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•A3 forPontiff calls

solution to
•B1 Agrarian Reform
A measure for social justice
The News Supplement
unemployment crisis and social transformation of Couples for Christ

Widening rich-poor gap

THE country’s wealth being controlled by a
few greedy, rich families is a situation that is
definitely “regrettable,” a church leader said.
In a phone interview, Kalookan Bishop
Deogracias Iñiguez reacted on the pronounce-
ment given earlier by the Moral Force Move-
“If this is indeed true, as being manifested
by the several surveys showing the growing
number of poor Filipinos, this is really a very
Protagonist of Truth, Promoter of Peace
regrettable situation we are in,” he said.
What is more disappointing, the bishop
Regrettable / A6
May 25 - June 7, 2009 Vol. 13 No. 11 Php 20.00

Police hoses down bishop, nuns at CARP rally

POLICE fired water cannons Program (CARP). “I condemn such an actuation He said they were just holding
on protesters led by a local The water hit Manila Auxiliary on the part of the police because a “peaceful assembly” to press
bishop as they marched outside Bishop Broderick Pabillo, priests they are not the ones supposed the lawmakers to approve a
Batasan Pambansa in Quezon and several nuns who were with to respond to the advocacy of measure that would ensure the
City on May 25 to press for the the farmers. the farmers but the congress- farmers’ rights over the lands
passage of an agrarian reform “We didn’t expect this. We just men,” said Archbishop Angel they till.
bill. wanted to listen to the plenary Lagdameo. The prelate also joined farmers
About 2,000 held a prayer ser- debates,” Pabillo said. The CBCP head also called on in a hunger strike last year when
vice at a nearby Catholic church Pabillo was later allowed in- the lawmakers to start a dialogue CARP was about to expire. It
and were headed to the gate of side the Complex to attend the with the farmers “who are just was extended for six months but
the Congress when a phalanx plenary session, but he opted fighting for their rights.” without the compulsory land ac-
of anti-riot police pushed them to stay with the farmers for fear Instead of dispersing the pro- quisition component. This upset
© Dondi Tawatao

back with shields before turning that they will be hosed down testers, he said, the lawmakers the farmers’ groups.
on the water jets. again. should have instead discourse The House of Representatives
The protesters wanted to get The head of the Catholic Bish- with the farmers and work on has started its marathon ses-
inside the plenary for the de- ops’ Conference of the Philip- their demands. sion on May 25 to pass priority
CBCP National Secretariat for Social Action-Justice and Peace chairman and
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo along with some farmers run from police
liberations on House Bill 4077, pines (CBCP) immediately con- Bishop Pabillo said he did not bills before Congress goes on
water cannon as they are being hosed down while holding rally outside Congress which seeks to extend the Com- demned the use of force against see any reason for them to be mandatory recess on June 5.
gate in Quezon City. prehensive Agrarian Reform the demonstrators. treated that way. (CBCPNews)

RH bill: A choice between

‘angels and demons’
By Roy Lagarde
Church leader said there is no
room for neutrality in the fight
against a measure promoting
birth control.
Fr. Melvin Castro, Episcopal Com-
mission on Family and Life (ECFL)
executive secretary of the Catholic
Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines
(CBCP) called on the legislators to back
up their call with optimum support
and action.
He said lawmakers must make a de-
cision: either they are with the good or
evil. “It’s like a choice between angels
and demons,” Castro said.
The RH bill is both a moral and ethi-
cal issue, he said, and its backers make
a mistake when they consider it solely
a matter freedom of choice especially
among women. © Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media
The priest stressed that the church has
always insisted that the struggle to de-
fend family and life is “part and parcel of
the spiritual warfare that we are into”.
Clearly, Castro also said, defending
family and life is to be in the side of
Anything that weakens it becomes NO TO OIL DEPOT. Catholics held placards during a protest march from Santa Cruz Parish Church to Bonifacio Shrine in Manila on May 27. They took part in the church-organized demonstration
highlighting the potential risk to public health posed by the retention of the controversial Pandacan Oil Depot.
part the forces of darkness. We beg our
legislators to be in the side of light, of
family and life,” he added. Group dismayed over Comelec’s failure to meet deadline technology,” he said
Deliberation A LOCAL policy group is disappointed over the Com-
The bill on maternal health care, mission on Election’s failure to meet the deadline ear- Comelec Special Bids and Awards Committee
now pending in Congress, requires the lier set for the full automation of the 2010 elections. (SBAC) chairman Atty. Ferdinand Rafanan earlier
government to promote artificial family In the weekly church-organized forum, the Center admitted that they are already behind the original
planning if it becomes a law. for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPeg) timeline the poll body had set for the adoption of the
The measure also will include sex said the Comelec must blame no one but itself in the Precinct Counting Optical Scan (PCOS) system.
education for students and advice on ar- problem their group seen as early as February. The bidding for the automated elections system
tificial contraception, which the church CenPeg Director Prof. Bobby Tuazon, said the problem (AES) project was set to end by May 21 when the
considers immoral. should have been avoided had the poll body listened to awarding of the P11.3 billion contract will be made
Contributed photo

The church is set firmly against calls for a wider consultation on what system should be but is now seen to come by the middle of June.
the health measure but independent used in automating the country’s electorate. Tuazon said the choice of PCOS as the system to
surveys show that over 80 percent of “Democratic consultations with a wider and broader be used in automation was not approved by the lo-
Filipinos, mostly Catholics, support constituency, not only among a few experts and ad- cal information technology (IT) community and the
artificial family planning. vocates, as well as feasibility and comparative studies PPCRV head Henrietta de Villa is flanked by officials of the computer academe.
Some bishops have said they will re- on election technologies most suited to Philippine Philippine Computer Society (PCS) during the 13th Information He added that had the Comelec consulted the local
fuse communion and other sacraments conditions should have been done much earlier to and Communications Technology Professionals Congress in IT community, they would have suggested a differ-
Makati City on May 21, 2009. The group of about 5, 000 ICT ent system.
to politicians who support the bill, set to avoid invoking time constraint and lapses in knowl- professionals has teamed up with the PPCRV for the accurate
Choice / A6 edge as it prepares for the complexities of its chosen monitoring of the planned 2010 automated elections.
Comelec / A7

Speaker’s wife frowns on irresponsible Church leads rally vs Pandacan oil depot Cardinal urges
media ad waste-free polls HUNDREDS of people joined a silent rally in Manila on May 27 to raise their
strong objection to the Pandacan oil depot’s continued operation.
The prayer rally was held as they await the final decision of Manila Mayor
AS the Church commemo- Alfredo Lim whether or not to approve an ordinance reversing a 2001 rezon- A RANKING church leader has joined a
rated the World Commu- ing order. crusade for waste-free elections to avert
nication Day, the wife of The final approval would allow all existing heavy industries in the area, the anticipated avalanche of campaign
House Speaker Prospero including the oil depot, to continue operating. trash that will likely end up in the hor-
Nograles also made a timely Catholic believers from various parishes in Manila were mobilized to par- rendous dumps scattered all over the
appeal for responsible usage of ticipate in the church-led movement. country.
mass media and reporting. Fr. Benito Tuazon, Ecology Desk director of Manila archdiocese, said the Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Car-
Mrs. Rhodora B. Nograles, wife prayer rally was intended to pressure Lim to veto the ordinance. dinal Rosales called on the electorate to
of Congressman Nograles said The Mayor has until May 28 only to sign the proposed measure into law take proactive measures that will check
that men and women working in or veto it. and curb waste in campaign activities.
media should be keen in promot- “...But his recent commissioned team to inspect the oil depot facilities ap- “As the countdown to the May 2010
ing responsible reporting, adver- peared to have very positive result,” Tuazon lamented. elections begins, I urge Filipinos to be
tisements and programming. “Unfortunately, the team is composed of purely local government agen- vigilant in minimizing the adverse im-
Mrs. Nograles, also the chair of cies,” he added. pacts to the environment and climate
the Congressional Spouses Foun- si Lim earlier said the “Big 3” oil players—Petron, Pilipinas Shell., and Chev- that the election campaign and the ac-
er U
dation, Inc., in a statement sent to ladim ron Philippines, have provided safety measure to address the concerns for tual voting day can bring,” he said.
n by B
CBCPNews criticized what she Illus
tratio accidents. “Our exercise of democracy should
termed as “an irresponsible advertise- The rally started with a Mass presided by Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick not inflict harm on Mother Earth and
ment” promoted by Optical Media Board Pabillo at the Sta. Cruz Parish Church. It was followed with a march towards her capacity to feed, house and sustain
Chair Edu Manzano for LBC. the Bonifacio Shrine, near the Manila City Hall. all creation. Genuine democracy up-
“…the advertisement irresponsibly confuses, particularly the school children, holds the sanctity of life and promotes
about the concept of right and wrong,” said Nograles, adding: Signature drive environmental health and justice at all
“The ad, which used the spelling bee concept, directly conveyed that LBC is the Rosales, along with other bishops, priests, and the religious, are currently times,” Rosales said.
correct spelling of the word “remittance.” To say [that] what is wrong is “tumpak” leading a signature campaign to pressure Lim to veto the retention of the He also urged all poll stakeholders,
(correct) is fundamentally wrong and it is worse to propagate it using the mass Pandacan oil depot. including the Commission on Elections
media.” He urged Lim to fulfill his promise to reject the continued stay of oil depots and related government offices, political
The speaker’s wife already sent a letter of complaint to the Advertising Board Pandacan / A7 parties and candidates to “commit to a
Media Ad / A6 Polls / A6
World News
CBCP Monitor
A2 Vol. 13 No. 11
May 25 - June 7, 2009

World Jewish Congress

lauds Pope’s Holy Land visit
ROME, May 22, 2009—The executive sensitive issue of the Holocaust had to the archives of Pope Pius XII, and he
representatives of the World Jewish be made with great care." assured them that the Vatican is pro-
Congress visited the Vatican today to The communiqué reported Cardi- gressing in the aim to make Pontiff's
thank Benedict XVI for his Holy Land nal Bertone's response to the Jewish papers from 1939-1945 available to
pilgrimage last week. leaders, affirming that the Church historians. The Vatican is cataloguing
Ronald Lauder, president of the recognizes the "unique nature" of the the documents from the pontificate,
international organization, which Holocaust. which number about 16 million.
represents 100 Jewish communities He also stated clearly that there is "no Cardinal Bertone assured congress
worldwide, expressed his apprecia- place in the institutions of the church members of the Holy See's desire to
tion for the Pope's May 8-15 trip in an for Holocaust deniers such as Bishop strengthen ties with Judaism, while
audience with the Pontiff's secretary of Williamson," the congress noted. Lauder affirmed the need for interfaith
state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. Benedict XVI was criticized last Janu- dialogue.
A statement from the congress ex- ary after the lifting of excommunication The president stated, "We must strive
plained, "Despite being a complicated of four bishops of the Society of St. Pius together to ensure that freedom of re-
trip, its outcome had been positive and X, including Bishop Richard William- ligion is respected everywhere in the
was a milestone for strengthening mu- son, who was seen in an interview for world and religion not used to justify
tual understanding between Christians Swedish television denying the gas- extremism and terror."
and Jews." sing of six million Jews at about the The World Jewish Congress was

In the face of criticism that the Holy same time that his excommunication founded in 1936 to unite the Jewish
Father did not adequately denounce the was lifted. people and address their needs, and
Shoah during his trip, Lauder affirmed The cardinal invited the congress represents communities in more than
that any statement "touching upon the leaders to cooperate in examining 80 countries. (Zenit)

Cardinal George sees bit of hope in Obama speech

Welcomes president’s reference to conscience protection
CHICAGO, May 22, 2009—The strengthen our health care sys-

Bible and Mel Gibson’s

president of the U.S. episcopal tem and enhance many patients’
conference welcomed one of the access to necessary life-affirming
statements made by President care.”
Barack Obama in his controver-
sial speech at Notre Dame last
Cardinal George added: “A
government that wants to reduce
the tragic number of abortions
‘The Passion of the
In a statement today, Cardinal
Francis George, archbishop of
Chicago, expressed gratitude
in our society will also work to
ensure that no one is forced to
support or participate in abor-
Christ’ banned in Uzbek
for the president’s statement
that “we should all ‘honor the
conscience of those who disagree
tion, whether through directly
providing or referring for abor-
tions or being forced to subsidize
region of Karakalpakstan

with abortion,’ and his support them with their tax dollars.” TASHKENT, Uzbekistan, May 22, 2009—Officials in Karakal-
for conscience clauses advancing The University of Notre pakstan (north-western Uzbekistan) announced that religious
this goal.” Dame’s honored President materials that include a hymn book, a Bible Encyclopaedia, a
The cardinal noted that “Cath- Obama at last Sunday’s com- Bible dictionary, and a children’s Bible, are “banned for import,
olic providers, in particular, mencement ceremony. distribution or use in teaching.”
make a large and essential con- To date, 83 prelates have pub- Uzbekistan’s secret police has been after religious literature
tribution to health care in our licly denounced the decision as ence for Catholic institutions of honors on individuals who “act for quite some time, whether in private homes or just for per-
society. Essential steps to pro- going against 2004 guidelines higher education, which state in defiance” of the Church’s fun- sonal use.
tect these conscience rights will set by the U.S. bishops’ confer- that schools should not bestow damental teachings. (Zenit) Nurulla Zhamolov, the senior religious affairs official in Kara-
kalpakstan Region, issued the ban after “expert analyses” were

Vatican newspaper finally reports on U.S.

filed at a court hearing, the Forum 18 agency reported. But no
explanation was given for the decision.
Mel Gibson’s 2004 ‘The Passion of the Christ’ was also included
in the list of banned materials, a decision especially odd since

bishops’ criticism of Obama, Notre Dame the feature film was shown throughout the country attracting
large crowds.
Karakalpakstan covers a third of Uzbek territory but is home
to only five per cent of the population. Only Islam is allowed in
VATICAN CITY, May 22, 2009─The Vatican daily newspaper to both Obama’s pro-abortion record as well as to Notre Dame’s
L’Osservatore Romano, which has faced criticism from many pro- decision to invite him to its commencement speech. the region; only exception is Russian Orthodoxy which is allowed
life U.S. Catholics for its positive assessment of Barack Obama’s In the article titled “U.S. Bishops and ethical questions,” in the regional capital of Nukus.
presidency, finally reported today on the objection of U.S. bishops L’Osservatore quotes the strongly-worded statement from the Arch- All other religious groups are outlawed. Even religious gather-
bishop of Denver, Charles J. Chaput which comments on Father John ings in private homes are not allowed without prior authoriza-
Jenkins’ commencement speech that justified his decision to invite tion. If caught, violators can be fined or even jailed.
the President of the U.S. to Notre Dame. On 16 April, a court in Takhiatash fined a Protestant, Valeri
The Vatican newspaper does not mention that Chaput’s words Adamia, 560,800 Sums (US$ 380), which is twenty times the
were addressed to Fr. Jenkins, but quotes the Denver Archbishop minimum monthly wage, after he was convicted of having in
saying that “the most vital thing faithful Catholics can do now is to his possession Bibles and other religious books. He claimed that
insist – by their words, actions and financial support – that institu- they were for his personal use only. (AsiaNews)

Pope plans to reach youth with

tions claiming to be ‘Catholic’ actually live the faith with courage
and consistency.”
L’Osservatore then explains that Archbishop Chaput “criticized

Facebook profile and website

the decision of the University of Notre Dame to honor someone who
has demonstrated the willingness” to uphold Roe v. Wade.
“Other U.S. bishops recently,” the Vatican newspaper continues,
“have recalled the non-negotiable terms in which (Catholics) must
confront ethical issues such as abortion, embryonic stem cell research
and the right to conscientious objection of health workers.”
L’Osservatore still seemed to defend Obama by saying that the
President promised during the commencement speech at Notre

Dame that “such a right must be defended,” but concluded with

the article quoting the Bishop of Kansas City - St. Joseph, Robert W.
Finn, saying that “Obama has closed any door to dialogue, affirming
that he will not change his position on abortion.” (CNA)

Aide notes danger of wasting time with technology


Discusses pope’s message for World Day of Social Communication

VATICAN CITY, May 24, 2009—The year” that “touches a strategic and crucial in the course of their days.”
Church’s challenge in the era of Facebook point in the reality of the world of communi- He added, “Here too, in fact, the Chris-
ROME, Italy, May 20, 2009─The president of the Pontifical
and Twitter consists in presenting the pro- cation in rapid development: ‘New technolo- tian faith must be ‘inculturated,’ present
Council for Social Communications, Archbishop Claudio Maria
found message of Jesus without being side- gies, new relationships: Promoting a culture as a proclamation and lifestyle and style of
Celli, announced on Thursday the launching of a new website,
tracked by technology’s superficial aspects, of respect, of dialogue, of friendship.’” relationships.”, to reach out to young people and bring them into
says the Vatican spokesperson. “Benedict XVI—or better, BXVI, as he is “But it is not easy,” the spokesperson
contact with Pope Benedict XVI.
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director often called in this particular world—is first added. “The dangers of limiting oneself to
The archbishop told L’Osservatore Romano that the initiative
of the Vatican press office, affirmed this to- of all addressing young people, the so-called play, of wasting time, of flight from reality
is part of the activities surrounding World Communications Day,
day on the most recent episode of his weekly ‘digital generation,’” Father Lombardi ex- and remaining on the surface of things, are
which will be celebrated on Sunday, May 24 under the theme,
television program “Octava Dies.” plained, “challenging them to live their hu- there.”
“New Technologies, New Relationships.”
In his remarks the priest referred to the man and spiritual growth and commitment He continued: “For his part BXVI, when
The idea behind this website, the archbishop said, “is that in
“very beautiful message of the Pope for the also in the communicative dimension of the he speaks to young people, for example at
order to be able to enter into a fruitful, rich dialogue character-
World Day of Social Communications this new technologies, which has such a big place the World Youth Days, insists on wanting
ized by respect and friendship, we wanted to use the digital
to communicate solid, consistent and ar-
world, that is, the instrument most friendly to young people,

Vatican debates genetically modified veggies

ticulated content to them, which demands a
through which they encounter each other daily and often with-
commitment to be assimilated before it can
out meeting each other in person.”
be translated into life.
Commenting on Pope Benedict XVI's call to young people to
VATICAN CITY, May 21, 2009—The Pontifical Academy of Sciences hosted a week “So transmitting the substantial through
use the internet to evangelize, Archbishop Celli said the Holy
of study to consider the various issues related to the debate surrounding genetically the virtual is a wonderful challenge. Will
Father was encouraging them to participate in online social net-
modified organisms. we succeed with our young people? Will
works and “bear witness to the love of God for all mankind.”
The May 15-19 event in the Vatican brought together 41 scientists from some 15 na- we succeed in accompanying them in this
The archbishop also said the new site would be directly linked
tions, including China, Mexico, Australia, Kenya and Great Britain. adventure?”
to Facebook from which users will be able to send pictures of the
The experts discussed a range of themes, including elements of social doctrine, eco- “Let us hope so,” the priest affirmed.
Pontiff and excerpts from his discourses to their friends.
nomics and international relations. He added, “But we must not be victims
“The presence of the Pope on Facebook is limited to this, to
For example, they considered if the use of genetically modified organisms only ben- of the fascination with the extraordinary
the possibility of sending a picture of him with an excerpt from
efits multinational organizations while penalizing small farmers, or if these organisms technological successes, we must continue
his teaching,” Archbishop Celli noted.
could be the secret to bringing Africa to a green revolution, or if the seeds of these plants to distinguish possibilities and limits, and at
The new website will be in five languages: Italian, Spanish,
could become part of aid programs assisting in development. the same time continue to seek in profundity
English, French and German. Young people will be able to ac-
In the final session, the experts debated how to improve international regulations on that solid soil of the vital relationship with
cess “not only all news referring to the Pope and his activities,
this issue and how to ensure that the poor benefit from the innovations in vegetable God and others, [a place] to really build a
but also they will be able to enter into contact with the person
biotechnology. (Zenit) culture of respect, of dialogue and of friend-
of Benedict XVI through his words,” he said. (CNA)
ship.” (Zenit)
News Features
CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 11
May 25 - June 7, 2009

Pontiff calls for solution

to unemployment crisis
CASSINO, Italy, MAY 24, 2009—Bene- been laid off."
dict XVI is calling for solutions to the He called on "the entrepreneurs
unemployment crisis, for the creation of and those who are able, to seek, with
jobs to help and protect families who are everyone's help, valid solutions to the
facing critical economic situations. employment crisis, creating new places
The Pope stated this May 24 in his of work to safeguard families."
homily during a Mass celebrated in The Pontiff added: "In this respect,
Cassino's Miranda Plaza, the square that how can we not recall that today the
will be renamed after him, in the town family has an urgent need to be better
east of the Monte Cassino Abbey. protected, since it is gravely threatened
The Holy Father explained the pur- in its very institutional roots?
pose of his visit, to "encourage you "I think also of the young people who
constantly to build, found and rebuild" have difficulty finding a dignified job
the diocesan community on Christ, that allows them to build a family.
following the example of St. Benedict, "To them I would like to say: Do
who recommended in his Rule to "put not be discouraged, dear friends, the
nothing before Christ." Church will not abandon you!"
He underlined the saint's call to "keep He recalled the more than 25 young
our hearts fixed on Christ and put people from the diocese who partici-
nothing before him," by the evangeli- pated in World Youth Day in Sydney,
cal program found in the Benedictine and urged them to use that "extraordi-
motto: "ora et labora et lege"—"prayer, nary spiritual experience" to be leaven
work, culture." among their friends, and to "be the
"Prayer," the Pope said, "to which new missionaries in this land of St.
grave peals of the bell of St. Benedict Benedict!"
calls the monks every morning, is the Addressing the world of culture, the
silent path that leads us directly to the third part of Benedictine spirituality,
heart of God; it is the breath of the soul the Holy Father noted the testimony
that gives us peace again in the storms archived by the Monte Cassino monas-

of life." tery, that "European culture has been
constituted by the search for God and
Critical situation availability to listen to him."
Speaking next about work, he noted "In today's cultural effort aimed at
that "humanizing the world of work is creating a new humanism," he said,
typical of the soul of monasticism." "faithful to the Benedictine tradition you
Benedict XVI continued: "I know how rightly intend to stress attention to the
critical the situation of many workers is. fragility, weakness of man, to disabled
I express my solidarity with those who persons and immigrants." migrants, "where a culture attentive to Monte Cassino. take Jesus away from the first place; the
live in a troubling precariousness, with Benedict XVI expressed his gratitude life will be built with deeds." The project He encouraged his listeners to live the mission to build, in Christ's name, a new
those workers who are on unemploy- for the possibility of "inaugurating the is being carried out in a former hospital spirit of St. Benedict, to "proclaim that humanity to teach hospitality and help
ment assistance and those who have 'House of Charity,'" for homeless im- under the sponsorship of the abbot of in your life no one and nothing must of the weakest." (Zenit)

Official: No easy way to stop human trafficking Multi-sectoral

Archbishop considers roots of problem rally stops mining
ROME, May 22, 2009─Though trafficking in hu-
man beings is a "tremendous offense to dignity,"
The prelate affirmed that this effort should also
promote victims' integration in their new societies,
project in Mindoro
there is no easy solution to this multifaceted and "especially those who collaborate with authorities MANILA, May 16, 2009─In a display
international problem, says a Vatican official. against traffickers." of solidarity with local government
Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, secretary of At the same time, the Vatican official suggested officials, environmentalists and clergy
the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travel- that a possible return to the nations of origin should joined hands and led thousands of
ers, considered the gravity of human trafficking be considered, a return that "can be accompanied rallyists from Oriental and Occidental
during an address Wednesday at a conference with the proposal of a microcredit or loans, thereby Mindoro against a mining company on
organized by the Association of the Pope John ensuring that victims do not return to the same March 14.
XXIII Community. environment of dangers without resources." A public hearing on the proposed
The prelate called trafficking "one of the most He further proposed a system of reimburse- mining project of Intex Resources
shameful [phenomena] of our epoch." He recog- ment to be financed with assets confiscated from Philippines, Inc. was aborted in Pola,

nized that "poverty and the lack of opportunities the traffickers. Oriental Mindoro when thousands of
and social cohesion" are at the root of this tragedy, people showed up to protest.
since these causes "bring people to seek a better Multifaceted Police estimated a caravan of about
future despite risks." Trafficking in human persons, Archbishop 200 vehicles and 7,000 people in at-
And trafficking in human beings continues to Marchetto stated, is a "multifaceted problem, tendance.
spread, in part because of "an absence of specific often linked to immigration, which goes beyond Fr. Edwin Gariguez of Oriental Min-
norms in some countries, victims' ignorance of the sex industry and also includes the forced labor doro’s Mangyan Mission assailed Intex
their rights, the sociocultural structure and armed Archbishop Agostino Marchetto of men, women and children in various industrial Resources for pushing with the mining
conflicts," Archbishop Marchetto contended. sectors, including construction, renovation and tourism, agriculture and domestic project despite a provincial ordinance
He also mentioned the "current restrictions that emigrants find in legally going services." disallowing mining activities in the
to developed countries." "Even if a part of forced labor is linked to discrimination and poverty, to local province for 25 years.
customs, to the victims' lack of a home and illiteracy, another part is related to the “The corporate irresponsibility of
What to do flexible and cheap labor, that often facilitates low prices for the consumer, which Intex Resources is clearly obvious. They
Archbishop Marchetto lamented that "there are no easy solutions," and affirmed makes it attractive for the employers," he explained. wanted to push their project with our
that a "coherent and integral approach" is needed to stop this particular form of And the prelate lamented that victims are often only protected during the course fragile forest ecosystem, our critical
abuse. of investigations against traffickers; they are then repatriated, with or without a watershed, and ancestral domain of the
"Not only the need of the victims [should be considered]," he said, "but also the "packet" of support to help them restart their lives. Mangyan indigenous peoples despite
just punishment for those who benefit from this activity and the implementation "Only in a few countries are their measures to guarantee the protection of these the strong opposition of the people,”
of preventive measures, in the first place to increase awareness and sensitivity, victims," he said, "offering them the possibility of staying in the society that received Gariguez said.
and also to take on the causes of this phenomenon." them and integrating themselves, at least with certain conditions." (Zenit) Local officials led by Vice Governor
Estela Aceron, Provincial Legal Officer

Pope calls for Internet evangelists

Atty. Lorebelle Tanyag, and Mayors
Alfredo Ortega of Victoria, Oriental
Mindoro, and Godofredo Mintu of
Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro, served
VATICAN CITY, May 20, 2009—Pope Benedict XVI communication, especially the young, to utilize them a Cease and Desist Order (CDO) imple-
is calling upon young people to evangelize using the in a positive way and to realize the great potential menting the mining moratorium of the
Internet as the Church prepares to celebrate the World of these means to build up bonds of friendship and province.
Day for Social Communications. solidarity that can contribute to a better world. “We are ready to go at all cause to
At the end of his Wednesday general audience, "Young people in particular, I appeal to you: bear implement and enforce our mora-
the Holy Father launched an appeal asking that witness to your faith through the digital world!" the torium ordinance against mining,”
cyberspace be a place that promotes a "culture of Pope urged. Vice-Governor Aceron was quoted as
respect, dialogue and authentic friendship where "Employ these new technologies to make the Gospel saying.
the values of truth, harmony and understanding known, so that the Good News of God’s infinite love Both Mindoro provinces have or-
can flourish." for all people will resound in new ways across our dinances that ban large-scale mining
Speaking in English, the Holy Father recalled how increasingly technological world!" operations in the island.
in his message for this year's celebrations, "I am invit- The World Day for Social Communications was held Meanwhile, anti-mining advocates
ing all those who make use of the new technologies of on Sunday, May 24 this year. (CNA) praised the strong solidarity and sense
of community of the people from Ori-

CBCP chief prays for lawmakers’ compassion for farmers

ental and Occidental Mindoro in their
opposition to the mining project.
“Today, 7,000 strong Mindoreños
MANILA, May 14, 2009—A top church into heeding the cries of the rural poor, erased the line that separates Oriental
leader said he is praying that all law- in accordance to the dictates of moral and Occidental Mindoro as they dis-
makers will strive to work for the wel- and social justice,” he said. played solidarity and a strong sense of
fare of the farmers, one of the country’s The CBCP head made the statement community against Intex Resources’
most vulnerable sectors. amid fears that “some killer amend- almost ten years of attempts to sway
In his Farmers’ Day message, Catholic ments” are being pushed by some local communities in their favor,” Jay-
Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines lawmakers owning vast agricultural bee Garganera, Coordinator of Alyansa
president Archbishop Angel Lagdameo lands into a bill seeking for CARP ex- Tigil Mina, an anti-mining advocacy
said farmers must be rewarded for their tension. group, said in a statement.
efforts to provide the people’s basic “As our legislators go about the very He praised the courage of the local of-
needs. important task of passing an agrarian ficials in asserting their local autonomy
© Photo courtesy of Gemma Rita Marin

