Showing posts from 2010

Bishop Pabillo's homily at the Solidarity Mass for hostage victims

1 Cor 2, 10-16 Luke 4, 31-37
August 31, 2010, 8AM
Quirino Grandstand

IN the well-loved song THE PRAYER popularized by Josh Groban, we have this line, sang in Italian and not translated at all in English. It runs thus: Sogniamo un mondo senza piu’ violenza, un mondo di justitia e di speranza, ognuno viva con il suo vicino, symbolo di pace, di fraternita’. Yes, we dream of a world without any violence, a world of justice and of hope, each one living with his neighbor—a sign of peace and of fraternity! This indeed is the world that we dream precisely in this place where violence and senseless carnage took place 9 days ago. In front of this very bad event seen all over the world as the tragic drama unfolded before the eyes of cameras for 11 hours, we dream all the more of a world without violence, a world of justice and hope. We hold on to this dream. This is why we are gathered here today. We do not want our dream to be blown away by that nightmare!

Is this dream a make-believe? No. Our g…

Statement on HaciendaLuisita Compromise Agreement

THE Church in the Philippines acknowledges that "agrarianreform is still the one big issue that touches our rural poor most directly."The agenda for social justice and the realization of our preferential love forthe poor are seriously tested in our resolve to address the problem of inequityand rural poverty through our commitment to implement genuine land reform (Actsand Decrees of the Second Plenary Council, No. 391).

The case of the reported compromise deal in the 21-yeardispute in Hacienda Luisita was taunted as a breakthrough in the effort to endthe long-standing agrarian issue over the 6,500-hectare land owned by theCojuangcos, the family of President Benigno Aquino III. The deal could havebeen a cause for celebration if not for a number of questionable processes andhighly inequitable terms contained in the said agreement whose reportedapproval of the farmers was brokered by the company itself, the HaciendaLuisita Inc. (HLI).

We will laud and support any initiative to imm…

The fight for transparency and truth moves on!

Last Friday, June 4, was an unfortunate day for the House of Representatives in particular, and for the Arroyo administration in general. The ending scenario of the Lower House just confirms the belief of many in the country. This administration is hiding a lot of things and it is afraid of the truth. Who would oppose the Freedom Of Information (FOI) bill in a democracy? It is very basic that people can participate responsibly in a democratic process when nothing is hidden from them. It is very basic in a democratic process that those who govern are but representatives of the people on whom real power resides. How can representatives hide from the people who elect them information that is meant for the common good? What makes people doubt and even “hate” this administration are its efforts to hide the truth of many issues in governance from the people. The FOI bill is supposed to make this process of transparency , and hence accountability, clearer and easier for the people. It is me…

Challenges to the Church in Philippine Politics Today!

On May 21 of this year Pope Benedict XVI met the participants of the 24th Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Laity who were meeting in Rome to discuss on the theme: “Witnesses to Christ in the political community.” In his talk he told them, among other things…"It is up to the lay faithful to show - in their personal and family life, in social cultural and political life - that the faith enables them to read reality in a new and profound way, and to transform it....It is also the duty of the laity to participate actively in political life, in a manner coherent with the teaching of the Church, bringing their well-founded reasoning and great ideals into the democratic debate, and into the search for a broad consensus among everyone who cares about the defence of life and freedom, the protection of truth and the good of the family, solidarity with the needy, and the vital search for the common good". He also said that although the "technical formation of pol…

Musing on Elections – 3

It is 6 days ago that we had the elections. After the dust of the euphoria, or dismay, over the political exercise, now is the time to look at a proper perspective over the process of our Automated Election System (AES). There is a public consensus being formed that the automated election was a success. Everybody was stunned at the speed of the results. The worse scenarios projected, such as military take=-over, total failure of the system, general mayhem, did not occur, thanks be to God! What contributed to the success? Is everything alright now?

Many quarters attribute the successful May 10 election more to the people than to the automated system itself. In fact the system was not in place as claimed. Many machines malfunctioned. The clustering of the precincts brought long queues. Many voters do not know their precincts or lost their names. Transmission problems abounded. Even up to now some 5 million votes are not yet counted. But in spite of all these the voters turned up – 80% so…

Musings on Elections 2010 – 2

These musings are more of questions and observations based on experiences.

After having voted, I went to visit several centers that monitor the elections. CBCP World has a monitoring center set up at the top floor of the CBCP office in Intramuros. It is manned by many religious men and women. The PPCRV has theirs in Pope Pius XII Center while NAMFREL has it in La Salle Greenhills. All these centers have lines of computers and phones set up and they are receiving updates from their people in the ground. The common comment that I hear is that of long lines of people in the voting centers and of people not finding their names because of the clustering of their precincts. At the rate things were moving at mid afternoon, many would not be able to vote as people are getting fed up waiting and in many places the voting process is so slow. In one school in Novaliches for example 300 service numbers were distributed in the morning but by 3 pm only 80 have cast their votes! Not that few voted, b…

Musings on Elections 2010 – 1

Success! I was able to cast my vote, and successfully! This was a victory but a hard-won one. I came to the voting center at 10 am and was able to cast my vote at 12:30 pm! The voting center was the Isabelo de los Reyes School in Tondo. It was full of people. The heat was terrible, heat not only coming from the sun but also from the thousands of bodies gathered there! It is a wonder that up to now there is no news of anyone being a victim of heat stroke! Fortunately, ours is a patient people. We Filipinos are known for patience. There were squabbles here and there but in general the atmosphere was peaceful – people lining up and waiting patiently for their turn. I was not that patient. Good for me that the voting center is near the convent where I stay. Upon getting my service number which was 350 and knowing that the one being served was number 230, I went back to my room to do some reading. Two hours later I came up and I still had to line up for 30 minutes more.

Voting started at …