Daily Archives: October 19, 2013

El Lute and our social injustice

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” ELIE WIESEL


By Alex P. Vidal

If we steal two hens or peanut butter and bread and we get caught, we will be hauled off to jail like El Lute, Spain’s most wanted criminal in the 60’s.
If the likes of Bong Revilla, Jinggoy Estrada, and Tito Sotto steal hundreds of millions of pesos from the taxpayers and get caught, they are awarded with movie contracts, get to smile while doing privilege speeches, and hailed as heroes.
This is the face of the double standard of justice in the Philippines. Only small fries get bamboozled; the barracudas and reptiles always get away with murder!
On TV, radio and newspapers we regularly monitor street waifs and juveniles being pummeled with police truncheons and locked in overcrowded jails for robbery and other petty crimes. But our SIN-nators and representa-THIEVES, our thick-faced politicians, who plundered and impoverished the nation, get only a rap in the knuckles.


Only in the Philippines where criminals hide under the mantle of “immunity from suits”; where dolts in government can tilt the justice on their own favor by using backdoor influence and arm-twisting tactics like threats and bribery.
Only in the Philippines where powerful politicians live in lavish lifestyles like Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette; where large scale thievery and debauchery involving public coffer is tolerated like a simple jaywalking misdemeanor; where an ordinary man gets a raw deal if he violates the law or happens to cross path with the mighty and famous.
A deprived and hungry Filipino who forages for food and seeks equal treatment of social justice in this benighted land is the equivalent of El Lute or Eleuterio Sanchez Rodriguez.


Once listed as Spain’s “most wanted” criminal, El Lute, an illiterate peasant, was sentenced to death for armed robbery and for a murder he did not commit in 1965. He fought his conviction and maintained his innocence while in military custody thus his sentence was commuted to 30 years in a military prison.
He became an urban legend, people sympathized with him because the crimes he committed were “peanuts” compared to the rapacity of the oligarchs in their land who were never prosecuted despite their notoriety.


The lyrics of Boney M’s 1979 hit song reconciled it best:
“This is the story of El Lute
A man who was born to be hunted like a wild animal
Because he was poor
But he refused to accept his fate
And today his honor has been restored
He was only nineteen
And he was sentenced to die
For something that somebody else did
And blamed on El Lute
Then they changed it to life
And so he could escape
From then on they chased him
And searched for him day and night
all over Spain
But the search was in vain for El Lute
He had only seen the dark side of life
The man they called El Lute
And he wanted a home just like you and like me
In a country where all would be free
So he taught himself to read and to write
It didn’t help El Lute
He was one who had dared to escape overnight
They had to find El Lute
Soon the fame of his name
Spread like wild fire all over the land
With a price on his head
People still gave him bread
And they gave him a hand
For they knew he was right
And his fight was their fight
No one gave him a chance
In the Spain of those days
On the walls every place they had put up
The face of El Lute
And he robbed where he could just like once Robin Hood
They finally caught him and
That seemed the end
But they caught him in vain
Cause a change came for Spain
And El Lute
He had only seen the dark side of life
The man they called El Lute
And he wanted a home just like you and like me
In a country where all would be free
And then freedom really came to his land
And also to El Lute
Now he walks in the light of a sunny new day
The man they called El Lute.”

Leave a comment

Posted by on October 19, 2013 in Uncategorized