Lagdameo is hoping that legislators reform law, I pray that they draw in- and in protecting the ‘general welfare’
will dedicate themselves to provide spiration from St. Isidore, who, despite of the people.
the needs of the farmers, like the de- being very poor himself, gave up what “With the poor track record of large-
sired extension of the Comprehensive little he had to those who were poorer,” scale mining companies in the country
Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) with said Lagdameo. and a weak national policy on environ-
reforms. “May his generosity reminds our mental and social safeguards, we need
“Instead of working for their own elected officials that life is not to be a the initiatives of local government and
interests, I pray that the Holy Spirit will selfish quest for profit, but an opportu- communities to come together and fight
move our Senators and Congressmen Farmers / A6 Mindoro / A7
A4 Opinion CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 11
May 25 - June 7, 2009


Suffer the farmers

THE farmers have been generally peaceful. They walk for hundreds
of kilometers, as what those from Sumilao did, and even go as far
as do hunger strikes, like what happened in December last year, to
peacefully press for the land that justifiably belongs to them.
But the police, and, by command responsibility, this administration
have been intolerant and narrow-minded whenever there are rallies
conducted by farmers. Last May 25 about two thousand farmers
together with Manila auxiliary bishop Broderick Pabillo in tow,
were hosed down violently with water cannons while holding a
peaceful rally outside the gates of Batasang Pambansa in Quezon
City with no other purpose but to ask lawmakers to legislate
the extension of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program
(CARP) which, anyway, is mandated by the Constitution.
Section 4, Art. XIII of the 1987 Constitution requires the State
to “undertake an agrarian reform program founded on the right
of farmers and regular farmworkers who are landless, to own
directly or collectively the lands they till or, in the case of other
farmworkers, to receive a just share of the fruits thereof.”
As if it were not enough, Art II, Sec 21 of the same Constitution
explicitly identifies agrarian reform as a State policy that must be
given flesh by promulgating enabling laws to make it work and
beneficial not only to the farmers but to the whole country that
till now, albeit unwillingly, is still agricultural.
Yet, more than the law of the land dictates, agrarian reform is

Illustration by Bladimer Usi

an instrument of social justice and an act of political wisdom, or
so says the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace (1997). The
social teachings of the Church condemn the concentration and
misappropriation of land as intrinsically immoral.
But seemingly the country’s lawmakers are so much keen neither
about the law nor morals. What weigh down really are the
landowners that in this country are, more or less, equated with
legislators. That equation was the fundamental cause of the failure
of the CARP the first 20 years it was around. The same forebodes Oscar V. Cruz, DD
for the upcoming 5 years should it be extended with reforms.
Disputably, though, such reforms will come as deceptively as
the “perfecting amendments” being inserted into the extended
agrarian reform law, but in fact are realistically called “killer
Views and Points
amendments” in that they will emasculate and, therefore, doom
it to failure—like it was in the original CARP of 1988 that was THERE are really some people who are rather unkind for a reason, to make and few little achievements to magnify. There must be more
systematically riddled with loopholes and financially constrained. who are cruel for a cause. When they are convinced, for example, lies to defend as well as more realities to deny. There must be much
While landowners dominated the Congress that passed the original that there is someone whom they may no longer trust, in whom public funds to spend for the promotion of the personal desires and
CARP, the same landowners still exercise dominion today. they have altogether lost their confidence, they speak their mind— designs of the public figure concerned—meantime, let the poor, the
saying what mean and meaning what they say. In this particular hungry and the sick fend for themselves.
But suffer the little farmers to come unto our midst, because situation, more than those who simply voice out the painful truth Needless to say, a little study could be made to find out who are
such is the path to real social transformation—if to paraphrase they are certain about someone, it is the latter who really is the those great, illustrious and distinguished national leaders in the
the good Book. loser although definitely not a victim—but in reality, the victimizer. whole wide world who in these particular times, amazingly have
This is exactly the case when lately there were reports validated six official spokespersons! The immediate thought comes to mind
by official sources that the holder of the highest office in the land, that these six formal mouthpieces can be compared to gatekeepers.
now has no less than six spokespersons! They are many probably because there are so many gates to keep
Exploitation of Children In other words, the public official concerned felt it either necessary and so many gatecrashers to drive away.
or convenient or both, that the impressive number of six mouthpieces If the truth and the whole truth has to be said and duly noted,
THE abuse of children is a grave and serious concern for all, but is in order—in the assumption that there is so much to say about the basic problem of Malacañang has been and still is its distinctly
most especially for us in the Church. Our voices cannot be loud the person, competence and achievements, concerning the plans, poor if not practically zero credibility before the general public.
enough, our words strong enough to condemn this evil among us. programs and actions of the office holder concerned. When this And who is really to blame for this lamentable popular conviction
The cries of abused children reach up to the God of justice in a supposedly great news reached some no nonsense individuals, their if not Malacañang itself. This is pursuant to the maxim “What you
call for vengeance. We know that their lament invokes compassion being “unkind” and even “cruel” came to fore—especially through sow is what you reap.” It all began with the expressed and formal
from the God of love. In an invitation of love, our Lord Jesus says radio talk programs accepting call-in listeners. commitment that someone was not running for office—only for the
“whoever welcomes a child for my sake welcomes me” (Mt. 18:5). The reactions to the unexpected news about the unexpected num- same to claim that God spoke to the opposite. And such incredible
And to those who inflict pain and wound the innocent, our Lord ber of Malacañang spokesperson can be thus summarized by way allegation was thereafter followed by a litany of consonant gross
has harsh words: “It would be better for anyone who leads astray of conclusions: There must be too many criticisms to counteract, too misdeeds. And Philippine History is still in the making—specially
one of these little ones who believe in me, to be drowned by a much popular ill-will to neutralize. There must be much propaganda so as 2010 fast approaches.
millstone around his neck in the depths of the sea” (Mt. 18:6).
Children are so precious in the eyes of Jesus that for him, they and Sr. Mary Pilar Verzosa, RGS
those like them comprise the Kingdom of God. Whoever serves
as a stumbling block to them deserves reproach and equally just
punishment. Into her Golden Years Love Life
Clearly the exploitation of children is a morally deplorable
and criminal act because of the immense damage, oftentimes
irreparable, it brings to children. Exploitation robs children the WHEN people ask me how I started the as organizing pro-life seminars in Maria The nurses and midwives assigned to the
dignity of life, the enjoyment of life that is their inherent right pro-life movement in the Philippines, my Reina Hospital which is run by the St. Paul OB Wards happily include among their tasks
It deprives them of education that could secure for them a stable memory goes back to 1974 when a group de Chartres Sisters. the teaching of breastfeeding and the NFP
future. Children who have been sexually abused suffer the pain and of us nuns from different congregations in- She relates how she encourages the LAM or Lactational Amenorrheaic Method.
trauma of their experience throughout their lives and are vulnerable volved in the Technical Committee on Health married hospital staff, both the male and Researches have shown that fully breastfeed-
to more abusive behavior and relationships later on in life. of the AMWRSP, invited Fr. Paul Marx, OSB female to be responsible parents and plan ing mothers delay the onset of their fertility
As a social phenomenon, the exploitation of children in the and founder of Human Life International, to their families accordingly. She now has to eight months or even up to a year, thus
Philippine context can be traced mainly to poverty. In the film talk to various audiences in our country. We 20 employees successfully practicing the they can space the next pregnancy to two or
documentary “Minsan Lang Sila Bata” which was co-produced by were all nurses belonging to that committee Billings Ovulation Method or the Standard three years before the next baby is born.
the Archdiocese of Manila Labor Center, this poverty was starkly and we did have lots of significant experi- Days Method, depending on their choice or It is with mixed feelings that Sr. Cornelie
portrayed: squalid homes, meager food, sickness. In this film, we ences together ─ organizing conferences on whatever is appropriated for their natural informed me that she will be assigned to
see children as young as seven to 10 years old doing strenuous community-based health programs, herbal cycles. These “practitioners” are now teach- their retirement home in Iloilo by June. She
manual work in abattoirs, cargo boats and sugar cane fields. The medicine, care of the dying, and bioethics. ing the other employees, their neighbors said she will surely miss her mission here in
children in the film spoke poignantly of how they wished to be Eventually, we moved on to our primary or relatives. She said the Standard Days Mindanao, the fourteen years in CdO which
in school. They expressed their desire to help their families and interests and congregation assignments. I Method, which is approved in the Diocese was preceded by ten years in their hospital
bring them out of the cycle of poverty. pursued the pro-life mission and developed of Cagayan de Oro, is easy to teach and in Maramag, Bukidnon.
it to what it is today: Pro-life Philippines is learned easily by the couples. But she And to think that Sr. Cornelie is living a
This condition of poverty has emboldened unprincipled employers Foundation - a SEC-registered, education claims that she makes sure they strictly second lease on life. She has fully recovered
and moneyed foreign pedophiles to use children. Incest and rape, and advocacy NGO. follow the guidelines, gives them enough from four months of coma after a tragic
on the other hand, have been known to breed most in environments Among those who remained very sup- information so they do not use condoms car accident in Quezon City in 1989. She
marked by unemployment, alcohol and drug abuse, and the lack portive of the pro-life cause is Sr. Cornelie or other contraceptives, and she does not bravely and persistently struggled through
of proper and decent housing. These pressing concerns demand Sarmiento, SPC. I had the opportunity to teach them the methods without first giving her physical and speech therapies. A few
immediate attention and concerted response from all sectors, if visit her last week while I was in Cagayan value-formation sessions on the meaning of months after the accident, I visited her. She
the problem of sexual abuse of children is to be addressed in a de Oro giving workshops on setting up marriage, sexuality, fertility, and value of was sitting then and able to take care of her
comprehensive manner. women’s crisis centers. I was so happy to human life. She wants to make sure they daily needs. “My memory… my memory.
see that Sr. Cornelie, now 77 years old and remove any contraceptive mentality in their …that is all that I beg God to restore to me”,
-- “Welcoming the Children for my sake”, will be celebrating her Golden Jubilee in mind and life-style before she even teaches she cried. Her prayer has been answered a
Pastoral Letter on the Exploitation of Children, 1988 July, is still very active in counseling and them any of the Natural Family Planning million times over. Congratulations on your
teaching Natural Family Planning as well Methods. Golden Anniversary, Sister! Fr. Francis B. Ongkingco

‘Jesus’ defects’
NOTHING is more beautiful, consoling and uplifting than our Chris- be filled with faith and love for Jesus’ teachings and examples.
Pedro C. Quitorio tian faith and life. This is not because it contains a body of humanly In the Gospels we relive His birth, the hidden and intense years of
Editor-in-Chief reasonable and dynamic ideals, but because it is continuously vivified common life, we walk with Him through the hills and plains of Pal-
by the living person of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit. Chris- estine, wiping the sweat from our brows and washing the dust and
Pinky Barrientos, FSP Kris P. Bayos tianity’s hidden attraction is the authentic invitation to an encounter dirt from our faces and feet. Through this, we share His thirst, hunger,
Associate Editor Feature Editor of love and communion with Someone divine who can be embraced tears and sorrow. There is nothing, with the exception of sin, that our
in and through His humanity. Lord has not experienced about our nature.
Melo M. Acuña Laarni Bergado This closeness of God is made possible when Jesus took upon our Despite this proximity of Jesus to every person’s life, there are still
Managing Editor Marketing Supervisor nature. This doesn’t only establish some sort of emotional bridge, but a some who feel that God is still a distant figure. Our Lord’s life, they say,
true and firm way to understand the richness of our human condition is too difficult to imitate and the experience of their personal defects
Roy Q. Lagarde Ernani M. Ramos
News Editor Circulation Manager that God has chosen to truly ‘live’ in order to reveal how we ought prevent them from relating with our Lord’s “perfect life.”
to live our lives as men. St. Augustine wonderfully summarizes this Valid as their arguments are, the person of our Lord cannot allow
Laurence John R. Morales Marcelita Dominguez when he said, “The Son of God became man, so that man may be a the slightest stain of defect because He is both Perfect God and Perfect
Layout Artist and Online Editor Comptroller son of God.” Man. Moreover, our ability to relate with someone based on his defects
Our Lord became man not to only redeem us from sin. Jesus, for or limitations may not be the best of possible ways to solve our prob-
The CBCP Monitor is published fortnightly by the CBCP Com- some mysterious reason, loved our human nature. He took the risk of lems. Such an attitude may also be a form of seeking ourselves and
munications Development Foundation, Inc., with editorial and love by assuming our humanity in order to reveal our dignity of being thus prevent us from acquiring an authentic conversion.
business offices at 470 Gen. Luna St., Intramuros, Manila.
P.O. Box 3601, 1076 MCPO. God’s image and likeness. Our Lord’s humanity thus becomes a vital We could, however, point out some of our Lord’s “defects” as the
Editorial: (063) 404-2182. Business: (063)404-1612. template of the truth about every man and woman. It is a clear way late Bishop Francis Xavier Nguyên Van Thuân referred to in a retreat
ISSN 1908-2940 that leads to eternal life. When one sincerely opens his life to our Lord’s he once preached to the Great John Paul II and the Roman Curia. He
humanity which vibrantly portrayed in the Gospels, he cannot help but Whatever / A6
CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 11
May 25 - June 7, 2009
Opinion A5
Francisco F. Claver, SJ Jose B. Lugay
Church people in
Afterthoughts politics I Laiko Lampstand
Getting involved
THE Alagad (lay ministers) program of the diocese decided to lift that long-standing that has grown in our consciousness with our
diocese of Malaybalay is as old as the dio- prohibition and allow Alagads to remain in experience of BECs—that perhaps it is time
cese itself, starting as it did forty years ago their ministry even as elected government now to look for the reform of our political
shortly after the province of Bukidnon was
carved out of the Archdiocese of Cagayan
officials if they ran and won.
The reason for the change is the admis-
culture not from the top but from the bottom
of our highly stratified society. What the Left in change—for the
and made an independent Prelature Nullius.
Their training process was for the work they
would be doing as leaders of basic ecclesial
sion that the nation’s politics has sunk
down to terribly low levels. Good men and
women, principled public servants—these
kept hammering away at in martial law times
to get us to support their armed struggle op-
tion was that people in power do not easily,
country of the future
communities (BECs) in their respective bar- are clearly the desperate need of our times if ever, give up power: they had to be elimi- MEDIA today has been on 24 hours/7days blaring the sensa-
rios, centering mainly on their conducting of and not harnessing such potential good nated, by violent force if necessary. And at the tional sex video scandal of Dr. Hayden Kho and Katrina Halili,
the Sunday (priest-less) worshiping of the leaders for the good of the country does time they were unrelenting in saying it was also dragging the famous beauty expert, Dr. Vicky Belo in the
community, bible sharing and pastoral plan- not seem to be the right way to go. It’s a necessary. We accept their negative reading investigation. Days without end before that, the exchange of
ning especially. But there were other areas prudential judgment of a Church that seeks of people in power but not their suggested heated arguments occurred between two presidentiables, Sena-
covered too, like Christian family life, the to be relevant to its people’s life as it is be- method of change! Our rural folk who are tor Panfilo Lacson and former Senator Manny Villar. Senator
Church’s social doctrine, community organiz- ing lived now, in the same way that the always at the short end of the stick in the Jamby Madrigal charged Senator Villar of double insertion
ing, spirituality, etc. previous prohibition was also a prudential nation’s evils are helpless before the corrup- of P200 million in the 2009 budget for the road that will pass
But starting this year, the program may judgment that was deemed to be fitted to tion of the big people up there in the highest through his Las Piñas and Sta. Rosa real estate projects. Senator
well have to include a crash course on how to conditions then. reaches of Philippine society. But down there Villar is convinced that the charge against him is a counter-move
be a Christian public servant. A politician, in A proviso for the change has been made at their level, they see they have a handle on to his announcement that he would run for president in the 2010
other words. For up to now, the one condition and accepted, namely, that Alagads-turned- the corruption of their barrio officials. If they elections. The Senate Ethics Committee even without Senator
imposed on men wanting to serve as Alagads politicians must religiously attend the usual cannot get at the sophisticated thieves at the Villar’s presence, voted for the formal investigation of his case
was that if ever they ran for public office, they Alagad meetings and continuing education top, they can at the petty ones at the bottom, by the Senate, considering that the data furnished them need
would have to stop acting as Church minis- seminars. They are also asked to be open to and they understand all too clearly the inter- further verification. These are two media exposures represent-
ters. The reason behind the prohibition was to fraternal correction by their peers should twined web of corruption of one level with ing degradation of morals—negative values that the Filipino
forestall the entry of people who would take they stray from the straight and narrow and another, barrio with municipal, municipal nation has sunk into!
advantage of their position in the religious behave like ordinary “trapos”, conscious in turn with provincial and national and so In between these two affairs, was media’s exploitation of the
community to build themselves up for a that their reputation as a body rises or falls on in our marvelous system of patronage popularity of Manny Paquiao’s mother, Aling Dionisia, who
political career later. Wrongly or rightly, that with the probity or lack of it of their politi- and kick-backs. It is at the barrio level they celebrated a debut during her 60th birthday and attended by
was what we judged best for our fledgling cian members. can come to grips with that system. And if 400 guests, capped with ballroom dancing. This was a gift from
program from our understanding of Philip- One other factor of relevance to the con- it is true that the larger problem is our easy his loving son. Now a celebrity, every move of hers is newswor-
pine political culture. Recently however, the templated change is the sense—something Afterthoughts / A7 thy. Aling Dionisia was offered to have her life story made into
a movie and for her to model for a product commercial. This
Ambassador Henrietta T. de Villa is an indication of extreme interest by the majority of the poor

Outlook and challenges Filipinos who can relate with the Cinderella change of their
ka-baro. And the media feasted on it for several days together

for automated elections Faith and Fire

with Manny’s plan to run in the local Saranggani elections. This
two reported incidents focused on the Filipino’s never-ending
hope for a better life. There are 40 million poor voters who
could identify themselves with the Pacquiao mother and son—a
WHY are we automating our elections in the first place? Why the the BEIs for familiarization (ARMM barely had two months), with dream situation to be in. The crux is, so long as our nation is not
need as far back as 1997 for R.A. 8436, the Election Law authoriz- certification by an internationally accredited entity, as well as more governed by honest, cultured and learned politicians, this will
ing Comelec to implement the automation of the 2001 elections? opportunities for Comelec to upgrade its risk management of the remain just that—wishful thinking to millions of Filipinos! Yes,
But this didn’t happen. Again in 2006 R.A. 9369 amending R.A. AES, all these plus factors can now move fear of automation to fervor we need change. Foremost of all is change in those governing
8436, authorized Comelec to implement the AES (Automated (or enthusiasm) for this new method that could free our elections this country.
Election System) “using appropriate technology which has been from the bondage of corruption. There is much hope for this change in media’s daily reporting
demonstrated in the voting, counting, consolidating, canvassing, AES is not a 100 percent guarantee to do so. In the end, machines of the progress of the bidding of the automation equipment of
and transmission of election results, and other electoral processes” or technology no matter how high tech cannot give us fraud-free COMELEC. All are hopeful that once the 2010 results come in us-
(Sec.2.1), and that “the system procured must have demonstrated elections. There could be other systems, like the OES, that might ing the automated election system, the era of dagdag bawas will
capability and been successfully used in a prior electoral exercise have worthwhile features. But whatever system we consider must have gone away forever. Wait until you hear the recent March
here or abroad.” (Sec.12). conform to the requirements of R.A. 9369. The technology the 2009 report that Germany has just declared unconstitutional, the
Because elections done manually as far back as I can remember Comelec Advisory Council recommended for the 2010 elections— further use of automated election for the simple reason that it is
spawned progressive cheating, invented so many anomalies like PCOS or Precinct Count Optical Scan—conforms to the requirements not transparent to the voters each step of the election process.
dagdag-bawas, and definitely reduced the value and the dignity of of R.A. 9369 and the Terms of Reference (TOR) inputs the learnings That the source code to compare the program actually used is
Philippine elections as a numbers game, worse inculcated in our in the ARMM plus other features reinforcing security, acceptability kept secret by the manufacturer of the electronic equipment for
culture that election is a business transaction – vote buying and and election management. the simple reason that it is an Intellectual Property Right that
vote selling. Now vote buying and vote selling are no longer just by AES could be a path to political maturity of our people, like Japan can not be shared publicly. We will wait for the completion of
hundreds of pesos, or thousands, but hundreds of thousands, even or some European countries where manual elections can be trusted COMELEC’s bidding outcome since they have alternative plans
in six digit amounts, especially on the national level. to count the vote correctly, swiftly, and where there is the mature if the present bidding fails.
But then we are a people of faith ...believing there is always the acceptance of the electorate that in any contest there is a winner Timed during the Pacquio fight, the showing of the AKO MIS-
possibility of change. For me personally, since I covered the 2008 and a loser. MO advertisement, created a sensation as if a miracle happened.
election in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao or ARMM It would still be values, mindsets and attitude of each and all Deep patriotic sentiments from the viewing public triggered an
which was fully automated—using even two technologies: the DRE Filipinos that will spell success of any system for our elections. To advocacy movement. During the sensational Pacquiao-Hatton
Direct Recording Electronic system and the OMR Optical Mark continue fomenting divides and distrust, or to expand ourselves fight, all Filipinos here and abroad rooted for Manny to win.
Reader, the possibility of changing our electoral process from bad to and go beyond borders of the I, ME, MINE, Is our choice. This is All viewers were emotionally charged and in six minutes it was
good is now at hand. I don’t say that the AES suddenly transformed not to say that we go by blind faith and be reduced to resigned or over. Our countrymen, hearts bursting with pride, realized that
the ARMM from being the cheating capital of elections in the Philip- indifferent acceptance. No, AES should be a dynamic for participa- the Filipino and the Philippines could be world class, thanks to
pines into an exemplar of clean and credible elections. tion, for enlightened engagement. AES for 2010 is what the law has Manny. If Manny could do something for our country, why can’t
What was good about the 2008 ARMM AES experience was that mandated. But more than this, we could make it a common project every Filipino viewer do something for the country himself?
the system worked. And it showed the key areas needing improve- of the citizenry—wherein we pool our talents, our time and our Thus the DDB Group serendipitously timed the showing of the
ments. The time for the public to know the election results was vigilance together—vigilance is always necessary for any system. AKO MISMO advertisement during the Pacquiao-Hatton fight.
dramatically shortened. Hence, the space for manipulating election So that fears about hacking, about systems failure, about election A conglomerate of prominent and ordinary citizens showing the
results was diminished, and election related violence and nuisance failure and all sorts of fear of the unknown, we may overcome, and simple AKO MISMO tag conceptualized by the DDB Group,
pre-proclamation protests did not take on gargantuan proportions. overcome together. It could also be a chance for the Filipinos to once supported by several organizations and funded by PLDT/Smart
So that with tighter security measures, longer space for voters’ more show to the world, and to ourselves the marvelous things we Foundation the advertisement advocated change ─ first within
education and exposing the machines to the voting public and can accomplish when we live our faith. the person himself. A gem of well-timed triggering mechanism,
the AKO MISMO advertisement brought in, in six days time
about 73,000 commitments, 1.l million page views, and 700,000
Fr. Russell Bantiles
Proclaim the
search results, with numbers growing by the minute. There was
also a rush to buy the AKO MISMO tags. The first objective
of change is inculcating in the Filipino his love of country ─ a

Cogito Gospel of Life change that must start from within one’s self.
Will this initial Filipino enthusiasm, that is the love to support
our country’s change for the better, be sustained? Although
there are those who derisively predict that the Ako Mismo ad-
JESUS and Amparo, a Spanish couple from Catholics who would prefer to have their It does not mean suppression of the lower vertisement is PLDT Chairman Manny Pangilinan’s entry into
Alicante, were like our parents during our pharmacies closed rather than help propa- faculties (like sexual appetites) but dominion the political arena, in spite of his immediate denial, there were
seminary days in BIDASOA. When we were gate an anti-life mentality by selling anti- over them, thereby integrating them into still doubting Thomases who say—ano na naman ito? Ganito
still deacons in 2005, Fr. Eugene Hechanova life products? (Effectively, “contraception” the person’s own good. The irrational exer- na lang ba tayo? Good in planning and gimmicks? NATO pa
and I stayed in their house for three days, is a contraction of two words: “contra”— cise of man’s sexual appetites, for instance, rin? (NO ACTION TALK ONLY)? This continuing disbelief and
before going back to the Philippines. It was against—and “conception”—engender life; contributes to his dehumanisation. When I negative note must stop. Those who follow the moves of Advo-
a gesture of deep gratitude towards this hence, against life). say “irrational exercise”, I mean, the use of cacy Groups believe that change for the future is coming. The
generous couple for the support – not only Speaking of anti-life mentality, one day, sexual faculties for mere pleasure, without coming election has triggered the activation of many movements
economic but especially spiritual – that they a Spanish friend of mine, nicknamed “K- considering its two inseparable objectives— and advocacy groups. To name a few—
have extended – not only to us both, but to sus” (real name is Jesús), asked me candidly expression of love (unitive) and procreation a) Silent Society Group calling on voters not to reveal the
the entire BIDASOA International Seminary why the natural method of family planning (procreative), and its fundamental context: candidates of their choice for the coming election—to reflect in
– even until the present. that involves doing the marital act during marriage. All sexual acts done outside these silence. The rationale is to thwart survey results that are used
Just recently, they attended the ordination infertile periods if the couple does not want parameters are simply “irrational exercise” by politicians to pour in more money to buy votes.
of 14 new deacons (only one from the Philip- to have a baby, could not be considered an of one’s sexual faculties, hence, degrading b) Education Nation, a business group that advocates for
pines) of BIDASOA last April 25. During their anti-life mentality. Simple, I said. to the person. the election of leaders who can improve the educational sys-
stay in Pamplona, Fr. Eugene and I had the It cannot involve an anti-life mentality, tem which they have identified as the first line of attack for the
opportunity to accompany them and relive although the couple does not want a baby, *** country to move forward towards first world category.
the old times together. Both are pharmacists, because, in the first place, it’s the natural law c) Youth Vote Philippines, the youth group mainly from
who used to own and manage a pharmacy itself (as expressed in the fertility cycle of the My friend, K-sus, once again insisted with schools and universities, searching for leaders, honest and
in Alicante. woman) that does not grant the possibility his question: “Are we not separating the uni- knowledgeable in good governance, who can support their
We’ve learned that a few years ago, they of engendering life. Since God’s will is made tive and procreative dimensions, in the case dream of a better Philippines;
have decided to close the pharmacy. The manifest in the natural law, we can say that of a couple who does not want a baby yet, d) Change Politics Movement—a 2000-member group led
motive? Every year, they receive complaints during infertile periods, it is God’s will that and performs the marital act during infertile by former DSWD Secretary, Dinky Soliman, for the eradication
from clients and suffer a lot from court battles. no life yet could bloom. And the couple’s periods?” Of course not, for a very simple of graft and corruption in government resulting from defective
The reason? Quite easy to understand: the cli- desire not to have a baby is only secondary reason: they don’t have an anti-life mentality. systems of governance;
ents complain simply because the pharmacy does to God’s will. They simply cooperate in As we can see, what the Catholic Church e) Kaya Natin Movement—A group of successful governors
not sell contraceptives (like condoms, “morning- God’s design, so to speak. teaches is not simply a set of prohibitions—a and local leaders giving sessions in different schools that there is
after” pills, etc.). And the law requires that list of DO’s and DON’T’s—but a pro-life still hope for this country to move forward – as shown by their
pharmacies should include these products *** mentality. I cannot understand why some success in governance as elected politicians.
in their list. people—especially those who promote con- f) Dilaab Foundation, Inc.—Cebu’s leading agent of change
As good Catholics, trying to live coherently In the use of contraceptives, this coopera- traception to curb the population, those who in the Diocese – exposing graft and corruption; establishing
their faith, Jesús and Amparo decided to fol- tion in the will of God cannot be found. Why? support the RH bill and even those who want circles of discernment to select prospective candidates who have
low their conscience, a clear echo of what St. Because there’s no decisive consideration of to establish RH clinics in Davao—would unblemished record of service to the community especially those
Peter said to the Sanhedrin: “It is better for the natural law (the woman’s fertility cycle). prefer an anti-life than a pro-life mentality. now serving parish communities. And many more—the BEC’s,
us to follow God than to obey men.” And in What is decisive, instead, is not reason but I cannot understand WHY THESE PEOPLE Parish Pastoral Council Social, Action Units, Lay Apostolates
doing so, they simply fulfill Jesus’ exhortation the sexual appetite that tends to dominate PREFER DEATH TO LIFE. and Movements.
in this Sunday’s Gospel: “Go to the whole the couple, robbing them of the opportunity “Choose life and not death”, Moses said to In answer to the query, Quo Vadis Philippines? I answer.
world and proclaim the Gospel.” In other to exercise their will through self-control. In the Israelites before they set out to the prom- There is hope for my grandchildren to see the Philippines as the
words, they become living witnesses of the the use of natural method, a person exercises ise land. The Church is now exhorting us “Land of the morning, child of the sun returning, With fervor
Gospel of life. his reason and will. In doing so, he becomes in the same manner: She is proclaiming the burning, Thee do our souls adore!— the first two lines of the
truly human and rises above and has domin- Gospel of salvation, promoting a “culture of lyrics of the Pambasang Awit by Camilo Osias. School children
*** ion over his animal instincts. In the use of life”, and condemning an “anti-life mental- sang this during Monday flag ceremonies during the 1940s when
artificial method, a person is dominated by ity”. She does this to fulfill the command of Lupang Hinirang was not yet written. Paging Martin Nievera—
How many Jesuses and Amparos could we his lower appetites; thus, is more likened to Jesus: “Go to the whole world and proclaim You’re OK. Never mind what they say about your singing. It is
find in our neighborhood right now? In our animals than to humans. What makes man the Gospel.” Catholics and non-Catholics what you felt about our country when you sang that during the
parish, in our archdiocese, in our beloved truly human is the exercise of his higher alike—if we prefer life to death—why not celebrated Pacquiao victory over Hatton that matters.
City of Davao, can we still find Christians and faculties (reason and will). join Her voice?
Local News
CBCP Monitor
A6 Vol. 13 No. 11
May 25 - June 7, 2009

