connie must have been among the first to stand up to their murderers, unafraid and defiant. That would have been her natural response. However, a stout heart, a passion and commitment to fight evil, zeal for her beloved Mindanao, were not enough to stop a hail of bullets from ending her all too short life.

Connie’s friends will no longer hear her full throated laugh, as Neri likes to describe it. He also said, “we lost a colleague, a fierce human rights advocate”. She will no longer browse through her favorite “ukay ukay” stalls in Cagayan de Oro. Her family is bereft of her embrace, and our country has lost another champion of human rights.

Let us not forget Connie. Say a prayer for Connie and her slain companions. In your own way, step into her shoes and continue her quest. Light a candle for Connie.

27 Responses so far

  1. 1

    sychitpin said,

    My symapathy and condolences to Connie Brizuela’s family. May Connie’s soul rest in God’s bosom and in eternal peace….

  2. 2

    God will give justice in the right time and place.
    Let’s all play that those people didn’t die for no reason.

  3. 3

    Kristina said,

    may Ms. Connie’s soul and all the other victims rest in peace.. truly, you’re in the arms of the Master now..

  4. 4

    KittyMD said,

    My condolences to Connie Brizuela’s family and friends and to those of the Maguindanao massacre victims. May they all rest in peace.

  5. 5

    arjay pesino said,

    as a graduate of Mass Communication, I’d like to express my Condolences to all the victims especially to all the Mediamen killed in the Maguindanao massacre… We condemn this kind of unjustice killings… JUSTICE for all the Victims!!! justice for connie!!!

  6. 6

    Katya Escalona said,

    i pray for Connie’s soul and for the family she left behind. I really hope that justice prevails. i wouldn’t stand this kind of government if officials like GMA would be the one to rule over the nation. I RAISE MY FIST TO SHOW THAT I SUPPORT NOYNOY.

  7. 7

    People thought your life is wasted just like that connie, what people don’t know is you are now in a better place with the Lord Jehovah, you did not die in vain,m God took you in his arms, with Him you will never feel any pain any sickness any harm with Him everythong is suiting and understanding, u will just wait for us there, one thing is sure we are coming!

  8. 8

    mary jane bugante-usman said,

    to the family of the late connie jayme brizuela…connie’s sudden and brutal death will not be in vain…am sure she is now cradled in the arms of God Almighty, safe and at peace…we will pray for justice and mercy. our deepest condolences.

  9. 9

    Raymond Vergara Domingo said,

    i listened to radio, watched tvnews and ive read the newspaper. it breaks my heart and i really can’t move on. ; (

  10. 10

    FRED said,

    rest in peace mam.

  11. 11

    jenny said,

    this event is so unbearable! but i just hope people will not throw it to the muslims, it did not happen becoz they were muslims, it happened becoz the the culprit for this had an evil thought and entertained it.

  12. 12

    Penny Lane said,

    May we find justice in this merciless killings. Let’s light a candle for the victims.

  13. 13

    Clariz said,

    Rest in peace Mam, We’ll be praying for the Victim’s Family.

  14. 14

    Gabby said,

    Let’s set a date for all of us to light up a candle & pray together for the victims of these vicious and savage acts in mindanao. And let these monsters know that we are one solid group that wont tolerate such a monstruos act. Thanks

  15. 15

    Arman Mallari said,

    Nakikiramay po kami sa pamilya ng lahat ng nasawi sa karumal dumal na krimen sa Mindanao…….may you all rest in PEACE with the lord.

  16. 16

    Malaya said,

    Taas Kaamo!!!

  17. 17

    ellen mariano said,

    Hindi kayang sabihin ang lungkot na nararamdaman kahit hindi mga kapamilya o kakilala man lang.. I am mourning for a fellow human being.. may God grant peace to the soul of the victims and their families as well. my prayers are with you.

  18. 18

    nini arellano said,

    God bless and protect Connie’s children….I will pray for them, that in God’s time, they see justice served….I can not anymore bear to see or hear the news about the Maguindanao massacre, there’s just too much pain and cruelty…

  19. 19

    Nakakalungkot ang karimarimarim na massacre sa Mindanao.Kailangang baguhin na ang administration.Ang mga abusado ay dapat mawala.Nakikiramay po kami sa lahat ng mga nasawi at pamilya nila.May they rest in peace.

  20. 20

    rhemz said,

    my condolonces to the family of connie…and to the family of those who were killed with this cruel people. i am feeling so much pain at heart to see that these people were killed brutally. i am praying justice and guidance for the family especially to the children of every victims of this massacre. i hope our goverment will do actions SOOn….

  21. 21

    Peggy Vera said,

    Yes, I will say a prayer for Connie. I will say a prayer for her family that she left behind.

    Leah — I should compliment you and your writing. This piece touched my heart.

  22. 22

    guinevere carreon fajardo said,

    Connie, May your soul rest in peace in the heart of God

  23. 23

    sychitpin said,

    may Connie receive justice ! By the way, leah navarro is a good senatorial candidate, how about Jun Lozada? and of course Gov Panlilio and Gov Padaca

  24. 24

    gailcons said,

    My prayers for Connie. May she rest in peace. May her family find peace amidst this tragedy.

  25. 25

    […] Light a Candle for Connie by Leah Navarro Light a candle for Connie. Concepcion “Connie” Jayme-Brizuela was only fifty-six when she was […] […]

  26. 26

    migo said,

    Justice for Connie, Justice for all the victims of Maguindanao Massacre!

  27. 27

    jaressa louise brizuela said,

    dear mommy connie this is j.l ang pamangkin mo,thank you for being good auntie to me and the others,thank you for helping the people in need,thank for being good lola,and good mother to your children,”you’re the best atty in the world” i love you and rest in peace


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