Church is young and joyful, says Pope

norms B1 Vatican says newefforts will strengthen against abusive priests


The Cross

A Supplement Publication of KC Life and the Order of the Knights of Columbus

Bataan clergy pushes dismantling of nuke plant
CATHOLIC Church officials in Bataan appealed to the government to dismantle the mothballed nuclear facility in their province. While lauding President Aquino’s decision against the revival of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, totally dismantling it, they said, could bring more positive reception from the people there. Monsignor Tony Dumaual fears that until the BNPP structures and facilities are there, the possibilities for it to be revived
Bataan / A6

Church leaders urge ‘Hello Garci’ witnesses to come forward
A RELIGIOUS leader has made a public appeal for civilian witnesses to the “Hello Garci” 2004 election scandal. Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines co-chairperson Sr. Mary John
Garci / A6

August 2 - 15, 2010

Vol. 14 No. 16

Php 20.00

CBCP revives dialogue with lawmakers over RH bill
By Roy Lagarde

WITH the recent opening of the 15th Congress, Catholic prelates are reviving the holding of further dialogues with lawmakers on the contentious legislation.
An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said the Church is open to dialogue, but said that any measure that seeks to promote contraception will remain unacceptable to them. Fr. Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, said the discussions would be done on a diocesan level wherein each bishop would talk directly with lawmakers in their respective dioceses. “We’d rather talk to the congressmen individually. The bishops agreed last plenary to dialogue with legislators especially those who are new members of the Congress,” said Castro. Information reaching Castro’s office also revealed that pro-RH bill lobbyists have been holding seminar with new congressmen. He claimed that these “moneyed” lobbyists are “courting” neophyte lawmakers to support the passage of the RH bill which also seeks to control the country’s growing population. HB 13 One purpose of the dialogue, he
RH Bill / A6

PPCRV chairperson Henrietta de Villa (right) reveals the 99-percent accuracy in the results of the May 10 polls random manual audit as Comelec chairman Jose Melo and Commissioner Lucenito Tagle listen during a press conference, July 29. Despite initial doubts from various sectors, De Villa said the country’s first automated national elections helped prevent “systematic cheating” that marred the previous polls.

Indigenous leaders vow to pursue PPCRV favors autorights to self-determination mated polls in 2013
LEADERS of various indigenous communities vowed to act collectively as they urge government to recognize their rights to self-determination. Tribal leaders expressed disappointment on President Benigno Aquino’s SONA saying that as in past administrations, Aquino’s government seemed to exclude them. IP leaders said Aquino’s SONA failed to address the issues of the indigenous communities “such as recognition of their right to self-determination and reversal of policies that have undermined their culture and their very existence.” “As with previous presidents we barely deserved mention in his speech. And while we appreciate his statement that we will be part of any negotiation regarding peace in Mindanao, we are concerned that the direction he seems to be taking with respect to economic policy is to adopt the same old formulas that have already proven inadequate,” said Nilda Mangilay, a Subanen of Zamboanga del Sur. Almost a hundred indigenous peoples’ representatives from Luzon and Mindanao gathered recently at Apu Agbibilin Community Center in Brgy. Songco during their State of the Indigenous Peoples Address (SIPA). Recalling that the government had failed them in the past, the IP leaders said that they have committed themselves to pursue their demands through the SIPA. “We will not wait for governTHE Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) said the new system of automated elections should be replicated in the 2013 presidential elections. PPCRV chairperson Henrietta de Villa said the automation will improve the quality of elections as it did last May 10. She said any plans to automate the next elections would be great after proving that there was “no systematic cheating” the recent polls wherein President Benigno Aquino III won as president. “The automated election has features that prevent massive cheating. It really

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

improved the quality of the election process,” De Villa said. De Villa released to the media, in a recent press briefing, the result of the random manual audit of 1, 145 precincts in the May 10 polls conducted by a technical

Indigenous / A6

P-Noy urged to lead anti-littering drive NASSA supports postpone-

ment of APECO project
© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

THE National Secretariat for Social Action-Justice and Peace (NASSA) of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) expressed their support with the Aurora clergies in its call for the suspension of the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport (APECO) project. “We reiterate our expression of solidarity with and prayers for their Excellencies Bishop Rolando Tirona and Bishop Emeritus Julio Labayen, Fr. Joefran Talaban and the Infanta clergies who bravely face risks to ensure that the rights of the farmers, fisher folks and indigenous peoples are respected,” NASSA said in a statement. The APECO project is authored by Senator Edgardo Angara and Representative Sonny Angara aimed to expand the economic zone in the province from 500 to 12, 923 hectares. The project replaces the equally disputed RA 9490 that created
Bishop Broderick Pabillo


SOME Catholic bishops presented on June 30 a 13-point agenda that President Benigno Aquino III should address in his administration. The bishops said the Arroyo administration had failed to attend to many social issues so they hope that Aquino would give it utmost priority. The agenda composed of the positions of the church on certain issues long tackled in CBCP Pastoral Statements was presented in a press conference after a
P-Noy / A6

Illustration by Bladimer Usi

Listen to the CBCP Online Radio at: www.cbcponlineradio.com


World News

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 16
August 2 - 15, 2010

Pope welcomes cluster munitions ban, urges more countries to sign
VATICAN City, August 1, 2010—It was with “great contentment” that Benedict XVI observed the first day of the worldwide ban on cluster munitions, which took effect on Sunday. The Vatican participated in the talks that led to the international agreement, focusing upon the “logic of peace.” A total of 107 states have signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), adopting its ban in May 2008. The convention prohibits “all use, stockpiling, production and transfer of Cluster Munitions.” According to the CCM, the agreement also includes articles which address victim assistance, the clearance of contaminated areas and the elimination of stockpiles. On Aug. 1, the agreement became binding in international law. However, countries such as the United States, Russia, China, Israel, India and Pakistan did not sign it. Both Iraq and Afghanistan, where wars are currently taking place, are signatories to the ban but have not yet ratified it. After the Sunday Angelus at Castel Gandolfo, the Holy Father welcomed the news, saying that his first thought goes to “the numerous victims who have suffered and continue to suffer serious physical and moral injuries, even loss of life, from these insidious explosives.” “With the entry into force of the new Convention, to which I exhort all states to comply, the international community has demonstrated wisdom, foresight and the capacity to pursue a meaningful result in the field of disarmament and international human rights. He concluded by saying that it is his “hope and encouragement” that States continue to work in this way “with ever greater vigor, for the defense of dignity and human life, for the promotion of integral human development, for the establishment of a peaceful international order and for the realization of the common good of all people and all nations.” In an accompanying Sunday statement, the Vatican highlighted its commitment to the process which led to the convention. It reported the Holy See’s close participation with the other states and said the Holy See was one of the first state to call for a moratorium on the munitions and to ratify the document that entered into force on Sunday. The Vatican is highly committed to the cause, reads the statement, “in the conviction that the logic of peace is stronger than the logic of war, which in every case must have as an insurmountable limit the protection and preservation of the civil population, and particularly the most vulnerable people.” The first meeting of the parties involved in the convention’s ratification will meet this Nov. 8-12 in Vientiane, Laos. (CNA)

John Paul II continues to inspire vocations
HONG KONG, July 30, 2010— One of Hong Kong’s four new permanent deacons says his vocation is linked to Pope John Paul II, and particularly to the Pontiff’s death. Deacon Stephen Kwok Pingfai was one of four to be ordained July 24 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Hong Kong. Decon Kwok, 45, recounted to the Catholic Weekly that the news coverage of the Pope’s death in 2005 led him to reflect on his baptismal vocation. “Pope John Paul II lived out the teachings of Jesus Christ in his life,” the deacon said. “He led the Catholic Church to search for the reconciliation with the Orthodox Churches and the Protestant communities, with the desire to strive for peace. “At that time I thought: John Paul II passed away, who will follow his footsteps and continue his missions?” Deacon Kwok is a radiographer at the faculty of medicine of the University of Hong Kong. He is the youngest of Hong Kong’s 15 permanent deacons, and according to UCANews, his ordination helps dispel the idea in Hong Kong that the permanent deaconate is for retired men. In addition to the diocesan deacons ordained July 24, a Dominican deacon was ordained in Hong Kong on July 1, and a Jesuit priest and Jesuit deacon will be ordained Saturday. (Zenit) VATICAN City, July 30, 2010—The Vatican has released Pope Benedict XVI’s prayer intentions for the month of August. In his intentions, the Pontiff is praying that those in serious financial need or require housing will be assisted. Pope Benedict’s general prayer intention is: “That those who are without work or homes or who are otherwise in serious need may find understanding and welcome, as well as concrete help in overcoming their difficulties.” His mission intention is: “That the Church may be a ‘home’ for all people, ready to open her doors to any who are suffering from racial or religious discrimination, hunger or wars forcing them to emigrate to other countries.” (CNA)

Pope praying for unemployed in August

5 Theology of the Body Pioneers awarded
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania, July 30, 2010—Five individuals and institutions were honored for their work to spread the teaching of Pope John Paul II in his theology of the body at the first national congress on this topic. Cardinal Justin Rigali, archbishop of Philadelphia, said the opening prayer for the Thursday evening awards banquet at the National Theology of the Body Congress. Cardinal Rigali affirmed to ZENIT that the theology of the body is “a great gift.” In fact, the cardinal personally wrote a Jan. 21 letter of invitation to the congress, in which he stated, “I am convinced that John Paul II’s theology of the body is a treasure for the Church and a gift of the Holy Spirit for our time.” The three-day congress, which was organized by the Philadelphia-based Theology of the Body Institute, ends today. The institute awarded Valentine and Ann Coelho of Goa, India; Father Richard Hogan of Crystal, Minnesota; the Daughters of St. Paul of Boston, Massachusetts; the Theology of the Body International Alliance of San Antonio, Texas; and Ruah Woods of Cincinnati, Ohio. A press release noted the “pioneering work” of these honorees in “the advancement of the teachings of Pope John Paul II on human sexuality.” David Savage, chairman of the institute’s board, said at the banquet that “each of the recipients have been true trailblazers—in ways unique to their individual and organizational missions—in promoting and helping others understand the theology of the body.” Unique missions Valentine and Ann Coelho were acknowledged for their work over the past decade in spreading the teachings of John Paul II in India, through seminars for clergy, religious, seminarians, doctors, youth and engaged and married couples. Father Hogan, co-author of “Covenant of Love: Pope John Paul II on Sexuality, Marriage and Family in the Modern World,” was honored for his vanguard work in disseminating the theology of the body through publications as early as 1981. His latest book, “Theology of the Body: What it Means, Why it Matters,” continues his 29-year work of bringing John Paul II’s teachings to a wider audience. Sister Mary Mark Wickenhiser, publisher of Pauline Books and Media, accepted the award on behalf of the Daughters of St. Paul. The congregation, which works to communicate Christ through the media and modern technology, was awarded for its work to publish the general audience addresses of John Paul II, and then many subsequent books by various authors on the topic of the theology of the body. Anastasia Northrop received the award for the Theology of the Body International Alliance, which was created in 2003 to provide resources for catechesis and ministry. The organization currently supports 500 members in 25 countries in their work with couples, teens, prolife causes, street evangelization, forums and national conferences. Ruah Woods was honored for its ministry in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Ohio, as an education center specifically dedicated to teaching the theology of the body. Since it opened its doors last year, it has trained 400 students to bring John Paul II’s teaching to their own parishes and communities. (Zenit)

Israel threatens to cut off water supply to Church of the Holy Sepulchre
TEL AVIV, Israel, July 30, 2010— The Churches of Jerusalem are perplexed and concerned by the municipal authorities threat to cut off water supplies to the basilica of the Holy Sepulchre. Since water supplies were first operational in the area, successive governments have always provided access to the Holy Sepulchre free of charge as a public service to the pilgrims and act of courtesy to the religious, Catholic and non-Catholic, who custody the sanctuary. So did the British government in the Holy Land (1917-1948), the Jordanian (1948-1967) and so far the Israelis. But now Israeli municipal authorities have stepped up pressure and threats to cut off water supplies unless a tax is paid, not only in future but also for all water supplied since 1967. The revelations were made to AsiaNews by sources in the Basilica, who prefer not to be identified in the hope that the city authorities will have a change of heart. The curious fact is that the payment requests are directed to a nonexistent entity, “the church of the Holy Sepulchre.” An administration that does not exist, since the ancient basilica is governed by a special, internationally recognized, legal regime, known as the “Status quo”. The “Status quo” means that the spaces, time, and functions are divided between the Catholic Church, represented by the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land and several groups of non-Catholic monks, primarily Greek and Armenian but also to a lesser extent, Copts, Ethiopian and Syrian Orthodox. An expert of Church-State relations in the Holy Land contacted by AsiaNews, said: “The question of paying for the past use is clearly unfounded, because it was a conscious choice and consistent political of all the successive states that ruled in Jerusalem both de facto and de jure, to offer this courtesy to those who officiate and those visiting the Holy Sepulchre of Our Lord Jesus Christ [and also to many other churches in the past]. As for the future, nobody denies that nowadays the supply of water could be seen as a ‘commodity’ for which you should always pay a fair price. However, in order for this to be applied to the whole of the Holy Sepulchre, specific agreements must be reached between first among the different users regarding the splitting of costs for the consumption of water in common areas, and then you will have to install separate water metres so that it can be demanded that each group of monks pay for what they consume. In fact it is a rather complex legal and technical transaction, which can be addressed only by mutual agreement and not to the sound of threats and warnings, addressed to nobody in particular”. With some hesitation, the scholar concludes: “But in the end, is it worthwhile for the Israeli authorities to remove an appreciated courtesy practiced by all other states that have controlled the area? It’s likely that whoever had this idea will now have to consult with the Office of the Prime Minister or the Foreign Ministry to reach a more lenient conclusion”. (AsiaNews)


India to celebrate revised Mass next year
MUMBAI, India, August 2, 2010—Indian Catholics can expect a somewhat different celebration of Mass next year when a revised English text for the liturgy is put to use. The Latin-rite bishops of India have “voted to introduce” the revised liturgy from the first Sunday of Advent 2011, Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay told ucanews.com. The cardinal is a new appointee to the Vatican office that overseas liturgical practices. Pope Benedict XVI handed over the approved revised English translation of the third edition of the Roman Missal for use in the United States and India on April 30, Cardinal Gracias said. The prelate, who is president of both the Indian bishops’ conference, said the new text would be applicable to all English-speaking countries. Church leaders revised the text as the earlier Missal was a “free translation” and lacked “fidelity to the original Latin” text, he said. The 65-year-old prelate said he was a member of the committee that studied the revision. Some texts are “from the second, third and fourth centuries” and some prayers are “formulated by early saints,” he said. “We did not want to lose the theological and historical richness of early Church practices.” The new version is “getting back to the roots of our faith,” but is “certainly not an attempt to hark back to the pre-Vatican II Latin Mass,” he added.