Gov’t job generation effort

not enough—Eiler pronouncement about the latest independent
CBCP reiterates stand on Chacha
AN official of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines
(CBCP) said that bishops are firm on their position not to favor
the amendment of the Constitution.
Changing the Charter is not necessary in order to institute
reforms in the country today.
labor survey, saying it’s a “mere percep-
“I am just reiterating the stand of the bishops on this issue, that
tion”. She also assailed legislators who call
ChaCha is not needed to bring about changes in the country and
the survey, “less scientific” compared to
people,” said Msgr. Pedro Quitorio, Media Director of CBCP.
government data.
Quitorio added that if amending the Constitution is really
The Labor Department, through the Bu-
necessary it must not be through the Constituent Assembly (Con-
reau of Labor and Employment Statistics,
Ass) but through Constitutional Convention (Con-Con).
registered an unemployment figure pegged
“Amending the Constitution should be done by those who are
at 7.7 percent, 26 percent short of the figure
chosen by people, those whom they trust, that is why a consti-
from the SWS survey
tutional convention is more favorable,” he said.
“The extent of joblessness in the country
Meanwhile, Quitorio explained that pursuing the constitu-
has been sugarcoated since the government,
tional change must be timely.
in April 2005, decided to revise the definition
“Amending the Constitution at this time can really fuel all
of unemployment through Resolution No.
kinds of speculations from the people,” he declared.
15 of the National Statistical Coordination
He added that people cannot but speculate about some ques-
Board signed in October 2004,” explained
tionable motives by those who is presently holding power if
changing the constitution is done at this point in time.
“Through the said resolution, the NSO

The Constitution presents three forms of amending the Con-

used the International Labor Organization
stitution which is through the organization of a Constituent
(ILO) concept of unemployment as those
Assembly, formation of a Constitutional Convention and the
without work, seeking work and available
People’s Initiative. (Kate Laceda)
for work. Prior to this, the National Statis-
THE government’s job-generating efforts 100,000 from the repair of classrooms of pub- tics Office defined the unemployed as those

Panlilio, Padaca to announce

are not enough to accommodate thousands lic schools and 27,000 for the Out of School without work and seeking work, as well as
of Filipinos going out of work. Youth Serving Towards Economic Recovery those without work and “not looking for
This was the observation of the labor (OYSTER) program. work because of the belief that no work was

2010 plans soon

think-tank, Ecumenical Institute for Labor “Apart from being short-term, the num- available, or because of temporary illness/
Education and Research (Eiler), Inc. as 84 ber of jobs created is not enough to provide disability, bad weather, pending job applica-
companies in Central Luzon get rid of their employment to jobless individuals, even if tion or waiting for job interview,” she said.
15,000 workers. we add up the 100,000 jobs in the business She added, even if the government set
Eiler Deputy Executive Director Anna process outsourcing industry and the 400,000 new parameters to define unemployment,
Leah Escresa-Colina said in a statement the job offerings overseas for the number of job- it cannot be denied that more Filipinos have
emergency employment opportunities, as less adults in the Philippines now reach 14 lost their jobs as an offshoot of the financial
stated in a Communiqué released by the Pal- million,” she said. crisis.
ace last February 9, is not enough to solve the Based on the First Quarter 2009 survey of “As the financial crisis set in early this
problem of joblessness and massive layoffs the Social Weather Station (SWS), unemploy- year, unemployment figures shot up notches

© Kate Laceda / CBCP Media

in the country. ment rate rose to 34.2 percent this year. higher from the same period last year,
The said Communiqué directs all agen- In addition, 12 percent of the unemployed with layoffs mostly coming from sectors
cies concerned to create 824,555 emergency were reportedly retrenched from work while severely affected such as electronics and
jobs, including the 506,082 jobs from the 13 percent “voluntarily” left their jobs. semiconductors,” she further said. (Noel
Department of Public Works and Highways, The labor expert assailed Malacañang’s Sales Barcelona)
Choice / A1
deliberated on the floor anytime before they adjourn on June 5. after the government’s suspension of more active population control
Governor Grace Padaca of Isabela assured the media during a weekly forum that
Others warn that the church’s crucial backing in the 2010 national programs due the pressure of the Catholic Church. hers and Gov. Panlilio’s political plans will be made known to the public soon.
elections will only be given to those who oppose the bill. Aniceto said billions of pesos have been committed and earmarked
Reports said lawmakers will want to vote on the RH bill too before for release in the coming months, whereby funds will continue to GOVERNORS Ed Panlilio of Pampanga and Grace Padaca of
they go on their mandatory recess. be channeled to local government units and NGOs. Isabela will announce their political plans for 2010 this month.
The bill will then go to the Senate and will be sent to President At “The Forum,” a church-organized media discussion, Padaca
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo if passed by both houses. ‘Intermediate level fertility’ said she and Panlilio will meet to discuss whether or not to heed
At a UN meeting on population decline, the Philippines was listed the clamor for them to join in the national elections.
Foreign backers among 74 countries as “intermediate-level fertility.” The meeting He said there is pressure from various groups for them to
International agencies and economists have called for the enact- noted that if current trends persisted, those countries were expected make a public answer to many questions along that line. So the
ment of RH bill in the Philippines where population now stands at to reach below replacement fertility levels. decision, she said, could be public not later than May.
around 90 million, with an annual growth rate of 2.04 percent, one The prelate said developments will threaten economic security in “We will have a very important meeting tonight so that we
of the highest in Asia. such countries with the first impact being felt in health and welfare could assess the situation and we have to make our final deci-
But the CBCP is taking offense over foreign intervention and ac- systems. sion,” said Padaca.
cused them of unethical behavior for supporting the passage of RH He lamented that hefty funding which should be spent for au- Those attending the meeting, she said, are Naga Mayor Jessie
bill in Congress. thentic maternal, infant and child care, basic hygienic systems and Robredo and members of the Kaya Natin Movement.
ECFL chairman Archbishop Paciano Aniceto earlier said inter- measures are instead poured into contraceptives and birth control Padaca, however, refused to reveal where their meeting will
national funding agencies such as US-AID, the European Com- devices. “Is this good for economic development?” asked Aniceto. take place.
mission, Australia’s Agency for International Development and Foreign funding agencies claimed they are concerned with the A group strongly supporting the candidacy of Panlilio, a sus-
even Agencia Espańola de Cooperacion Internacional of Spain fast growth rate of the Philippine population. pended Catholic priest, and Padaca in the 2010 presidential race
are pressuring lawmakers to pass the RH bill by linking increased With this scenario, funding agencies believe it will be difficult was launched last March.
aid to its passage. for the government to address poverty and achieve sustainable Panlilio-Padaca para sa Pagbabago Movement (PPP Move-
The funding goes to the maternal health and population manage- economic growth unless an effective population management pro- ment) claimed that only Panlilio and Padaca, if elected president
ment program, a multilateral-funded program in several decades gram is implemented. and vice-president, respectively, can deliver the needed change
in the country.
Media Ad / A1 PPP Movement is led by various organizations namely Kaya
of the Philippines (AdBoard) and the Movie self-regulation, to raise the matter to the colorful and words may convey more than Natin! Movement, Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang
and Television Review and Classification advertiser, and remind other advertisers as the literal meaning,” Laguardia said. Magsasaka and the Philippine Alliance of Ex-Seminarians. (Roy
Board (MTRCB) regarding the new televi- well, on everyone’s responsibility especially Laguardia also urged the Kapisanan ng Lagarde)
sion advertisement of “LBC Remittance to the youth. mga Broadkaster ng Pilipinas to immediately
Service” which presented Manzano as the Meanwhile, on the same statement sent issue a cease and desist order against the ad-
Regrettable / A1
featured host. to CBCPNews, MTRCB chair Ma. Con- vertiser or order the immediate withdrawal
While she recognizes the business sector’s soliza P. Laguardia asked the Ad Stan- or recall from public exhibition of the adver- claimed, is the government’s failure to do its job for the common
need to market its products and employ dards Council, Inc., to investigate the LBC tisement until its propriety or compliance welfare.
strategies to increase sales and patronage, advertisement. with the Broadcast Code of the Philippines “We certainly hope that our government will realize what the real
Mrs. Nograles said, “there are other respon- “The advertisement is a distortion of and P.D. 1986 is resolved. essence of being public servants is and do what is really needed by
sible and more creative ways of achieving truth on the proper spelling of the word Laguardia cited a Supreme Court decision the people and not of selfish interests,” Iñiguez said.
such objectives than using educational sce- ‘remittance.” To the young minds, without (Soriano vs. Laguardia) which authorita- Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno, on May 15, lamented
nario in an advertisement which conveys a the guidance of an adult, such distortion of tively declared that “the welfare of children the continued control of “oligarchs” over the country and that it
message that is contrary to the educational truth presents an instructional digression,” and the State’s mandate to protect and care appears that the government is beholden to the rich and the pow-
essence of teaching what is right.” said Laguardia. for them, as parens patria, constitute a sub- erful.
Mrs. Nograles also wanted the AdBoard, “The average child may not have the stantial and compelling government interest The said predicament, according to the movement pushing for the
the agency primarily concerned with the adult’s grasp of figures of speech, and may in regulating petitioner’s utterances in TV nation’s moral recovery, further increases the problem of unequal
development of the ad industry through lack the understanding that language may be broadcast.” (Mark S. Ventura w/PR) distribution of wealth and widening gap between the rich and the
Whatever / A4 According to Iñiguez, oligarchy, by itself, is not a bad form of gov-
used this as a catechetical tool to explain to his left everything for him, he does not guarantee highlighting what God lacks in fact show ernance but only if it leads to the well-being of the whole country.
communist captors “why he left everything to food or lodging, but only a share in his own what man is incapable of giving and sacrific- This, however, does not pose the same result in the country because
follow Jesus because of His defects.”[1] way of life. (…) The Gospel passage of the ing because of his selfishness and calculating of the increasing poverty rate, the bishop noted. (CBCPNews)
a) Jesus has a terrible memory: On the cross, Beatitudes, the true “self-por¬trait” of Jesus attitude towards God and neighbor. Our Lord
during his agony, Jesus heard the voice of the the risk-taker for the love of the Father and of is only more than willing to carrying with on Farmers / A3
thief crucified on his right, “Jesus, remember humanity, is a paradox from beginning to end, these “defects” so that we may be humbled nity for service,” he added.
me when you come into your kingdom”. If even for us who have become used to hearing and converted as we return to His unfailing Five key issues
I had been Jesus, I would have told him, “I it: Blessed are the poor in spirit.... Blessed are mercy and love. In his statement, the Jaro archbishop pressed the legislators on five
certainly will not forget you, but your crimes the afflicted.... Blessed those who are perse- Note: key issues that need to be incorporated in the CARP law.
have to be expiated with at least twenty years cuted for righteousness’ sake.... Blessed are These are: 1) Five-year implementation period including Com-
[1] Taken from “Testimony of Hope”, Bishop Francis
of purgatory.” Instead, Jesus tells him, “Today you when people revile you and persecute you Xavier Nguyên Van Thuân, pp. 14-18. pulsory Acquisition, and without the proposed phasing of distri-
you will be with me in paradise”. He forgets and utter all kinds of evil against you on my bution; 2) Collateral free credit and increased support services to
all the man’s sins. (…) Jesus does not have a account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward Polls / A1 farmers; 3) Creation of an oversight committee with the inclusion
memory like mine. He not only pardons, and is great in heaven. low carbon and low waste campaign.” of private sector representatives to monitor the implementation of
pardons every person, he even forgets that he e) Jesus doesn’t understand finances or “Let us bring to bear God’s gift of democ- agrarian reform; 4) Recognition of the farmers’ legal standing and
has pardoned. economics: Recall the parable of the workers racy and respond to the call for ecological non-cancellation of Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA)
b) Jesus doesn’t know math: If Jesus would in the vineyard. (…) How can anyone pay stewardship and citizenship so that nothing on lands already distributed to and developed by the farmers; 5)
have had to take a mathematics exam, he someone who began work¬ing at 5:00 p.m. is wasted,” the acclaimed environmental Increased penalty for obstruction of CARP implementation.
might have failed. He indicates this in the the very same wage paid to the person who champion said.
parable of the lost sheep. A shepherd has one has been working since early morning? Is The EcoWaste Coalition and the Miss Farmers’ day
hundred sheep. (…) For Jesus, one is equal to this merely an oversight? Is Jesus’ account- Earth Foundation recently launched their May 15 is a national day of celebration and homage of the Philip-
ninety-nine—and perhaps more! Who could ing wrong? No! He does it on purpose, as year-long campaign to green the polls. pine Catholic Church to the farmers that started in 2002. This day
ever accept this? But his mercy reaches from he explains, “Can I not do what I want with The groups vowed to reach out to con- is also the feast of St. Isidore the Worker, the patron saint of the
generation to generation.... what is mine? Or are you jealous because I cerned members of the society to curb waste- farmers.
c) Jesus isn’t logical: A woman who has ten am generous?” fulness in the 2010 polls and promote respect Local celebrations were usually held simultaneously in various
silver pieces loses one of them and she lights a f) Jesus is a bad teacher: As a teacher, Jesus and compliance to the country’s electoral and dioceses across the country spearheaded by their respective social
lamp to search for it. This is truly illogical—to would certainly be dismissed by the Depart- environmental laws. action centers.
disturb your friends over one silver piece and ment of Education for already revealing They particularly exhorted likeminded While honoring the farmers for their contribution to national
then to plan a feast to celebrate the find! Even the content of the final exam that should be citizens’ movements at the national and local development, the CBCP’s National Secretariat for Social Action
more, by inviting her friends, she is bound to kept secret. More than that, he describes the levels to include campaign waste prevention deplores the conditions confronting them.
spend more than the one silver piece. Not even unfolding of the exam. “But when the Son of and reduction in their advocacies to reform “The feast of St. Isidore, the Farmers’ Day on May 15 is an occasion
ten silver pieces would be enough to cover all man comes in His glory…all the nations will the electoral processes. for us Filipinos to recall and acknowledge the important roles our
the expenses. be gathered before Him, and He will separate “Let us all strive to safeguard not only the own farmers play in nation-building,” Lagdameo said.
d) Jesus takes unreasonable risks: Jesus them from each other, the way a shepherd sanctity of the ballot, but also the integrity of “They are the co-creators of God; the representatives of society
promises trials and persecutions for those separates the sheep from the goats.” the environment and the triumph of the com- entrusted with the noble task of making the earth fruitful,” he added.
who fol¬low him. To his disciples who have These six “defects” of Jesus, more than mon good,” the groups said. (CBCPNews) (Roy Lagarde)
Diocesan News
CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 11
May 25 - June 7, 2009
News Briefs
People first before politics, says civil group
DAVAO CITY—A civil society group urged political leaders
Prelate urges media
to promote
to stop too much politicking and focus first on fulfilling their
promises to the Filipino people. Leonor Briones of Social Watch
Philippines said it would be great if political leaders would fast
track the improvement of the lives of the Filipino people who are
suffering in dire poverty instead of making early campaigning.
(Mark S. Ventura)

Cagayan urges speedy passage of CARPER

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—The Archdiocesan Center of Con-
cern, Empowerment and Social Services of the Archdiocese of
Cagayan de Oro has urged the various church ministries and
communities to exert all efforts in pushing Congress to pass
the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program with extension
positive values values and falsifying what is actually hap- despite our cultural and religious differ-
and reform (CARPER). It said that abandoning the agricultural pening in the world. ences,” he stressed.
sector will not only threaten farmers but imperil food security Respect for the human dignity of every He acknowledged that given our pro-
itself. (Bong D. Fabe) person is a “value that we will always protect pensity for evil, this is not an easy task to
in the mass media,” he said. do, which is why he recommended that
‘Wedding capital’ of Legazpi marks 10th year Ledesma also urged media persons to pro- we always think of the fact that “we share
LEGAZPI CITY—Our Lady of Fatima Church known as Nuestra Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ mote the culture of dialogue, which he said a common humanity, we share a common
Señora de la Fatima, has etched a unique moniker “The Wedding means “to promote the interchange of ideas vocation to be sons and daughters of God”
Capital” in the diocese, following its decade of foundation where CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—Archbishop especially of people of different cultures and to make this task easier.
Thanksgiving Mass was offered May 14, after a novenario and Antonio Ledesma, SJ, urged members of the different faith.” “And it is where the advocacy for peace
procession of the Blessed Virgin Mother held at Tahao Road, communications media to always promote Using as example his beloved Mindanao, and justice, the advocacy for human rights is
here. Msgr. Noe Thomas, the mass presider and once a parish positive values to help steer people towards the Iloilo City-born prelate encouraged all also an advocacy of people in media to help
priest of the ten-year old church, has inspired the parishioners in God. persons using modern communications promote justice and peace in our community,
his homily by reflecting of the events that took place which ac- In his homily during the mass at the Daugh- media to always foster dialogue and respect in our country and throughout the world,”
cording to him “the fan-shaped structure of the church is unique ters of St. Paul‘s Fatima Chapel in celebration for one another, especially in regard to “our Ledesma said.
and conducive to community participation”. (Elmer Bandol) of the 43rd World Communications Day, Muslim brothers and sisters.” Meanwhile, Fr. Albert “Abet” Uy, profes-
Ledesma summarized Pope Benedict XVI’s He said the promotion of the culture of sor on bioethics at the St. John Vianney Theo-
message on the theme “New Technologies, dialogue is best translated in how we treat logical Seminary here, advised the media
Health dep’t recommends ban of aerial spray
New Relationships, Promoting a Culture of one another, especially people of different to always be on the “light” side in the use
DAVAO CITY—The Department of Health in the region has is- Respect, Dialogue and Friendship.” cultures and religions. And the way we treat and promotion of modern communications
sued a stern warning for the complete ban of aerial spray practices “Media persons are also called to promote one another shows our love of God, he said. equipment and gadgets.
following the result of their study, “Health and Environmental the culture of respect, dialogue and friend- “It is also heartwarming to appreciate that According to Uy modern technological
Assessment of Sitio Camocaan in Hagonoy, Davao del Sur.” “The ship,” he said. our Muslim brothers and sisters actually advancements especially in the commu-
aerial spraying of pesticides should be stopped and a shift to “To promote the culture of respect is to have the same values as we have of love of nications media has two sides—light and
organic farming techniques should be considered,” the health de- respect the dignity of every human person… God and love of neighbors,” he added. shadow—and that media persons must learn
partment pointed out in a commissioned study conducted in 2006 especially in how they are portrayed through Ledesma, the 4th archbishop of the Arch- to navigate away from the “shadow” into the
but was only presented to public recently. (Mark S. Ventura) the mass media,” the 66-year-old Jesuit diocese of Cagayan de Oro also exhorted “light” in their work.
archbishop said. media persons to also promote the culture Uy advised media persons to always put
Prelate notes significance of Marian devotion Ledesma, who also maintains a blog in of friendship. their tasks in the crucible of the following two
DAVAO CITY—Archbishop Fernando Capalla said that the filial cyberspace, called on media persons to “To promote the culture of friendship also questions: “Will our action be good for the
devotion of Filipinos to the Blessed Virgin is the reason why the always side with the light and truth and pro- means that we are not only able to listen totality of the wellbeing of the human person?
country has afforded Mary very special dates for celebrations mote positive values to counter the work of carefully to each other but also we respect Will our action be for the common good?”
like Flores de Mayo. He added that part of this beautiful filial darkness in using modern communications the human dignity of each other and enter In this way, Uy said, “we become true
attachment to Mary is the orders, congregations, societies of men media in the promotion of pornographic into dialogue, into solidarity, into oneness Christians in our work.” (Bong D. Fabe)
and women who devote themselves to live a life inspired by

Muslims to have Shari’a Courts in

Mary, like the Marists, Marianists, Oblates of Mary, Religious of
the Virgin Mary, Teresian Daughters of Mary (TDM), and many
others. (Mark Ventura)

ARMM, urban areas, if approved

Speaker assures Church of 2010 polls
DAVAO CITY—Speaker Prospero Nograles has assured Church
leaders, concerned groups and other no election (No-el) believers
that the election in 2010 will push through. He even challenged
those who are peddling this intrigue to publicly declare that they
would reject any government position or withdraw from running DAVAO CITY–To help Filipino Muslims resolve their legal conflicts in urban centers. That is why the limited access to shari’a courts
in any elective post if the election will proceed as scheduled next in relation to their distinct personal and family laws, a lawmaker make it more difficult for them to avail,” he said.
year. (Mark Ventura) from the 1st District of Sultan Kudarat is urging for the passage of a Under the proposed bill, five judicial districts with one shari’a
measure seeking to create shari’a courts in the Autonomous Region district court and one judge each shall be created in the provinces of
in Muslims Mindanao (ARMM) and areas outside of it. Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Basilan and Isabela City in Lanao del Sur, Marawi
Seamen’s group to church: Tackle MLC in parishes,
Cong. Datu Pax S. Mangudadatu, author of House Bill 6337 said City in Maguindanao and Cotabato City.
that the bill aims to strengthen the shari’a district court system by Apart from that, six special judicial districts, each to have one
QUEZON CITY—The International Seafarers’ Action Center establishing shari’a courts in areas where there are countless Filipino shari’a district court, shall be established in the provinces of Lanao
Philippines Foundation, Inc. appealed to the Catholic Church Muslims. del Norte, Iligan City, North Cotabato, South Cotabato and General
to include on their socio-pastoral dialogues the issue of the Mangudadatu added that establishing shari’a courts in the Santos City and the ninth shari’a district in Metro Manila among
2006 Maritime Labor Convention (MLC ’06) ratification for it country is mandated under Presidential Decree 1083, although at others.
is instrumental in the advancement, development and protec- present shari’a courts are only in limited areas of Mindanao and The measure also provides that permanent stations or offices of
tion of seafarers’ rights and welfare. The appeal was made the ARMM. shari’a district courts shall be created in the ARMM particularly in
after the first ever migrant workers’ summit in Mindanao was He added that due to the limited access of Muslims to shari’a courts the first district of Jolo, Bongao, Isabela City, Marawi and Cotabato
held recently. Mindanao is one of the major senders of Filipino the situation also becomes inconvenient and difficult especially in City. Those permanent offices outside the ARMM shall be put up
migrant workers, seconded by Visayas and then Luzon. (Noel solving personal legal problems. in Zamboanga City, General Santos City, Metro Manila and Cebu.
Sales Barcelona) “There are Muslims’ communities all over the country especially (Mark Ventura)

Church, grassroots support AMB passage

DAVAO CITY─ Church leaders and grassroots ing Bill as we demand the immediate scrapping of Secretary General of the House of
communities in Southern and Central Mindanao RA 7942. We believe that the alternative bill will Representatives. In 1997, La Bu-
also signified their strong support for the passage ensure that benefits from mining will go not only gal filed a petition in the Supreme
of the Alternative Mining Bill (AMB) or House to the community but will surely improve Philip- Court questioning the validity of
Bill 6342. pine economy” Catedral said. the Mining Act.
The bill which aims to scrap the old Mining Act The proposed bill will raise government share “Ang AMB naghatag ug
of 1995 takes into consideration the decades-long from mining to at least 10 percent apart from dakung respeto sa among ka-
issues, experiences and analyses of different indi- the direct share of the Local Government Units tungod isip katawhang lumad ug
viduals, organizations, and communities affected (LGUs). sa among yutang kabilin tungod
by mining in the Philippines. Also, leaders of the Columbio Multi-Sectoral kay ginaila niini nga kami ang
Fr. Romeo Catedral, the Social Action Director Ecology Movement (CMEM), an alliance of nanag-iya bisan sa mga miner-
of the Diocese of Marbel said that it is about time grassroots organizations in the Municipality of als nga anaa nasulod sa among
to give more emphasis on environmental protec- Columbio, ultan Kudarat recently passed a resolu- teritoryo” (The AMB greatly
tion, respect to the indigenous communities and tion urging their district representative to support respects our rights as Indigenous
the need for food security of the people. the enactment of the bill. Peoples and our ancestral domains because it ac- “The final bill was a product of years of consulta-
“The alternative mining bill clearly acknowl- “AMB reflects our position that the mining knowledges that we own even the minerals found tions with various sectors and even economic and
edges the importance of environmental protec- industry should be “needs–based,” should bring underneath our territories), Labuayan said. environmental experts to ensure that it reflects
tion as well as food security and shows authentic development to the local communities and does On March 2009, leaders of Luwas Kinaiyahan, the interest of the indigenous peoples and local
respect to the communities. We hope our law- not favor foreign interests” said Audie Itable, a multi-sectoral environmental alliance in Davao communities, their rights and the environment
makers will show real concern by supporting chairperson of CMEM, adding: Oriental were also upbeat of the alternative min- are protected, food security is prioritized and that
the passage of the bill,” Catedral said in a state- “What is more promising in the bill is that it ing bill. the government will largely benefit from it” said
ment sent to CBCPNews by the Legal Rights and ensures that the benefits from mining operations The group committed to influence their district Atty. Rhia Muhi of the Legal Rights and Natural
Natural Resources Center Kasama sa Kalikasan should outweigh the anticipated impacts to the representative to support the bill through the Resources Center - Kasama sa Kalikasan/Friends
-Friends of the Earth Philippines (LRC/KsK-FoE community and the environment.” signatures they will gather from their respective of the Earth Philippines (LRC/KsK-FoE Phils).
Phils) group. Itable also reiterated their group’s call to scrap communities. The bill was authored by Rep. Riza Hontiveros-
Catedral said the Catholic Church is not against RA 7942 otherwise known as the Mining Act of “Hopefully, Mt. Hamiguitan and Pujada bay will Baraquel Rep. Walden Bello, Rep. Lorenzo “Erin”
development and mineral utilization only if it 1995. be finally spared from mining activities with the Tanada III, Rep. Carlos Padilla and Rep. Rufus Ro-
promotes authentic improvement in the Philippine The La Bugal-B’laaan Tribal Association, passage of the AMB since these two are protected driguez. The filing was attended by various sectors
economy and lives of the people. through its chairperson Quentol Labuayan, was areas” said Lilia Paglinawan, Luwas Kinaiyahan including representatives from mining affected
“Our diocese fully supports the Alternative Min- present in the filing of the bill at the Office of the convenor. communities in Mindanao. (Mark S. Ventura)
Afterthoughts / A5 Pandacan / A1
condoning of political corruption as the perquisite of office of elected as standard political practice in our nation today—as the bishops and other major industries in the city.
officials, then it is one that has to do with a general over-hauling of have been repeating over and over each time election year comes “We trust that you will remain true to your word that will veto
our values as a people. That radical change can take place when whole around. With little success. So it’s a tall order, yes, but necessary ordinance 7177,” the petition read.
communities band together as one, as in the BECs, to combat the evil and obligatory for all of us who profess to be men and women of “Having been senator and secretary of the republic, we believe
in a concerted manner. That banding together in common cause is religion to try one more time. that you will take the health and safety of the people as your number
what we call people power, the moral force that, contrary to current one priority. Please don’t fail us,” it added.
despair, is still very much alive in functioning BECs. Comelec / A1 Other bishops who signed the petition are Manila Auxiliary
Will it work? A desperate measure from all appearances, a last “The poll body has a problem with time management... it reflects Bishops Bernardino Cortez and Broderick Pabillo and Novaliches
ditch effort, as it were, to break our slide as a Catholic people into its lack of an operations manual and unavailable internal IT infra- Bishop-Emeritus Teodoro Bacani.
destructive despair. We have reason to hope it will if BECs follow structure and expertise,” CenPEG said. The Mayor earlier vowed to oppose the proposed ordinance, say-
through as the vehicles of change and self-correction in the way they The group said it would have been better if the Comelec selected ing that health and public safety would be his primary concerns than
have so far been proving themselves to be. to bid for an open election system (OES) since it would better fit the the fate of the city’s major industries. (Roy Lagarde)
One misgiving, however, occurs to me at the change of directions logistical capabilities of the poll body.
of the Alagads of Bukidnon: Will the about-face in their tradition CenPEG added that the OES would better promote the impor- Mindoro / A3
inevitably lead to the formation of Catholic political parties? Or at tant policy of “secret voting and public counting” in the holding of against a highly centralized government and flawed national policy
least of a Catholic vote, the possibility even of block-voting similar national elections. on mining that retards efforts to attain sustainable development,”
to the practice of the Iglesia ni Kristo? Under the OES, only the canvassing and transmission would be Garganera said.
I trust not. For that is not a consummation to be desired or aspired automated while the process of voting and counting would remain In a related development, a public hearing in Victoria, Oriental
for. Politicized religion is not what we should be ending up with in manual. Mindoro was also cancelled on May 15 when a crowd of 3,000 people
our attempts to make our faith effective in the reform of our political The same system is being pushed by some members of the Catholic gathered outside the Municipal hall to protest.
order and culture. If there is going to be an authentic Catholic vote, Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). Opposition to the project of Intex Resources is led by the multi-
it will be along the lines of voters exercising their suffrage franchise CenPEG is a public policy group that was established in early sectoral movement called Alyansa Laban sa Mina (ALAMIN) and
in principled ways: not buying or selling votes, not cheating, not 2004 to advocate the democratic representation of the people in the Apostolic Vicariate of Calapan together with other national and
destroying others by untruths and slanders, not doing what passes governance. (CBCPNews) international anti-mining advocates. (Pinky Barrientos, FSP)
A8 People, Facts & Places CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 11
May 25 - June 7, 2009

