Jerico Camitan

We love you, Jerico, say the boys in backward caps. We love you, we do. One of the Riverside boys snatches up Jerico’s picture. He is older than the rest, gray jacket collar turned up in spite of the sweaty heat, tall where most of the Riverside boys are short and gangly. He thrusts out the arm with Jerico’s photo. Look at him, he says, do you believe this is a drug dealer?

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From Rappler:

We love you, Jerico, say the boys in backward caps. We love you, we do.

One of the Riverside boys snatches up Jerico’s picture. He is older than the rest, gray jacket collar turned up in spite of the sweaty heat, tall where most of the Riverside boys are short and gangly.

He thrusts out the arm with Jerico’s photo. Look at him, he says, do you believe this is a drug dealer?

He turns, facing the wall of neighbors standing along the narrow alley.

Do you believe this is a drug dealer? Where is justice?

His voice cracks.

Where is the law? You, do you believe this is a dealer?

He shakes his head.

This is an innocent, he says.

This is what the Riverside boys believe.

It was very like him – the boy who bought his father a pair of rubber slippers on his birthday, the boy who took care of his aging grandmother, the boy who laughed at the world and treated his girl like a queen.

It may be that they were not allowed to be together, Rommel says, but in the end, the love story holds true. Jerico will be buried beside his Angel in the cemetery where his mother was once laid to rest.

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