Cardinal Oswald Gracias

The cardinal was appointed to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on July 6. He said the revision would not hinder incorporating local cultural elements such as music, songs and dance in liturgical celebrations. Local dance, music and other artforms have been successfully introduced in the liturgy in Africa, he said. (UCAN)



CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 16
August 2 - 15, 2010

Church is young and joyful, says Pope
CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, July 30, 2010—After viewing a documentary on the first five years of his pontificate, Benedict XVI noted that although the Church experiences periods of crisis and suffering, it remains joyful and young. After watching “Fünf Jahre Papst Benedikt” (Five Years: Pope Benedict XVI), a film produced by Bayerischer Rundfunk, a public broadcaster in Bavaria, Germany, the Pope thanked the filmmakers “for this extraordinary spiritual journey, which has enabled us to relive and see again determinant and culminating moments of these five years of my Petrine service and of the life of the Church herself.” “It was for me personally very moving to see some moments, above all the one in which the Lord placed on my shoulders the Petrine service,” he continued. “A weight that no one could carry by himself with his limited strength, but which can be carried because the Lord carries it and carries me. “It seems to me that in this film we saw the richness of the life of the Church, the multiplicity of cultures, of charisms, of different gifts that live in the Church and how in this multiplicity and great diversity the same one Church lives. “And the Petrine primacy has this mandate to render the unity visible and concrete, in the historical, concrete multiplicity, in the unity of the present, past, future and the eternal.” (Zenit)

News Features


SONA lacks focus on environmental safeguards

Cardinal Newman and Pope Benedict share fight against relativism, writes Vatican expert
VATICAN City, July 28, 2010—Similarities between the teachings of Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal John Henry Newman are detailed in Wednesday’s edition of Il Foglio. According to the author, at least one major element unites their thought - their aversion to a relativistic society. Vatican expert Paolo Rodari examines the Pope’s interest in the soonto-be beatified English cardinal in an article titled, “The fight against relativism of B-XVI is the same as Newman’s one hundred years ago.” The Il Foglio writer refers to the argument of Msgr. Roderick Strange, who in his “spiritual biography” of Cardinal Newman, illustrates a moment when then-Cardinal Ratzinger showed a “bond” with the founder of the Birmingham Oratory. Holding the floor before the College of Cardinals on the eve of the papal enclave in which he was elected in 2005, Cardinal Ratzinger spoke of the “dictatorship of relativism” threatening the world, in which nothing is definite and the only thing that remains is “oneself and one’s desires.” This, wrote Msgr. Strange, is a “not necessarily coincidental” link to Cardinal Newman’s own premise of a “simply non religious world.” Relativism, explained Rodari, represents a “threat” for the Pope, “because when truth is abandoned, freedom is also left behind... and it slides towards totalitarianism.” In his book on Newman, Msgr. Strange goes on to describe a further occasion for comparison, when at a conference for the 100th anniversary of Cardinal Newman’s death, “Ratzinger makes reference to the link between truth and personal conscience.” Newman, pointed out Cardinal Ratzinger, “taught that the conscience must be nourished as a way of obedience to objective truth. “And Newman’s entire life witnesses that conviction,” he said. So, continued Msgr. Strange, during World War II, the future Pope “experienced what Newman had predicted: the consequences of when revealed religion is not recognized as true (and) objective, but is considered as something private from which the people might choose for themselves whatever they like.” Newman, concluded Rodari, went

“straight to the heart” of the issue when, on being named cardinal in 1879, said “Religious liberalism is the doctrine according to which there doesn’t exist any positive truth in the religious field, but that any creed is as good as any other; and this is the doctrine that, day after day, is acquiring consistency

and vigor. “This position is incompatible with every recognition of a religion as true.” And, as this worried Cardinal Newman, it also “worries Ratzinger today,” concluded Rodari. (CNA/ EWTN News)

Vatican official urges Chinese clerics to continue promoting unity
VATICAN City, July 29, 2010— The head of the Vatican’s missionary office urged bishops and priests in China to live simply, show kindness to all people and continue working for the unity of the Catholic community on the mainland. Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, wrote to Chinese bishops and priests July 5; the text of his letter was released July 29 by Fides, the congregation’s news agency. Reflecting on the themes Pope Benedict XVI highlighted during the Year for Priests, which ended in June, Cardinal Dias said bishops and priests must remember they are ministers of Christ and his forgiveness, servants of all people and promoters of the unity of the church. Promoting unity, he said, requires both communion with the pope and with other Catholics. “We are all too aware of how some of you suffered in the recent past because of loyalty to the Holy See,” he said. “The exemplary and courageous loyalty toward the See of Peter demonstrated by Catholics in China is a precious gift of the Lord.” When China began suppressing the church in the late 1950s, it established the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, whose members initially were asked to reject ties with the Vatican. Catholics who refused to join the patriotic association and overtly maintained their loyalty to the Vatican suffered decades of persecution. Being Catholic and obeying the will of Christ that his followers be one means Catholics must be in union with one another, Cardinal Dias said. “This important challenge you are already tackling,” he said, as bishops and priests try to promote reconciliation between those who practiced their faith clandestinely and those who participated in officially sanctioned activities with the patriotic association. Cardinal Dias reminded the bishops and priests of what Pope Benedict said in his homily for the June 29 feast of Sts. Peter and Paul about attacks on the church and persecution of Christians having a long history, yet never being able to defeat the church completely. On the other hand, the cardinal said, the pope noted how the church “is subjected to the greatest danger by what pollutes the faith and Christian life of her members and communities.” The pope said that “one of the typical effects of the action of the Evil One is, precisely, the internal division of the ecclesial community,” the cardinal wrote. Cardinal Dias also urged each Chinese bishop and priest to be a man of prayer and simplicity and to show special concern for the poor and needy, including “sheep who do not yet belong to his fold.” (CNS)

MANILA, July 30, 2010—For environmental advocates, President Benigno Aquino’s first State of the Nation address should have included specifics on how his government will work to protect the nation’s ecology. Environmental group EcoWaste Coalition expressed their dissatisfaction on Aquino’s SONA, saying it lacked focus and did not have any concrete plans on environmental safeguards. “Honestly speaking, we were dismayed by the lack of focus on environment as if Mother Nature does not matter,” Roy Alvarez, president of EcoWaste Coalition said. “We share and support P-Noy’s drive for a clean government but we could not help but wonder if environmental protection is in any way central to his crusade for change,” he added. Alvarez also said Aquino has disregarded the basic ecological challenges being faced by the country particularly the poor and the vulnerable communities. The group particularly hoped that Aquino has addressed his plans on water crisis and ways to save Sierra Madre and other watersheds as well as the “biodiversity areas from logging, mining and dumping activities on top of implementing rainwater impounding systems for farmers and communities.” They also expected Aquino to tackle the issues on climate change; forest and biodiversity demolition; marine pollution; toxic chemicals; municipal solid waste; hazardous waste and such. For his part, Rei Panaligan, Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition, said Aquino will soon carry on the mistakes of the past administration that allowed the destruction of the country’s ecosystems and remaining forests if he will not prioritize environmental protection. In their earlier statement, the eco group has called on Aquino to give attention to Zero Waste and Chemical Safety. The Zero Waste and Chemical Safety includes the execution of ecological solid waste management; recognition of the informal waste sector in resource recovery and conservation; ban on plastic bags, elimination of lead in paint, adoption of pollution prevention and control measures against mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other toxic substances,” the report affirmed. “The ban on aerial spraying of chemicals in agriculture, and adoption of genuine climate-friendly adaptation and mitigation strategies, including “Zero Waste for Zero Warming” are also part of the eco program,” the statement declared. (Kate Laceda)

Fisherfolks to block Laguna Lake’s ‘privatization’
ANTIPOLO City, July 23, 2010— Fisherfolks in the Laguna Lake had assailed the plans of having the lake “privatized,” saying they will do anything to block the attempt to make the 94,000hectare lake as water source for Metro Manila residents. Proposals have been made to tap the lake in order to resolve “waterlessness” in Metro Manila due to low water levels in Angat Dam in Bulacan, the primary water reservoir that supplies water to the residents of the National Capital Region. Fisherfolks fear the plan is yet another scheme for profits by big water conglomerate, Maynilad Water Services Inc., now being managed by the DMCI Holdings, Inc., a well-known construction and development company. Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio Singson said that the government is considering Laguna Lake as an alternative source of water, along with Marikina and Pampanga Rivers to address the water crisis and mitigate the impacts of the El Niño. Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) general manager Edgar Manda, meanwhile said, his agency is open to the idea and even said that the Lopez owned Maynilad Water Services Incorporated could utilize its water treatment facilities to be able to get at least 50,000 million liters per day. However, the Save the Laguna Lake Movement (SLLM), convened by the militant fisherfolk alliance, Pambansang Lakas ng Mamamalakaya sa Pilipinas, Inc. or Pamalakaya said if the government will allow Maynilad to develop the lake into a water source, it would create a larger problem. “The idea is a crazy adventure aimed to realize super profits under the guise of social welfare but in reality are all about monopoly windfall at the expense of people’s livelihood, welfare and the environment,” said Pamalakaya National Chair Fernando Hicap in an e-mail. Hicap said that the current water crisis is not brought by the lack of water itself, but the privatization and mismanagement of water sources. “Let me state the fact: The water problem manifested by water rationing in Metro Manila has been there since time immemorial; it was further aggravated when water concessionaires took over the operations of the water utilities that only rake profits but cannot improve their services,” Hicap said. Hicap and his colleagues said that if LLDA and the DPWH will push the idea, they are culpable of violating the laws on the environment and the LLDA mandate itself. “Although the LLDA is authorized under Republic Act 4850 to issue permits for the use and abstraction of lake water,” Hicap explains, “it is not authorized to perform acts that are deemed to destroy the ecological balance and very nature of Laguna Lake.” (Noel Sales Barcelona)

Advocates score gov’t inaction on T’bolis’ plight
KORONADAL City, July 25, 2010—Indigenous peoples and advocates have criticized the government’s seeming indifference on the plight of the T’bolis in Barangay Ned, Lake Sebu. Datu Victor Danyan, Chairperson of the T’boli-Manubo Sdaf Claimants Organization (TAMASCO), speaking in the dialect, said that “the government is hurting us more by not listening and respecting our decisions not to allow mining or any other so-called development projects in our ancestral land.” Consunji-owned Silvicultural Industries (SII) and San Miguel Corporation have been encroaching on the T’bolis’ ancestral domain for many years. SII operates the Dawang Coffee Plantation by virtue of its Industrial Forest Management Agreement (IFMA). The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has awarded the IFMA in 1992. It will expire on 2016. Another Consunji owned company has recently started drilling activities for coal mining within the ancestral territory of the T’bolis. As tension builds up because of harassments from the company guards, Danyan decried the government’s failure to act on their behalf. “This government is ramming their version of development into our throat despite our opposition, this is already too much” he said. “It seems that the government finds it difficult to respect the decision of the community not to allow the Consunjis and San Miguel Corporation to mine their ancestral domains,” said Sister Susan Bolanio, OND of HESED Foundation. The indigenous advocates called on the Aquino government to respect the decision of TAMASCO. “For the T’bolis the coal mining projects are unacceptable and detrimental to their lives and livelihoods. We are saddened by the fact that the government is quick at fast tracking large-scale extractive projects but [slow in] attending to the needs of the indigenous peoples,” said Rosalinda Latonio of LRC-KsK/ FoE Phils. Danyan lamented that “for 18 years, we have been respectful of various government programs like appropriating our ancestral lands into an Agrarian Reform area despite our objection.” He said their community allowed the lands to be appropriated for agrarian reform despite their objection “just so we may have peace in our ancestral territories.”(CBCPNews)




State of the nation

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 16
August 2 - 15, 2010

THIS time the State of the Nation Address was different. It was a far cry from the SONAs of paper boats, super maids and super regions, strong republic and the “ramdam ang kaulanran” sort of crap. But President Benigno Aquino III somehow unfurled a more honest state of the nation—a nation in shambles if only because of leaders who were more engrossed with party politics and self-aggrandizement than concerned about the welfare of the country and the common good. After nine years of being bamboozled with empty rhetoric, the SONA this time seemed a relief. It actually feels comfortable to get one’s haunches finally substantiated with honest declarations. Every barber in town knew that there was something fishy with rice importations (that crippled local agriculture) or the fraudulent extravagance of government officials. But to be told with sincerity that the government imported rice 10 times or so over the necessary was like earning a sense of victory. And no amount of justifications from apologists of the previous administration can deodorize the foul odor of corruption. (The argument that importing so much rice just to be abandoned to rot in NFA warehouses was a policy decision does not make it neither reasonable nor sane—except, perhaps, for reasons that the past dispensation had been overly infamous of.) The profligacy of MWSS big bosses and of other government owned and controlled corporations smacks of plunder so subtle yet so detrimental. This was the “kalakaran” that characterized the past administration; that was why even the lowly director of a GOCC didn’t have qualms receiving 20th month pay or flashy cars over and above the regular perks and under the table SOPs knowing that the queen herself did not even blink in tendering a “simple” $20,000 meal in Manhattan’s Le Cirque while more than half of the Philippine population was gnawing in pangs of hunger. For some, it sounded like Emperor Nero playing the fiddle while Rome was burning. That somewhere over half of the calamity fund for the current fiscal year has been shamelessly siphoned to a few districts in Pampanga before the elections rather than disbursed to provinces that were real victims of past calamities is more catastrophic. But even that is only the tip of the iceberg. By the looks of it, there should be more anomalous transactions, which can be thievery pure and simple, if only the Ombudsman must be ombudsman enough to side with the truth and the Filipino people. In fact, the upcoming Truth Commission should be superfluous in a government structure designed to plug every bit of leak incumbent in democratic governance. For sure, six years of presidency will not allow the Aquino government to accomplish so much. But that is irrelevant for now. What is of consequence is that the Filipino people have found spaces for hope and some reasons to unshackle their dreams after many years of wasteland.

Oscar V. Cruz, DD

Views and Points
HERE is an interesting thesis that those in the Executive Department of the present administration might want to seriously consider and thereafter decidedly act upon. This proposed agendum can neither be irrelevant nor vain—considering that this country is at the bottom of developmental possibilities in Asia, and that millions of its people have to leave behind their dear families, only to earn a living abroad. In other words, mention any political errancy or any social malady in the Philippines, say any public misery or economic malediction of the Filipinos as a people, and at the bottom thereof is readily found a dysfunctional justice system as its fundamental causal origin. So too, think of really big time crooks freely roaming around and enjoying their decadent lives, remember infamous professional thieves proudly displaying their stinking stolen wealth and throwing their sordid weight around, bring to mind high ranking politicians infamous for their heinous graft and corrupt practices yet still manage to command the adulation of certain people—and you find systemic injustice in the country as their common premise. This is in no way over-stating the inherent deadly significance and consequent fatal implications of injustice in society visà-vis the good fortune and the

Justice system in the Philippines
precious blessings brought about by social justice. Come to think of it, it is morally impossible to find anything really good or truly right when injustice is an element thereof. Thus: Unjust “honesty” or “truthfulness.” Unjust “generosity” or “benevolence.” Unjust “integrity” or “probity.” None of these make sense. On the other hand, everything that is objectively good and realistically right, cannot but incorporate justice as a constituent factor thereof. Thus: Just worth or merit. Just profitability or liberality. Just advantage or win. In the event that the new administration—swamped by so many propositions, suggestions, inclusive of innumerable unsolicited pieces of advice—is unconditionally committed to its battle cry of principled policies and upright governance, it stands to reason that its over-all national plan of action cannot but have as its cornerstone and priority mission, none other than a consistent, serious and operative Justice System all over the country. And the rest of what is basically good, right and fair for the Philippines and the Filipinos, simply follow as a matter of course. Thus: Away with untouchables! Away with those above the law! Away with justice only for the poor, the ignorant, the little people. Justice for all or none at all!