CBCP holds recollection

on stewardship
THE Episcopal Commissions of the
Catholic Bishops Conference of the
Philippines (CBCP) have deepened
their knowledge on the Spirituality of
Stewardship during their recollection
held last May 14 at the CBCP-BEC
Training and Development Center in
Tagaytay City. Relations between Bishops and Reli-
The recollection encouraged the gious (ECMR) expounded on the topic
CBCP employees to reflect on their “Living the Spirituality of Stewardship
roles as stewards of the creation of in the Context of the CBCP Episcopal
God, as workers of the Church, and as Commissions.”
persons. “The spirituality of Stewardship”
Resource speakers of the said recol- should permeate every work in the
lection were Executive Secretaries from Church and of the Church, therefore,
two commissions. it should be exercise by every Church
Fr. Conegundo Garganta of the Epis- worker, and particularly today, we,
copal Commission on Youth (ECY) the CBCP personnel and staff,” she
gave an extensive discussion on stew- declared.
ardship. She discussed that as stewards one
“Stewardship is a lifestyle which in- must witness God’s love in the blessings
volves a deeper understanding of our a person has received.
relationship to God, to ourselves, and to Otacan also stressed that a person
others,” he defined stewardship. must live life with respect and gratitude
Garganta also stressed the chal- for the Lord.
lenge to respond to God’s call as Otacan, moreover, defined “Buhay

Photo courtesy of CBCP-ECMR

Christian stewards through the use Katiwala” or stewardship as the way
and development of our time, talent of life of a steward, of the disciple of
and treasure. Christ, of a Christian who dedicated to
“Any talents we possess that will live the principles and the standards
allow us to achieve success are bless- of God.
ings from the Lord. Any treasure we She also shared on the perspective of
may reap as a result of those talents is Manila Auxiliary Broderick Pabillo on
also considered a blessing from God,” stewardship.
he said. CBCP employees shared their insights with one another during a recollection on the spirituality of stewardship held in Tagaytay last May 14.
“The life of a steward is an ongoing
He also provided ways on how to process of integration as we relate our sessed on earth not our private posses- The aforementioned recollection was nated day-long recollection.
share the time, talent and treasure given whole person to the whole action of sion but God’s. facilitated by Dr. Linda Tacorda, Execu- The gathering intended not only to
by God as a thanksgiving to the One God,” she said quoting Pabillo. Otacan explained that as children of tive Secretary of the Episcopal Commis- learn and develop Christian values
who made everything on earth. She also stressed that as stewards of God, each of us is responsible for every sion on the Laity (ECLA). but also to establish camaraderie
Sr. Eleonora Otacan, DSA from the God’s creation, we are called to respect person on earth most especially to those An excursion at the Vitug Resort, in among other CBCP employees. (Kate
Episcopal Commission on Mutual His creation making the things we pos- in need. Nasugbu, Batangas last May 15 culmi- Laceda)

National assembly for indigenous doctors held

De Oro Archbishop Antonio and a tribute presentation for the 93rd birthday of and the victimized.
Ledesma. Fr. James Reuter, Chairman of the FOLPMI Board Meanwhile, Sr. Eva Fidela Maamo, SPC, MD,
Resource Speakers were of Trustees. President of the Our Lady of Peace Mission, con-
doctors who had knowledge The summit was launched through the efforts of veyed her gratitude to all those who are helping
on Western and the so-called the Foundation of Our Lady of Peace Mission Inc. the mission.
“Complementary” medicines. (FOLPMI) and the Misereor Ihr Hilfswerk. “As they launch into their mission to care for
Dr. Jessica Cueto-De Leon The FOLPMI is a non-stock organization com- their sick brothers and sisters in their particular
from the Department of mitted to the improvement of the poor and under- tribes, we also turn the limelight of our appre-
Health (DOH) gave a lecture privileged people in the Philippines. ciation and gratitude to the FOLPMI staff, our
on “Indigenous Healers and Misereor Ihr Hilfswerk is a German Catholic benefactors and friends who have inspired us to
© Kate Laceda / CBCP Media

Community Health Workers Bishops’ organization that advocates fighting carry out God’s mission of healing to the most
as Barefoot Doctors.” poverty globally and promotes unity with the poor deprived,” she said. (Kate Laceda)
De Leon reported that the

Manila priests to teach catechism in public schools

first barefoot doctors was in-
stitutionalized in the republic
of China in 1965 while the
Primary Health Care (PHC) IN the recent meeting of the Manila Archdiocese confessional.” Pope said. “(He is) a true example
Batch 7 of the Barefoot Doctors demonstrated the different healing process through was first initiated on 1981 in Presbyteral Council, the Clergy of Manila were of a pastor at the service of Christ’s flock.”
a skit. The doctor gave an herbal medicine to the patient experiencing chills. asked to teach Catechesis at least once a week in Rosales added that the Year of Priests may help
the Philippines were Barefoot
THE 229 Tribal Barefoot Doctors in the Philippines health Workers (BHWs) were trained. the public schools nearest to their parishes. for a deeper reflection on the role of the priest in
who graduated from the Indigenous Peoples Com- The talk on “Integrative Medicine: Ang Pinag- “It is a most fitting way to begin our celebra- the Church and how priesthood functions within
munity Health Workers (IP CHWs) Development sanib na Medisina at kalusugan” was contributed tion of the Year of Priests and to conclude the the whole community of the People of God.
Program gathered last May 20-21, 2009 at the SMX by Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan, Professor of UP College Year of St. Paul,” Manila Archbishop Gaudencio “We affirm the great contribution of the
Convention Center in Pasay City for the 1st Indig- of Medicine and the Head of the Traditional; and Cardinal Rosales stated in his letter given to the Clergy in the life and mission of the Church,
enous Barefoot Doctors’ National Summit. Integrative Medicine, UP-PGH. Manila clergy. particularly in their threefold exercise of the
The summit allowed the IP CHWs to share Kalookan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez and the June 2009-2010 has been announced by Pope office of Jesus as prophet, priest and shepherd,”
their experiences and best practices with other CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Health Care Benedict XVI as the Year of the Priests. said Rosales.
participants. (ECHC) attended the event. Rosales then quoted a statement from Pope “The 2007 National Catechetical Directory
It also promoted IP awareness and culture and Various non-government organizations advocat- Benedict XVI that presented St. John Vianney of the Philippines stated that catechesis is the
established relationship with institutions to help ing the skills of the indigenous people on healing as a model of priests today. most basic area of renewal in the Philippines
the IPs with their needs and concerns. also graced the summit. “He was present to his people; he visited and should receive first priority,” Rosales high-
A Eucharistic Celebration opened the na- The event culminated with an open forum and them, taught them and reconciled them in the lighted. (CBCPNews)
tional gathering which was presided by Cagayan small group discussion on IPs’ needs and concerns

Lobby for passage

of anti-child porn
bill slated
CBCP holds farmers’ conference
FARMERS and program officers from all over the country finished their three-day training on May
20 at the CBCP-NASSA National Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Farm and Training Center
at Misereor Village, Barangay Balaring, General Natividad, Nueva Ecija.
Sr. Rosanne Mallillin, SPC, NASSA executive secretary, said the 65 participants were deeply involved
CELEBRATED. Sr. Regina “Inday” Bernad, SSC, 50 years anniversary
AKAP Bata–Anti-Child Pornog- in sustainable agriculture practices across the country. of religious profession, among the Sisters of St. Columban. Archbishop
raphy Alliance, composed of “There were eight Social Action Center directors who joined the training,” Sr. Rosanne said in an Jesus Dosado led the concelebrated thanksgiving Mass held at San
interview with CBCPNews. Lorenzo Ruiz Church, in Ozamiz City last May 2, 2009. Bernad finished
different socio-civic and religious her elementary education at Misamis Central School in 1932 graduat-
groups will pursue its gains on Among the resource persons were Department of Agriculture’s Social and Water Management ing second in her class then went on to study at St. Paul’s College in
education and social mobilization Director Silvino Tejada, R. U. Foundry President Ramon Uy, Philippine Rural Reconstruction Move- Dumaguete and graduated salutatorian. She took her BSE at Sto. Tomas
advocacy against child pornogra- ment President Isagani Serrano, SVD Missionary Pio Eugenio and Mapecon Green Charcoal Chief University in Manila and graduated cum laude in 1940. Bernad taught at
phy and the commercial sexual Operations Officer Bianca Atienza. Misamis Occidental High School in Oroquieta City. Shortly after the war,
There were lectures on sustainable agriculture and climate change, technical updates on organic she went to teach in Immaculate Conception College, Ozamiz City which
exploitation of children. is now is La Salle University. Following the steps of her younger sister
Ariane Brosas, Akap Bata exec- farming, and Korean technology on hog-raising as well as field demonstrations. Teresita who entered the Columban Sisters congregation, she also entered
utive director said the Anti-Child Highlight of the training program was their visit to Philippine Rice Research Institute at Muñoz, and took her novitiate in Massachussettes, USA. She later went on for
Pornography Bill in the Senate has Nueva Ecija. (Melo M. Acuna) further studies in America and Rome. In 1975, she was appointed novice
been approved almost two years mistress of the congregation’s first Philippine novitiate. In 1980, she was
tasked to take charge of the formation of lay leaders and Basic Ecclesial
ago while the congress version Communities of the Diocese of Alaminos.
is presently with the Committee
on Appropriations and up for CELEBRATED. Sr. Ma. Elneliza Decaymat, first
second reading before its recess profession of vows; Sr. Marissa Remojo and Sr.
next month. Ma. Helen Zurbano, final profession of vows
among the Missionary Catechists of St. Therese
“To dramatize and under- last May 10, 2009 at the Alfredo Ma. Obviar Hall,
score the urgency,” Brosas said MCST Compound, Tayabas, Quezon. Decaymat
UNICEF has organized a 10-day hails from Cabanatuan City, while Remojo is
Rally from May 27 to June 3. A a native of Sariaya, Quezon and Zurbano of
launching dubbed as “Santacru- Lopez, Quezon.
zan for the Immediate Passage of PROFESSED. Jaime C. Mallo,
the Anti-Child Pornography at Jr., Alvin Vicente C. Barretto
the Lower House” is scheduled and Monimar F. Panizales
from Sandiganbayan complex to made their first profession of
the House of Representatives fol- religious vows as Oblates of
Mary Immaculate on May 9,
lowed by a program and a press 2009 at the De Mazenod Au-
conference. ditorium, Our Lady of Lourdes
Other activities include a Fun- Grotto, Tamontak, Datu Odin
Run organized by Microsoft and Sinsuat, Maguindanao within
a Photo Exhibit launching on the Eucharistic celebration presided by Fr. Ramon Ma. G. Bernabe, OMI.
Mallo took his Philosophy at Christ the King Seminary in Quezon City
June 2, Children’s Serenade and before proceeding to the Novitiate. Barretto had a degree on Business
Children’s Face and Body Paint- Administration at Notre Dame University before entering the religious life
© Photo courtesy of CBCP-ECMR

ing with the Artists at the House while Panizales obtained his Accountancy degree from the University of
of Representatives. San Agustin in Iloilo City also prior to his joining the OMI. Mallo will take
Among the expected guest up his Theology at the Loyola School of Theology at the Ateneo de Manila
while Barretto and Panizales will go at Christ the King Seminary, Quezon
speakers during the Photo Exhibit City to study Philosophy.
launching are Representatives
Del De Guzman and Darlene DIED. Fr. Pedro “Pete” Pacuribot, MSP, aged 77, April 27, 2009. Born on
Antonino Custodio, Kalookan June 2, 1931, Fr. Pacuribot was one of the pioneers of the Mission Society
of the Philippines (MSP). He joined the institute during its establishment in
Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez and 1965. Pacuribot spent his last years in retirement in Tayud, Cebu.
Ambassador Henrietta T. De
The staff of various Episcopal Commissions of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) took time
Villa, Chair of CBCP Ad-Hoc off on May 14 for a one-day recollection on the topic “Spirituality of Stewardship” at the CBCP-BEC Training Center, DIED. Sr. Ma Luz del Mundo, RVM, aged 94, May 4, 2009; and Sr. Ma.
Committee Against Child Por- Tagaytay City. Carmelita Abiera, RVM, aged 82, May 7, 2009.
nography. (Melo M. Acuna)
CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 11
May 25 - June 7, 2009 Pastoral Concerns B1

© CBCP Media
Agrarian Reform Holding up
A measure for social justice and CARPER
social transformation By Gemma Rita R. Marin

By Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ birds of the air and over every living thing that universal destination of material goods, and It is disturbing to know that while billions of pesos have been
moves upon the earth” (Genesis 1:28). hence a means and not an endv.” allotted for the implementation of the comprehensive agrarian
The terms, “subdue” and “have dominion,” In the Philippine context, the reform program (CARP) all these years, vast tracts of land that
AT the Second National Rural Congress in biblical language refer to the rule of a Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program are subject to CARP mostly privately-owned remain undistributed.
convened by the Catholic Bishops’ wise king who looks after the welfare of has included within its scope various types The exclusion of compulsory acquisition as a mode for distribution
under Joint Resolution no.19 issued by Congress last December
Conference of the Philippines in 2007-08, his subjects. These words can also refer to of peasant groups—e.g., share tenants
does not speak well of the government’s sincerity in meaningfully
the small farmer sector voiced out their key the administration of a wise steward who demanding their rightful percentage share implementing CARP. Those lands which have been awarded years
issues and concerns. These were expressed has to give an accounting to his master, the of the harvest; leaseholders subject to a back are either bereft of the necessary support services to sustain
through a year-long series of consultations only absolute lord of the universe. The first fixed rental; agricultural workers, regular or the productivity of the land or disputed to this day by the previous
at the diocesan, subregional, regional and parents are also placed in a garden to become seasonal, on feudal-type haciendas or capital- landowners. We have been witness to endless rallies and mobiliza-
national levels. Among these concerns were stewards of a habitat meant for all. This vision intensive plantations; and at the lowest rung tion activities, hunger strikes and long arduous walks by awarded
the following1: of God’s providence and man’s stewardship of the socio-economic ladder, landless rural farmer-owners, if only to reclaim the lands that have already been
role in caring for creation is a powerful workers without regular employment nor properly transferred to their name.
* Rural poverty and landlessness are critique of the wanton destruction of the security of tenure. In a forum held for the DAR Budget Monitoring Project
(DARBM) last March, the Philippine Partnership for the Development
widespread. environment that we are witnessing today While these various peasant groups are
of Human Resources in the Rural Areas or PhilDHRRA shared its
* Small farmers and indigenous people and the unregulated appropriation of land deprived of the ownership of the lands they preliminary findings on the utilization of the DAR budget in imple-
communities are displaced from their lands resources as absolute private property. till, another phenomenon persists—i.e., the menting CARP for the year 2007. The project’s goal is to make the
because of land conversion, agribusiness The vision of God’s lordship is carried further misappropriation of land by large landholders, budget of the Department of Agrarian Reform more transparent
expansion as well as logging and mining onto the social and economic plane by the ancient including multinational corporations, which and open for monitoring by civil society organizations and people’s
operations. Hebrew institution of the Jubilee year – i.e., the marginalizes small farmers as well as organizations whose members are the primary beneficiaries of the
* Human rights abuses are rampant because year following the sabbath of Sabbath years, or indigenous people communities. agrarian reform program. Similar monitoring efforts on budgets of
of militarization and the presence of armed the 50th year. In observing the Jubilee year as The resulting “perverse inequalities in the other government agencies have been conducted by assigned
groups in the countryside. a holy year affirming God’s lordship over the distribution of common goods and in each institutions under a ten-month National Budget Monitoring Project
* Many farmer leaders have been killed in whole of creation, the Hebrews acknowledged person’s opportunities for developmentvi” go funded by USAID. CODE-NGO, for instance, was tasked to monitor
the budget of the Department of Agriculture; Partnership of Philippine
the process of their agrarian reform struggles three kinds of liberation. Fields and houses counter to another key principle of Catholic
Support Services Agencies, Inc. or PhilSSA looked at the budget
and justice is still to be served to their families reverted back to their original owners; debts social teaching: solidarity. As a social principle of the housing agencies; and the Ateneo School of Government
and communities. were cancelled; and the land itself was allowed and a moral virtue, “there exists an intimate examined the budget of the Commission on Elections.
* Local farmers’ products are being edged to lie fallow. Thus, no one could own the land bond between solidarity and the common There are three sources of the DAR budget: the General Fund
out from the market by imports from other in perpetuity; debt peonage was curtailed; and good, between solidarity and the universal (Fund 101), Foreign-Assisted Project Funds (Fund 102) and the
countries. only God was acknowledged as the master of destination of goods, between solidarity and Agrarian Reform Fund (Fund 158). Of the line agencies receiving
* There is a lack of rural infrastructure and all creation and agricultural produce: “for the equality among men and peoples, between funds for CARP implementation, which include the Department of
government support for farm production land is mine; for you are strangers and sojourners solidarity and peace in the worldvii.” Sadly, Environment and Natural Resources, Land Bank of the Philippines
and marketing. with me” (Leviticus 25:23). the persistence of rural poverty and agrarian and DA-National Irrigation Authority, DAR (understandably) obtained
unrest in the Philippine countryside attests to the lion’s share of the CARP budget in 2007 at PhP9.77 billion or
* There is corruption at various levels
65 per cent of total budget. Its many activities span from land dis-
of government agencies tasked with the Social Teachings of the Church the “shameful lack of human solidarity, striking tribution to provision of support services while the other agencies
implementation of the agrarian reform Following the lines of the Biblical message, the weakest and future generationsviii.” help out in capacity building and a few infrastructure projects. As
program. the Church’s social teachings have enunciated If implemented with political will and with the disbursing agency for paying landowners, LBP was second at
* There are also positive experiences as a key principle the universal destination of the appropriate support services, agrarian PhP4.26 billion or 28 per cent.
in agrarian reform and agricultural goods: “God destined the earth and all it contains reform can indeed help restore and build In its review of the CARP allotment from 2000 to 2007,
development, with several success stories for all men and all peoples so that all created this solidarity among stakeholders, as it has PhilDHRRA found out that the allotment shot up by 139% from
being documented. things would be shared fairly by all mankind been done in neighboring Asian countries. PhP7.4 billion in 2003 to PhP17.7 billion in 2004, and another sig-
under the guidance of justice tempered by Agrarian reform is a measure for social nificant increase of 54% to PhP16.4 billion was registered in 2007.
In general, although the rural population has charityii.” The right to the use of earthly goods justice—and social transformation. Obligations were also higher in the same years at PhP13.3 billion
in 2004 and PhP14.1 billion in 2007. The allotment for 2004 and
declined from 75 percent to 52 percent since the is a natural right, inherent in human nature, 2007 (which happened to be election years) particularly exceeded
first National Rural Congress in 1967, poverty and “has priority with regard to any human (Most Rev. Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ, is the obligation. For 2009, DAR continues to enjoy a sizable budget of
continues to be pervasive in the countryside and intervention concerning goodsiii.” Archbishop of Cagayan de Oro. A former Vice- PhP13.1 billion apparently to enable the agency to render more as-
has merely spread to the cities in terms of rural- As a secondary and complementary President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of sistance in support services and to support the department’s overall
urban migration. As an answer to their plight, principle, the Church also recognizes the the Philippines (CBCP), he is currently a member operations. This amount, however, will not fund the acquisition of
many farmer delegates called for the extension natural right to private property. This is based of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace) new lands since DAR is first expected to settle all pending cases
of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform on the special nature of human work and and backlogs in distribution.
Program (CARP) with reforms. On the other provides a protection of human dignity, the It was good that the Senate initiated talks with the Lower
hand, another group called for the termination exercise of personal and family autonomy, House about resolving the issue on compulsory acquisition under
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, Joint Resolution no.19 pertaining to extending CARP with reforms
of CARP and the passage instead of a Genuine and a safeguard for civil liberty. Dialogue with the Rural Poor, Manila, CBCP, 2009, or CARPER. But the results of the said meeting of the Senate
Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB). Both groups On the other hand, Christian tradition pp. 39-43. and House leaders last March were not all that rosy with the killer
converge on a common aspiration for an effective has never recognized the right to private ii Vatican II Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution amendments continually being put forward by solons like Reps.
and meaningful agrarian reform program based property as absolute and unconditional: “On on the Church in the Modern World, 1965. No. 69. Pablo Garcia and Luis Villafuerte. Exemption from compulsory ac-
on the land-to-the-tiller principle. the contrary, it has always understood the quisition of sugar and coconut plantation lands, for instance, is still
iii Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Compen-
How then does the Church view the plight of right within the broader context of the right dium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, Vatican City, being pushed. Allowing CARP lands as collateral for loans is also
the rural poor? What is the message of the Bible common to all to use the goods of the whole Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2004. No. 172. supported. This provision can easily revert ownership of the land to
and the Church’s social teachings on ownership of creation: the right to private property is the landlord once the farmer is unable to settle his obligations.
iv Pope John Paul II, Laborem Exercens, 1991. No.
of land and agricultural development? subordinated to the right of common use, to the 14.
If it were not for the conscientious stance and persistence
fact that goods are meant for everyoneiv.” of legislators like Reps. Riza Hontiveros-Baraquel and Edcel Lag-
v Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Towards a man, the CARPER bill is unlikely to see the light of day. The many
Message of the Bible In this light, agrarian reform is a measure Better Distribution of Land: The Challenge of Agrar- farmers and their families, advocates and supporters, including the
The first book of the Bible gives an account of that calls not for the abolition, but for the ian Reform, Vatican City, Libreria Editrice Vaticana,
non-government and private sectors which are increasingly becom-
God’s creation of the world and its culmination wider distribution of private property. The 1997. No. 30.
ing aware and interested in extending help to the marginalized,
in the creation of the first man and woman. Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace notes: vi Ibid, No. 27. will remember these different personalities in Congress and their
Solemn words accompany the task given to “Whatever concrete forms private property vii PCJP, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the respective positions on such pressing issues as agrarian reform
them by Yahweh: “Be fruitful and multiply, may take as a result of varying institutional Church, op. cit. Nos. 193-194. come Election Day.
and fill the earth and subdue it; and have and juridical approaches, it is basically an viii PCJP, Towards a Better Distribution of Land, op.
dominion over the fish of the sea and over the instrument to implement the principle of the cit. No. 33.
B2 Updates CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 11
May 25 - June 7, 2009

A Survey of Current Institutions and Jurisdictional Structures for
the Pastoral Care of Filipino Migrant Workers1 Gregorian
Shepherding an Masses
Itinerant Flock (Part II)
(Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina
Apostolorum university, answers the following query:)

