This story was obtained from PCIJ website. This story is closed to our heart not only because Esperat is working for change in the Philippines but also because she is a scientist -- a chemist. Read on.
IT WAS hard to take Marlene Esperat seriously. Each time she came to our office to report yet another corrupt government deal, she wore mini skirts, stiletto heels and tight dresses with low necklines that revealed more than concealed. Every visit from her was a sartorial shock. You could say she was a colorful person, as each time she came, her hair was dyed a different shade (her preferred hues were light brown and red) and her eye shadow was inspired by the rainbow. Once, she even came in fishnet stockings.
We liked to call her “Erin Brockovich” after the tireless, gusty and sexy movie (and real-life) heroine who made a giant utility company in the US pay for its misdeeds. Although Marlene did not quite look like Julia Roberts, she had the attitude and the fearless, in-your-face style of the filmic heroine. Once, she appeared on our doorstep wearing glitter in her eyes. “I want to look pretty when the assassins come to get me,” she said.
On Maundy Thursday, the assassins did come. Marlene was killed in cold blood, in front of her children, with a single bullet fired by a gunman who casually walked into the living room of her home in Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat.
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