On organ donation, sale
HUMAN organ transplantation gives new hope, particularly to patients with end stage diseases, to recover and regain an acceptable and decent lifestyle. It provides a better quality of life compared with alternative expensive and exorbitant medical interventions (e.g., renal dialysis). Human organ transplantation, however, cannot be separated from the human act of donation. John Paul II states that “It is a decision to offer, without reward, a part of one’s own body for the health and well-being of another person. In this sense, the medical action of transplantation makes possible the donor’s act of self-giving, that sincere gift of self which expresses our constitutive calling to love and communion.” (John Paul II, 20 June 1991, no. 3) The same act, however, can also be abused and exploited usually at the expense of the economically poor. The lack of access to renal care and the non-affordability of a life-long dialysis increase the demand for organ donors. In spite of the prohibition for health care professionals and facilities, there is an increasing organ sale, especially of kidneys, a practice that is perhaps apparently permitted by some physicians, Kidney Transplant Teams, and hospital authorities. There are even some currents in the Philippines who are advocating a change in policies and guidelines to open the door to incentives for organ donors and, even perhaps, to compensation. We understand the poor and they should not be blamed. There are other ways to help them but not through organ sale. They are human beings and cannot be treated as commodities. We encourage voluntary organ donation from cadavers and also from living donors. We condemn any form of organ sale and organ trade. Human organ sale or trade, by its very nature is morally unacceptable. It is contrary to the dignity of the human person, his or her authentic autonomy and the essential equality of all persons. The dignity of the human person as the image of God includes not only his or her soul but his or her corporeal being. Hence, our body ought not to be treated as a commodity or object of commerce, which would amount to the dispossession or plundering of the human body. We, therefore, ask the government to continue its program towards holistic program of gathering and distributing donated organs. We raise our voice against those who are involved in organ trafficking. We recommend that a stricter law against those involved in the commercialization or selling of organs be enacted and implemented without discrimination. A just allocation of the scarce organ donor should be safeguarded. Scarce organ donors should be made available first to the local recipients. A strict limit on allocation should be set for foreign recipients. We call for the education of our people especially with regards to organ donation. The physician or medical professional has the sublime duty to supply the possible candidates for organ donation with all the necessary information to help them make an informed consent. Though professional competency is necessary in order to care for those who are sick and in need of medical care, it is nevertheless insufficient. Pope Benedict XVI reminds us that: “We are dealing with human beings, and human beings always need something more than technically proper care. They need humanity. They need heartfelt concern… these charity workers need a ‘formation of heart’; they need to be led to that encounter with God in Christ which awakens their love and opens their spirits to others.”(Deus Caritas Est, 31 § 2.) –CBCP Statement on Organ Donation Against Organ Sale, 2008

Sr. Mary Pilar Verzosa, RGS

My first trip to Taytay
WHENEVER I talk of Taytay, many Metro Manila residents think I am referring to the town in Rizal Province, next to Antipolo and Cainta. Very few have heard of that far away town in Northern Palawan. Just about five years ago, it was named the Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay with Bishop Edgardo Juanich as its first Bishop. It has 26 parishes, many of them located in islands, the more popular ones among them are Coron and Culion as they boast of beach resorts and deep sea diving facilities. I was scheduled to go there last June 14 with the staff of Hapag-Asa, Pondo ng Pinoy. Typhoon Basyang grounded all flights that morning. Thanks to the persistence of Finda Lacanlalay and Magine Giron, we were able to leave as chance passengers, late in the afternoon of that same day for Puerto Princesa. The very next day, we got into a van and travelled five hours to Taytay. The trip was not as bad as we were warned. In fact, it was smooth, paved roads all the way to Roxas, two hours away, and were it not for the construction of the roads that forced the van to ride through deep mud next to dangerous ravines, we would have arrived in Taytay in an hour. The trip was pleasant and quiet, unlike the buses that ply to Baguio or Batangas where video or rock music would be playing all throughout the trip. It was a beautiful time to pray and commune with nature as we zigzagged through the low mountains and viewed the lovely beaches. We were met by Bishop Juanich himself at the Vicariate Pastoral Center where 28 of his priests were gathered for their tri-annual assembly. We learned that some of them had travelled 14 hours by boat coming from their parishes in order to attend the meeting. Some islands are even closer to Mindoro or Antique than to the mainland of Palawan! After a brief rest, we were escorted to see the Fuerza Sta. Isabel, one of the last standing Spanish forts in our country. It is well maintained and ideally located between the two “pantalans” or piers for fishing boats and ships that go to the different islands. The next day, I spoke to the priests on Pondo ng Pinoy, challenging them to integrate the education program into the BEC, Catechetical, and Christian Living Classe s in schools and parish organizations. Many of them thought that Pondo was only a fund raising activity so they were excited when I explained to them how teaching people to be aware of every little good deed that

Love Life
they do each day and symbolize that with a coin, even five or ten cents if they can’t give the twenty-five centavos daily. The parishioners and students have to be told also of the many projects for the poor that Pondo has been funding these past six years, not only in member dioceses but also in very poor provinces that have applied for funds. In Palawan itself, we have helped set up many artesian wells, a water system in its most southern island, many micro-financing programs, and educational assistance to the poor students in Macarascas, the former parish of Fr. Broderick Pabillo, SDB, now Auxiliary Bishop of Manila. The priests asked a lot of questions on how to apply for funds too. My talk was followed by the presentation of Finda and Magine on Hapag-Asa. They showed statistics on the severity of malnutrition of 8 million children in our country. Hapag-Asa has so far been able to improve or rehabilitate 500,000 children. Without upgrading their nutrition and health, these children will grow up with low intelligence and capacity to be productive citizens of our country. We could tell that the priests were mentally planning already how and when
Love life / A5

Fr. Carmelo O. Diola, SSL
www.cbcpmonitor.com cbcpmonitor@cbcpworld.net

Spaces of Hope
WE lost two pets, a kitten and a puppy, in a span of 24 hours. They were also found in the same space of time. Our kitten’s name is Wanda and she has been with us for nearly a month now. She actually has a sister named Tasha who has been with us for about two months. Although they are siblings, Wanda is much smaller and with a different mien. She has big eyes and a more rounded face. Tasha is bigger and has a more feline look. Both cats do rodent control. We recently did a general clean-up at our office. By the time the clean-up ended, we had become “persona non grata” to the local roach and rodent population. We also noticed that Wanda was missing. We cried out her name and searched for her but she could not be found. Alas, we thought that maybe the poor cat had found an opening to the outside world while we were busy cleaning the office. We decided to let the night pass. Perhaps she will just return. The following day I was in my room with Wangwang, our 2-month old puppy. I decided to play a game on her by going up a small mezzanine floor in my room where I have my library. I felt a flush of victory when the dog did not know where I was. I came down after a minute or so and sat on my rocking chair. All the while I thought that the dog was just underneath the

Lost and found
chair. I called out her name but there was no answer. I searched but could not find her. After an hour, I finally found her inside the wooden drawer of my bed. It had enough of an opening to let in the creature. She was there, her chocolate fur blending with the dark corner of the cabinet. I felt Wangwang had an even greater flush of victory. Soon I was back at our office for our weekly staff meeting. We were discussing the loss of Wanda, when I mentioned about my game with Wangwang. Then someone said: “Maybe the kitten is inside a cabinet, similar to what happened to the puppy.” Immediately someone was dispatched to look into these places. Shortly, she came back with the good news that Wanda was just inside the cabinet supporting our photocopying machine. The cat had sneaked in when it was opened and remained inside. Was Wangwang signaling to me the whereabouts of Wanda? Perhaps this is reading too much into it. Nevertheless these series of seemingly unrelated events has given me a glimpse of how the different layers of vital energies are somehow connected. We are lost and found depending on how we take care of and nurture life wherever it may be found. It is not a bad reflection to start the week with, even as more macro concerns are tackled in the SONA of our new president.

Pedro C. Quitorio

Kris P. Bayos
Features Editor

Pinky Barrientos, FSP
Associate Editor

Gloria Fernando
Marketing Supervisor

Melo M. Acuña

Ernani M. Ramos
Circulation Manager

Managing Editor

Roy Q. Lagarde
News Editor

Marcelita Dominguez

The CBCP Monitor is published fortnightly by the CBCP Communications Development Foundation, Inc., with editorial and business offices at 470 Gen. Luna St., Intramuros, Manila. P.O. Box 3601, 1076 MCPO. Editorial: (063) 404-2182. Business: (063)404-1612.; ISSN 1908-2940

Illustration by Bladimer Usi

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 16
August 2 - 15, 2010

Gospel should cruise social media
universal grasp of things, knowing how to stick to what is essential and how to deal with the merely incidental. In the social media, one is bound to see a spill of tactlessness, inanities, narcissism, etc. One simply has to be above this level, while respecting each one’s idiosyncracies. He has to be sharply and quickly discerning in his judgments, knowing what to pick up and what to disregard with respect to the different views expressed. Thus, having clear criteria is required. He should be good in cruising the complicated field. No doubt, a high level of spirituality is needed here, otherwise one ends up getting entangled in petty quarrels and animosities and other worse predicaments. As St. Paul said, “The spiritual man judges all things, and he himself is judged by no man…” (1 Cor 2,15) These words may not sit well with those with no faith or with weak faith. But this is just how the cookie crumbles. In terms of expression, one has to be both natural and supernatural, mastering the art of political correctness as well as that of holy shamelessness when it is precisely needed. He has to know how to enter into the mind and heart of the people. That’s why, one really has to be properly formed before he enters into the social media and hope to contribute to the effort to evangelize it. The most effective evangelizer is one who manages to transmit the gospel message without being noticed.

Miriam Grossman

Fr. Roy Cimagala

Candidly Speaking
“WOE to me if I do not preach the Gospel.” (1 Cor 9,16) This was the cry of St. Paul conveying his burning desire to transmit the Good News to the early Christians. It’s a cry that also has to spring in each one of us, Christian believers, who now participate in the abiding function of preaching and teaching the word of God according to our personal circumstances. God’s word, let’s remind ourselves, is the original and ultimate word that should inspire every word we use in our communications. It’s what gives our word its soul, enabling it to acquire its supernatural quality, regardless of whether it is literary, technical, legalistic, conversational, etc. in its human usage. God’s word is a way to connect us and everything that we think, say and do to God. It’s always relevant. In fact, it is indispensable, otherwise our life will stray from its proper path. It should always be in our mind and heart, acting as a kind of leaven to our word so that our word’s practical human use can acquire a certain spiritual and supernatural value, enlightening and redemptive in character. We need to be clear about the relationship between God’s word and our word, between God’s word and our life. Perhaps this is the crucial point we need to work on first, before we proceed with our communications. With the advent of the computer and the whole range of digital and electronic technology, this cry of St. Paul, and hopefully ours too, finds a most auspicious vehicle to expand its reach and scope.

Besides, with the way these technologies are affecting people’s lives, it’s clear that an abiding and adequate evangelization in that field is an urgent must. Otherwise, they will just decline to all sorts of bad effects and influences. It’s good that in this regard the American bishops are pioneering the way and are opening frontiers. Recently, they came out with a document on social media guidelines that for sure will be helpful to all Christian believers trying to get involved in the evangelization of this vast, exciting world of social media. It bats for greater visibility of the gospel message in the social media, as well as favorable manners to build stronger sense of community among ourselves. It also recommends efforts at accountability, so our postings can really be responsible and therefore defensible. The gospel has to be presented in such a way that it retains its original forcefulness and meaning while adapting to the evolving issues at hand. It should be in a language not only understandable but also attractive and engaging to the intended audience. Highly interactive, the social media has to be handled with extreme prudence and powerful magnanimity and nobleness of heart. Otherwise, one can easily founder in its many delicate, tricky spots. It’s important that one assumes a very positive outlook toward the social media, not easily bogged down by the many dangers it poses and the other negative traits it possesses. He has to be very broad-minded, with a

Teach my child that, and you’ll be sorry
SEX education for tots is in the headlines. Last month it was a policy in Provincetown, Massachusetts making condoms available to first graders. Student requests were to be kept secret and parents’ objections ignored. Now the news is from Montana. If the Helena school district has its way, kindergarteners will learn about “reproductive body parts”: the penis, vagina, breast, nipples, testicles, scrotum, and uterus. Ten year olds will be taught that “sexual intercourse includes but is not limited to vaginal, oral, or anal penetration”. Two years later they will discover this may involve “the penis, fingers, tongue or objects”. Have these people lost their minds? To the contrary. All these maneuvers are entirely consistent with the sex education programs supported by President Obama. Moreover, the administration would like taxpayers to fund their export to the rest of the world. Who came up with the notion that it’s necessary to teach the world’s children about high risk sex acts their parents never heard of? The usual suspects: Planned Parenthood and the Sexuality Education and Information Council of the United States (SEICUS, a private organization). These groups portray themselves as guardians of our children’s health; they claim to provide students with all the information and skills they need to make smart choices. Their curricula, they declare, are comprehensive, age appropriate, ideologically neutral, and medically accurate. They give children the same message as parents: you’re too young—wait until you’re older. If only it was so. The priority of this industry is not sexual health, but sexual freedom. Their objective is not for students to delay sexual behavior and remain free of infection, but for them to be open, from a tender age, to just about any form of sexual activity. Let’s get this straight. There is no evidence that knowing the anatomy of male and female genitalia is vital to the wellbeing of young children. And the “one size fits all” approach, mandating that children learn about intercourse or same sex attraction at a particular age, is contrary to the principles of child development. Children are not miniature adults. Introducing them to new information that cannot be easily assimilated can be distressing. A young child has his own theories about where babies come from, based on what he already knows; he may think his sibling came from a store or the hospital, or that his mother consumed some particular food or drink. There’s nothing wrong with that. “Parents should respond to the needs and curiosity level of their individual child”, says the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, “offering no more or less information than their child is asking for and is able to understand”. In other words, let him be. The sex ed oligarchy ignores this wisdom. And while insisting that first graders be taught “human beings can love people of the same gender and people of another gender”, and expecting third graders to “define HIV/AIDS”, these “experts” omit critical biological facts from the one group that actually needs sex education: adolescents. Among other things, middle and high school students are not taught that: * Intimate behavior causes the release of a brain chemical that promotes feelings of attachment and trust, even if you are with a stranger; * A girl’s immature cervix increases her vulnerability to genital infections. HIV aside, girls and women carry 80% of the burden of negative consequences from early sexual behavior and multiple partners; * Faeces are filled with dangerous pathogens. Oral-anal contact is associated with serious infectious diseases such as salmonella, shigella, and hepatitis A, B, and C; * The physiology and anatomy of the anus is vastly different from the vagina. Regarding HIV transmission, anal intercourse is at least twenty times more dangerous than vaginal intercourse; * As stated on condom wrappers, breakage is more likely to occur during anal intercourse; How do “comprehensive” sex educators justify the omission of these life-saving facts? How do they boldly claim that their curricula are medically accurate, and their sole priority the health of children? I don’t know about Montana, but where I come from, that’s called chutzpah. The administration wants to see programs like Helena’s go global. This year, thirty-nine House democrats introduced H.R. 5121, the Global Sexual and Reproductive Health Act of 2010. It calls for comprehensive sex education in developing countries using US taxpayer funds. How do we fight this madness? Like hundreds of parents, grandparents, teachers, and clergy in Helena are—by standing up publicly and insisting that sex education, like all health matters, be based on biological truths, not social agendas. By reminding authorities that this is a war against disease, not social injustice. And by proclaiming loud and clear: “my child’s innocence is precious. You try and take that away, and you’ll be sorry.” (Miriam Grossman, MD is a child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist and the author of “You’re Teaching My Child What? A Physician Exposes the Lies of Sex Education and How They Harm Your Child” (Regnery). This is published upon special arrangement with MercatorNet.)