Q: I understand a Gregorian Mass to consist of 30 Masses

said with unbroken succession. Recently an elderly priest told
me that if it is interrupted even for one day, one has to begin
the Masses all over. I have also met an elderly religious who
By Fr. Jaime B. Achacoso, them to carry out an effective 3. The Juridic Obligatority of what is ordinary, so as to provide was catechizing the lay faithful in the same line. Here then
J.C.D. apostolate in their peculiar the Pastoral Care for Migrants. them the means of salvation that are my questions: 1) Has this Gregorian Mass (or Masses) any
environment. The Second Vatican Council befits them. liturgical or canonical foundation? 2) Does the effectiveness of
2. The Principle of Territoriality exhorted the bishops to have “a In brief, the OFWs enjoy the the Masses depend on celebrating them without interruption?
IN the first part of this article, we vs. the Catholicity of the Particular special concern for those faithful, same right as the other faithful to 3) If this is so (as it is widely held), are we not coming close to
defined the problem we wish to Church and the Universality of the who—due to their condition of the salvific means of the Church— superstition or what St. John of the Cross referred to as lack of
address—i.e., the pastoral care of Priesthood. As previously stated, life—cannot adequately enjoy i.e., the Word of God and the simplicity of faith? According to him, “These people attribute
the 5 million OFWs—and made the principle of territoriality the ordinary pastoral care of the Sacraments. What is peculiar so much efficacy to methods of carrying out their devotions and
a brief historical background had always been a lynchpin in pastors or may be totally deprived is the way that these would be prayers and so trust in them that they believe that if one point
of the ecclesial response to the the ecclesiastical organization, of it, like many emigrants, exiles delivered to them. Hence, the is missing or certain limits have been exceeded their prayer will
phenomenon of migrants in even if Vatican II had introduced and refugees, seafarers and special pastoral care due to the be profitless and go unanswered. As a result they put more trust
general. Now we shall focus personal criteria as a way of flyers, nomads, etc. Let them OFWs does not constitute a in these methods than they do in the living prayer, not without
on the adequate pastoral care determining ecclesiastical foster fitting pastoral methods work of mercy corresponding great disrespect and offense toward God.”—P.C., Rome
of migrants. In the third and circumscriptions, which had in order to help the spiritual to a situation of need, but rather
final part of this article, we shall later found their way into the life of those who temporarily constitutes a specific modality A: The practice of Gregorian Masses goes back to a tradition
focus on the possible structures new Code of Canon Law. transfer to other places during of the fundamental right of the hailing from Pope St. Gregory the Great (540-604). According
for the adequate pastoral care As some canonists have pointed vacations5.” baptized to receive the means to legend, a deceased monk appeared and requested 30 Masses
of OFWs. out, the conceptual category of It is important to dwell a bit of salvation from the sacred to be celebrated for the release of his soul from purgatory.
territory cannot be understood in more on this passage of Vatican Pastors. On completion of the stipulated days he appeared once more
II. Principles that should inform an exclusive, hermetically-sealed II, which constitutes the very 4. The Nature of Ecclesiastical radiant in heavenly glory.
the Pastoral Care of Migrants way. In fact, the Code does not foundation and key towards Pastoral Care. Before going into From this legend the practice of celebrating 30 consecutive
use this criterion in such a strict a correct understanding of the the very core of this discussion, Masses for one and the same person with the intention of
A. Ecclesiological Principles. manner. The reason for this is pastoral organization for the we need to make one more procuring release from purgatory became an established
In order to arrive at an adequate not only due to the practicality OFWs. In effect, the literal tenor precision which might appear custom which has been regulated in various ways over the
proposal for the pastoral care of of admitting non-territorial— of the above-quoted text might superfluous but nevertheless centuries.
the OFWs, it is important to i.e., personal—criteria for suggest that the so-called “special should not be taken for granted: Present regulation stems from a declaration published by the
begin with some ecclesiological determining ecclesiastical concern” for migrants is due the nature of what we have been Sacred Congregation of Divine Worship on Feb. 24, 1967, which
principles. circumscriptions, but also to to an obligation of charity but referring to as pastoral care. We mitigated some of the restrictions mentioned by our reader and
1. Principle of Equality. As the need of understanding the not of justice. One might even cannot forget that the pastoral of which the elderly priest is apparently unaware.
c.208 of the Code succinctly criterion of territoriality from think, based on a superficial function of the Church consists According to the aforementioned declaration, maintaining the
states: In virtue of their rebirth in the point of view of communion. understanding of the principle of essentially in the exercise of the tradition that the Gregorian Mass is a series of 30 consecutive
Christ there exists among all the The territorial delimitation equality, that the migrants—as a tria munera Christi—which in celebrations, it is not required that the same priest celebrate all
Christian faithful a true equality of the power of jurisdiction distinct group—should not have practice is translated principally the Masses nor that they be celebrated on the same altar. Thus,
with regard to dignity and the should admit a wider vision of any claim to a “special” pastoral in the delivery of the means of if a priest who has accepted the obligation of celebrating the
activity whereby all cooperate pastoral responsibility, which care, different from the other salvation, especially the Word series finds himself impeded on any particular day, he may
in the building up of the Body of tends to benefit all the faithful faithful who are their equals. of God and the Sacraments. request another priest to take the intention for him.
Christ in accord with each one’s in need and which fosters Pius XII, in Exsul Familia, In effect, it would be a serious Likewise, it could happen that the priest cannot find a
own condition and function. the collaboration between already laid down the foundation impoverishment of the figure substitute and the series is interrupted because of an unforeseen
Without overly dwelling on the different ecclesiastical for the juridic obligation of of the priest and of the Church impediment (for example, an illness), or for a reasonable cause
this well-known doctrine of circumscriptions. offering a peculiar pastoral itself were their mission to be (the celebration of a funeral or a wedding). In this case the
Vatican II, it is important to Ultimately then, the criteria attention to the emigrants6. Now reduced to assuring the physical Church has disposed that the fruits of suffrage (which, until
point out its incidence on the for delimiting ecclesiastical Erga migrantes makes this more well-being of the faithful. that moment, Church practice and the piety of the faithful have
organization of the pastoral work jurisdiction—whether territorial explicit: This in no way denies either attributed to this series) are maintained. The priest retains the
with migrants in general and or personal—should be “§1. To the right of the faithful the convenience or usefulness of obligation to complete the 30 Masses as soon as possible but
with the OFW in particular. In interpreted in the light of a higher to receive the help that derives some works for the material well- need not begin the series anew.
effect, what this principle affirms theological principle, which is the from the spiritual wealth of the being of OFWs and their families, I do not believe that this pious custom induces superstition
is that in the Church “there are no universality of the episcopate3 Church, especially the Word of carried out by ecclesiastical or reflects a magical concept. It presumes that the soul is in
inequalities by reason of race or and the priesthood4. God and the sacraments (CIC, organizations with the support purgatory and thus recognizes the reality that few people are
nationality2.” More particularly, The application of this doctrine c.213; CCEO, c.16), there is a of the Hierarchy. In some cases, immediately ready for heaven after death. It is also an act of
in relation to the universal call to the specific case of the pastoral corresponding duty on the part these may even be necessary faith and confidence in the infinite intercessory power of the
to holiness, this doctrine would care of migrants is far-reaching. of the pastors to provide such in order to make up for the Mass with respect to souls undergoing purgation. As such, the
require a maximalist approach Among other consequences, help, in particular to migrants, in failure of the civil authorities. request for such a series of Masses is a spiritual act of mercy akin
when determining the measure we can underscore the pastoral view of their particular condition However, there is a danger to obtaining plenary indulgences on behalf of the deceased.
or extent of the pastoral means responsibility of the Church of of life. that the urgency of the material The Just Judge is also infinitely merciful and can be as
that must be offered to the origin. In effect, overemphasizing Ҥ3. Moreover, especially needs of the OFWs might lead generous to those who have toiled but an hour as he is toward
faithful. territoriality would tend to when groups of immigrants are towards a tendency—already those who bore the brunt of labor all day long.
More direct to the point, what concentrate responsibility on numerous, the Churches of their observed, unfortunately—of
this principle implies is that the the host Church—which would origin have the responsibility of substituting on the one hand
OFW should not receive any have to receive, accommodate cooperating with the Churches of the genuine pastoral care with (3) personal jurisdiction, (4) all the efforts to organize the
less pastoral care than either his and attend to the immigrants— arrival to facilitate efficacious and social works of beneficence, and organizational elasticity, and pastoral care of migrants. As
other Catholic countrymen in the without saying much of the suitable pastoral assistance7.” on the other hand confusing the (5) service9. In fact, the different can be expected—as Exsul
Philippines, or the other Catholic responsibility of the Church In effect, all the faithful have priestly mission of the clergy measures provided for in the Familia already pointed out and
faithful in the host Church where of origin. In contrast, if one the right to receive spiritual with what is incumbent upon Instruction Erga migrantes various authors consequently
he finds himself. starts with the principle of the assistance from the sacred the laity as such—e.g., works of respond to these principles. reiterated—the best pastoral
Furthermore, the principle of universality of the priesthood and Pastors to the extent that these charity and mercy towards their Perhaps we can just add a novel specialization consists in
equality also underscores that the catholicity of the Particular can reasonably administer them. fellowmen. contribution of this Instruction to entrusting groups of migrants to
all the faithful are called to take Church, one immediately Hence, those who—through the aforementioned formula: (6) priests of the same nationality10.
an active part in the building realizes that the Church of no fault of theirs, or simply B. Organizational Parameters empowerment of the laity. Applied to the OFWs, this
up of the Church. Applied to origin cannot be indifferent because they exercise the Church- Keeping in mind the 1. Specialization. It is common simply means entrusting them
the Catholic OFWs, this means towards the faithful who recognized human right to aforementioned ecclesiological in the magisterial and legislative to Filipino priests.
that they should not be viewed emigrate, whether temporarily emigrate8—find themselves in principles, we can zero in on documents of the Church and 2. Ministerial Availability. The
as mere passive subjects for the or permanently. Again applying a situation such that, in order the organization of the pastoral among canonist to qualify the aforementioned manifestation of
pastoral activity of the Church, this to our case, the Philippine to receive the same spiritual care of the OFWs. But before pastoral care for migrants as specialization implies another
but rather as active agents of Catholic hierarchy—whether help that the other faithful in that, we can briefly discuss specialized, to contrast it with the desirable characteristic for the
evangelization. This implies that individually or collectively— the territory receive, the Pastors the desired characteristics of ordinary pastoral care provided organization of the pastoral care
they have the right to receive cannot really disregard their would need to act in a special such a pastoral care. We can by the secular jurisdictional of migrants—i.e., availability on
not only the means of salvation primary responsibility to provide way, have a strict right that the follow the formula proposed structures. the part of the sacred ministers
necessary for their own holiness, adequate pastoral care to the OFWs Hierarchy makes the necessary by Sanchís: (1) specialization, The need for specialization for such pastoral assignments.
but also those which capacitate wherever they are deployed. arrangements, different from (2) ministerial availability, is at the very foundation of Shepherding / B4
CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 11
May 25 - June 7, 2009
By Bishop Jose Rojas In any case, PCP II served as an of this, initiatives were also being taken inspiration of Mary, our Ina and model in product of all these efforts and the
inspiration to many dioceses in the to empower the laity in lay movements, faith, we commit ourselves to: wholistic, implementation of these three major
Philippines. On September 6-10, 1992, organizations and in pastoral councils integral and inculturated evangelization; programs, the formation of small
A New Local Church Comes into Bishop Arellano called for a “pastoral (kairos). participative ministry to witnessing small Christian communities in all the parishes
Being consultation” that was convened around The same pattern is noticeable in the faith communities; and the responsible of the Prelature, what was going to
Libmanan could have been just the theme, “A Living Faith for a Renewed area of diaconia. Volunteers to carry on stewardship of creation. be called henceforth as the Saradit na
another ordinary town in the province Church”. This gathering of all priests the social apostolate were scarce and Kristianong Komunidad (SKK).
of Camarines Sur as it has been that way and lay representatives of the Prelature funds were insufficient to sustain other PAPL II: A Defining Moment Clearly, the main contribution of PAPL
for a long, long time. Apart from being held at Betania Retreat House in Iriga Church-related services. This situation On March 15-18, 1994, barely a year and II was not only the fact that it provided
known as the hometown of the second City, evolved into what is now called the was exacerbated by pastoral programs a half after the First Pastoral Assembly, the basis for the formulation of the CPDP
Bicolano Bishop, Santiago Sancho, there “First Pastoral Assembly of the Prelature that were rather limited and lacking in Bishop Arellano convened the Second in general, but more so for establishing
was nothing else of importance within of Libmanan” (PAPL I). integration (crisis). Nonetheless, this Pastoral Assembly of the Prelature of the ground and rationale for adopting as
the purview of ecclesiastical history that The discussions of PAPL I proceeded was offset by the efforts of some sectors Libmanan (PAPL II), determined to a major pastoral strategy the building of
might be said about this otherwise quiet in three stages. First, existing pastoral of society, mainly non-governmental follow up the implementation of the small Christian communities, the SKKs,
town. But in 1989, something happened programs and structures, both in the organizations (NGOs), to provide much- recommendations of the First Pastoral in all parishes of the Prelature. Slowly
that changed its image and its significance Prelature as a whole and in the individual needed social services especially to the Assembly of 1992. and gradually, the SKK shall give “face”
to the Bicol Church. parishes, were examined and evaluated. urban poor and to those in the rural areas The point of departure for the PAPL to the Church in the Prelature. From
On January 12, 1989, Leonardo Legaspi, The evaluation was done according (kairos). II discussions was a review as it were of now on, the SKK shall give flesh to the
the Dominican Archbishop of Caceres to different areas of concern that were Finally, in the area of martyria, it was the situation of the Prelature “then and identity of a “Renewed Church” that
since 1984, sent a petition to the Holy labeled in terms of such operational observed that other religious sects and now” (situationer). This was an essential the Prelature had always been aspiring
Father, Pope John Paul II, asking for concepts as kerygma (the proclamation denominations did not escape being step in moving the discussions to the to become. At last, the “Community of
the creation of a prelature out of his of the gospel), liturgia (the sacraments the object of Catholic bias and prejudice presentation of the general framework Disciples” and the “Church of the Poor”
vast territory that covered the entire and sacramentals), koinonia (the building (crisis). But this did not mean that steps and orientational principles that would which PCP II had so frequently talked
province of Camarines Sur. His territory, of the community of disciples), diakonia were not being taken, as indeed there be followed in the assembly and meant to about, were to find concrete expression
the Archdiocese of Caceres, at the time (internal service), and martyria (external were continuous efforts, to engage in serve as guide in the workshop sessions in the SKK. To such great measure then,
the petition was made, had 1.30 million service). The evaluation of these areas of ecumenical dialogue (kairos). that dwelt on three main agenda, namely, PAPL II had become a defining moment
inhabitants, out of which 1.13 million concern yielded results that were in turn Besides having to deal with this a) Renewed Integral Evangelization in the life of the Prelature of Libmanan
were Catholics. Legaspi argued that such categorized qualitatively into either crisis dialectical tension between crisis and (RIE), b) Renewed Integral Social as a local Church.
a “large area of ecclesiastical territory” (limitations and difficulties) or kairos kairos, one other concern (problem) that Ministry and Ecology (RISME), and
with such a “great number of people to be (strengths, assets and potentials). the local of Church had to confront was c) Renewed Agents of Change (RAC). PAPL III: Renewing the Church in the
served” justified the creation of another Thus, in the area of kerygma, it was the widespread dehumanizing poverty Along these three main agenda and Third Millennium
ecclesiastical territory. The situation observed that many Catholics knew of her people. There was difficulty in based on the situationer and orientational Much has happened then since
was aggravated by the perception PAPL II. Quite fittingly, within the

The journey that was

that, five years into Legaspi’s term, the celebration of the Great Jubilee Year of
demand was growing for more efficient 2000, on the 10th year of the Prelature’s

Prelature of Libmanan
administration. As Legaspi saw it, this existence, and after five years since
was made even much more difficult the implementation of the CPDP, on
to provide due to the lack of roads and September 4-7, 2000, Bishop Arellano
means of communication. He thereby convened another pastoral assembly, the
saw a strong case for the dismemberment PAPL III. The theme of the convocation
of Caceres to give way to the creation of was nothing but truly appropriate:

a new ecclesiastical jurisdiction. “Basic Ecclesial Communities: Life and
After diligent study and upon Hope for a Renewed Church in the
consultation with his suffragan bishops New Millennium”. Prior to the actual
in the Bicol Region, Legaspi designated convocation, consultation was made
the northern part of his territory, that on several points, like the alternative
is, all nine municipalities of the first financial system and the scenario in the
district, including one municipality in parish if it were to be an SKK-oriented
the second district, all of Camarines parish. But given the time-frame within
Sur, as the area most suited to constitute which the CPDP was designed to be
the new ecclesiastical territory. He also implemented, it was most logical that
chose Libmanan, arguably the biggest the assembly’s discussions had for
municipality in the area in terms of land their starting point the evaluation of
size and population, as the seat of the new the CPDP’s implementation, to see if
territory. It was to be called the Prelature progress has been made in realizing
of Libmanan. its goals and pastoral objectives. Once
again, the bishop, priests and parish lay
The Prelature of Libmanan representatives, together as a community
The Holy See, on December 9, 1989, and in the spirit of prayer, gathered to
issued the Bull, Philippinis in insulis, look back at the past five years since
creating the Prelature of Libmanan, 1995 of pastoral initiatives, to see where
making it the sixth suffragan territory they have moved forward and where
of the Metropolitan See of Caceres, and they have not.
the seventh ecclesiastical jurisdiction At the assembly, some participants
in the Bicol Region. The new territory lamented that the 109 decrees of PAPL II
covered all nine municipalities in the were not specific enough to suit the local
first district of Camarines Sur that situation as they simply reflected the
included Del Gallego, Ragay, Lupi, general decrees of PCP II. While progress
Sipocot, Cabusao, Libmanan, Pamplona, has been made to some extent, the main
Pasacao, San Fernando, Minalabac and obstacles were the lack of commitment
one municipality in the second district, on the part of the people involved,
Milaor, just a little Southwest of Naga notably that of the parish priest, and the
City. Geographically, the Prelature lack of congruence between the actual
is bounded in the North by Basud, situation in the parish and that which
Camarines Norte (Diocese of Daet), in was presupposed by the CPDP and the
the East by San Miguel Bay, in the West PAPL II decrees.
by Ragay Gulf and Quezon Province The negative evaluation led the
(Diocese of Gumaca), and in the South by assembly to draft a new set of 48 decrees
Naga City (Archdiocese of Caceres). (articles) that are more realistic, feasible
In another Bull, on the same date, andrelevanttothelocalsituation,which
the Holy See appointed Prospero Nale a Special Commission formed
Arellano of Bombon, Camarines Sur and from among the assembly
erstwhile Parish Priest of St. Raphael the participants, further refined
Archangel Parish (Pili, Camarines Sur), and which the bishop
as the First Bishop-Prelate of Libmanan. Cathedral of St. Joseph the Patriarch finally promulgated on
The Bishop-Elect had been for a number December 3, 2000.
of years, Rector and Professor at both The 48 decrees
the Holy Rosary Minor Seminary and IMPORTANT FACTS called for profound
the Holy Rosary Major Seminary in the conversion on the part
mother Archdiocese of Caceres, and Bishop ………………………………....................……... 1 of all agents of renewal
Parish Priest of Our Lady of Fatima Parish Priests: in the local Church.
in San Isidro, Iriga City, before he moved Diocesan …………………………...................………. 47
But one other thing
to St. Raphael Parish in Pili. Religious ……………………....................……………. 4
Sisters …………………………...................………….. 12 that these decrees had
The Prelature was canonically erected Seminarians: tried to emphasize was
in solemn rites on March 19, 1990, taking Theology ……………………………...................……. 13 that the task of building
St. Joseph as its Principal Patron. At Philosophy ……………………......................……...... 19 communities was the
the same time, Arellano was ordained Pre-College ……………………......................………. 6 work of all agents of
bishop by then Apostolic Nuncio Bruno Diocesan Division: renewal. From the
Torpigliani and installed as the First District ………………………...................…….……… 3 bishop, to the priests
Bishop-Prelate of the new local Church Parishes ………………………..................……...…... 27 and lay leaders—all
and See of Libmanan. Population …………………...................……..… 579,491 are called in concerted
Catholics ……………...................………..…….. 479,322
Area ……………………..................….... 1,862.28 sq.kms.
effort to build small
The First Pastoral Assembly of Libmanan Bishop Jose Rojas, DD Christian communities (SKK)
(PAPL I) to give face to the renewed Church
Almost one year after its canonical that the local of Church of Libmanan
erection, the Prelature found a new source very little about their faith and therefore implementing some, if not most of the principles, the assembly participants was being called to become in the new
of impetus for a new beginning, the also lacked proper understanding existing pastoral programs because they produced 109 recommendations that millennium.
Second Plenary Council of the Philippines thereof, mainly because of the scarcity of frequently had no bearing on this real were subsequently promulgated into PAPL III sparked renewed hope that
(PCP II), held in Manila from January 20 evangelizers as the work of evangelization situation of poverty and accordingly did decrees by the bishop at the conclusion things would move forward towards
to February 17, 1991, and convened by the was too priest-dependent (crisis). Yet the not correspond to the needs of the people. of the assembly on March 18, 1994. the realization of this vision of the
Archbishop of Caceres and then CBCP situation was not completely without Irrelevant, therefore, as these programs Again, though short of being a local Church of Libmanan of becoming
President, Leonardo Legaspi. hope since efforts were also being had become, there obviously was need diocesan synod, PAPL II proved to be precisely a renewed Church. Several
The holding of the Plenary Council expended to train catechists and lay to redirect their goals and orientation another significant breakthrough in training seminars were organized
gave the Prelature the occasion to conduct leaders on an ongoing basis (kairos). in a way that would make them more the history of the Prelature. Its decrees within the span of three years. Those
its own consultations and conferences Sadly, the kerygmatic crisis as it were responsive to the burdens that people paved the way for the formulation of who took part in them, members of the
in the parishes aimed at obtaining an also had unfortunate consequences had to carry because of their situation. the five-year Comprehensive Pastoral Barangay Pastoral Councils and pastoral
adequate picture of the situation of in the area of liturgia, in that people’s All these insights provided the Development Program (CPDP) in June workers, were chosen to constitute the
the local Church, something that the participation in the liturgy was generally backdrop from where the discussions of 1994. Once again, the CPDP reflected Parish Formators’ Team (PFT). The task
Prelature’s delegates needed to know lukewarm, again because of the lack of further moved into the second stage, the eleven themes covered by the three of the PFT was indispensable in SKK-
before proceeding to the Council. pre-sacramental catechesis, subsequently that is, the formulation of the Prelature’s general headings (which may now be building as it was charged in turn with
Already at this point, both the clergy preventing the faithful from internalizing vision and mission. For the first time in conveniently called major thematic the responsibility of conducting and
and the lay faithful realized that a different the meaning and value of the sacraments, its existence, the Prelature was able to programs of the CPDP) under which the facilitating a series of formation seminars
situation was evolving in the Prelature, and leaving unchecked their beliefs define its own identity around a vision various decrees of PAPL II were listed for SKK cluster leaders.
with its own peculiar needs and problems that bordered on superstition (crisis). of its being a local Church and sought to down, namely, the Renewed Integral The implementation of the PAPL
that were quite distinct from those of the On the other hand, the intensification fulfill this vision in its mission statement Evangelization (RIE), the Renewed III decrees and the renewed vigor in
metropolitan Church. This realization, of formation for the various liturgical as follows: Integral Social Ministry and Ecology building SKKs brought to the fore two
coupled with the fresh insights that the ministries was also undeniable, and We, the local Church of the Prelature (RISME), and the Renewed Agents of important realizations that changed the
Council would later on provide, would masses were becoming more available of Libmanan, though young yet rich Change (RAC). face of the local Church of Libmanan.
help determine the future agenda in the to the faithful as these were now being in heritage, beset with diversified As can be gleaned from these decrees, First, SKK was to be “a new way of being
life and mission of the Prelature. Of celebrated even in the villages (kairos). conflicts, extreme poverty, countless it was the consensus of the assembly Church” as well as a way of renewing
particular importance, for instance, was Moving on further to the area of injustices and crisis in faith, aware of participants that the Prelature must the local Church of Libmanan. Second,
how the council participants defined koinonia, the social and political condition our role as Sacrament of Salvation, always project the image of a Renewed SKK was to be the raison d’être of the
what to them should be the image of prevailing in the Prelature, as it did in envision a renewed Church characterized Church in its mission, and that all efforts Prelature of Libmanan precisely because
the Church in the Philippines, that is, the whole country, was one that bred by an evangelized and evangelizing in this Renewed Church to provide service SKK-building was what was envisioned
as a “Community of Disciples” and a not fellowship and communion but Community of Disciples, after the to the people, especially the poor, should in its vision-mission statement.
“Church of the Poor”, where leadership is rather division and conflict among the image of the Holy Trinity, journeying be undertaken within the ambit of these The whole process of SKK-building
exercised in the context of servanthood— people, the ordinary citizens having to with Christ in the Poor, for the total three major thematic programs. Most had to follow a certain strategy and
thus, defining the identity of the priest live under constant threat to their peace, transformation of creation. significantly, the assembly participants framework, one that begins with
as “servant-leader” as well. security and well-being (crisis). In spite To realize this vision, with the expressed the desire of having as end Libmanan / B6
CBCP Monitor
B4 Vol. 13 No. 11
May 25 - June 7, 2009

Why the bleak prospects for extending the

Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program
By Belinda Formanes food importation (including smuggling)
instead of food sufficiency as the means
to meet the people’s food requirements.
UNLESS a miracle happens, Congress There is also the absence of good
will be writing finis to an unfinished governance as illustrated by the multi-
reform program in less than ten working million fertilizer scandal under DA
session days this June. The unfinished Undersecretary Joc-Joc Bolante. And
program is the Comprehensive Agrarian lastly, there is policy incoherence
Reform Program (CARP), which still has as reflected in the Administration’s
1.3 million hectares of land, mostly big public declaration of support for
estates, to be covered and distributed. small farmer development even as
Also, CARP still has to fulfill the the government’s own Medium-Term
triple mandates laid down by the l987 Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP
Constitution—as a weapon of social 2004-2010) is targeting not less than
justice (partly met), as an instrument two million hectares for agribusiness
for balanced rural development (barely development by big corporate players
met) and as a platform for rural-based like Danding Cojuangco.
industrialization (hardly met). The bias of the Administration for
Why then the bleak prospect for big agribusiness is also reflected in the
the passage of the “CARP extension cha-cha proposal of Speaker Prospero
with reforms” bill (house bill 4077) Nograles and the NEDA’s MTPDP.
which unanimously already passed the The justification being used for cha-
committee level? cha is primarily for the “Pandora’s
Despite its strong endorsement by box” of the presidential term extension
the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the maneuver and for more economic
Philippines (CBCP), many in the House liberalization, this time, the opening
of Representatives have openly been up of land ownership to foreigners and

Photo courtesy of Balaod Mindanaw

seeking the termination of CARP, with the easing of the equity requirements
no less than the Congressman son of before foreigners can manage businesses
the First Couple and the Congressman related to mining, gas exploration, mass
Brother of the First Gentleman taking media, advertising, education and
the lead. Further, the Speaker of the public utilities, including transport.
House and the well-known leaders Such a cha-cha initiative is like a
of the President’s political party, proposal for the re-colonization of the
KAMMPI, have also introduced “killer Philippines—except that the initiative is
amendments” whose objective effect coming from government officials bereft
would not only reduce the scope of of any sense of economic nationalism
CARP but would dangerously open few to displace the banana, sugar and Natural Resources (DENR) and the a major agriculture-importing country, and who have no faith on the capacity
the possibility of reform reversal in other farmer-worker cooperatives from Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) with an annual net agricultural trade of the Filipino to excel.
areas where land had already been the lands already covered by their have been quick to make a commitment deficit of over $1 billion. This is due to Verily, the counsel of Archbishop
transferred to rightful farm beneficiaries. respective collective land ownership to identify one million hectares of falling investments associated with the Angel Lagdameo for bold communal
For example, one killer amendment is awards or CLOAs. public and private land, which Eduardo uncertainties generated by an unfinished action to push for reforms is wise and
the exemption of “plantations which As it is, the countryside is once again Cojuangco and the Kuok family of CARP and the failure of DAR to upgrade timely. Only the collective unity of
are under labor administration and restive, with the awakened peasantry, Singapore-Malaysia can develop as the capacity of unlettered farmer an awakened citizenry can eliminate
cultivated and developed for exports”. from Cagayan Valley in the north agribusiness farms—when CARP itself beneficiaries to become modern farmers, corruption and abuse in governance,
If approved, this amendment will to the Davao provinces in the south, has not been completed and there is a on one hand, and to nudge former goad Congress to take CARP seriously,
virtually bring the scope of CARP to the anxious over the delays in CARP growing colony of landless rural poor landowners to invest on agricultural pass HB 4077, stop the anti-people cha-
original land reform target set in l972 by implementation and the Congressional nationwide! processing and non-farm activities, on cha locomotive on its tracks, and engage
President Ferdinand Marcos, as if the dilly-dallying on the needed support The bigger picture, of course, is the other. This is also due to the overall Malacañang to serve the Filipino people,
country did not undergo EDSA I and for CARP’s completion. Many farmers’ that the entire agricultural sector is in neglect of the sector under the World not a favored few.
II. This amendment is also likely to fuel organizations cannot also understand shambles. The rice crisis which made Bank’s “agricultural deregulation”
more conflicts in the countryside as there why the Department of Agriculture the headlines in March-June of this policy and the WTO’s “agricultural (Belinda Formanes is the Executive
will be organized efforts by a powerful (DA), Department of Environment and year shows that the Philippines is now trade liberalization”, which promoted Director of PARDDS)

Blessed Elena Guerra: Apostle of the Holy Spirit Elena Guerra was born on June 23, 1835, to strive, by some means or other, to
in Lucca where she grew up in a family that spread the devotion to the Holy

Nuns mark jubilee of was profoundly religious.