P-Noy’s path to good governance
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino’s State of the Nation address was less than 40 minutes. However it gave the people what they were hoping for—a new path to good governance. Speaking in Filipino, he articulated what he found in the coffers of government within three weeks after his oath-taking. Of the budget allocation of P1.43 trillion for the year 2010, what remains is one percent for each of the remaining months of the fiscal year. The deficit after six months has reached P196 billion while the government’s collection was a measly P58.3 billion. Of the P1.4 billion allotted as calamity fund, 70% was already spent, P108 million allocated for Pampanga and of this amount, P105 million was for one district only. Pangasinan waited for their calamity funds to repair the damage of last year’s typhoon. It was recently allocated only P5 million. You do not have to guess for whose district in Pampanga received the windfall! The President’s men, to get the data for the SONA, used the problem solving approach which consists of the following steps: First, get the data of the current state of the problem. Second, identify what would be the possible causes of the problem—is it system-related, person-related or quality-related? Third, what are the possible action plans that will lead to the solution to the problem? P-Noy’s SONA gives details of problem identification in the financial situation of the country. It identifies one of the causes of the nation’s financial problem is the system of governance of the previous administration. Under the Chief Executive’s responsibility are the Government Operated and Controlled Corporations (GOCC), and the Government Financial Institutions (GFI). President Aquino cited an example of abuse of the use of people’s money by a GOCC, the Manila Water and Sewerage System, (MWSS). In his SONA, the President zeroed in on the Board of Trustees of the MWSS. His exposé of the Board’s abuse of power in governance is made more bitter for our people in 19 districts of Metro Manila who were still getting pails of water from fire trucks due to the critically low water level of Angat dam. Who did the people blame for this water crisis? MWSS of course! As they listened to P-Noy’s SONA, they were dismayed to learn that the MWSS Board of Trustees allocated for themselves P14 million of bonuses for the year to include grocery incentives, mid-year bonus, productivity bonus, yearend bonus and Christmas bonus! To add to the people’s dismay, the President revealed that the MWSS has not yet paid the pension of their employee retirees! Other horror stories include anomalies in DPWH projects. Of P 425 million allocated from the road users’ tax for 264 projects only 84 projects were completed. Worse was the discovery of DPWH allotment worth P3.5 billion supposedly for the housing of victims of Ondoy and Pepeng, but signed only 5 days before the end of the term of the previous administration. What struck

Jose B. Lugay

Laiko Lampstand
directly to the heart of the poor was the huge purchases of NFA rice at very high prices, allegedly to provide for the coming rice crisis due to La Nina. Inspection of the warehouses from North to South confirmed the grim effects of errors of governance in procurement—warehouses containing rice stocks that were deteriorating. NFA relied on bloated statistics which with more study and care could have prevented the largest importation of rice in the world! Although denied by previous DA Secretary Yap, people believe that the motivation of the importation is the kickback, the “tong pats” that the decision makers would receive. It is a shame that the Philippines which has been chosen as the site for the International Rice and Research Institute (IRRI) has still not succeeded in being a rice exporting country. Our Asian neighbors, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar all sent their rice technologists to be trained in Los Baños. With 85% agreement of PNoy’s SONA by the masa, can we see the bright future of improved governance that would lead to the common good in the areas of education, health, economy, jobs for the jobless, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and peace among our people? Much is demanded by the people and much is expected from President Aquino. There is a brighter prospect of attaining success with the involvement of the citizens, young and old, tech-savvy and traditional in supporting the governance of President Aquino. He projects sincerity, honesty and integrity and we pray it will stay that way. People are willing to run the extra mile specially those who are members of advocacy groups. Much is expected from the new Communications Group who will be using the latest communication technology to provide constant feedback from concerned citizens. Their new organization separating the dissemination of presidential directives from the citizens’ complaint and feedback using the latest computer technology, augurs well for better understanding between the President and the public. All these moves need money. That is why let us give President Benigno Aquino our support to his plan to improve the income generation of the country not only from traditional sources like taxes and customs duties but also from innovative investments together with the private sector. Local government units need to generate more income hence there is no room for corruption especially in the use of internal revenue allotments that they get according to law. The chance to get involved by every citizen who loves this country comes during the barangay elections scheduled on October 25, our chance to elect dedicated lay people. Let us support this great movement to solve the problems of governance of this country. This is a call to all Catholics wherever they are, in government, in advocacy groups in the dioceses and parishes and in the Basic Ecclesial Communities.

Brian Caulfield

Half a World Away
THE family is at the center of God’s plan for the Church and the world. In the creation of the world, God planned that the relationship of man and woman, husband and wife, would be the most basic social unit, which would be crowned by the gift of children within the structure of a family. Try as we may in this postmodern, postChristian, post-common-sense culture, there is nothing that can take the place of the family as the ideal setting for love between a man and a woman and the begetting and rearing of children. There are other arrangements that are made out of necessity, in some cases, but there are no substitutes for the family. It was so refreshing to hear this commonsense yet increasingly rare message stated in so many ways by so many speakers last week at the annual conference of the National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers (NACFLM), held at Xavier University in Cincinnati. I attended as one of the 40-plus exhibitors, with the Fathers for Good display, and was privileged to sit in on the proceedings. Matthew Kelly, the high-energy Aussie and author of a boatload of great books on Catholic themes, set the pace for the conference with his Thursday evening keynote. He pulled no punches: the Church in America is at a crisis point, and what the Catholic hier-

Family is key to the future
“God Has a Plan for Your Marriage.” These are all taglines and concepts that the bishops are using to push the message forward. The key element, the exciting counterpart, is that the bishops have a cadre of ground troops, active and informed laypeople, to carry the message into the larger society— into the family, the workplace, the highways and byways of culture and sports and places where people meet and exchange experiences and ideas. Some of those laypeople were at the conference, as diocesan and parish leaders, and some of their children were with them. They may be a small and non-representative minority of Catholics, but they are people in possession of an idea, and know they have the truth to share. Dr. Jennifer Morse Roback, who runs the cutting-edge Ruth Institute in defense of marriage, insisted repeatedly in her talk that Catholics have the benefit of knowing the truth, and they should be anxious to share it out of love and compassion for their neighbors. I am confident and hopeful about the days ahead for the Catholic Church in America. There is a flicker of light on the horizon, rising at the NACFLM conference. That light is Christ, reflected in the fidelity of his people, and the darkness shall not overcome it.

archy, clergy, leaders and laypeople do and decide in these days will determine for a long time whether the Church will grow outward in evangelization or fold into itself. He said that nothing short than a bold pastoral plan will overcome the scars from the sexual scandals and the infectious influence of secular consumerism that draws imagination and resources away from the pursuit of virtue and other spiritual realities. The next generation in the Church is woefully deficient in knowledge and interest in the faith, and we better act soon if we are to capture them for Christ before they exit the doors into young adulthood. So said Matthew Kelly. The U.S. bishops are doing an admirable job of piecing together the pastoral program needed to reach the hearts of the people, young and old. They have placed support of family life and defense of marriage at the heart of their pastoral initiatives. And they are doing so in a doctrinally sound and socially astute manner, drawing on the wisdom of John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, as well as the timeless truths found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in presenting the teachings of the Church in a modern and accessible manner. “What Have You Done for Your Marriage?”, “Marriage: Unique for a Reason,”

Lovelife / A4

to invite the team again to give training so that Hapag-Asa can be implemented immediately in their areas. Right after our presentations, we returned to Puerto Princesa to confer this time with Bishop Pedro Arigo and the Pondo ng Pinoy team—Fr. Camilo Caabay and Tonton Badilla. Fr. Pipes, head of the Social Action Ministry and Sophia, in charge of the Hapag-Asa program, were also there. They expressed the eagerness of the priests to submit projects but the allocation of funds does not seem to be enough for the year, a need that I was requested to raise up at our next Pondo ng Pinoy Board meeting. And that I will gladly do, knowing how committed and efficiently they have imple-

mented past projects. You can’t leave Palawan without a taste of their fresh prawns, fish, squid and other sea foods— dinner all laid out by Bishop Arigo, while he discussed with us other issues such as the problems with the mining companies and the Malampaya gas project that bring in billions of dollar profit to Shell while Palawan people continue to live in poverty. Conversations always end with hopes that the new political governance will not be as abusive as the past ones. The emerald island of Palawan is a dream place for many tourists. It will be such a pity if much of the virgin forests and crystal clear waters will be ravaged by materialism and corruption.


Local News

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 16
August 2 - 15, 2010

Parents drop lawsuit vs sex education
A GROUP of Catholic parents who filed a class suit against the Department of Education over a sex education program in public elementary and high schools have withdrawn the case. Jo Imbong, the parents’ lawyer, said they decided to drop the case against former Education Secretary Mona since she no longer heads the agency. “She is no longer the secretary so the most reasonable thing to do is to substitute her with the new secretary,” Imbong said. But the lawyer said they cannot substitute the new education chief, Bro. Armin Luistro, as respondent since he “has not openly endorsed” the sex education program and assured to review it instead. “He promised he will examine the sex education modules,” she said. “We will give him more space to do that.” The lawyer added that should Luistro pursue the current module, her group would revive the lawsuit “without prejudice”. Imbong also serves as lawyer for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) who continues to lobby against the program. The bishops claimed that the government’s sex education program “further highlights and fortifies the concept that contraceptives provide safe and satisfying sex.” They also clarified that the Church is not against sex education per se “but for reasons of morality and religious faith, we strongly object to the proposed sex education program.” The CBCP insisted that sex education should take place at home by parents and not in school. (CBCPNews)
Bataan / A1

Groups to barangay heads: Adopt waste management
ENVIRONMENTATISTS called on all barangay officials to lead their constituents in mitigating the effects of climate change by adopting a zero waste resource management. Around 42,000 barangay officials have gathered recently at the SM Mall of Asia Convention Center in Pasay City for the Third National Convention of the Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas (LBP). The EcoWaste Coalition and the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) appealed to the local leaders to transform their respective barangays into a “healthy and climate-friendly havens” by eliminating waste to the minimum level through recycling and composting. Roy Alvarez, president of EcoWaste Coalition said that local leaders can save a lot of public funds by embracing the principles of Zero Waste management. “By embracing Zero Waste principles and implementing changes, they have saved scarce public funds from being spent for expensive haul-dump-burn waste disposal scheme,” he said. It is also the most practical and least expensive solution to the problem of pollution that aggravates climate change, the groups explained. “Zero Waste is the most practical community action that can be undertaken by the barangay councils and residents to promote ecological values, conserve resources, stop the discharge of climate damaging pollutants and boost local economies,” said GAIA Coordinator Manny Calonzo. Calonzo urged the barangay leaders to show their leadership skills by implementing the principles of waste management in their areas, and thus “prevent and reduce waste, recycle materials safely back into nature and the economy, and cut dependency on landfills and incinerators.” “Recognizing the essential role of the informal waste sector such as the waste pickers will further help the communities in achieving even higher waste diversion results given their immense recycling knowhow,” Calonzo added. According to GAIA, the public can achieve Zero Waste by reducing waste disposal in landfills and incinerators to zero; investing in reuse, recycling and composting jobs and infrastructure; requiring that products are made to be nontoxic and recyclable; ensuring that manufacturers of products assume full social and environmental costs of what they produce; ensuring that industries reuse materials and respect worker and community rights; and preventing waste and reducing unnecessary consumption. (CBCPNews)

Philhealth coverage for all Filipinos possible—bishop
MANILA Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo believed that the assurance of Philhealth coverage for all Filipinos made by President Benigno Aquino III during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) yesterday is doable. “What made me feel better is the Philhealth coverage and I think it is doable,” the prelate said. Pabillo said that Aquino should first identify the five million poorest people in the country and provide them the Philhealth coverage for their health needs. He also added that the administration should give
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attention to this project for the welfare of the Filipino people. “Sana pansinin yan para maramdaman ng mga tao na may nangyayari para sa kanila,” Pabillo said. The bishop, meanwhile, said that in the long run, people will definitely look into the outcome of his speech in terms of benefits; job creation; medicine, and such. “Kasi itong rhetoric na ito na sinasabi eh in the long run, ang makikita dyan ay kung anong nakukuha namin dyan tulad ng benepisyo; pagkain; trabaho; gamot,” he revealed.

However, Pabillo said Aquino has failed to present his plans on the Freedom of Information (FOI). “Sana ang inaasahan ko rin sa kanya ay ang mga bills na kanyang isusulong tulad ng FOI o Freedom of Information. Kaya nga maraming tinatago na mga anomalya kasi hindi alam ng bayan. Sana dinikit na rin yan sa freedom of information,” he said. The prelate also expected Aquino to discuss not only the creation of jobs but creation of permanent jobs. He also hoped that the Truth Commission may be true to its goals and actions. (Kate Laceda)

lingers on. “We are grateful because it’s almost certain that it will not be revived (under the Aquino administration) but we still have this fear that it will be opened (in the future),” he said over Church-run Radyo Veritas. Dumaual said they are also seeking a meeting with President Aquino to raise their clamor of finally dismantling outright the 600 megawatt nuke plant. Aquino earlier scrapped proposals to revive the $2.3 billion nuclear facility as an option to address the country’s power needs. His mother, the late and former President Corazon Aquino, mothballed the BNPP in 1986 due to safety concerns.
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But Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras said the chief executive’s policy decision against the BNPP does not necessarily mean that the government is totally closed to it. “We are evaluating it. We have been told that there have been significant technological advancements relative to safety,” Almendras said. In a pastoral statement last year, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) also asked for the dismantling of the BNPP and urged government instead to use renewable energy. The prelates said that instead of looking at nuclear energy, the government should strictly implement the renewable energy law, and explore such sources of energy. (CBCPNews)

Mananzan said it was a busy time of the election period and there must have been many witnesses. “I would urge… I think everyone, who knows the truth about it, should come out already and say their part,” Mananzan said. The Church leader made the call Monday as some Marine officials have reportedly signified their intention to divulge their knowledge on the alleged poll cheating. The Hello Garci controversy refers to the alleged wiretapped conversations between a woman believed to be former president Gloria Arroyo and a man believed to be then Commission on Elections commissioner Virgilio Garcillano that happened during the 2004 presidential elections.

Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting chairperson Henrietta de Villa also would like witnesses to come forward and cooperate with the authorities in putting closure to the issue. “I am all for everyone who knows about that dark moment in our history would come out and tell the truth, of course backed by hard evidence, especially now that our momentum is very high in terms of cleansing our government agencies,” said De Villa. Lately, the Armed Forces of the Philippines urged military officers and men to come out and reveal what they know in the alleged rigging operations during the 2004 elections. The Department of National Defense, for its part, guaranteed that it will provide for the safety of whoever

from their ranks is going to come out as witnesses. As for civilians, Mananzan called on the Department of Justice to prepare well its witness protection program for the safety of whistleblowers. “It is their job to protect the civilians and they should make sure that they can do that to those who will reveal information in the ‘Hello Garci’ scandal,” she said. The PPCRV head, on the other hand, said the police should also do their part in making sure that they could protect would-be civilian witnesses. Mananzan also urged lawmakers to hasten the passage of the whistleblowers’ bill as pushed by Aquino in his recent State of the Nation Address. (CBCPNews)

said, is to encourage congressmen to reject the Reproductive Health bill and instead support House Bill 13 or the proposed “Act Providing for the Safety and Protection of the Unborn Child and for Other Purposes”, filed by Rep. Roilo Golez The Catholic bishops’ leadership earlier stepped up efforts to convince the government to push natural family planning. The Church is not only stressing that artificial contraception violates Catholic teaching but that it harms women’s health, the CBCP said. The HB 13, they said in a pastoral statement, looks to go further than existing legislation protecting fetuses by specifically recognizing that human life exists when a sperm first penetrates the egg. The measure pushes that the govIndigenous / A1

ernment protect the life of the unborn from conception, “and conception is the moment of fertilization.” “If its ambiguous stand on contraceptives that are not abortifacients is corrected in favor of moral truth, a house bill such as the new House Bill No. 13 is laudable,” said the CBCP. Cory legacy The bishops also urged President Benigno Aquino III to continue the moral legacy of his mother, the late and former President Corazon Aquino by rejecting policies that pushes artificial birth control. The Church favors only the use of natural family planning—which advocates abstinence during a woman’s fertile period. Various civil society groups and even some church officials have

called on Mr. Aquino to declare his position on the issue of reproductive health. The CBCP particularly made mention that it would oppose the proposed Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2010 that was re-filed by Rep. Edcel Lagman as House Bill 96. The bishops said the bill is similar with the HB 5053 filed in the last Congress which seeks to control the country’s growing population and prevent the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases. “With the utmost concern and urgency we express our strong objection to the fundamental aspects of House Bill 96. The basis of our moral objection is once again the central religious truth of the divine origin and divine image of the human person, of one’s being and
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life,” said the CBCP. “Science has proven that some contraceptives render the mother’s womb inhospitable, thereby causing abortion,” it added. The Church leaders reminded Mr. Aquino that the constitutional protection of the unborn child from the first instant of conception was a legacy of his mother. “It is a legacy given to us some twenty years ago during the presidency of President Corazon C. Aquino,” said the CBCP. Sex education In the pastoral exhortation, the bishops’ collegial body also brought to the attention of the President the issue on sex education program of the Department of Education. “We reiterate that the Church is not

against sex education. But for reasons of morality and religious faith, we strongly object to the proposed sex education program. The program is devoid of any substantive moral and religious value formation,” the CBCP said. “In the family, the lessons of love through human sexuality can be learned with respect and awe for the “wonder of God’s work.” Such setting and such manner of teaching will not be found in a classroom sex education program designed simply to inform and not form.” Sex education, the CBCP said, has to impart a sense of the sacredness of the gift of human sexuality by integrating proper conscience formation, moral and spiritual guidance into the whole process. (With reports from Melo Acuna)

ment to act on our demands. We have not forgotten our sad experiences in the past, when our demands were ignored and our rights systematically curtailed and undermined by governments which served only the interests of the rich and powerful, such as big business and foreign investors.” said Cristina Batiel Moyaen, a Kankaney from Apayao. Quintol Labuayan, a B’laan of Sultan Kudarat said they want the government to recognize their customary laws, recognize their right to self-governance and give them equal status in the Mindanao peace negotiations. He said there should be honest

implementation of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act and proper accountability of the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP). “We will strengthen our ranks and push our collective agenda together as a unified IP movement,” he added. The IP delegates lamented the indigenous people’s assimilation into the Filipino “nation”, saying “it brought nothing but trouble for their people.” “Our people were the original inhabitants of this land. We were here long before the Philippines came into existence. But through force or deception we were incorporated into this nation,”

said Datu Vic Saway, one of the Talaandig delegates to the third SIPA assembly. Subjected to centuries of abuse, the country’s indigenous communities have lost most of their ancestral lands with the entry of big business and development projects. “Our incorporation into this political system has only brought the entry of destructive development projects such as mining, logging and plantations. Some of us have also suffered displacement and forced evacuation from wars that we were not even party to,” Peter Duyapat, an Ifugao representative from Nueva Vizcaya said. (CBCPNews)

working group of which the PPCRV is involved. The National Statistics Office (NSO) audit of the presidential, vice-presidential, congressional, gubernatorial, and mayoralty races has an accuracy rate of 99.6 percent. “There was a variance if 0.4 percent,” said Florante Varona of the NSO which helped the manual audit. Such discrepancy, he said, is only equivalent to 2,174 votes out of 540, 942 votes included in the audit. “This is quite small,” said Varona.

The NSO added that a breakdown of the accuracy rates per region ranged from 99.87 percent to 99.17 percent. The random manual audit counted 1,406 clustered precincts, which translated to about 500, 000 votes. And in most cases of discrepancies, De Villa said that the error was usually caused by wrong computation or wrong encoding of the Boards of Election Inspectors (BEI). In other words, she added, the variances were not due to fraud but human error.

Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Jose Melo described the report as “encouraging” and means that voting machines used during the elections worked 99 percent. This clearly shows, he said, that an automated election system is the answer to the clamor for accurate and credible polls in the country. “I think the people generally want to have automation. We can no longer go back to the manual (system),” Melo said. (CBCPNews)

Mass held at the Manila Cathedral few hours before Aquino took his oath of office. “The CBCP insists 13 point advocacies as guidance to President Benigno Simeon Aquino III when he assumes office for moral and social transformation of the country especially the poor,” said Bishop Teodoro Bacani. On top of the church’s list is the implementation of land reform through Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program with extension and reform (CARPer). The church officials demanded the rejection of the controversial reproductive health bill, same sex union, abortion, divorce, euthanasia and contraceptives. They urged Aquino not to allow the demolition without relocation of urban poor families. They also demanded that the new chief executive put a stop to human trafficking of children and women. Taking note of the “many problems” left by the Arroyo administration, Bacani called on Aquino to rise beyond giving an average performance during his six-year stay in Malacañang. He said the “sorry state of the country” left by Arroyo has brought such high expectations and hopes for the incoming president and that they will

expect no less than a “heroic” performance. The prelate added that Aquino should use the legacies of his parents, former President Corazon Aquino and former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr., as an inspiration to always strive to do better. The other nine Church advocacies lined-up were: Protect the environment by stopping large scale mining and illegal logging; stop corruption and prosecute the people involved in graft and corruption; no to Nepotism and political dynasty in Philippine politics; uphold human rights of all the accused; educate the poor by improving educational system and give the poor access to quality education; peace and security: negotiate with the rebels with public consultations to all stakeholders; stop illegal gambling by arresting and prosecuting gambling lords; alleviate poverty by improving the living condition of the marginalized, under-represented and oppressed people; food security by eliminating structures that hinder the growth and development of those in the agricultural sector. A Mass for the New Governance was held at the Manila Cathedral in the morning shortly before the inauguration of the new president of the Republic of the Philippines on June 30.

The Mass was led by Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales. Concelebrants include Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez, San Fernando Auxiliary Bishops Pablo David, Roberto Mallari and Novaliches bishop-emeritus Teodoro Bacani. In his homily, Rosales described as “gift” from God the presidency of Aquino, “who, in his simple and humble ways will exemplify what love for God and country means. The cardinal, however, stressed that the job not only lies with Aquino but also in each and every Filipino. “This beautiful national dream is not the job for one man, no matter how gifted or great. Neither is it a collective work for a group of good men. The dream of a better Philippines is within the response and the ability of every Filipino,” said Rosales. Aquino, along with Vice President Jejomar Binay, took their respective oaths as the new leaders of the country at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila on Wednesday noon. He also called on the faithful to pray for Aquino together with those who will serve the country with him “that they will be guided by the wisdom from the Holy Spirit in serving the Filipino of whatever tribe, belief, age or class.” (Roy Lagarde/ CBCPNews)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 16
August 2 - 15, 2010

Diocesan News
ocesan Vocation Director of the Caceres archdiocese. In his homily during his regular 6:00 a.m. Sunday Mass, August 1, at the Naga City Cathedral, the prelate said it would only be a matter of time before the authorities furnish his office the official report of its investigation. “Sa ngayon, lubhang mahalaga na makita natin ang pagkakaiba ng mga tunay na pangyayari sa mga haka-haka o speculation,” he said. “Hanggang sa sandaling ito ang kaso ay under investigation,” the senior prelate also said. He added that the authorities have not released their findings and it is only fitting and proper to wait for them to report on the incident. “Sa sandaling ipalabas ang findings na iyan, ay aking pagaaralan, at pagkatapos, sa tamang pagkakataon ay aking ipaaalam sa inyo ang aking kalooban,” he said. (Melo M. Acuna/CBCPNews)


Naga prelate urges end to speculation over priest’s death
NAGA City—As the investigation gets underway, a prelate urged the public to avoid unnecessary speculation on the death of Fr. Baltazar Acompanado Jr., and wait for more information to become available. Following media speculation that the priest committed suicide, Caceres Archbishop Leonardo Legazpi said people should avoid it as matter of respect for the 35-year old priest. Acompanado was found dead inside his room at the Pre-College seminary in San Jose town in Camarines Sur on July 28 with a 38-caliber revolver near his body. He was laid to rest on July 31 at the Resurrection Garden in Naga City, the burial ground for priests of the Archdiocese of Caceres. Legazpi earlier described Acompanado, rector and vocation director of the Holy Rosary Preparatory Seminary, as “a good and dedicated priest.” Acompanado was also Archdi-

Farmers must protect environment to ensure rice sufficiency

CAGAYAN DE ORO City—The Committee on Agriculture in the Misamis Oriental Provincial Board has urged farmers to be protectors of the environment, noting that the environment and food sufficiency are interconnected. Board Member Benedict Lagbas, chairperson of the province’s Committee on Environment Protection, Ecology and Natural Resources, said that it is now high time for farmers in the province to help protect, preserve and conserve the environment. (Bong D. Fabe)
Ozamiz clergy holds annual retreat

OZAMIZ City—Around 30 priests of the Archdiocese of Ozamiz recently held its annual retreat to further strengthen their spiritual life and grow in holiness in their pastoral ministry. The clergy’s annual retreat allows them to spend time in silence and solitude with the Lord so that “they may be strengthened in the faithful performance of their pastoral ministry and sacred vocation.” (Wendell Talibong)
Archbishop Leonardo Legazpi

Palo clergy to discuss STL

Church urges public to join drive against dengue
TACLOBAN City— The Catholic Church has called on the people to support the government’s anti-dengue campaign. The Archdiocese of Palo made the call recently after it received reports about an increase in the number of dengue cases in the region. Fr. Amadeo Alvero, archdiocesan’s spokesman, said that recognizing the importance of maintaining clean surroundings would help boost the campaign to keep the number of dengue cases down. “We urge everyone to adopt the callings of the Department of Health (DOH) to practice the practical ways of eradicating the disease,” he said. The priest was referring to the four strategies imposed by DOH-8 to fight dengue—1) search and destroy mosquito breeding sites, 2) self protection measures like using mosquito nets, 3) seeking early treatment, and 4) no indiscriminate fogging. Local health authorities earlier rejected calls by local government units to use thermal fogging to combat the growing number of deaths caused by dengue. Boyd Cerro, regional sentinel nurse of the Department of Health in the region, said doing such is highly impractical. The dengue situation in the region, according to him, can still be prevented by other practical means. “Fogging is only advisable in highlyconcentrated areas where there are already outbreaks in the dengue case,” Cerro said. In Eastern Visayas, the Department of Health classifies the latest figure with more than 4,486 cases and 56 deaths since January as under the “epidemic scale.” This means that to declare an outbreak, there must be clustering of cases in significant areas, Cerro said. “In this case, fogging is not needed because there is no clustering. But, since our case is still manageable and can be prevented to balloon, other practical measures will do,” he stressed. He explained that fogging is not necessary because of its risks that may give to the residents concerned. Fogging, using the nauseous gas Malathion, is used to kill the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the carrier of the dengue virus, to stop transmission of the disease. The chemical contains toxins that may cause intestinal problems, brain damage, respiratory problems, among others. However, Cerro said that it does not totally eradicate the dengue-carrying mosquito as it just transfers to other place which had not been fogged. “It is useless because it just kills the adult mosquito but leaves the “kiti-kiti” (mosquito larvae) to thrive,” he explained. “We recommend of having more effective dengue prevention and controlling program rather than use the fogging method which is highly risky to health and environment,” he added. Fr. Alvero said they support the health department’s position, saying that relying to thermal fogging would just create another problem. He said that this would only “give the people a sense of complacency that may lower their guards against the dreaded disease and the dengue mosquito.” (Alvin P. Cardines)

TACLOBAN City—The operations of state-run Small Town Lottery in Eastern Visayas will likely top the agenda of the clergy there when they meet next month. Fr. Amadeo Alvero, Palo archdiocese’s spokesman, said the meeting on August 4 to 5 will give them a chance to come with a consensus on crucial issues in the region, including the STL. He said the church still believes that gambling, whether legal or illegal, is likely “to bring more harm than benefits” to the region. (Alvin P. Cardines)
Coconut ‘waste’ exporter bats for creation of coco fiber industry

OZAMIZ City—A top official of a company that exports “waste materials” from coconut has urged the Aquino administration to create the Coconut Fiber Industry of the Philippines. Dr. Justino Arboleda, CEO of the Coco Green Technologies that exports coco peat, coco dusts, coco fiber, coco twine and other by-products of coconut said that it is very ironic that coconut farmers are still striving for their daily bread when they are cultivating what is considered to be the “tree of life.” (Bong D. Fabe)
Lay leaders join Basic Bible Seminar

MARIKINA City—A Basic Bible Seminar (BBS) for active lay leaders was held at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Marikina City on July 21-23. The BBS is an introductory course on Sacred Scriptures for all the faithful aimed to intensify and fortify the Christian faith through prayerful reading and sharing of God’s Word. Resource speakers were Carmela Estacio and Jenaro Molina both from the Divine Word Biblical Center and Marcelina Cacal of the CBCP’s Commission on Biblical Apostolate. (Kate Laceda)
Congress on terminal illness held