During a long illness, she gave herself
to meditating the Word of God and to
Spirit in the Church. For this
reason, she secretly wrote a
number of times to Pope

foundress’ beatification studying the Fathers of the Church, which

led her on the path of the interior life and
of the apostolate: first, in the “Association
Leo XIII exhorting him to
invite “modern Christians”
to discover the “life
THE Sisters Oblates of the Holy Spirit in the Philippines of Spiritual Friends”, which she founded according to the Spirit.”
marked the 50th anniversary of Blessed Elena’s beatification and organized to promote friendship in a The Pope, amiably
on April 26 through a solemn Eucharistic celebration presided Christian sense among the young; and, later, urged by the mystic
by Fr. Rene Manubag, Provincial Superior of the Claretians. in the “Daughters of Mary.” of Lucca, addressed
A life size statue of the foundress was unveiled at the main In April of 1870 Elena with her father to the Church
lobby of Blessed Elena Academy in Pasay City for the occasion. Antonio came to Rome on an Easter some documents
The event, which kicked off the year-long celebration was pilgrimage. She visited, among other places, which can also be
attended by friends, benefactors and lay collaborators of the the tombs of the Martyrs in the Catacombs, considered as the
institute. The Sisters have lined up the following activities which made her determine to embrace the initiation of a “return
for the year in honor of their foundress: consecrated life. She assisted at St. Peter’s to the Holy Spirit” of
* Vocation Camp held last May 1-3 at the Sisters Oblates on April 24, at the third public session of these times. These
of the Holy Spirit Novitiate House in Tagaytay City with the 1st Vatican Council, during which the documents are:
the theme: “Pagsunod sa mga yapak ni Blessed Elena tungo Constitution Dei Filius on the Faith was the Brief Provida
kay Kristo” promulgated. The sight of the Holy Father, Matris Charitate in
* Blessing of the 3 ft. tall statues of Blessed Elena on May 23, Pope Pius X, moved her so much that after 1895; the Encyclical
liturgical feast of Blessed Elena. The statues were distributed some weeks, on her return to Lucca, she Divinum illud
to the 13 houses of the OSS in the Philippines. A Mass was consecrated herself to God (June 23) as a munus in 1897; the
also celebrated at the Cenacle House at Apo Street, Quezon sacrificial victim for the Pope. Letter to the Bishops
City. In 1871, after a long dark night followed Ad fovendum in
* Pentecost Novena Mass at the National Shrine of Our by mystic graces, Elena with a group of christiano populo
Lady of Lourdes Parish Church from May 22-30 at 5:15 p.m. “Spiritual Friends” and “Daughters of Mary” in 1902.
and Pentecost Novena Prayer at Sta. Teresita Parish Church began a new experience of religious life in a On October 18,
at 6:30 a.m. community that led in 1882 to the foundation 1897, Leo XIII, in
* Holy Spirit Congress, which will be held on places of of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Zita, a special audience
apostolate of the OSS. for the cultural and religious education of the granted to her,
* Talk about Blessed Elena as a “Great Educator”, November youth. It was in this period that St. Gemma encouraged her to
5, 2009 at Blessed Elena Academy Auditorium. Galgani became her “beloved pupil.” proceed with her
Towards the year 1886 Elena became apostolate for the
aware for the first time of an interior call Blessed / B7

Shepherding / B2
Definitely this does not imply a juridic needs of the migrants is the principle principle, which gives the ministerial the example of Christian life.” Then Philippine Church, in Vigan City, 20-23 April
duty of the sacred minister (in the of personality (vs. territoriality) in the priesthood its name: service. In effect, Ҥ2. The lay faithful who are culturally
sense that the priest can be obliged to determination of jurisdiction. Aside from the clear consciousness of this principle better prepared and spiritually more 2
Vatican Council II, Dogmatic Const. Lumen
gentium, n.32.
emigrate), but it rather implies a certain the aforementioned need to properly by the Pastors—following the Good available should furthermore be urged
attitude on the part of the ecclesiastical understand the territorial criterion, Shepherd, who had declared non veni and trained to take on a specific service 3
Cf. Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, n. 23.
authorities in the Church of origin (since we have to take into account as well ministrari sed ministrare—is what as pastoral workers in close collaboration 4
Cf. Vatican Council II, Decr. Presbyterorum
they share in the responsibility to care that it might be sometimes necessary should enable them to effectively put with the chaplains/missionaries 13.” ordinis, n. 10.
for the emigrants) which fosters this to delineate pastoral jurisdiction along into practice the other principles, in order This indeed is a novelty in the whole 5
Vatican Council II, Decr. Christus Dominus,
availability, together with the obligation personal criteria—e.g., of tongue or to fully satisfy the fundamental rights doctrine and canonical regulation of this n.18.
of facilitating matters for those priests nationality. We shall deal with this of the emigrants. It is neither a matter phenomenon, in that for the first time, 6
“Ut alieniginis, sive advenis sive peregrinis,
who are disposed to accompany the more later. of mere moral value, nor much less of there is a call to the real empowerment spiritualem possit praebere adsistentiam neces-
emigrants. 4. Organizational Elasticity. There are pure rhetoric; on the contrary, stemming of the lay migrants—to “be urged and sitatibus haud imparem nec minorem, qua ceteri
Again, applying this to the OFWs, no unique pastoral solutions or absolute from the foundational will of Christ, trained”—to take an active part in the fideles in sua dioecesi perfruuntur” (Pius XII,
Exsul Familia, Title I, III).
this simply means that the different panaceas for the organization of the this principle has important juridic pastoral care of migrants.
dioceses in the Philippines should be pastoral care of emigrants. Everything consequences. In fact, it can be said that The application of this principle to Erga migrantes, Juridical Pastoral Regulations,

generous in allowing those members will depend on the concrete needs and this principle constitutes a hermeneutic the case of the OFWs can lead to quite
of their respective clergy, who may feel actual resources available. In this regard, key for the proper understanding of interesting consequences, especially 8
“Man has the right to leave his country of origin
for different reasons—as well as to return to it—
themselves so inclined, to minister to the principle of organizational elasticity all the other principles present in the when we bear in mind the unique and to seek better conditions of life in another
the pastoral needs of the OFWs in their should be kept in mind. Perhaps it was doctrinal and normative texts regarding situation of the Philippine Church where country” (John Paul II, Enc. Laborem excercens,
respective places of deployment. this that Paul VI alluded to when he the pastoral care of migrants. quite a high percentage of the laity are n.23).
Definitely, the actual canonical norms affirmed that to the present (human) 6. Empowerment of the Laity. Finally, in fact involved in many lay movements 9
Cf. J. Sanchis, La pastorale dovuta ai migranti
regarding the mobility of the clergy, mobility should respond the pastoral as a unique contribution of the recent and covenanted communities (e.g., ed agli itineranti (aspetti giuridici fondamentali),
their freedom to opt for adscription in mobility of the Church12. In any case, Erga migrantes, we can point out the Couples for Christ, Christian Family in Fidelium Iura, 3 (1993), pp.468-480.
a given ecclesiastical circumscription this principle in no way proposes a recognition of the active role that the Movement and El Shaddai to name a 10
Cf. Apost. Const. Exsul Familia, Title II, Chap.
(other than that of their incardination), specific solution; on the contrary what it laity is called to take in the pastoral few). IV, n.33.
and even the possibility of changing their militates against is the exclusion of any care of migrants. Thus, in Art.2 of 11
Cf. CIC, cc.265-272.
incardination all facilitate the practical possibility, adjusting it to the pastoral Chapter 1: The Lay Faithful, it states: NOTES 12
Paul VI, Address to the European Congress on
application of this principle11. necessities. Ҥ1.The faithful who decide to live the Pastoral Care of Emigrants, 17.X.1973, in AAS,
Based on a lecture given at the 17th National
3. Personal Jurisdiction. Closely 5. Principle of Service. Underpinning with another people should strive to Convention of the Canon Law Society of the
65 (1973), p.591.
related to the need of fitting the all the aforementioned principles is (…) contribute to its common good Philippines, on the theme The Filipino Migrant 13
Erga migrantes, Part II: Juridical Pastoral
pastoral structures to the spiritual of course the most basic of pastoral and to spread the faith especially by Worker:A Canonico-Pastoral Challenge to the Regulations.
CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 11
May 25 - June 7, 2009
A Pastoral Statement on the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program

‘Agrarian Reform is an instrument of social

justice and an act of political wisdom’
(Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, 1997)
AGRARIAN Reform is the centerpiece program of the 1987 Constitution. It pronounces in definitive
terms that the law of the land upholds the protection of the rights of the poor in keeping with the
principles of social justice. Despite the trails of failures in its implementation and the rising agrarian-
related violations in the countryside, the farmers and the Church acknowledge that for the most In Our Nation’s
Best Interest
part, agrarian reform has had a positive impact on poverty reduction.

Even before the funding for former landowners and could over agrarian cases from the Paul II’s dramatic address to
the Comprehensive Agrarian defeat the purpose of the Department of Agrarian Reform members of the government A RESURGENT foreign donor working group of international
Reform Program (CARP) program because it will allow Adjudication Board (DARAB) to and landowners in Mexico: “… funding agencies recently touted support for the passage of
expired last December 2008, them to reacquire foreclosed the regular courts. We believe leaders of the people, powerful a reproductive health law in the country. These include the
several well-meaning legislators lands, thus reconsolidate their that the resolution of agrarian classes which sometimes keep US-AID, the European Commission, AustralianAID and even
passed bills that extend and landholdings. cases entails the expertise of unproductive lands that hide Agencia Espańola de Cooperacion Internacional of Spain.
reform the flawed provisions of * Allowing leaseback DAR on agrarian reform. This the bread that so many families Unmindful of the already sharply decreasing rate of
the old agrarian law. The Church arrangements of awarded is sufficient and more equitable lack, human conscience, the population growth in the Philippines after 39 years of unrelenting
commends these initiatives and lands between farmers and to the farmers because they conscience of the peoples, the and well funded population control programmes, still these
we throw our full support to the landowners/corporations. We are allowed to participate and cry of the destitute, and above international birth control groups foist upon our country their
consolidated Senate and House findthisproposaltobeinequitable represent themselves in the all, the voice of God, the voice of agenda for population reduction to a level that courts national
Bills, SB 2666 and HB 4077, now and contradictory to the ultimate process, which are not bound the Church, repeat to you with peril. Billions in funding have been committed and earmarked
up for Senate’s and Congress’ goal of agrarian reform, which is by technical rules of procedure me: It is not just, it is not human, for release in the coming months, whereby funds will continue
deliberation and approval. to grant ownership and control and evidence. We fear that the it is not Christian to continue to be channeled to 540 or more local government units and
Unfortunately, time is running over the land and its resources transfer of jurisdiction will with certain situations that are their decision makers, to identified business groups, NGOs
out as there are only nine session to the tillers. CARP does not only serve to marginalize the clearly unjust. It is necessary and interest groups, including unsuspecting youth leaders and
days left for Congress to enact intend to protect whoever has farmers, who could be subjected to carry out real, effective their membership around the country.
this essential law. the capacity to buy and operate to a more adversarial and costly measures—at the local, national How this can be freely done to a sovereign country like the
Correspondingly, we oppose big plantations, at the expense processes. and international levels… it Philippines by foreign governments, foreign billionaire donors, and
in the strongest terms, the of the small farmers. * Legislating the is clear that those who must alien interests in the face of a constitutional framework that places
threat of “killer amendments” * Institutionalization of disqualification of “habitual collaborate most in this are national interest and self-determination as a primary paradigm in
being inserted by some senators Commercial Farm Plantations squatters” from becoming CARP those who can do the most.” public policy and legislation defies reasonable explanation.
At a UN meeting on population decline, the Philippines was
listed among 74 countries as “intermediate-level fertility.” The
meeting noted that if current trends persisted, those countries
were expected to reach below replacement fertility levels. Such
developments will threaten economic security in such countries
with the first impact being felt in health and welfare systems.
Tremendous funding which should be spent for authentic
maternal, infant and child care, basic hygienic systems and
measures are instead poured into contraceptives and birth
control devices. This is good for economic development?
Why would wealthy donors and a country’s own population
commission be suggesting population control when that
may hurt the country in the long term? Thirty nine years of
population control in the Philippines has not solved poverty.
Whereas the population programme launched in the 70’s was
meant to increase “the share of each Filipino in the fruits of
economic progress”, today, Filipino family size has significantly
and alarmingly decreased—and poverty remains a pandemic.
And there are insidious methods at work of trying to subvert

At a UN meeting on population
decline, the Philippines was
listed among 74 countries as
“intermediate-level fertility.” The
© Denvie Balidoy

meeting noted that if current

trends persisted, those countries
were expected to reach below
replacement fertility levels.
and congressmen that will in CARP. This proposal is beneficiaries and making them Thus, it is with great Tremendous funding which should
effectively emasculate the objectionable as it expressly criminally liable and punishable sorrow and foreboding that
objectives and gains of the CARP seeks the transfer of control of with specific penalties under we, the Catholic Bishops of be spent for authentic maternal,
with Extension and Reform lands from farmer-beneficiaries the law. The Church, together the Philippines, witness some infant and child care, basic
(CARPER) Bill for the poor to the landowner or any other with the farmers’ groups, legislators willfully neglecting hygienic systems and measures are
farmers. These amendments are agribusiness venture “partner”. registers strong opposition to a vital sector that contributes to
called “perfecting” amendments It is contrary to studies which this provision and we are one the country’s economic growth. instead poured into contraceptives
by their proponents, which show that small-scale rice in calling for its deletion from Abandoning the agricultural and birth control devices. This is
in reality would dilute, slow and corn farms by owner- the final version of CARP. sector will not only threaten good for economic development?
down, and reverse the gains cultivators are more productive There is an alarming likelihood farmers but imperil food security
of the program and reduce the than large scale farms. It is that this will be used as an itself. Conversely, distributing our self-determination by using [population control] funds as
resources available for it. also discriminatory against instrument to harass legitimate lands to small farmers will subtle leverage for assistance programmes. The 1974 National
Invoking guidance and rice and corn farmers. More farmer-beneficiaries, who are provide equitable economic Security Study Memorandum (NSSM200) encourages such
inspirations from both the importantly, this amendment typically branded as “squatters” opportunities in the rural subtle coercion which today is still in use.
Philippine Constitution and the is a contravention to the basic by landowners. Legislating this areas and eventually reduce Apart from these unethical, unlawful, and unconscionable
social doctrines of the Church, principle of agrarian reform provision will allow landowners poverty and unrests, which are interventions, incidents are rife of the extraordinary damage
we find the proposals below to be which seeks to secure access, to threaten farmers with criminal major deterrents to democratic inflicted upon the people especially women, and cultures
unacceptable and antithetical to ownership, and control over cases. development. of developing countries by these funded population control
laws that govern the moral and Acquiescence to the evils programmes. Today, a more subtle intervention is unleashed
social structures of our society. Even before the funding for the of self-interest has serious in our midst with a veiled malevolence in so-called “IEC”
* The phasing of land negative effects in the social
acquisition and distribution, Comprehensive Agrarian Reform and economic well-being of the
programmes—Information, Education and Communication—
tools meant to undermine the traditional values and cultural
which targets first those Program (CARP) expired last country and jeopardizes our norms in our strongly family-oriented society. After all, to the
landholding measuring 50 December 2008, several well-meaning collective pursuit of the common targeted countries like the Philippines, the 1994 ICPD Programme
hectares and above without good. We appeal to our political
prejudice to the coverage of legislators passed bills that extend leaders to make a serious
of Action declared that the goals of population control would
involve “changes in lifestyles [and] social norms or government
lands below 50 hectares, after and reform the flawed provisions examination of conscience and policies that can be largely brought about and sustained through
an accomplishment trigger of of the old agrarian law. The Church focus their attention on the greater citizen action and political leadership.”
90% by the respective provinces. swift resolution of the mounting
This is unconstitutional in commends these initiatives and forms of injustice and violation
And while paying lip service to the Philippine Constitution’s
protection of the unborn from fertilization, and conceding
that our Constitution does not we throw our full support to the of fundamental human rights of that international documents “do not explicitly assert a
distinguish on whatever basis the consolidated Senate and House Bills, the rural poor. woman’s right to abortion,” alien movements tell us that these
agricultural lands to be covered The small farmers deserve our
under CARP. On the contrary, SB 2666 and HB 4077, now up for attention and espousal of their
international documents can be “broadly interpreted and
skillfully argued” in order “to expand access to safe abortion.”
it mandates the coverage of Senate’s and Congress’ deliberation cause. They continue bringing Speaking through influenced NGO’s, this powerful bloc has
all lands without qualification and approval. Unfortunately, time is hope to society, and nurture openly rued what it describes as “outdated legal and regulatory
on the basis of size or even life from season to season. No
crop type. Allowing the State running out as there are only nine man of upright conscience much
barriers” in Philippine law and the consistent opposition of
the Catholic hierarchy and organized groups of the Faithful,
to distinguish between lands session days left for Congress to more that of a principled leader, as barriers and stumbling blocs to the institutionalization of
below 50 hectares and those enact this essential law. can allow the Filipino farmer to so-called ‘reproductive rights’ in the country.
measuring 50 and above would be laid bare and vulnerable to The hype of “reproductive rights” and “choice” have
be discriminatory against, and the claws of globalization and unleashed their folly. Unrelenting moves to change our
would disenfranchise a huge land and its resources to the The social teachings of continuous hopelessness. culture, our collective attitudes, and even our fundamental
percentage of potential farmer- poor farmers. the church equally condemn Let us all pray for justice and rootings about life and family values have all but corrupted
beneficiaries, considering that * Increasing the compensation the concentration and peace to reign in our country, us and has left in its wake a nation of disordered liberties and
the bulk of undistributed private to landowners and increasing misappropriation of land as through an authentic agrarian broken communities.
agricultural lands is comprised the downpayment from the intrinsically immoral. Gaudium reform, carried out in the Enough already. “Law is aspirational. It expresses something
of lands less than 50 hectares. present 25%-30% to 50%. This et Spes states that “God destined spirit of distributive justice and about what kind of people we are and what kind of society
Putting the 90% trigger as proposal, which is based on the earth and all it contains for solidarity with the rural poor. we are in the process of creating.”1 We know what we are,
condition for resumption for case-specific decisions of the all men and all peoples so that all We pray for the Holy Spirit to and we know what we want to be—a great people journeying
coverage of smaller landholdings Supreme Court, would result in created things would be shared lead us away from sin, enlighten together to our collective good as a nation. Our constitutional
may actually result in most of a reduction of funds available for fairly by all mankind under the our minds, and purify our heritage attests to our love for life, for family, for progeny. Our
the remaining landholdings land acquisition and distribution guidance of justice, tempered intentions. And may the love of basic law also thunders to the rest of the world our sovereign
being left uncovered or and support services and by charity” (69). Similarly, Christ impel us in our quest for a power to determine for ourselves what will be in our best
undistributed. would effectively prevent the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for morally reformed society. interest as a nation.
* Reconsolidation of program from being completed. Justice and Peace’s paper on
agricultural lands by previous Increasing just compensation for “Towards a better distribution For the Catholic Bishops +PACIANO B. ANICETO, DD
landowners after the 10- landowners is welcome as long of land” quotes the prophet Conference of the Philippines, Archbishop of San Fernando
year retention period, and/ as the corresponding increase Isaiah as saying, “Woe to those Chair, CBCP Commission on Family and Life
or the reduction of the 10- will be matched by an increase who join house to house, who +ANGEL N. LAGDAMEO, DD May 20, 2009
year prohibition on sale of in the allotted P147 Billion add field to field!” (5:8) Archbishop of Jaro
awarded land to three years. budget. The same document also President, CBCP 1
Former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, Prof. Mary Ann Glendon.
These provisions clearly favor * Transfer of jurisdiction quotes the late Pope John 18 May 2009
Ref lections
CBCP Monitor
B6 Vol. 13 No. 11
May 25 - June 7, 2009

The Church as Israel renewed

by the Holy Spirit
Pentecost Sunday - B (John 20:19-23); May 31, 2009
By Msgr. Lope C. Robredillo

ORIGINALLY, Pentecost was an agricultural feast, during which the first fruits the land
produced were offered (Exod 34:22), and was later associated with the giving of the
Covenant, fifty days after the celebration of the Passover at the departure of Israel from
Egypt (Exod 19:1-16). In the Christian dispensation, however, it is not, strictly speaking, a
commemoration of the birthday of the Church, but rather celebrates the giving of the gift
of the Spirit to the renewed Israel, which is the Church, fifty days after the resurrection of
Jesus. It marks the giving of a new life—the life of the Spirit—to the community which
Jesus began to establish through his life, ministry, but especially his passion, death and
resurrection. That is why, in the Gospel read for this feast, we are given a Johannine
account of the giving of the Spirit: “Then he breathed on them and said: ‘Receive the
Holy Spirit.’” (John 20:22).
The giving of a new life has for its (Ezek 37:1-10). The vision is not really God. It is your sins that make him
background the Genesis account and about the individual resurrection of hide his face so that he will not hear
Ezekiel’s vision of the dry bones. The the dead, but a visionary description you” (Isa 59:1-2). Because of sin, Israel
action of Jesus first of all recalls the of the new life that was to begin for the became a divided nation, was scattered
story of God forming man out of the people of Israel. But what is important all over the world, and it became a
clay of the ground and blowing into his for us is the point that both stories land of violence, evil judgment, lies,
nostrils the breath of life, on account emphasize—God gives a new life to adulteries, usury, disregards for rights
of which man became a living being his people. and other sins which created a social
(Gen 2:7). Under the influence of Greek And Pentecost precisely has that disorder. Such social disorder is aptly

philosophy, this has been taken in the significance: the giving of a life—the prefigured in the story of the tower
past to mean the creation of the soul. life of the Spirit—to the renewed of Babel. Because of man’s proud
But to the Hebrew mind, this simply Israel, which is the Church. It may idolatry, of his arrogance in trying
means that it is Yahweh who gives be recalled that because of sin, of to build a tower, God chastised him;
life, and on whom human life directly turning away from God, misfortune among others, he confused mankind.
depends. In Ezekiel’s vision of the dry fell on Israel: “Lo, the hand of the For the biblical writer, the diversity of
bones, God instructed the prophet to Lord is not too short to save, nor his languages was a consequence of sin,
prophesy to the dead bones so that ear too dull to hear. Rather, it is your and it conveys the message that our
a new spirit would revive the bones crimes that separate you from your The Church / B7

Fr. Roy Cimagala

Bo Sanchez

Purpose of communication
POPE Benedict has just given becomes an island with no sense people know this basic truth and It’s like a tapestry, containing
his message for this year’s of archipelagic solidarity. how much they are applying it in so many different threads, but
World Day of Communication, I was struck when the Pope said their communications. What can with a beautiful and harmonious

Complicate your life

celebrated on May 24. It is in one of his opening lines that easily be gathered is that most design.
titled, “New Technologies, New “this desire for communication people communicate merely for Thus, we have to understand
Relationships—Promoting a and friendship is rooted in very personal reasons. that our communication, in
Culture of Respect, Dialogue and our very nature as human If not personal, then it’s done whatever form it takes, should
Friendship.” beings and cannot be adequately more to pursue purely human always be a way of participating MY title sounds shocking, especially coming from someone
It’s a call for all of us to make understood as a response to needs in the areas of professional, in the eternal communication who’s known by everyone as Mr. Simple—a guy who doesn’t
use of the advantages these new technical innovations.” social, cultural life. There’s God has within himself and with even comb his hair and doesn’t wear a watch and who dons
technologies of communication— That fine distinction is, I think, actually nothing wrong here as the rest of creation. It cannot be a 70’s outfit not because its faddish but because he’s trapped
the mobile phone, computers, worth reiterating. We tend to long as everything is rooted and any other way. in that era.
Internet, etc.—can give us. The be so captivated by the novelty focused on God’s will and design. This is a tremendous challenge But you see, I don’t believe that simplicity is the greatest
obvious alternate corollary is that offered by these new technologies This basic truth is, sadly, often for us to attain this abiding sense thing in the world.
we avoid their dangers and other that we forget that this need for set aside. of the nature and purpose of Take my life for example. I’ve deliberately complicated it
disadvantages. They too can turn communication comes from our Often, we make our our communication. It surely these past few years.
traitors, if we are not careful. nature that has objective laws and communication a purely human would require the cooperation I remember a few years back, I wrote these articles with nary
Of course, it presumes that requirements to be followed and affair. It’s with this kind of of everyone, according to his a distraction—except perhaps for the few stray mosquitoes
we know well the peculiarities respected. mentality that distorts our possibilities, and massive underneath my computer table.
of this new development. That’s It’s easy for us to fly into communication, resulting in resources. Today, the mosquitoes don’t bother me at all. It’s the one-
why, it’s good of the Pope to purely subjective ideas of why discord and enmity among Given our human condition, year-old thief in diapers underneath my table, grabbing my
remind us of basic realities that we communicate. We tend to ourselves. The Pope appeals with our need to be subjective, to computer keyboard and typing in tongues.
rule our lifelong business of make that task to serve narrow, to all to see to it that our pass through several stages, not When I was a single man some time ago, I didn’t even
communication. selfish ends. We do not make any communications promote to mention, our weaknesses and know what “savings” meant. Today, I have to deal with
They tend to be forgotten, effort to attune it to serve God and respect, dialogue and friendship limitations, and the temptations educational plans, health insurance, and sound investments.
or at least taken for granted, the common good. If the latter among ourselves. around, we need to be patient and And even if the thief-in-diapers is still toothless as of this
with obvious dismal effects and are served, it often is a result of In fact, our communications focused in this task of educating writing, I’m seriously saving for his teeth braces, which I
consequences. In the frenzy and accident, not by intention. should foster communion first ourselves about communication. hear, costs more than my car.
excitement that often accompany Quite clearly, the Pope spelled of all with God and then among We have to be quick to detect During my single days, I recall sauntering off by myself to
these new technologies, we can out the nature and purpose of ourselves. It’s a communion that and heal both the human and a lonely mountain to pray for a day or two—whenever I so
easily forget the real and ultimate communication. “In the light of welcomes diversity of opinions in devious tricks that can poison desired. I’d bring a guitar, a bible, and a tiny picnic basket.
purpose of communication. the biblical message,” he said, things precisely open to opinion, the original nature of our All by my quiet self.
Ironically, instead of “it should be seen primarily as a without compromising the communication. That will never happen again in my present life. Because
strengthening our unity with reflection of our participation in absolute truths. The Pope also encouraged all, now, I’d have to bring a guitar, a bible, a picnic basket, my
everyone, they can become the communicative and unifying It’s not one to straitjacket especially the young, to make use wife, my baby, his diaper bag, his toy bag, his food bag, his
clever tools of division that can Love of God who desires to make us. Rather it enhances, if not of these new technologies for the clothes bag, his bottle bag, his carriage, his car seat…
isolate people in the world of of all humanity one family.” perfects our freedom in all its purpose of evangelization. In the And in that mountain, I can only pray as long as the thief-
their own making. Each one Now I don’t know how many rich but unified possibilities. end, that’s what they are for. in-diapers is napping. And the moment I play the guitar,
he instantly wakes up and strums it for me—ushering the
Libmanan / B3 end of my quiet prayer time, and signaling the start of my
model building according to which a fully developed BEC model going, making decisions that involved the health insurance of the clergy, distracted, noisy, harassed prayer time.
that is responsive to the culture and situation of the local Church liturgical reform, administrative appointments, and the establishment of There are days when a thought crosses my mind: Why on
is designed. Part of this step is the preparation of culturally rooted St. Benedict Seminary in San Fernando, Camarines Sur. earth did I get married? What insanity came over me? Why
activities as initial venues for gathering people and for sustaining the did I complicate my very simple, happy, single life?
same gatherings. Then the process continues on to capacity building. Towards Becoming a Diocese But immediately, the answer comes forcefully when I see
That is, through trainings, the ability of the agents of renewal for The Prelature of Libmanan has been in existence already for eighteen my loving wife playing with our smiling baby in her arms.
sustainable SKK implementation is developed and enhanced (human years. In 2010, it shall celebrate the 20th anniversary of its canonical Peace overflows my heart as I realize that I’ve exchanged
resource development). Thus, not only are cluster leaders to be erection. All these years, the Prelature had gone a long way. For sure, my very simple, happy single life for a very complicated,
obliged to undergo training in order to increase their capacity for SKK there have been setbacks and these were many. For one thing, resources happy married life.
implementation, but priests themselves as well have to undergo the remain scarce. For many years, in fact, this has been the Prelature’s Why have I complicated my life?
same experience. The final step of this process is institution building, main predicament. It does not have adequate funds to support its Because I have decided to love.
according to which policies on the environment, structures, systems programs, much less the logistics to procure facilities for its apostolates And here’s the lesson I’ve learned: As long as you complicate
and strategies consistent with the vision-mission of the SKK are and to build infrastructure support. But in many ways more than one, your life because of love, then it’s glorious.
well defined. An outcome in this stage of SKK-building is structural the Prelature has become truly rich in its own way. Congratulate yourself.
reorganization and the parish clustering of families. Indeed, the Prelature of Libmanan is a poor Church. But as Because simplicity isn’t the greatest thing in the world,
All these, one might say, were the accomplishment of PAPL III and envisioned by PCP II, it is not only a “poor Church”. It has also but love.
such was its impact on the local Church of Libmanan. Every parish become a Church “for” the Poor and more so a Church “of” the Let me give you two other examples:
in the Prelature is now SKK-saturated, with clusters of communities Poor. Paradoxically, however, such poverty has also become its If you’re going to join a Catholic group, believe me when I
reaching 3,765 in 2007, and the numbers continue to grow to this day. fountain of wealth, giving concrete expression as it were to the Lord’s say this: your life will get complicated. (Take it from one who’s
Finally, an SKK-culture is beginning to be felt everywhere. In fact, one discourse at the mount—“Blessed are the Poor”! For in many ways, been part of community for twenty years.) Why complicate
cannot talk about the Prelature of Libmanan without being drawn to the Prelature has also become rich in faith, and it has been made your life with weekly meetings, heavy responsibilities, tiring
the SKK-atmosphere that now prevails in the whole Prelature. even much richer by the thriving and flourishing of small Christian ministries, and queer personalities? Why get into relationships
communities (SKKs), built around this faith. These communities are that will disillusion you in the end? Why follow leaders that
The Dawning of a New Administration the Prelature’s treasure, its pearl of great price. It is on account of you know will disappoint you one day?
After eighteen years in office, Bishop Arellano was relieved of his this “treasure” that the Prelature has quite progressed and is slowly A more basic example:
responsibility as Ordinary of the Prelature after the Holy Father accepted moving forward towards maturity as a local Church. Sheer numbers Why will you commit your entire life to God? I mean, won’t
his resignation due to ill health. In his stead Bishop Jose Rojas, Auxiliary for sure would not be enough to serve as indicators of this movement. it be easier just to be a nominal Catholic? All you have to
bishop of Caceres has been appointed as Bishop-prelate of Libmanan. Time will tell if indeed the Prelature has moved in this direction of do is go to Mass on Sundays and presto—you’re guilt-free.
On July 2, 2008, in solemn rites presided over by Archbishop growth, but recent developments must have already borne this out. You can do what you want to do the rest of the week. You
Leonardo Legaspi, Metropolitan Archbishop of Caceres, and witnessed Indeed, the moment is not far, as it has become opportune, for the don’t have to think about pleasing Him every moment of
by the Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, Archbishop Edward Joseph local Church of Libmanan to obtain the crown it can now claim to your life. You don’t have to love Him in your every word,
Adams, and some bishops from Bicol and elsewhere in the country, be its own, the status and the dignity befitting a diocese. thought, and deed. That’s just too complicated!
the new Bishop was installed and took canonical possession of the Ipsi gloria in saecula! Make your life simple.
Prelature of Libmanan. (Last March 25, 2009, Feast of the Annunciation, the Holy Father Pope Simply meaningless.
As soon as he assumed office, the new bishop moved quickly to get things Benedict XVI elevated the Prelature of Libmanan to a Diocese)
Social Concerns
CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 11
May 25 - June 7, 2009