May They Be One Bible Campaign
Help Put a Bible in Every Filipino Home

PACO, Manila—A congress for persons with terminal illness was held to plan concrete actions to respond ably to current situations of the handicapped, sick, aged and dying people. Themed “Look Carefully, Act Mercifully,” the event was convened by the CBCP’s Commission on Health Care on July 24, at the Paco Catholic School, Manila. The event served as a venue to present various experiences of the survivors of terminal illness as well as the people who care for them such as relatives, caregivers and some organizations. (Kate Laceda)
Prelate asks PCSO to stop STL

Praise Item Praise God for the warm response of Bishops to the Handwritten “Unity” Bible Project when it was presented at the Catholic Bishops Plenary Assembly on July 11. Please Pray For the active participation of all the 86 dioceses in Bible distribution and formation under MTBO. So far, 74 out of 86 dioceses are already involved

BUTUAN City—Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos called on the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office to stop the operations of the small town lottery (STL) in the Diocese of Butuan. Pueblos said the decision of PCSO to establish STL operations in the province is “highly questionable and immoral,” because people were not properly consulted. (CBCPNews)
Migrant workers oppose mandatory PAG-IBIG fee for OFWs

ANTIPOLO City—Filipino migrant workers in the Mid-East assailed the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration’s decision to make the Home Development Mutual Fund or PAG-IBIG membership as a mandatory requirement in acquiring an overseas employment contract. “It’s like a holdup!” said John Leonard Monterona, regional coordinator of Migrante-Middle East in a statement. (Noel Sales Barcelona)


Support the May They Be One Bible Campaign and help bring God’s Word to more Filipino homes. Your contribution of at least P150/month will enable poor families to have their own Bibles they can read, study and pray. For more Campaign info-visit, email or call ECBA – Fr. Oscar Alunday, 470 Gen. Luna St., Intramuros, Manila. Telefax no. 5279386; ecba_ cbcp@yahoo.com; www.ecba-cbcp. com; PBS-Mrs. Perry Cartera/ Mrs. Juliet Rivera at 890 UN Ave., Ermita Mla.; perry@bible.org.ph; juliet@ bible.org.ph www.bible.org..ph. PBS is a certified donee institution by the Philippine Council for NGO Certification (PCNC). MTBO bank accounts: PBS-MTBO Account #3903-0649-34 (BPI-Sta.Mesa Branch. Fax deposit slip to 521-5803 or ECBA-CBCP Account #0251-021376 (BPI-Tayuman Branch. Fax deposit slip to 527-9386) Tel. nos. 5215785/5267777 loc. 600, Fax No. 5215803; 09178590019 /09156727492 /09182802775. Also, share the MTBO stories/ photos from your parishes and send them to jojee@bible.org.ph.

r. Jaime P. Padilla and his church, the St. Raphael Archangel Parish of Montalban, Rizal seeks to influence society by sharing God’s Word to the family, the basic unit of society. Since January 2010, the parish has been using May They Be One Bibles in its familycentered activities such as in the Bible Enthronement services, house blessings, mass marriages and Bible formation classes. This kindled greater interest in the Word of God with a growing number of parishioners clamoring for their own copy of the Bible. Several residents contributed varying amounts – P150, P50, even P25 – to help make the MTBO Bible affordable to poor parishioners. Church workers are deployed regularly to the 13 different sitios, eight of which are located in the mountains. A father relates that he is now more forgiving and less vindictive due to the influence of the Bible. One mother says she has begun reading the Bible daily and has given up tong-its. (a gambling game). A church worker recounts that even the poor are now giving to support the Parish’s ministry especially in livelihood and microfinance, as a result of reading and applying Bible principles. By helping build Bible-centered homes, the Parish is gradually witnessing the spread of the transforming power of God’s Word in the community. No. of Dioceses participating in the Bible Campaign – 74 out of 86 Dioceses Bible Distribution (Jan 2010: July 26, 2010): Total No. of Bibles distributed: 103,731 cps. Bibles Distributed by Languages - Tagalog (29,034 cps), Cebuano (31,567 cps) English (15,781 cps), Ilocano (11,266 cps), Hiligaynon (8,375 cps), Pangasinense ( 3,458 cps), Bicol (4,250 cps) Parishes/Communities served: 369 Target Coverage of Bible Distribution for April-June 2010 (based on orders received): Quezon City, Malolos, Alaminos, Urdaneta, San Jose Nueva Ecija, Manila, Tuguegarao, Cagayan de Oro, Legazpi, Naval, San Fernando, Pampanga, Borongan Eastern Samar, Nueva Segovia Total Bible Distribution: (Jan 2009- July 26, 2010): 207,704 cps Target No. of Bibles for Distribution for 2010: 200,000 cps

the Aurora Special Economic Zone (ASEZA). It is a private enterprise that is designed to uphold the interest of foreign investors and enrich the few who control its operation. Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Executive Secretary of CBCP-NASSA, explained that the APECO project is opposing the “principles of social justice and democracy.” The group also condemned the fact that all the social reform laws will lose its supremacy once the APECO project has been implemented. “The administration of APECO are granted legal powers to sequester private lands even those already committed for agrarian reform without needing to undergo a legislative procedure,” they said. Pabillo added that the Church is also backing the residents that have been made to pay for the establishment of the project through its taxes without their notice and “discernible benefit” to the province. “If the lands will be appropriated for the said economic zone, many indigenous people will lose the only home they ever had, and the food security of the province will be imperiled as wide tracks of irrigated and productive lands

will no longer be utilized for agriculture. The fisher folks will likewise be displaced from their sources of livelihood when the coastal areas will be populated with high-end and luxury resorts,” the prelate said. In an earlier statement, Bishop Rolando Tirona, Bishop Emeritus Julio Xavier Labayen and other 30 priests appealed to the Aquino administration and the Commission on Audit to review Republic Act 10083 and the alleged uncharacterized infrastructure projects. NASSA headed by Pabillo has also joined the clergies in its call for action of the Aquino administration on the APECO project. “We trust in the sincerity of this government to effect promise changes and we hope it starts with upholding the wellbeing of the poor and marginalized over the designs of the corrupt and powerful politicians behind questionable legislations,” they said. Meanwhile, NASSA also condemned the attack against Fr. Joefran Talaban last June 26, 2010 at his convent, Nuestra Señora de la Salvacion, in Brgy. Bianoan, Casiguran. The said attack to the priest was in relation to his strong advocacy against the creation of the APECO project. (Kate Laceda)

A FOREIGN missionary based in Mindanao has been cited for his invaluable contribution in the promotion of peace and interreligious dialogue among Christians and Muslims in Mindanao. Fr. Sebastiano D’Ambra, PIME, received the Bukas Palad Award during a ceremony at the Erwin Shaw Theater in the Loyola Heights campus of Ateneo de Manila University on July 22. D’Ambra is a member of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Mission (PIME) and founder of the Silsilah Dialogue Movement. His contribution in the promotion of peace through the movement “helped plant the seeds of interreligious dialogue in the Philippines, particularly in Mindanao, and [nurtured and spread] them through leadership roles in the interreligious dialogue thrusts of Pontifical Institute for Foreign Mission (PIME) and the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).” The citation, first given in 1963 by the university to Msgr. Jose Jovellanos, was named after Jesuit Fr. Manuel Peypoch, “who served the Church and society in the areas of education and culture, in social and human development concerns.”

People, Facts & Places
The Award was later named BukasPalad to “capture the Ignatian spirit of ‘Generosity’ and to give recognition to the unconditional, dedicated service of Religious in Christ’s Kingdom.” D’Ambra gratefully accepted the award, acknowledging that “it is not just an honor but a responsibility to fulfill.” He said the award is not only for him but for every Christian and Muslim in Mindanao who share his commitment to the mission of dialogue and peace. Awarded together with D’Ambra were Monsignor Jose C. Bernardo, Jr., also for the Bukas Palad Award; Federico Aguilar Alcuaz for the Gawad Tanglaw ng Lahi; and Dr. Alfredo R. A. Bengzon for Lux-in-Domino Award. A native of Sicily, Italy, D’Ambra was assigned in 1977 to the PIME mission station in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte. His experience of living together with Muslims, Christians and lumad in Mindanao led him to found Silsilah Dialogue Movement in 1984 aimed at “promoting a deeper understanding and better relations” among tri-people of Mindanao and with people of other faiths and traditions. (CBCPNews)

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 14 No. 16

August 2 - 15, 2010

Missionary cited for promoting interreligious dialogue

PIME missionary Fr. Sebastiano D’Ambra received the Bukas Palad Award from the Ateneo de Manila University for promoting interreligious dialogue among Christians and Muslims during the university’s academic convocation on July 22.

CEAP holds assembly on indigenous education program
A REGIONAL assembly focusing on the education of the Indigenous People (IP) has been conducted by the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) Chapter of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) on July 8 and 9 at St. Louis Center, Baguio City. Attended by school directors and principals of the Catholic schools from the Diocese of Baguio-Benguet, Vicariate of Bontoc-Lagawe and the Vicariate of Kalinga-Apayao, the regional assembly was themed “Reimaging our Education Ministry and IP Education Program for CEAP-CAR.” Dr. Josefina Tamondong, CAR regional director of the Department of Education (DepED), has challenged the participants to take on the “responsibility of envisioning an education that would enable today’s students to face the fast-changing world, marked by increased technological shifts that also have affected how education is being done today.” Tamondong also shared the “Ten Ways to Fix Philippine Basic Education of the Aquino administration” to inform the attendees about the plans of the Department of Education. Meanwhile, Maria Lourie Victor of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Indigenous Peoples (ECIP) facilitated series of workshops about the directions and assumptions of IP Education as a regional program of CEAP-CAR. The participants identified the key historical issues and concerns of indigenous peoples in CAR and articulated the guiding principles in responding as educators to these issues and concerns during the workshop. Culminating the activity was a planning session on ways to integrate the discussion for the IP school systems. (CBCPNews)

Lipa holds series of Marian conferences
A SERIES of monthly conferences in preparation for the upcoming 7th National Pilgrimage to Lipa in September are being held at the San Carlos Seminary, Guadalupe Makati City. Organized by the Archdiocese of Lipa, the conference for the month of July was held on July 24 with Bishop Teodoro Bacani as the resource speaker. The Marian conference will have as topic the devotion to the Blessed Virgin in the present Philippine context. A lecture titled “Mary as Fullness of Evangelization from the Asian Context” was facilitated by Fr. Francis Gustilo on June 26, while the topic about “Mary and the Asian Cry for witness” will be discussed by Msgr. Sabino Vengco, on August 21. The monthly conferences will end with a Eucharistic celebration, according to the organizers. They added that Marian lectures are being held to continuously to spread the works and devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The September national pilgrimage will be highlighted with the First National Marian Prayer Congress convened by the Pueblo Amante de Maria Mariological Marian Society of the Philippines (PAMMMSPhil) headed by Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles. (CBCPNews)

CeLeBRATed. Bishop Leo M. Drona, SDB, DD, 23rd anniversary of Episcopal Ordination, July 25, 2010, with a concelebrated Mass at the San Pablo Cathedral, attended by the clergy, religious and laity in the diocese. Bishop Drona, 69, was ordained bishop July 25, 1987 and appointed third Bishop of San Pablo Diocese on May 14, 2004. He was installed June 18 of the same year. The Laguna born prelate, according to Vice Chancellor of San Pablo Diocese Fr. Eugene A. Fadul, was the First Filipino Don Bosco priest and the first Filipino Don Bosco Bishop. He was ordained priest on December 22, 1967. AWARded. Msgr. Jose Bernardo, with Bukas Palad Award in memory of Fr. Manuel Peypoch, SJ, July 22, 2010, for his selfless dedication for almost 40 years of his priestly life and ministry to the formation of priests, and for continuously guiding them in renewal and reformation through his work with the Galilee Center, the National Renewal Center for Priests of the Philippines, the Assist Ministry of the CBCP, and the Commission on Clergy. Msgr. Bernardo was feted together with other honorees during a Special Academic Convocation at the Rev. Henry Lee Irwin Theater of the Ateneo de Manila University. InVeSTed. Fr. Rolando R. Mabutol and Fr. Romeo C. Nietes as “honorary prelates” of Pope Benedict XVI, at the St. Joseph Cathedral, July 14, 2010. The newly-invested Monsignori are members of the clergy of the Diocese of San Jose in Nueva Ecija. The investiture coincided with the Mass to officially close the diocese’s year long Silver Jubilee celebration at the St. Joseph Cathedral presided by Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas last July 14. the Mass to officially close the diocese’s yearlong Silver Jubilee celebration at the St. Joseph Cathedral presided by Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas last July 14. The Diocese of San Jose, headed by Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara, is a suffragan of Lingayen-Dagupan. Concelebrants during the Mass also include prelates from neighboring dioceses: Bishops Florentino Cinense of Tarlac, Marlo Peralta of Alaminos, Jacinto Jose of Urdaneta, Sofronio Bancud of Cabanatuan, and Lingayen-Dagupan Auxiliary Bishop Renato Mayugba. Two Papal awardees were also given recognition during that day. They were Dr. Eleuterio R. Violago (Order of Saint Gregory the Great) and Mrs. Primitiva F. Violago (Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice). dIed. Fr. Baltazar A. Acompanado, Jr., Rector of the Holy Rosary Preparatory Seminary and Archdiocesan Vocation Director, Fr. Acompanado was found dead in his room at the Preparatory Seminary (High School), San Jose, Camarines Sur at about 9:30 a.m., July 28. The late seminary rector was first appointed Parochial Vicar of St. John the Evangelist church in Naga City on March 24, 2003 and Professor/Formator of the Holy Rosary Preparatory Seminary in San Jose, Camarines Sur on November 22, 2003, Assistant Coordinator of SPARC from May 15, 2004 until his appointment as Assistant Director of the Archdiocesan Office of Social Action on April 2, 2006. He was named Professor and Formator of the Holy Rosary Major Seminary on April 2, 2006 and later Rector/ Vocation Director of the Holy Rosary Preparatory Seminary last November 28, 2006. dIed. Fr. Rodolfo Malasmas, SJ, 86, July 11, 2010. Fr. Malasmas was in a coma when he died after suffering a massive heart attack early morning of July 3. Except for a gap of 13 years from 1962 to 1975, where he was assigned at the Sacred Heart Novitiate followed by a stint at the Ateneo de Manila University, Fr. Malasmas’ ministries have all been at the Ateneo de Davao. Among his assignments include being college dean and professor of Ateneo de Davao. He also served as ADDU Grade School Headmaster, High School supervisor at Compostela Annex, Assistant University Chaplain.

Adamson calls for nominations to ‘1st SVP Awards’
ONE of the country’s oldest Catholic educational institutions reiterated its call for nominations to recognize outstanding organizations and individuals that have shown exemplary deeds in serving the poor and the marginalized sectors. The Adamson University issued the call July 23 as it welcomed entries to the first-ever St. Vincent de Paul (SVP) National Awards which seek to honor organizations which made a lasting impact in ending the cycle of poverty among poor communities in the country. Fr. Gregg Banaga, CM, Adamson president, said the initiative seeks to inspire more people to continually promote better and more creative ways to serve the poor. “Through this award, we wish to acknowledge organizations that create a system of helping the poor meet their basic needs and in assisting them to change whatever unjust structures that keep them poor,” he said. The SVP National Award was launched at the opening of the 350th death anniversary celebration of Sts. Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac last Sept. 27. St. Vincent and St. Louise are known to be the patron saints of all charitable works and organizations and of all social works, respectively, who in their lifetime created a system of helping the poor in organized charity rather than Systemic Change Initiative (SCI) serves as a concept and a framework introduced by the Vincentian Commission for the Promotion of Systemic Change to implement meaningful strategies or approaches in helping build a self-sustaining community here and abroad. “To qualify for the award, the project should have shown significant change in the over-all living conditions of the community where social structures are also created in order to sustain a permanent change in the lives of the poor,” said Fr. Banaga. According to him, the project should also engage stakeholders both in the public and private sector and should at least be in existence for three consecutive years. Any individuals and organizations may nominate anyone or any group irrespective of socio-politicalreligious affiliation and orientation as long as they have shown strong commitment to the improvement of the poor communities. Entries may be sent to svpawards@ adamson.edu.ph or info@svpawards. org.ph or to Office of the Vincentian Identity and Mission, Ground Floor SV Bldg., Adamson University, 900 San Marcelino St. Ermita, Manila. For inquiries, contact Pamela Mantuhac at 521-8360/ pamelamantuhac@yahoo. com. (CBCPNews)

A BIBLE encounter has been held for the Filipino Migrant Workers at the Annunciation Parish Church in Tseun Wan, Hong Kong last July 18, 2010. The Bible quiz intended to deepen the Gospel values and respect for life and creation of the people. Contestants of the Bible encounter were Filipino Migrant Workers representing various religious organizations and different parishes in the state who have attended and completed the Basic Bible Seminar (BBS) in Hong Kong. Fr. Oscar Alunday, Executive Secretary of CBCP’s Episcopal Commission

Bible encounter held in Hong Kong
on Biblical Apostolate (ECBA) said the main convenors of the Bible quiz were the winning group of the 1st International Catholic Family Bible Encounter in collaboration with the Hong Kong Filipino Catholic Bible Pastoral Ministry headed by Fr. Emil Lim. The activity started with a Bible Enthronement, a celebration of the Word of God, wherein Fr. Alunday has provided the participants some reflections. The enthronement, said the organizers, is a constant reminder of God’s presence in His written Word and a constant invitation to “take and read” God’s word.

just individual charitable work. “The demands and expectations of the poor have tremendously changed over time. Vincentians here and abroad are taking the lead in promoting and implementing systemic change that requires shifting old mindsets, attitudes and behaviors that keep the poor,” said Fr. Banaga. “It is not just eliminating slums, but more of eradicating the slum or defeatist attitude that has dwarfed and thwarted our people to attain their full potentials. It is about helping define life’s choices for themselves,” he added.

Msgr. Gary Formoso from the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia and Fr. Alunday, both members of the National Secretariat of the Family Bible Encounter Philippines, acted as adjudicators of the Bible contest. A Eucharistic Celebration led by Msgr. Formoso and the announcement of winners of the Bible quiz culminated the contest. The Bible encounter aimed to increase knowledge and love for the Bible and the Catholic faith as well as to foster love for the Eucharist and the Blessed Mother. (Kate Laceda)


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 16
August 2 - 15, 2010

Rome Diocese calls for active gay priests to go, stop sullying church
By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service
IN the wake of an undercover video and news report documenting priests in Rome engaged in homosexual acts, the Rome Diocese has called for priests engaged in “unworthy” behavior to leave the priesthood and stop sullying the reputation of the vast majority of honorable ministers. While the diocese also condemned the article for its overall aim of discrediting the church, it did say it “is committed to rigorously prosecute, according to church norms, any behavior unworthy of priestly life.” On July 23 the Italian weekly newsmagazine, Panorama, published a lengthy dossier detailing the sexual behavior of some priests residing in Rome. A journalist and a practicing homosexual male accomplice went undercover with a hidden video camera to several popular gay night spots in Rome for 20 days. The magazine said it discovered “numerous cases” of priests who were “perfectly integrated in the capital’s gay scene.” The article focused on three priests, two Italian and one French, who, based on the video footage, were seen “dancing half-naked” and engaged in sexual acts. A written statement issued July 23 by the Diocese of Rome said “the news article’s aim is clear: to create scandal and defame all priests, based on the declaration of one of those interviewed who said ‘98 percent of the priests I know are homosexual,’ to discredit the church and—on the flipside—put pressure on that part of the church they have defined as ‘intransigent, which struggles to ignore the reality’ of homosexual priests.” “The facts recounted (in the article) can only cause pain and disconcertion in Rome’s church community,” it said, adding that people who were familiar with Rome’s clergy know that its priests do not lead a “double life” but lead “just one life—happy and joyous—consistent with their vocation.” The diocesan statement also pointed out that there are hundreds of priests living in Rome who are not part of the Rome diocese, but are foreigners accountable to their bishops at home. Priests who are living “a double life,” the statement said, “have not understood what the Catholic priesthood is and should not have become priests” in the first place. It said such priests should recognize that “no one is forcing them to be priests (as they are) just exploiting the benefits” of the priesthood. “Consistency demands that they be discovered. We do not wish them ill, but we cannot accept that because of their behavior the honorability of everyone else is dragged through the mud,” it said.

Pastoral Concerns


Vatican says new norms will strengthen efforts against abusive priests
By John Thavis Catholic News Service

THE Vatican has revised its procedures for handling priestly sex abuse cases, streamlining disciplinary measures, extending the statute of limitations and defining child pornography as an act of sexual abuse of a minor.
Vatican officials said the changes allow the church to deal with such abuse more rapidly and effectively, often through dismissal of the offending cleric from the priesthood. As expected, the Vatican also updated its list of the “more grave crimes” against church law, called “delicta graviora,” including for the first time the “attempted sacred ordination of a woman.” In such an act, it said, the cleric and the woman involved are automatically excommunicated, and the cleric can also be dismissed from the priesthood. Vatican officials emphasized that simply because women’s ordination was treated in the same document as priestly sex abuse did not mean the two acts were somehow equivalent in the eyes of the church. “There are two types of ‘delicta graviora’: those concerning the celebration of the sacraments, and those concerning morals. The two types are essentially different and their gravity is on different levels,” said Msgr. Charles Scicluna, an official of the Vatican’s doctrinal congregation. Sexual abuse of a minor by a priest was added to the classification of “delicta graviora” in 2001, and at that time the Vatican established norms to govern the handling of such cases, which were reserved to the Congregation for

the Doctrine of the Faith. The norms affect how church law treats sex abuse cases; civil law deals with the crime separately. The latest revisions, approved by Pope Benedict XVI May 21 and released July 15, for the most part codify practices that have been implemented through special permissions granted over the last nine years and make them part of universal law. The Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, said publication of the revisions “makes a great contribution to the clarity and certainty of law in this field, a field in which the church is today strongly committed to proceeding with rigor and transparency.” The norms on sexual abuse of minors by priests now stipulate: –The church law’s statute of limitations on accusations of sexual abuse has been extended, from 10 years after the alleged victim’s 18th birthday to 20 years. For several years, Vatican officials have been routinely granting exceptions to the 10year statute of limitations. Exceptions to the 20-year limit will be possible, too, but the Vatican rejected a suggestion to do away with the statute of limitations altogether, sources said. – Use of child pornography now falls under the category of clerical sexual abuse of minors, and offenders can be dismissed from the priesthood. This norm applies to “the acquisition, possession, or distribution by a cleric of pornographic images of minors under the age of 14, for purposes of sexual gratification, by whatever means or using whatever technology.” Vatican officials said age 14 was chosen as the threshold age into puberty; canon law considers a child under 14 as a “prepubescent.” – Sexual abuse of mentally disabled adults will be considered equivalent to abuse of minors. The norms define such a person as someone “who habitually lacks the use of reason.” In 2003, two years after promulgating

the Vatican’s norms on priestly sex abuse, Pope John Paul II gave the doctrinal congregation a number of special faculties to streamline the handling of such cases. The new revisions incorporate those changes, which were already in practice: – In the most serious and clear cases of sexual abuse of minors by priests, the doctrinal congregation may proceed directly to laicize a priest without going through an ecclesiastical trial. In these instances, the final decision for dismissal from the clerical state and dispensation from the obligations of celibacy is made by the pope. – The doctrinal congregation can dispense with using the formal judicial process in church law in favor of the “extrajudicial process.” In effect, this allows a bishop to remove an accused priest from ministry without going through a formal trial. – The doctrinal congregation can dispense from church rules requiring only priests with doctorates in canon law to serve on church tribunals in trials of priests accused of abusing minors. This means qualified lay experts, including those without a canon law doctorate, can be on the tribunal staff, or act as lawyers or prosecutors. – The doctrinal congregation’s competency in such cases means it has the right to judge cardinals, patriarchs and bishops as well as priests. Vatican sources said this norm, which originates from a decision by Pope John Paul in 2004, indicates that if the pope authorizes a trial or penal process against such persons for sex abuse or another of the “more grave crimes,” the doctrinal congregation would be the tribunal and could also make preliminary investigations. The revised norms maintain the imposition of “pontifical secret” on the church’s judicial handling of priestly sex abuse and other grave crimes, which means they are dealt with in strict confidentiality. Father Lombardi said

the provision on the secrecy of trials was designed “to protect the dignity of everyone involved.” The spokesman said that while the Vatican norms do not directly address the reporting of sex abuse to civil authorities, it remains the Vatican’s policy to encourage bishops to report such crimes wherever required by civil law. “These norms are part of canon law; that is, they exclusively concern the church. For this reason they do not deal with the subject of reporting offenders to the civil authorities. It should be noted, however, that compliance with civil law is contained in the instructions issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as part of the preliminary procedures to be followed in abuse cases,” he said. Father Lombardi added that the doctrinal congregation also was studying how to help bishops around the world formulate local guidelines on sexual abuse in church environments. He said that would be “another crucial step on the church’s journey as she translates into permanent practice and continuous awareness the fruits of the teachings and ideas that have matured over the course of the painful events of the ‘crisis’ engendered by sexual abuse by members of the clergy.” The new norms treat a number of other “delicta graviora” connected with sacramental issues. On the “attempted ordination of a woman,” the norms essentially restated a 2008 decree from the doctrinal congregation that said a woman who attempts to be ordained a Catholic priest and the person attempting to ordain her are automatically excommunicated. The norms added that if the guilty party is a priest, he can be punished with dismissal from the priesthood. For those wondering why an excommunicated priest would also be laicized, Vatican sources said they were two different kinds of penalties.

“Excommunication is a medicinal penalty which has to be remitted once the person repents; dismissal (from the priesthood) is an additional expiatory penalty which remains in place permanently, even if the excommunication is lifted,” Msgr. Scicluna explained. The norms address violations against the sacraments of penance and the Eucharist. One norm explicitly extends the crime of violating the seal of confession through use of modern technology—by recording confessions or making any such recording public through social communication media. This reflects a change introduced in practice in 2003. The revisions include among the “more grave crimes” other actions regarding the sacrament of penance: attempting to impart absolution or hearing sacramental confession when one cannot do so validly; indirect violation (and not only direct violation) of the seal of confession; and simulation of the administration of the sacrament by a priest who is able to grant absolution. Vatican sources said the direct violation of the confessional seal would occur, for example, when a priest betrays the name of the penitent and the sin confessed; an indirect violation might occur if the priest betrays only the name of the penitent or only the confessed sin, but the missing element is understood from the context of the conversation. Regarding the Eucharist, the revised norms modify the language concerning the attempted and simulated celebration of the Eucharist, and sacrilegious consecration of one or both matters in or outside of the eucharistic celebration. The revised norms include for the first time “crimes against the faith”—heresy, apostasy and schism—saying that while competency normally falls to local bishops in such cases, the doctrinal congregation becomes competent in the case of an appeal.