Appeal to the senators for We know that the Law

the passage of CARPER sans is on the Farmer’s side

killer amendments
JOINT Resolution No. 19, which extends the Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Program but without providing for
compulsory acquisition, expires on June 30. On June 5, however,
the second regular session of Congress will end, resuming
only on the first week of July. This means that despite months
of campaigning and lobbying for a struggle that has spanned
decades, and because of the indifference or neglect of our
representatives in Congress, we are again in the eleventh hour,
with only nine session days left to pass a law that is not only
constitutionality mandated, but is required by basic notions of
equity and social justice.
The implementation of an agrarian reform program is a
Constitutional mandate which the State may not avoid by
legislative inaction. Section 4, Art. XIII of the 1987 Constitution
requires the State to “undertake an agrarian reform program
founded on the right of farmers and regular farmworkers
who are landless, to own directly or collectively the lands
they till or, in the case of other farmworkers, to receive a just
share of the fruits thereof.” As it is, Joint Resolution No. 19 is

Photo courtesy of Balaod Mindanaw

unconstitutional for being contrary to the very spirit of agrarian
reform. If Congress again fails to pass an agrarian reform law
by June 5, it will be nothing short of a dereliction of a duty
reposed on the legislative body by our Constitution.
The CARP has been in existence for 20 years, but the fruits of
authentic agrarian reform in the country have yet to be reaped.
Eighty percent of privately-owned agricultural lands remain
undistributed. Eighteen percent of CARP beneficiaries have not
received titles to the lands that they till and should rightfully
own. Sixty-five percent of CARP beneficiaries have no access to
WE, the farmers, U n d e r t h e m o s t r e ce n t year moratorium on transfers of the many proposals raised by government support services that should be available in agrarian
proposal on phasing, lands over awarded land. This is antithetical members of the Senate. We
advocates of Agrarian 50 hectares and above will be to the objective of CARP because remain vigilant and will continue
reform areas. Rural poverty still accounts for seventy percent of
the country’s poor. If we are to attain social justice eloquently
Reform, the bishops prioritized. The acquisition and this would result in nullifying to watch Senate processes, and defined by Justice Jose P. Laurel in Calalang vs. Williams as “…the
and the religious, distribution will be done on a the gains of the program in the call on our Senators to perform humanization of laws and the equalization of social and economic
province to province basis. And, past 20 years. In fact, 2.8 million their duty to the Filipino people
appreciate the efforts an accomplishment rate of 90% hectares of lands covered under and to abide by the Constitutional
forces by the State…” then agrarian reform is a measure that must
not only be continued, but must be among those prioritized.
of the Senate in fast- per province will set as a trigger. CARP for ten years will be Mandate of undertaking an The Philippine’s agrarian reform program needs to be given
tracking the passage This tight and complicated vulnerable to reconsolidation effective and equitable agrarian more time to fully attain the goals it was created to accomplish.
phasing of acquisition and under this proposal. This would reform program. We appeal
of Senate Bill 2666. distribution almost ensures that then take away lands already to the moral principles and
Twenty years of unsatisfactory implementation clearly leaves
much room for improvement and reform. House Bill 4077 and
We have witnessed many provinces in the country rendered productive by the conviction of our national leaders Senate Bill 2666, or the CARP Extension with Reforms Bill,
the interpellations by will end up not being covered farmer-beneficiaries whose rights and ask the Honorable Senators reflect the needed changes to address the shortcomings that have
under the program. will be disregarded systematically to help us guard against any
Senators and were We aim to find a just and by legislation. proposal which will water down
prevented the law’s noble purpose from coming into fruition.
We, who study the law, know that laws are there for a reason.
also able to talk with equitable meeting point. We We are also concerned about the CARP, and take away from Agrarian reform is explicitly identified as a fundamental State
some members of the propose that that 90% trigger of a proposal to remove agrarian the gains of this program which policy in Art II Sec 21 of the Constitution. Thus, we ask that our
accomplishment for the 50 hectares cases from the jurisdiction of is among the essential vehicles
Senate who generously and above landholdings be the Department of Agrarian for food security, peace in the
lawmakers breathe life into this policy by enacting laws that
set in motion and ensure actual and speedy results.
promised support for removed. Instead, landholdings of Reform Adjudication Board countryside, and social justice. We, who study the law, know that while the actual provisions
this essential social all sizes should be simultaneously (DARAB) and putting these We remain confident that are drafted by the members of Congress, laws are ultimately
targeted for acquisition and under the jurisdiction of the the Honorable Senators will
justice program. distribution, with those bigger regular courts. This proposal be guided by discernment in
articulations of the people’s will and expressions of the power
inherent in them as citizens of a free country. Thus, we remind
landholdings as priority. The disregards the unique nature of finalizing this legislation and our lawmakers that their mandate emanates from the people,
We were assured time and Senate may also study and come agrarian cases and the particular in protecting the rights of the
again of the early passage of the and their duty is to address their constituents’ needs, even
up with other equitable alternative need for experience and expertise Filipino farmers. if it means sacrificing their own interests. We reiterate that
CARP Extension with Reforms phasing or prioritization systems. of the administrative agency “For I was hungry and
bill. We would also like to express by eliminating compulsory acquisition, the agrarian reform
For instance, we appeal that mandated to implement agrarian You gave me food.” (USCCB, program is reduced to no more than an empty promise. Without
gratitude to Senator Honasan who your committee give priority reform laws. This also poses the November 12, 2003)
gave us assurances that ‘killer’ it, there is no reform, only more of the same.
for all lands over ten hectares. danger of further oppression “The Lord gave us mind and We, who study the law, are no strangers to policies that look
amendments will not find their That is an equitable compromise to farmer beneficiaries whose conscience; we cannot hide from
way into the bill. This makes us resolute on paper, but are torn apart and rendered useless by the
for the legitimate small farmers legal personality is usually not ourselves.” (Proverbs 20.27) selfsame provisions, where motherhood statements mask gaps,
glad but we continuously plead owning 5-10 hectares (covering recognized in regular courts and
with the Honorable Senators to loopholes and false pretenses. Thus, we demand that Congress
a total area of about 186,000 has). poses the risk of further isolating (Sgd.) + BRODERICK S. deliver an agrarian reform program that is responsive, sincere
ensure that amendments that Otherwise, we foresee stalling these indigent farmers from court PABILLO, D.D.
could water down the CARP and faithful to the principles of social justice.
of compulsory acquisition after processes in the very likely event Chair, Episcopal Commission The second regular session of Congress ends in less than a
and would defeat the purpose coverage of 136,000 hectares (of that they will not be able to avail on
of the agrarian reform program month. Too much has been lost, too much sacrificed and there is
lands measuring over 50 has.), of counsel’s services. We agree, Social Action, Justice and Peace too much at stake for our legislature to fail us now. We take up
shall not be included in the final especially in contentious areas however, that the DARAB and the Auxiliary Bishop of Manila
version of the bill. In particular, this cause because we, who study the law, owe it to this country.
like Negros which would render DAR, in general, should address We owe it to the farmers who walked thousands of miles, and
we are disturbed about the CARP meaningless for thousands loopholes in implementation (Sgd.) ATTY. CHRISTIAN S.
possibility that there will be an spent weeks in hunger strikes, asking to be heard. We owe it to
of farmers. and arrest problems in Agrarian MONSOD the blood shed and lives lost. We owe it to the law that we study
introduction of an inequitable There is also a proposal on the Justice Delivery. PARFUND
phasing of the Land Acquisition and pledge to serve. Because if the law cannot be used to protect
reconsolidation of agricultural These are the provisions we those who need it the most, then it betrays its own purpose.
and Distribution component of lands after the expiration of the 10- found objectionable among May 12, 2009
4077 and SB 2666) NOW!
Blessed / B4
Student Council
cause of the Holy Spirit and also authorized there, “seated at the right hand of the Father”, community of the Cenacle after the descent Ateneo Law School
her to give to the Sisters of her congregation that He sent the Holy Spirit on the newly- of the Holy Spirit. These considerations led Makati City, Metro Manila
the new name that describes better their born Church. Elena Guerra to conceive and initiate the
charism in the Church, “Oblates of the Now all this is the Paschal Mystery that “Universal Cenacle”, a movement of prayer Supreme Law Council
Holy Spirit.” is continually taking place and at the same to the Holy Spirit. College of Law
Elena considered the exhortation of the time is always in the process of becoming, Elena died on Holy Saturday of April 11, Silliman University
Pope to go on with the apostolate as an but which the Church will bring to fulfillment 1914, with the desire remaining in her heart Dumaguete City, Oriental Negros
order and so she dedicated herself with when the Christ will come. like an “unfinished symphony”, to see the
greater diligence to the cause of the Holy The Church is tending towards the “modern Christians” become aware of the Student Council
Spirit, thus deepening for herself and for fulfillment of the Mysteries of the Cenacle, presence and of the action of the Holy Spirit College of Law
others the real sense of a “return to the permanent mysteries, the Paschal Mystery. In in their souls, an indispensable condition for University of Baguio
Spirit;” this would also be the mandate for this sense, the Church is the prolongation of a real “renewal of the face of the earth.” Baguio City, Benguet
her Congregation in the world. the Cenacle and is analogous to the Spiritual Rightly therefore did Pope John XXIII,
In her meditations on the World of God, Permanent Cenacle. raising Elena Guerra to the honors of the Civil Law Student Council
Elena was profoundly impressed and It is in this Cenacle of the Paschal Mystery altar (she was the first proclaimed Blessed College of Law
moved by the historical event that happened that the priestly, kingly and prophetic during his pontificate), defined her as the University of Santo Tomas
in the Cenacle of the early Church. In fact, it community gathers around the Risen “Apostle of the Holy Spirit” of modern Manila City, Metro Manila
was there that Jesus offered Himself to God Christ. Everyone of us, every believer, by times just as St. Mary Magdalene was
as the Victim of expiation for the salvation the action of the Holy Spirit in Baptism and the “Apostle of the Resurrection” and St. Law Student Government
of men; it was there that He instituted the Confirmation is grafted into the Mystical Margaret Mary Alacoque the “Apostle of College of Law
Sacrament of love, the Eucharist; and there Body and rendered capable of participating the Sacred Heart.” University of the Philippines
He repeatedly appeared to His disciples actively in the Eucharistic Mass which is an Elena Guerra was beatified on April Quezon City, Metro Manila
after the resurrection. And, finally, it was assembly of the confirmed, similar to the first 26, 1959.

The Church / B6

economic, political, religious and cultural divisions and quarrels,

our scrambling for power, intrigues, competition and envy result

CBCPMonitor Name _________________________________________________

(Family Name) (Given Name) (Middle Name)
from our arrogance and proud idolatry.
In depicting the Spirit as being poured out at Pentecost, Luke
wishes to affirm that the event overcame the division among men.
The Holy Spirit inaugurated the reconstitution of Israel, fulfilling
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B8 Entertainment CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 11
May 25 - June 7, 2009

Title: Star Trek the Academy for a few years resurrects the refined and
Running Time: 126 min and in due time smuggled principled gentleman that girls
Moral Assessment Technical Assessment
Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary into the starship Enterprise. fall for. Star Trek supports its
Quinto, Leonard Nimoy, Eric Here he continues to swagger story with a nifty script and
 Abhorrent  Poor Bana, Bruce Greenwood around, gets the hots for the good character development,
 Disturbing  Below average
Director: J.J. Abrams
Producers: J.J. Abrams, Damon sultry but sensible Uhura and tries to inject a little
 Acceptable  Average

Lindelof (Zoe Saldana), and soon after naughtiness and humor in
 Wholesome  Above average appoints himself as Captain order to be more palatable at
Screenwriters: Roberto Orci,

 Exemplary  E
xcellent Alex Kurtzman after his nearly fatal encounter the box office.
Music: Michael Giacchino with Spock (Zachary Quinto). What lessons may be learned
Editor: Maryann Brandon, Mary Kirk gets the ship, but Spock from a movie with characters
Jo Markey wins his woman, so who’s evocative of Noah’s Ark but
Cinematography: Daniel Mindel the real winner? That is not using starships? One, Star
Distributor: Paramount Pictures resolved until Kirk and Spock Trek science is not to be taken
Location: Bakersfield, Califor-
put their heads together to as plausible—you’ll flunk
nia, USA
save their ship from Nero the Science class if you believe
Technical Assessment: 
destroyer. in it . Two, r ecog niz e t he
Moral Assessment:  This 27-year old Star Trek implausible and the impossible
CINEMA Rating: For viewers 14
series has many fans younger as entertainment—for instance,
and above
than itself. That’s because its enjoy the sight of the spaceship
producers have learned to Narada emerging from the
adapt so that Star Trek may Black Hole looking like a
evolve and keep up with the mutated cockroach magnified
It’s the 23rd century. The times. You’ll like this 11th a quintillion times—harmless
spaceship helmed by Capt. Start Trek movie, too, if you’re in spite of its size. Three, to win
Christopher Pike (Bruce young at heart, which means a woman, it’s better for a man
Greenwood) is under attack even as a Senior Citizen card to have gentle manners than
by the formidable Narada holder you’re still open to such cockiness and a strong libido.
spaceship under Capt. Nero things as warps, starships, Four, no matter where humans
(Eric Bana). Pike’s son, James time travel and black hole find themselves in time and
Tiberius Kirk (Chris Pine) idiosyncracies. You’re also space, man-woman love will
is about to be born as his young at heart if you think live on in the human heart, as
mother is being evacuated movies are fun and do not the song “As Time Goes By”
from the besieged ship. As bleed yourself dry looking says, “You must remember
a young boy, Kirk is shown for logic at every turn. Star this, a kiss is still a kiss…”
maniacally driving (without Trek tries to strike a balance Five, in times of danger,
license, of course) a car to the between then and now, old and even spacewalkers still call
Grand Canyon, outspeeding a new, courtly and cool. Pine as on God—as when Capt. Pike
flying traffic cop and almost Kirk the hero is reminiscent utters upon seeing the the
plunging to his death. He of the 50s’ James Dean, a “giant cockroach” Narada
climbs up the ledge, hardly rabble-rouser without a cause; threatening his spaceship: “Oh
unnerved. He is suspended by Quinto as Spock the other hero my God….!”

MAC en COLET Ni Bladimer Usi

Buhay Parokya
Look for the three items:
Images of the Holy Water,
Maria Magdalena and the Holy
Cross.(Illustration by Bladimer

The film opens in Title: Duplicity

slow motion as two Running Time: 125 min.
corporate honchos Cast: Clive Owen, Julia Roberts,
brawl in the tarmac Tom Wilkinson, Paul Giamatti,
Dan Daily
after they descend from
Director: Tony Gilroy
their respective private Producers: Laura Bickford, Jennifer
jets with their staff Fox, Kerry Orent
watching in horror. Screenwriter: Tony Gilroy
Then we return to 2003, Music: James Newton Howard
when smooth-talking Editor: John Gilroy
M15 agent charmer Genre: Drama/ Romance
R a y K o v a l ( C l i v e Cinematography: Robert Elswit
Owen) meets sassy Distributor: Universal Pictures
CIA operative Claire Location: several North America
and Europe
Stenwick (Julia Roberts)
in a consulate party Technical Assessment:
in Dubai. Instantly Moral Assessment: 
attracted, they begin CINEMA Rating: For mature view-
ers 18 and above
flirting with each other
until they share a passionate night. However, the next morning
Claire drugs Ray and steals the Egyptian documents they were
both assigned to look for. Fast forward 5 years after in the US,
the two, this time working for the same multinational company
as intelligence operatives, cross paths and are teamed together
for an assignment much to Claire’s disgust. Or is it so? After
a series of flashbacks and flash forwards, as the audience is
taken to a jet setting tour around the world, we realize that
Claire and Owen have been meeting for years and are now
planning a scheme to double cross their employers, steal the
secret formula and make a few millions before leaving the spy
game. But first, they have to overcome their trust issue before
learning to work together.
The biggest achievement of the movie is overcoming the
difficulty of non-linear story telling which is both confusing
and hard to follow while being clever and amusing. Duplicity
relies on cerebral work instead of muscle power. Needless to say,
the violence of the film is in the script and words rather than in
actual fighting and blood shedding. The cinematography and
production design are dramatic as they transform and gloss every
single scene regardless if it is in an Italian hotel suite or dingy spy
headquarters or the bland corporate office. Owen and Roberts
deliver powerful performances but do not quite achieve an intense
chemistry to make their long standing love affair believable. The
witty complicated plot is washed down by a pathetic and weak
ending. Over-all the movie is entertaining and worthwhile albeit
a little problematical with the story telling.
Duplicity raises the issue of trust and loyalty. Self-interest
and greed seem to be the main motivation of the characters that
it becomes hard to have faith in the very person they love.
Again, pre-marital sex is tolerated and glamorized.
But the most disturbing issue with Duplicity is the glorification
of crime and presentation of criminals as funny, charming, loveable
characters you root for. As it lessens the impact of the misdeed, it
may deliver the wrong message especially to young viewers.
CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 11
May 25 - June 7, 2009

The News Supplement of

Couples for Christ

KFC Dreams Big for a Big God

By Kirby Llaban kids to be leaders, to Antopia, Annie the Ant’s territory, which showed
the KFCs different ways of showing love and to Elephantasia, where
WEEPING with joy. These words seemed to exemplify God’s mood kids got to choose from all sorts of workshops from music to arts.
just days leading up to the 12th International Kids’ Village (IKV). The workshops and exhibits encouraged the kids to have a big
And in a fashion befitting the King of the Universe, He cried up a heart, to be grateful for the talents and treasures God has given
storm. Up till a day before the actual IKV, the sky was overcast and them, to love their family and their country, to love the poor and to
the grounds at the Sta. Cruz Sports Complex in Laguna were not answer the call of becoming Christ-like leaders of the future.
Friday night featured the many talents of KFC with the Kids’
just drenched but were starting to resemble rice paddies. Being the
Praise Parade.
true, heavenly Father that He is, He probably couldn’t help but get
The highlight of the IKV was undoubtedly the remarkably origi-
all choked up by the thought of almost 10,400 of his children from nal play about a Dream World and its main characters: the Dream
five countries gathering to show their love for Him. Kids from all 7 and of course, Dream Master who created Dream World. It was
the provinces of the Philippines and from as far as Malaysia, China, a lively bonanza of colors and music that even the adults enjoyed.
Brunei and the Middle East trooped to Laguna to be part of this The play expressed the essence of how it is to dream big for the
gathering of God’s most beloved ones -- to worship, dance, learn world by loving the earth. The play emphasized that we should all
and have fun! be good stewards of God’s creation and that we should all strive to
True to form, once the event got underway, God gifted His chil- be the best we can be through, in the case of the kids, their studies
dren with amazing weather, from start to finish. The rain abruptly and their relationships. By the end of the play, everyone was sing-
stopped and the skies were just cloudy enough to shield the kids ing and dancing to the Dream World theme, “Dream Big! God is on
from the harsh rays of the sun. our side…Dream Big!”
This year’s IKV urged the kids to “Dream Big” for God, by offering This year’s IKV was also an undeniable ground-breaker in several
the best of their service to Him and daring to do great things for His ways. Aside from being the first IKV to hold a Bayani Challenge: Kids
kingdom. He showed everyone, in a very concrete manner, that to Edition, which was a Gawad Kalinga Build held a few days before
‘Dream Big’ indeed honors Him because He is a Big God. the actual IKV, the IKV also conducted the first ever Kids Ambas-
Aside from the Special Competitions, the kids got to explore the sadors Global Summit on the afternoon of the first day, a meaningful
different Dream Villages, each one focusing on a distinct manner of event of shared fun despite a diversity of cultures. It was also the
dreaming big – by learning how to Love, Learn, and Lead. It was a first IKV to pioneer a especially produced ‘Dream Big’ DVD about
sight to see thousands of kids and yes, even parents and YFC ates and the IKV highlights that was released on the last day.
kuyas, moving as one to Eagle’s Peak, the Dream Village that inspired The IKV held an unprecedented reunion of KFCs who have since
moved on to Youth for Christ or
even Singles for Christ. The KFC
Alumni Conference was held
on the last day, at the same time
that the parents also had their
Parents’ Conference. Jimmy Leo-
mas of Family Life International
talked to the parents about “The
Effects of Media and Modern
Technology on Our Children.”
As if this wasn’t enough, the
surprise to end all surprises was
announced just before the IKV’s
closing – 2010 will be the year
that sees KFC having three sepa-
rate Kids’ Villages for Luzon,
Visayas and Mindanao respec- definitely true to its name. It dreamed up and achieved the nearly
tively and, get this, the first IKV impossible for the kids – on a truly grand scale. And if God had
to be held abroad, in Singapore seemed to be weeping for joy before the IKV, He shone His full,
in December! scorching smile through the summer-hot weather on the last day.
The ‘Dream Big’ IKV was He really does have a soft spot for kids!

CFC Moves Forward and Lets Go

By Zeny Gimenez need love and care. Starting out as a program
for the youth in Bagong Silang, GK rapidly ex-

n an unprecedented move, the Couples for panded into a community-building program.
Christ International Council announced last It was not long before many sectors of society
April 30, 2009 that it was relinquishing the took notice of the work of GK. Thus, from being
governance and corporate structure of Gawad purely a CFC effort (with funds coming from
Kalinga, the flagship program for the poor that the pockets of the members themselves), GK
it established more than a decade ago. grew into an organization with local and foreign
Citing GK’s need for greater freedom so it can partners eager to help in the work of community
expand more rapidly and interact with more development.
people, Executive Director Joe Tale, speaking In 2003, GK was sufficiently expanded to ven-
for the entire International Council, called the ture into a heroic goal – GK777 – which aimed to
move a “letting go.” He also assuaged the ap- build 700,000 homes in 7,000 sites in 7 years. It was
prehensions of some people by categorically also sufficiently well known such that it was one
stating that CFC is not abandoning GK or the of the first to be harnessed (in terms of donors and
work with the poor, but rather allowing both personnel) in disaster relief and rehabilitation. GK
CFC and GK to pursue the work according to is also present in other countries in Asia – Papua
each other’s calling and charism. New Guinea, Cambodia and Indonesia.
He emphasized that CFC members who are
actively involved in GK projects and sites must ANCOP is CFC’s work with the poor
Executive Director Joe Tale and IC members Joey Arguelles, Lito Tayag, Ernie Maipid, and Rouquel Ponte during
remain where they are and continue the good The announcement was met with general ac- the press conference on Friday, May 22.
work they are doing. He asked the CFC com- ceptance by CFC leaders and members, albeit with
munity to remember that the welfare of the poor some anxiety and some initial confusion as to how for “A Network of the Church of the Poor,” was IC holds press conference
is the top priority and that nothing should stand CFC will now address or implement its own work the name given to the work with the poor of CFC In a press conference called last Friday, May
in the way of programs aimed to better the lives with the poor. The IC issued a set of Questions and before GK was established. As Joe Tale explained 22, IC members Joe Tale, Joey Arguelles, Lito
of the least among us. Answers and a set of basic guidelines to further during a meeting with the provincial area heads Tayag, Ernie Maipid and Rouquel Ponte fielded
CFC often refers to GK as the “concrete explain the decision. and the Metro Manila sectors heads last May 20, questions from media.
expression of our love for God and for our At the Mission Core teaching night last May ANCOP will be the umbrella under which all the In response to a question on how CFC will
neighbor,” and that it grew out of the then 19, Tuesday, Joe Tale made another announce- components of CFC’s work with the poor will respond to the bishops’ concerns about how
growing desire of the community to respond ment – CFC’s work with the poor will be known operate – the work of the Social Ministries which GK in their respective dioceses will be handled
to God’s love by reaching out to those who as ANCOP. This acronym, which originally stood includes prisons, education, livelihood, health, henceforth, Joe Tale explained that in keeping
migrant workers, and of course Gawad Kalinga with CFC’s being one with the Catholic Church,
which, Joe Tale states, “continues to be the major CFC recognizes and respects the position ad-
component of the work with the poor of CFC, now opted by the bishops in their respective dioceses.
known as ANCOP.” However, CFC stands ready to clarify more
At the same meeting with the area heads, Joe fully the implications of the announcement and
Yamamoto, Philippine Missions Director, also towards that end, the IC will dialogue with the
clarified that, contrary to what media has re- bishops, as appropriate.
ported, there is no “split” between CFC and GK. The IC also clarified that the decision to let go
He explained that while CFC has “let go of the of GK’s governance and corporate structure was
corporate structure, the foundation, the organiza- arrived at after much discussion, consultation
tional presence of the CFC IC in GK, as well as the and prayers.
movement and the ministry, it is not really a split Joe Tale announced that two members of the
because we are speaking only about independent, IC, Ernie Maipid and Lito Tayag, have agreed to
distinct entities with separate governance, struc- remain in the GK Board in the interim, in order
tures and functions..” He further explained that to ensure that the GK Board can continue to
the basic guidelines call for greater collaboration officially transact business, until such time that
and cooperation between the two groups, with the replacements for the IC on the GK Board
pastoral cover for CFC members working in GK have been duly designated. (Please see related
CFC leaders listen as Joe Tale makes the announcement on CFC and GK at the Mission Core Gathering on
still coming from CFC. stories on page 2 and 3.)
Sunday, May 3.
C2 Ugnayan CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 11
May 25 - June 7, 2009

By Joe Tale, CFC Executive Director

When Letting Go
Means Letting Grow
THE International Council’s statement of April 30 – “Moving Kalinga. We are now being led to looking at the work in the scope In education, our earlier work was focused on the pre-school and
Forward and Letting Go” – is another milestone in the history of and reach the Lord originally meant us to take – to include the other on Sibol and Sagip programs and on Siga (the out-of-school youth)
Couples for Christ. components embodied in the Social Ministries that we established in the GK sites. We will revisit our response in this area so that we
In that statement, the International Council (IC) announced that we before we even began GK. can make a greater impact in helping provide education and moral
have decided to “let go” of the governance and corporate structure I would like us to look deeper into this insight – no one among values for the young generation.
of Gawad Kalinga. This meant that the IC would no longer have us owns the work with the poor. And since we do not own it, we In the area of health, CFC has made major inroads in the delivery
any institutional authority or supervision over GK, invested in it must be open to share it with others, indeed with the world, as GK of health care, particularly to the poor. The Medical Mission Minis-
by virtue of all seven members of the IC being members of the GK can now freely do. try has gone on countless medical and surgical missions to outlying
Board. Thus, the IC members’ first action was to resign from the GK Thus we look to our Social Ministries as the engine which will areas that are underserved by medical practitioners and has given
Board, although in the interest of good order, to ensure that there is be re-fueled. We intend to revisit each of the Social Ministries to hope to many of our poor brethren who could not afford to seek help
still a quorum, Lito Tayag and Ernie Maipid have decided to stay in make it more attuned to the greater work ahead. We will target a for their ailments. But we feel that the greater benefit lies in early
the Board in the interim, until our replacements are named. wider scope of beneficiaries, especially those in prisons (the poor- detection and prevention, rather than in curing, diseases. We shall
est of the poor indeed) and their families and migrant workers and therefore pursue a health program that is focused more on early
So what does letting go really mean? their families. More important, we do not intend to neglect the poor detection and prevention.
First, letting go does not mean limiting the scope of the work – among the CFC brethren who need our help the most. Feeding the hungry is a major work. We are grateful to Selecta
rather it is meant to expand it further. In making this decision, we In the matter of jobs and livelihood, Tekton has done a lot of initia- and particularly to Mr. John Concepcion who has made it his per-
look beyond the needs of today to the greater mission ahead. GK is tives in delivering easy credit to jumpstart livelihood opportunities sonal and corporate mission to help the poor put food on their tables
a wonderful gift of God to CFC and we have shared it with others. through its microfinance program, in encouraging the growth of through the BayanAnihan program. We remain committed to the
But we also believe it should be shared with many more. cooperatives through Coops for Christ, and in making job opportu- BayanAnihan program, not just to help the poor in the GK sites but
As we allow GK greater freedom to do its work, CFC commits to nities available through TekWork. those in non-GK areas as well.
expanding our own work with the poor. CFC will be pursuing all of these
In a sense of déjà vu, we call this work ministries with greater vigor and zeal
ANCOP, the name we gave to our initial under the umbrella of ANCOP. Gawad
response to the work with the poor, even Kalinga remains a major activity of our
before GK. This acronym originally work with the poor and will be the major
stood for “A Network of the Church of component in ANCOP. I cannot repeat
the Poor.” With this name, we look for- this often enough – CFC is not abandon-
ward to CFC doing what we believe the ing GK! And so we urge all those in CFC
Lord meant for us to do – a work with working in GK sites to continue to do so.
the poor that will be grounded on faith, The poor need all the help they can get
with Christ proclaimed in word and ac- and your heroic efforts on their behalf
tion, and in oneness with the Church. need to be pursued with even greater
Second, letting go does not at all mean determination than ever.
letting be. CFC will continue to be in- There may now be two distinct
volved in GK work, especially since we organizations and governance - CFC
believe that our own work with the poor, and GK – but both are in solidarity in
which we shall now call ANCOP, should working together and collaborating in
include GK as a major component. our common love for the least among
Third, letting go indeed means letting our brethren.
grow. One insight that I have received We rejoice that both CFC ANCOP and
over these many weeks of discernment GK are now free to expand in the work
and prayer and discussion, is that we of caring for the poor and of letting the
do not own the work with the poor. It poor know of the goodness and mercy
is the Lord who owns it. We are grateful of God. We rejoice that more people
for the gift of GK to CFC and of being will now benefit from our expanded
allowed to govern it. But the deeper work. We pray that many more will be
gift of the Lord to CFC is the work with called to serve and be moved to walk
the poor, which was originally ANCOP along this journey of discovery and joy
when we first started this work, and in Building the Church of the Poor. To
which eventually evolved into Gawad God be the Glory!

by Joe Yamamoto, Philippine Missions Director, International Council Member

CFC to
The Prize of God’s emulate
Upward Call
JUST one thing: forgetting what lies behind how we can triumph and even be sus- we running the right race for the right rea- bombs. Having lost their rudders, they
in its 28th
but straining forward to what lies ahead. I tained. sons? Or are we indeed running intently
were doomed to run only in circles,
continue my pursuit toward the goal, the St. Paul gave us many useful tips on and with the motivation to win, and yet making escape impossible.
prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ how to run this marathon of life: we are in the wrong race? And with the The Bible gives us a good example
Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14) 1. He kept his eye on the prize (Phil wrong company? Or worse, even as we of aimless wandering – the Israelites
CFC’s 28th anniversary on June 27
In the drudgery of our day to day 3:13-14) are excellently conditioned for the race, spent 40 years in the desert, so near
at the Quirino Grandstand in Lu-
life, facing challenges and trials almost 2. He exercised himself into godliness are we running in circles – quick at the to their goal and yet unable to reach it
neta will have an Olympic motif,
on a regular basis, do we ask ourselves (1 Tim 4:7) vs. pride, poverty, and lack start but with nowhere to go? because of their rebellious nature and
an appropriate representation of
the right questions? Do we challenge of self-control Many Christians, just like Paul, their faithlessness.
this year’s “Forward in Christ”
ourselves with the basic questions that 3. He ran the race with endurance started by fighting the wrong fight and As CFC, what is our focus? It is simple
we need to keep us on the right track, (Heb. 12:1) running the wrong race. Paul thought and straightforward -- authentic life in
with the same determined focus, mov- According to Paul, why run a race that hauling Christians in chains to Christ in CFC is when we live out our The theme, taken from Philip-
ing towards the goals we have set for unless you’re running to win? No true Jerusalem was the correct expression call to be Families in the Holy Spirit, pians 3:13-14, speaks of running
ourselves? As Couples for Christ, do competitor wants to finish second. We of his spirituality. Nowadays, many Renewing the Face of the Earth. towards the prize which is Jesus
we continually ask ourselves if we are train hard for a race because of the Christians manifest split level Christian 3. TO SIMPLIFY OUR LIFE. Sim- Christ. Thus, this year’s anniver-
indeed pressing on with the mission reward of winning. No one puts so life – Christians on Sundays and pagans plifying things defines one’s priorities. sary celebration theme - “Forward
that has been entrusted to us? much effort on the preparations before the rest of the week. There is a term for It likewise provides the foundational in Christ, Winning the Race” - will
What gives us the push to get up on a race unless he has the motivation to that, if you are a soldier- WEEKEND basis of our decisions. As Proverbs 13:7 see CFC Metro Manila’s big sec-
a Monday morning, especially when excel, and in thus excelling, winning WARRIOR tellls us – “ A pretentious, showy life is tors and their counterpart provin-
we know that the week ahead promises the race. For Paul, the highest calling is to pre- an empty life; a plain and simple life cial areas celebrating at the Luneta
to be a particularly trying one? What But there are many among us who pare and run the race. His goal- eternity is a full life. Once achieved, simplicity in their race outfits.
and where is the source of energy that join races just for the fun of it – the so with Christ in Heaven. His method of brings with it peace of mind.” Big North together with Mind-
inspires and nurtures us to go on, regard- called “fun runs” – where the objective preparation – to forget the burden of the 4. TO MOTIVATE OUR LIFE. When anao will sport swimming outfits.
less of the circumstances? What fuels our is simply to finish the race, even if we past and simply to strain toward one we know our life’s purpose, we are Big East, Eastern Vizayas and
life, our work, our career and service? come in last, taking our pleasure along goal and one prize. motivated to reach for it with passion. Southern Tagalog will be wear-
Earthly life is a marathon and a pe- the way, stopping for many rests, for The purpose of our life is to lead a Once discovered, our life’s purpose has ing rowing outfits, all set to steer
rennial race and unless we are firmly coffee. But the real pleasure is in being life that ultimately brings us to God. the net effect of being an energizer.
their Dragon Boats while Big
grounded and rooted in the values Jesus able to hold our hand up in victory! Catechism teaches us “ to know, love 5. TO PREPARE US FOR ETERNI-
West and North Luzon will be in
taught us, it is difficult to comprehend Are we running the correct race? Are and serve God.” It is completed by add- TY. People who start to live in the light
ing the phrase “to finally be with God of eternity find that their values have cycling attires. The group of Big
in heaven.” We were created for that changed. “More than that, I even con- Central, Central Luzon and Cen-
Godly-purpose. sider everything as a loss because of the tral Vizayas will wear regatta/
Knowing our purpose is important. supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus sailboat race uniforms while Big
It will allow us to experience the fol- my Lord. For his sake I have accepted South, Western Visayas, Bicol and
lowing: the loss of all things and I consider CFC International will parade in
them so much rubbish, that I may gain their Motocross outfits.
1. TO GIVE MEANING TO OUR Christ.”(Phil 3:8) The different groups will also
LIFE. Dr. Bernie Siegel, an eminent psy- design their own “villages” ac-
chologist, who made an observational What is it going to be like in eternity cording to their assigned race
study on the survival of cancer patients, with God? Unfortunately no one can themes.
noted that those who responded posi- answer this question. Human brain can- CFC’s 28th year anniversary
tively to the question “Who wants to not handle the wonder and greatness of celebration will show how the
live to be a hundred?” have higher heaven, much less even closely fathom Lord accompanied CFC in moving
survival rates. its magnitude. forward last year to winning the
2. TO GIVE FOCUS TO OUR LIFE. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says: “God has...

race this year.

Phil 3:15 states: “... let us keep focused planted eternity in the human heart.”
Last year’s anniversary celebra-
on that goal, those of us who want ev- One who accepts this reality also
erything God has for us.” tion was awesome in its bigness
reaches a conclusion that life on earth
Without focus, one is bound to drift is just a dress rehearsal before the real -- 50,000 coming together in love
towards aimless distraction. This is a production – our journey to Heaven. and hope for the longest parade
situation very similar to a gyroscope Life on earth is a TEST, a TRUST, and in CFC history and the biggest
spinning rather quickly but without go- a TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT. We Lord’s Day celebration ever.
ing anywhere. Or consider the mighty just need to realize this in order to see This year’s anniversary festivities
warships of the Second World War that nothing we do or achieve here on promises to be bigger and grander
which were destroyed and sunk after earth can ever compare to what awaits still.
their rudders were hit by gunfire and us in heaven.
CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 11
May 25 - June 7, 2009
Ugnayan C3

CFC-IC names CFC work for

the poor as ANCOP
By Fernando M. Academia Jr. Migrant Workers Program, among others. He further emphasized
that while CFC’s work with the poor will now embrace a wider
COUPLES for Christ International Council (CFC-IC) has announced area, this does not mean that CFC will be “withdrawing from the
that the CFC work for the poor will be referred to as ANCOP. The blessed work of GK.”
announcement was made last May 19, 2009 during the Mission Core He also clarified to the Mission Core that “kung community building
Teaching Night at Xavier School. ang pag-uusapan, sa ating work with the poor, ‘yang component na ‘yan
In making the announcement, CFC Executive Director Joe Tale ay GK,” and that “by continuing our involvement in GK, those who
said that “...the totality of our work with the poor, in response to are involved in GK should continue to be involved there...”
our mission of building the church of the poor, will now be referred
to as ANCOP.” He also said that ANCOP, the first name given by Another Transition
CFC to the work with the poor that was started more than a decade Joe Tale started his talk by reminiscing about the periods of tran-
earlier, will also be used to refer to the “umbrella” work with the sitions the community underwent through the past 27 years of its
poor of CFC - its Social Ministries. existence.
Joe Tale explained that Gawad Kalinga is a major component He explained the evolution of CFC’s vision statement, from
of CFC’s work with the poor but that there are other components. “Families in the Holy Spirit Renewing the Face of the Earth” which
These include E-Pinoy, BayanAnihan, the Prison Ministry, and the involved being “rapid, massive, urgent and global” and “Bringing
glad tidings to the poor” in the year 2000 to the ex-
panded statement that we have now which involves
that twin mission of “Building the Church of the Home
and Building the Church of the Poor.” increase in the minimum wage law.
Moreover, he announced some changes in the cor-
porate life of CFC, namely: the setting of term limits Letting Go
to three consecutive terms of two years each for those Joe Tale also dwelt on the IC statement dated April 30, which an-
who will serve in the International Council and the nounced that CFC is letting go of the governance and organizational
change in the nomination process which means that structure of GK, allowing it to stand on its own, with its own GK
nominations will now come from the whole Elders Board and detached from under the direction of the CFC-IC. Thus,
Assembly rather than from just the IC and the Board henceforth CFC and GK will be independent of each other in terms
of Elders. of organizational and leadership structure and yet interdependent
In addition to cementing good relationships with in terms of helping each other alleviate poverty and care for the
the clergy (largely because of the Bishop, Clergy and poor.
Lay congresses that have been held in some parts of Joe Tale expressed the hope that the letting go of GK would
the country) Joe Tale reminded everyone that CFC encourage the CFC members to embark on other ministries the
can be proud of the fact that the community readily community has for the poor, namely: the Prison Ministry and the
solved its P20 million debt and that the community Migrant Workers Program.
is in a sound financial situation now. He thanked the “We praise God for the gift that is the work with the poor to us.
full-time workers for their continuous unwavering We are blessed simply by having the opportunity in very concrete
service even if there has been no increase in salaries terms to observe and pursue the commandment of our God to be
for the past two years except for the legal mandatory able to care to the least of our brethren.” Joe Tale said.

CFC Rizal celebrates its 22nd Anniversary

By Jed Juntereal of the Lord (HOLD) members all leaders and members par- sary celebration was a joyful
participated in the elimination ticipated in three festival shows: manifestation of love as well
THE CFC community in Rizal round of the “CFC Got Talent” Panagbenga, Masskara, and as a show of the community’s
province celebrated its 22nd an- contest, based on the popular Kadyawan. continuing evangelization of
niversary last May 16-17, 2009, “Britain’s Got Talent” contest, CFC Rizal’s 22nd anniver- souls for God.
with the theme “Forward and finishing with four finalists.
Beyond 22.” The culminating activity was
The weekend activity was held on Sunday afternoon at the
held in two venues: at the An- Binangonan gymnasium starting
gono Elementary School on with a Eucharistic celebration by
May 16 (Saturday) and at the Fr. Jun Tena, from the nearby
Binangonan, Rizal gymnasium town of Taytay, Rizal. HOLD
on May 17 (Sunday). members showcased glamor in
With a town fiesta as motif, a glittering Santacruzan proces-
the clusters and ministries of sion. CFC Northwestern Luzon
CFC Rizal constructed booths at Region Head Willy Padida deliv-
the Angono Elementary School, ered the exhortation, speaking of
showcasing games and other how CFC should move forward,
forms of entertainment. Other
activities were held, such as a
medical/dental mission, two
to strain toward what lies ahead
in seeking the glory and majesty
of God. Amidst the
Financial Crisis
film screenings, first aid work- It was indeed a glittering
shop, and even a workshop event, with the four finalists of
on milkfish (bangus) deboning. the “CFC Got Talents” contest
Many Kids For Christ (KFC), showing the talents that made
Youth For Christ (YFC), Singles them win, and the Philippine By Loiue Tecson, CFC Tennessee (Memphis), USA
For Christ (SFC), and Handmaids Festivals Presentation where
Ed’s Note: This sharing seems especially apt during these tough

CFC Quirino gets new spiritual director

times. No matter what trials we are all experiencing right now, the
insights this brother gained applies to all of us.

I REALIZED that I have a moral obligation to share with you

By Cynthia Campos lization thrust of the church as well as in its involvement in various things that currently shake and test my faith in the Lord. Last
parish activities. He also committed to further his knowledge about April 3, FedEx terminated over 500 salaried employees in the
CFC Quirino marked its 13th year anniversary last April 18, 2009 CFC so he could be more efficient in guiding and supporting the Memphis corporate offices alone. Unfortunately, I was one of
with good news -- th.ey now have a spiritual director in the person community. the 500. The lay-off came as a big shock because I knew I was
of Fr. Quezon Juan, parish priest of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, The celebration continued with team building activities, song and doing a good job but somehow, I continued on, and in fact,
Aglipay Quirino. His appointment covers CFC in the dioceses of dance presentations as well as volleyball games. The community none of the members of our household noticed anything amiss
Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino. was honored by the presence of Joey Arguelles, the first IC member during our meeting that same night. The only thing that shook
The anniversary celebration commenced with a motorcade fol- to ever attend their anniversary. Inspirational messages were also me was when Jane, one of our members, told Bing, my wife,
lowed by the given by Ding Aguinaldo, Regional Head for North Eastern Luzon that she had a strange dream on Thursday where she saw me
celebration of as well as George and Cynthia Campos, Provincial Area Head for inexplicably begging for money. But I took that to mean that
the Holy Mass the province. all of us in CFC are connected through Him.
at the Capitol The heavy downpour did not dampen the festive mood of the I would like to share with everyone my prayer reflection,
Gymnasium, crowd. A distinct trait of the community, which can be attributed following this lay-off:
Cabarroguis, to the leaders and members of CFC Quirino, is their capacity to re-
Quirino Prov- main undeterred, honed after thirteen years of experiencing God’s Dear Jesus,
ince. Fr Que- steadfast love. This community emerged from just three couples who I thank you for using me and my family as instruments for
zon, in his graduated from the first Christian life Program held in Cabarroguis preparing the way for your re-entry to the lives of our brothers
homily ac- in 1996 to its present group numbering around 500. and sisters in the CFC. I welcome you to my heart with arms
knowledged Indeed, the work may sometimes seem daunting, but the brethren wide open proclaiming you as my Savior. The day I professed
the work being realize with much certainty that each one walks along side Christ you as my Messiah, I knew that I had to pick up my own cross
George Campos, PAH of Quirino with other area leaders done by CFC whose grace keeps them moving forward, as they complete their to follow you. I knew that I will never get to Easter Sunday
and Fr. Quezon in the evange- mission as families in the Holy Spirit renewing the face of the earth. without going through a Good Friday. Thank you so much,
dear Lord, for being there always. I may not understand now
the things going on in my life. But I know everything happens

CFC Zamboanga City is 15 for a reason. Whatever that reason may be, I feel safe knowing
that you will never abandon me.
As I journey with you in these tough times, please help me
By Vic Lauro remember that during those times when my burden seemed
light, it was because you helped me carry my cross. During
COUPLES For Christ (CFC) Zamboanga City celebrated its 15th those times when I seemed to stand up quickly after stumbling,
anniversary last May 9-10, 2009 at Ateneo de Zamboanga Blebeuf it was because you were lifting me up each time I fell. Give me
Gym, with the theme “Forward in Christ, CFC Zamboanga! One in the patience, Lord Jesus, to see each day pass in accordance to
Christ! your will and not to see things through my own eyes. Give
The celebration began with a reflection on the community’s past 15 me the wisdom, Lord Jesus, to understand the purpose of car-
years, aided by song and dance presentations showing the transition rying my cross and not to rely on my puny understanding of
in the CFC Family Ministries. CFC Zamboanga City Provincial Area things. Give me the strength, Lord Jesus, to follow you until
Director, Vic Lauro, led the first session entitled “Reminiscing 15 years the end just as you endured walking the road of Calvary until
of life and service in CFC.” Nonoy Dalman, CFC Zamboanga City you breathed your last to save me from my sins.
Area Head, delivered the second session entitled “Moving Forward Lastly, Lord Jesus, I thank you for sending me my brothers
and Letting Go.” and sisters in Couples for Christ. Just as you allowed Simon
A celebration of the Holy Eucharist opened the festive afternoon followed by a parade of mouthwatering local delicacies as a thanksgiv- of Cyrene to help you carry your cross, I believe that you’ve
ing for the abundant blessings that the Lord has showered CFC Zamboanga City since they started in 1994. The first day ended with a sent CFC to help me weather this storm. Their life experiences,
Praise Party and a showcase of God-given talents with performances from CFC sectors and Family Ministries. personal struggles, good counsel and more importantly their
The celebration continued the next day with a motorcade from the city proper to GK Tulungatung, the site which became one of the fervent prayers and their deep devotion to you have made
two venues of the recently concluded GK Bayani Challenge 2009. The local CFC Area Council delivered their messages followed by an me become the person you want me to be. I will be forever
anniversary message from Nonoy Dalman. grateful for without this loving community, I would have
Sibol children welcomed everyone with their rendition of the GK song followed by a dance from the Kids for Christ members and a probably abandoned my cross and taken a different journey
native dance by one of the first batch who started CFC in the city, Bert Lim. The celebration ended on a high note, with high hopes for a without you.
more fruitful and aggressive evangelization throughout the city and the region.
C4 Ugnayan CBCP Monitor
Vol. 13 No. 11
May 25 - June 7, 2009

CFC International News

1st CFC Youth Camp in Belize

By Francis “Kiko” Manlunas, Keisha and I were met by CFC Belize Country the clergy throughout
Coordinators Carlos and Veronica Serafina Ross. the entire country and
BELIZE was humbling, inspiring, and amazing We were treated to a meal at the restaurant owned they were able to gather
all at the same time. Fulltime worker Kiesha by Jason de Ocampo, the lone Filipino CFC mem- interest from youth all
Middleton and I were invited by Sonny Aguiling ber in Belize. Jason is a well-known chef in Belize throughout Belize. We
and Mickey Santiago (CFC New Jersey) to go on a who has won numerous country awards for his conducted an orientation,
mission trip to Belize City, Belize from April 13-21. culinary talents. Later, at the fellowship with the a household leaders train-
I was honored to say yes to the call. household of the Rosses, it was also a pleasure to ing, and a camp training
Coming from Miami, we were used to warm play guitar with CFC Music Ministry Head, former for the youth moderators
weather, yet the heat in Belize was even more country leader of the Solomon Islands AND Belize of the respective parishes
sweltering and more humid. From the time we Supreme Court Justice John Muria! leading up to the youth
set foot in Belize, I knew this would be quite an The youth camp was a wonderful experience. camp itself. The mod-
experience. The Ross family has an excellent relationship with erators consisted of young
professionals and a few
young married couples
who are very active with
the youth in their par-
ishes and they were very
excited regarding our programs and formation The level of faith shown by the youth in spite of
tracks. A few of the married couples are also in- all the adversity they deal with was very inspiring
terested in joining CFC in the near future! Kiesha and humbling. Despite fighting a tough cough
and I thought we would be doing the heavy stuff throughout the weekend, God willed me through,
ourselves but God blessed us with resources and thanks to the prayers of the entire community. On
a service team via the youth moderators for this Saturday night we were even blessed to worship
camp. Praise God! with the youth Carribean style, as one of the youth
This was no ordinary camp venue, nor anything accompanied my guitar playing with a steel pan!
like I was used to in the US. Electricity was run Before we left we were also able to conduct a
solely on generators, so we only had access to follow up meeting with the Ross family and the
power for a few hours during the evening time, newly appointed YFC couple coordinators, Kernel
putting a strain on our voices. While the girls had and Nicolyn Parks. We left them all the follow up
cabins, the boys either slept in tents, or simply out resources necessary to build on the momentum
in the wild. 43 youth participants were able to of this youth camp and they are very eager and
make it to this camp. The group discussions and excited for the challenge. They’ve pushed the
the one-on-one dialogues that I conducted were envelope even further making it a goal to conduct
some of the most fruitful discussions I’ve ever another youth camp before the end of 2009 with
had in the 10+ years I’ve spent in this community. hopefully over 100 participants

CFC Singapore One More for Jesus....

Moves on By Pilar Dimaculangan
“ONE more for Jesus, Forward
in Christ” were the words that
By Iris Suministrado echoed in the main hall of
Grand Baccus Banquet Centre
536 CFC, SFC, HOLD and SOLD members all over Singapore and Johor Bahru,
in Scarborough as Jun Clarito,
Malaysia gathered inside the Spring Auditorium in Bukit Merah, Singapore
CFC Ontario Regional Head,
to reflect on CFC’s theme this year – Forward in Christ.
led an overflowing crowd of
Ben Lam, CFC Singapore Family Ministries Head opened the event with a
more than 1,000 members of
worship. CFC Southeast Asia Regional Head Jun Uriarte gave the first ses-
Couples for Christ (CFC) and
sion – ONE THING. CFC International Director Joe Tale gave the second and
its Family Ministries during the
2009 Evangelization Rally held
HOPE. CFC International Missions Coordinator Clarke Nebrao led the third
on Sunday, February 22, 2009.
and fifth sessions – STRAINING and PRIZE IN JESUS CHRIST. Members of
Ed Hilario, CFC Flame Min-
the community shared about how they experienced all these in the different
istry Area Coordinator, opened
moments of their lives. It was a day of remembering experiences, celebrating
the rally through a spirit-filled
the Lord’s love and goodness and believing in the God who made everything
worship, followed by artistic
happen. The day ended with a powerful praisefest led by Jeff Yabut.
chants performed by the differ-
Truly it was a day that inspired the CFC Singapore community as they
ent family ministries.
got to know Paul and the God who gave him the grace to say – “Just one
This was followed by Jun
thing- forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead,
Clarito’s talk on Evangelization
I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling,
where he emphasized the three
in Christ Jesus.”
ways to evangelize, namely:

1. Focused/Strategic Evangelization light of Christ with others namely: Catholic Mission); Rev. Mark Villan-
2. Integrated Evangelization ueva of St. Josephine Bakhita Parish;
3. Pocket Evangelization • Develop a foundation of prayer; Rev. Roselle R. Azares of St. Boniface
• Be thankful for the gifts of God and Parish, (CFC Toronto Spiritual Adviser);
Several members delivered testimo- generously share it with our neighbors and Rev. Dominic Barber, Vice Rector,
nies of their lives, among them Ricky (stewardship); St. Augustine’s Seminary.
Cuenca, President of ANCOP USA and • Engage everyone to active disciple- Immediately after the mass, Efren
CFC Country Coordinator for USA, ship in our parishes – involve all groups Baria, SFC Canada National Coordina-
and Junnie Arreza, who shared about (i.e., young, middle aged, old people) tor, led the crowd in a spirit-filled and
focused/strategic evangelization. for the glory of God through service; dynamic praise fest.
Andrew and Rosalie Paz, CFC Bramp- • Pray for and encourage specific In the words of His Grace, Arch-
ton chapter leaders, shared about vocations for consecrated service to the bishop Collins, “Our life is like an ar-
integrated evangelization. They spoke church as we are all a parish family; row. As evangelizers, we have to live
about using the play Prince of Egypt to • Know more about our faith, includ- our life fully engaged. We are richly
evangelize the parents of the YFCs and ing the Catechism of the Catholic church blessed with tradition to catch the fire
parishioners in their area. They moved (adult/faith formation); of Christ and to share the light of Christ
the crowd with their message of hope • Support a deep and strengthened with others.”
and perseverance, and concluded their family life;

CFC Paris
sharing with a powerful statement: “We • Evangelize through culture – reach
think as one. We work as one. We move out to our society through music, dance,
as one. Forgetting what lies behind, we creativity and art to praise the Lord.
move forward in Christ.”

is Now a
Joe and Babylou Tale (standing, 2nd and 3rd from left) and Jun Uriarte (extreme left, Nick Borja, CFC National Director, The rally concluded with a concel-
standing) pose with Singapore leaders shared about pocket evangelization and ebrated mass by His Grace, Archbishop
the CFC work for the migrant workers Collins and eight other priests and the

in Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Deacon of St. Josephine Bakhita Parish,

Uganda News
Alberta. Mr. Barry Wood. The priests were:Rev.
One of the highlights of the 2009 Xavier de Pinto of St. Norbert Parish;
Evangelization Rally was the talk Rev. Joseph Lourdusamy of St. Philip

BISHOP Paul Ssemogerere, Bishop of the Diocese of Kasana-Luwero in

Uganda, celebrates the final graduation mass of the 2nd CLP in his diocese
given by His Grace, Archbishop Thomas
Christopher Collins of the Archdio-
cese of Toronto on the topic Families
as Evangelizers in the Archdiocese of
Neri Parish; Rev. Luigi Accossato,
I.M.C.of St. Andrew Parish; Rev. Dan-
iel Mentessana, I.V.E.of St. Augustine
of Canterbury Parish; Rev. Ben Ebcas
with 29 couples graduating last April 26. Bishop Paul encouraged everyone Toronto. He also gave the community of Our Lady of Assumption (also the By Chastine Rodriguez
to strengthen their marriages through fully living out their being Couples Seven Goals that can help CFC share the Mission Director, Archdiocesan Filipino
for Christ He pledged to fully support the life and mission of Couples for CFC Paris has become the new Mis-
Christ in his diocese. As concrete proof of his support, the diocese is sending sion Center of Couples for Christ
Fr. Mathias Ssenyange, Head of the Family Life Desk of the Diocese, to the Europe. This was announced by
upcoming CFC anniversary in Manila this June. Joe Yamamoto, CFC European
Coordinator, on the occasion of
his visit to Geneva from 6-9 April
Paris has a vibrant and growing
CFC community. It was in this city
that CFC Europe started about 14
years ago, following the first Chris-
tian Life Program spearheaded by
Mon and Gandie Carpio, assisted
by Teddy and Evelyn San Juan and
Dandy and Susan Calvez. The har-
vest from that CLP was a total of
91 CFC pioneers, composed of 13
couples, 7 servants, 32 handmaids
and 26 singles.
CFC Paris joins the ranks of two
other mission centers, CFC Geneva
and CFC Vienna, which are tasked
with the important mission of
bringing Christ’s Good News mes-
sage to Europe.
Archbishop Thomas Christopher Collins