© Msgr. Pedro Quitorio / CBCP Media

The ‘Te Deum’
(Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university, answers the following query:) Q: I read with great interest your discussion of the Adoro Te Devote. I wondered if you would prepare a similar explanation and discussion of the Te Deum. I consider it to be a beautiful hymn and would be interested to know more about its history and use. –B.D., Columbia City, Indiana A: Compared to the labyrinthine history of the Te Deum, that of the Adoro Te Devote was quite straightforward. The Te Deum, an ancient Latin hymn in rhythmical prose, is probably a compilation of three sources. In fact, there are triple rhythms and three distinct melodies within the one piece. In many ways it resembles another ancient liturgical prose hymn, the Gloria in Excelsis Deo. The chant melodies are from pre-Gregorian and Gregorian styles. Polyphonic versions have been composed by, among others: G. Palestrina, G.F. Handel, Henry Purcell, Ralph Vaughan Williams, M.L. Cherubini, Benjamin Britten, H. Berlioz, A. Bruckner and A. Dvorak. Numerous English translations have been made, including one by the poet John Dryden (1631-1700). The popular “Holy God, We Praise Thy Name,” originally a 1775 Lutheran hymn in German, is also based on the Te Deum. We present the Latin version and the translation published in the 1975 Liturgy of the Hours. For the sake of clarity we have divided it into the three parts mentioned above. “Te deum laudamus te dominum confitemur / Te aeternum patrem omnis terra veneratur / Tibi omnes angeli Tibi caeli et universae potestates / Tibi cherubim et seraphim incessabili voce proclamant / Sanctus sanctus sanctus dominus deus sabaoth / Pleni sunt celi et terra maiestatis gloriae tuae / Te gloriosus apostolorum chorus / Te prophetarum laudabilis numerus / Te martyrum candidatus laudat exercitus / Te per orbem terrarum sancta confitetur ecclesia / Patrem inmense maiestatis / Venerandum tuum verum unicum filium / Sanctum quoque paraclytum spiritum “Tu rex gloriae christe / Tu patris sempiternus es filius / Tu ad liberandum suscepisti hominem non horruisti virginis uterum / Tu devicto mortis aculeo aperuisti credentibus regna caelorum / Tu ad dexteram dei sedes in gloria patris / Iudex crederis esse venturus / Te ergo quaesumus tuis famulis subveni quos pretioso sanguine redemisti / Aeterna fac cum sanctis tuis gloria numerari\”Salvum fac populum tuum domine et benedic hereditati tuae / Et rege eos et extolle illos usque in aeternum / Per singulos dies benedicimus te / Et laudamus nomen tuum in saeculum et in saeculum saeculi / Dignare domine die isto, sine peccato nos custodire / Miserere nostri domine miserere nostri / Fiat misericordia tua domine super nos quemadmodum speravimus in te / In te domine speravi non confundar in aeternum” “You are God: we praise you; You are the Lord: we acclaim you; / You are the eternal Father: All creation worships you./ To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, / Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: / Holy, holy, holy, Lord, God of power and might,/ heaven and earth are full of your glory./ The glorious company of apostles praise you./ The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. / The white-robed army of martyrs praises you. / Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you:/ Father, of majesty unbounded, / your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, / and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide. “You, Christ, are the king of glory,/ the eternal Son of the Father./ When you became man to set us free / you did not spurn the Virgin’s womb. / You overcame the sting of death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. / You are seated at God’s right hand in glory./ We believe that you will come, and be our judge./ Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, / and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting. “Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance./ Govern and uphold them now and always./ Day by day we bless you./ We praise your name for ever. / Keep us today, Lord, from all sin. / Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy. / Lord, show us your love and mercy; / for we put our trust in you. / In you, Lord, is our hope: / And we shall never hope in vain.” As we mentioned, we are probably dealing with three distinct hymns in one. The first is directed toward the Father and ends with a Trinitarian doxology. It could be a rare survivor of the hymns that were popular before the Council of Nicaea in 325. There are probable references to this hymn in the writings of St. Cyprian of Carthage and in the Passion of St. Perpetua, which would make its composition earlier than the year 250. The second part, entirely Christological, is evidently later and reflects the controversies surrounding the fourth-century Arian heresy. It is also the more-perfect composition faithfully respecting the rules of Latin rhetoric. The third section is formed from a series of verses from the Psalms. It is possible that these were originally versicles added as a litany at the end of the hymn. Something similar happens today when we add the versicle “You gave them bread from heaven …” after the Tantum Ergo. Eventually this litany also became part of the hymn itself. Indeed, in the Milanese Ambrosian rite the Te Deum ends with the “Aeterna fac cum sanctis tuis gloria [Munerari].” The present rubrics also allow this part to be omitted in the Roman rite. There are many theories regarding the author, especially with respect to who composed the second part and added it to the older first part. The most likely candidate is Nicetas (circa 335-414), bishop of Remesiana, now Bela Palanka in presentday Serbia. This zealous missionary bishop’s poetical talent was acknowledged by contemporaries such as St. Jerome and St. Paulinus of Nola, as well as Gennadius writing about 75 years later. Nicetas’ authorship is attested by about 10 manuscripts, the earliest from the 10th century and mostly of Irish origin. It is likely that Ireland’s isolation could have kept alive an older attribution, whereas in continental Europe the hymn was attributed to more famous names such as St. Hilary and St. Ambrose. A more detailed discussion of the question of authorship and translation of the text can be found in the online Catholic Encyclopedia. The earliest evidence for the use of this hymn in the Divine Office is found in St. Caesarius of Arles in 502. St. Benedict (died 526) also prescribed it for his monks. The general rubrics of today’s Divine Office direct the recitation of the Te Deum before the concluding prayer of the Office of Readings on all Sundays outside of Lent, during the octaves of Easter and Christmas, and on solemnities and feasts. It is also common to sing the Te Deum as a hymn of thanksgiving to God on special religious and civil occasions. Religious occasions would be such as the election of a pope, the consecration of a bishop, the canonization of a saint, religious profession, and other significant occasions. In many traditionally Catholic countries it is still common for civil authorities to assist at a special Te Deum on occasion of a royal coronation or presidential inauguration, for peace treaties and significant historical anniversaries. This tradition was sometimes ruled by strict protocol. For example, when General Charles de Gaulle triumphantly entered a liberated Paris during the Second World War the canons of Notre Dame Cathedral debated if the recognized French leader was also the legitimate head of state. The Te Deum could only be sung for the legitimate head of state, and the legal situation was confused. Therefore, when the general entered the cathedral the canons diplomatically received him by singing the Magnificat. Finally, the Te Deum is traditionally sung on Dec. 31 in thanksgiving for the year about to end. The Church grants a plenary indulgence to those who participate in public recitation of the Te Deum on this day.


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 16
August 2 - 15, 2010

Serious and More Serious Crimes in the Catholic Church
By Fr. Jaime B. Achacoso, J.C.D.
JUST when our readers might just have had enough of the Penal Law of the Church for the meantime─with a spate of articles in this column on Crime and Punishment in the Catholic Church (Parts I&II) and Canonical Process for Alleged Sexual Abuse of Minors by Clerics (Parts I&II)─the Holy See has recently come up with new documentation consolidating all the norms pertinent to the issues that we have recently tackled─i.e., relative to the serious crimes against the faith, and more serious crimes against the sacraments of the Holy Eucharist and Penance, and the sexual abuse of minors. To conclude this discussion, therefore, let us summarize the recent documentation. Legislative Background On 30.IV.2001, Pope John Paul II promulgated a very important document, the Motu Proprio Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela, which gave the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) responsibility to deal with and judge a series of particularly serious crimes within the ambit of Church Law. The Motu Proprio was accompanied by a series of practical and procedural Norms, known as Normae de gravioribus delictis (“Norms on more serious crimes”). At this point it is interesting to note that the serious crimes to which the regulations referred primarily concerned vital aspects of Church life as such: crimes against the faith (heresy, apostasy and schism) and crimes against the Sacraments of the Eucharist and of Penance. Hence the title of the Motu Proprio. Only by extension, because of the vast public echo that it attracted in recent years, was the crime of sexual abuse committed by a priest against a minor under the age of eighteen included in the list of more serious crimes, which were reserved to the CDF. Hence the title of the Norms attached to the Motu Proprio. Nine years after the promulgation of the Motu proprio Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela, the CDF felt it necessary to propose certain changes to these norms, not modifying the text in its entirety, but rather only in a few areas, in an effort to improve the application of the law. After a serious and attentive study of the proposed changes, the Cardinals and Bishops Members of the CDF presented the results of their decisions to the Supreme Pontiff and, on 21 May 2010, Pope Benedict XVI gave his approval and ordered the promulgation of the revised text. The text of the Norms on delicta graviora currently in force is the text approved by the Holy Father Benedict XVI on 21 May 2010, and published by the Vatican press office last 15 July 2010. Serious Crimes (Art.2, §1) The new document starts by establishing the serious crimes against the faith as heresy, apostasy and schism, as defined in c.751 and penalized with an automatic excommunication by c.1364, §1 of the Code of Canon Law. It further establishes that “it pertains to the Ordinary or Hierarch to remit, by norm of law if such be the case, the latae sententiae (automatic) excommunication and likewise to undertake a juridicial trial in the first instance or issue an extrajudicial decree, with due regard for the right of appeal to the CDF” (Art.2, §2). These cases therefore are not reserved to the CDF, at least not in the First Instance. More Serious Crimes The document proceeds to enumerate the more serious crimes, which are strictly reserved to the CDF. It is important to note that most of these crimes already carry an automatic (latae sententiae) censure, such that what is reserved to the CDF is not so much the imposition of the penalty, but rather its remission or possible declaration (ferendae sententiae), if that were necessary. 1. Crimes against the Holy Eucharist (Art. 3) this delict is to be punished according to the gravity of the crime, not excluding dismissal or deposition. 2. Crimes against the Sacrament of Penance (Art.4) § 1. The more grave delicts against the sanctity of the Sacrament of Penance reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith are: 1° the absolution of an accomplice in a sin against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue (with automatic excommunication according to c.1378, §1); 2° attempted sacramental absolution or the prohibited hearing of confession by a person who cannot validly give sacramental absolution (with automatic interdict or suspension according to c.1378, §2, 2°); 3° simulated sacramental absolution (with a just penalty according to c.1379); 4° the solicitation to a sin against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue in the act, on the occasion, or under the pretext of confession (with 4. Crimes against Catholic Morals (Art.6) §1. The more grave delicts against morals which are reserved to the CDF are: 1° the delict against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue committed by a cleric with a minor below the age of eighteen years; in this case, a person who habitually lacks the use of reason is to be considered equivalent to a minor. 2° the acquisition, possession, or distribution by a cleric of pornographic images of minors under the age of fourteen, for purposes of sexual gratification, by whatever means or using whatever technology; §2. A cleric who commits the delicts mentioned above in §1 is to be punished according to the gravity of his crime, not excluding dismissal or deposition. Procedural Norms The procedural norms to be followed in these cases are as follows: • Whenever an Ordinary or Hierarch had at least probable knowledge (notitiam saltem verisimilem habeat) of the commission of one of the reserved grave delicts, after having carried out the preliminary investigation, he is to inform the CDF which, unless it calls the case to itself because of special circumstances, will indicate to the Ordinary or Hierarch how to proceed. The right of appeal against a sentence of the first instance is to be exercised only before the Supreme Tribunal of the Congregation. • Criminal action in the cases reserved to the CDF─hitherto extinguished by a prescription of ten years after the 18th birthday of the victim─henceforth prescribes only after 20 years, subject to even a longer period if the CDF deems necessary. • In tribunals established by Ordinaries of Hierarchs, for the cases of the more grave delicts reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the functions of judge, promoter of justice, notary and legal representative─hitherto validly performed only by priests─henceforth can be fulfilled by anyone with required knowledge of Church Law. • Regulations concerning the secrecy of trials are maintained, in order to safeguard the dignity of all the people involved. A Final Word on Judicial Discretion (vs. Secrecy) A point that remains untouched, though it has often been the subject of discussion in recent times, concerns the Church’s collaboration with the civil authorities. We need to point out that the Norms under discussion form part of the Penal Law of the Church, which is autonomous and distinct from the Civil Law. On this subject, however, it is important to take note of the Guide to Understanding Basic CDF Procedures concerning Sexual Abuse Allegations, as published on the Holy See website (cf. www.vatican.va) In that Guide, the phrase “Civil law concerning reporting of crimes to the appropriate authorities should always be followed” is contained in the section dedicated to “Preliminary Procedures”. This means that in the praxis suggested by the CDF, it is necessary to comply with the requirements of law in the various countries, and to do so in good time, not during or subsequent to the canonical trial.

§ 1. The more grave delicts against the sanctity of the most Holy Sacrifice and Sacrament of the Eucharist reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for judgment are: 1° the taking or retaining for a sacrilegious purpose or the throwing away of the consecrated species (with automatic excommunication according to c.1367); 2° attempting the liturgical a c t i o n o f t h e Eu c h a r i s t i c Sacrifice, without having been promoted to the priestly order (with automatic interdict or suspension according to c.1378, §2, 1º); 3° the simulation of the administration of Holy Eucharist (with a just penalty according to c.1379); 4° the concelebration of the Eucharistic with ministers of ecclesial communities which do not have apostolic succession and do not acknowledge the sacramental dignity of priestly ordination (with a just penalty according to cc.908 & 1365) § 2. Also reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is the delict which consists in the consecration for a sacrilegious purpose of one matter without the other or even of both, either within or outside of the eucharistic celebration. One who has perpetrated

suspension, prohibitions or deprivation, or dismissal from clerical state as mentioned in c.1387); 5° the direct and indirect violation of the sacramental seal by a confessor (with automatic excommunication according to c.1388, §1); § 2. Also reserved to the CDF is the more grave delict which consists in the recording, by whatever technical means, or in the malicious diffusion through communications media, of what is said in sacramental confession, whether true or false, by the confessor or the penitent. Anyone who commits such a delict is to be punished according to the gravity of the crime, not excluding, if he be a cleric, dismissal or deposition. 3. Crimes against Holy Orders (Art.5) The more grave delict of the attempted sacred ordination of a woman is also reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: both the one who attempts to confer sacred ordination on a woman, and she who attempts to receive sacred ordination, incurs a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See (1º); If the guilty party is a cleric he may be punished by dismissal or deposition (3º)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 16
August 2 - 15, 2010



The T’bolis’ continuing quest to regain ancestral lands
By Erwin B. Quinones
FOR nearly two decades, the T’boli tribe in Brgy. Ned, Lake Sebu and other tribes elsewhere have been fighting against land-grabbers and intruders in their ancestral domain. With resoluteness, the T’bolis have stood their ground against the encroachment of foreign and local corporations whose greed for profit has made them even more vicious to extract raw materials from the lands of indigenous peoples. And while these tribes toil with blood and sweat to make sure that their families can eat at least one meal every day, the government on the other hand continues to be adamant in fast tracking the entry of corporations in their ancestral territories hopeful that these investments will bring huge economic benefits to the country notwithstanding the fact that negative impacts outweigh the so-called benefits. With the new administration in place, the indigenous people hope that within President Benigno Aquino’s six years’ term, their long desire to finally repossess their entire ancestral domain will be fulfilled. They share the same aspiration among indigenous peoples in other parts of the country that P-Noy, who vowed that the people will be his boss, would somehow initiate sincere efforts to correct the historical injustices which have been inflicted upon them for more than 300 hundred years. The story of the T’bolis in Barangay Ned, Lake Sebu now needs to be re-told if only to remind the government that they have already suffered so much and are now demanding respect that they deserve from the government. Tension in a coffee plantation Tension gripped anew in sitio Datal Bonlangon, Brgy. Ned, when armed men with high powered rifles believed to be company guards of the Consunji-owned Silvicultural Industries Inc. (SII) were seen frequenting their village, fearing that violence will erupt soon as the lumads vowed to defend their land by all possible means. SII operates the Dawang Coffee Plantation by virtue of its Industrial Forest Management Agreement (IFMA 22) awarded by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in 1991. It covers 11,862 hectares in seven different blocks. The permit was granted on April 29, 1991 and will expire on December 31, 2016. On the night of June 18, 2010, members of the community who joined a night watch in Datal Bonlangon spotted armed men approaching their village. The armed men however turned back upon knowing that the night watchers have noticed their presence. Since then, they see company guards patrolling day and night even in areas outside the plantation and in the peripheries of TAMASCO communities especially in sitio Datal Bonlangon where Datu Victor Danyan resides. Danyan is the chairperson of the T’boliManubo Sdaf Claimants organization (TAMASCO). Reports of threats to his life have been received by several members of his community. On July 9, 2010, SII personnel with seven fully armed men entered Datal Bonlangon, violating and disrespecting the policy of the community that bans outsiders from carrying firearms while inside the area. TAMASCO members also lament that they can no longer pursue their scheduled meetings for fear that these armed men will harm them along the way to their agreed meeting place. The company allegedly beefed up its security forces. Residents said they saw a new batch of company guards, numbering around 16, arriving in the area on July 5, 2010. There is no exact figure as to how many company guards are already detailed all throughout the plantation. The community also claims that the company keeps a sizeable number of high powered rifles (HPRs), fearing that a private army is being formed to secure the area. A glimpse of their grim past When Silvicultural Industries Incorporated (SII) came and started its aggressive campaign to displace the lumads from their ancestral domains in 1991, sitio Datal Bonlangon was no longer at peace. Hectares of trees were felled and the area was eventually converted into a coffee plantation. The community tried to resist the intrusion but persistent threats and harassments of company guards forced them to flee the place in late 1991 and sought refuge in Sitio B’lugsanay, also of Brgy Ned, led by Datu Victor Danyan. Others sought refuge in nearby communities of Segowit, Tuburan and Tawan Dagat. During an all-evening, rain-drenched, eight-hour evacuation hike, a child and old man died along the way. And for seven years, they settled in B’lugsanay in their most precarious condition, scarce food, no livelihood and the like. There came a point where a mother has to feed her son with sugarcane juice, and has to exchange clothing for few sticks of sugarcane. Children were forced to stop schooling. In December 2007, they decided to crops continue to grow and have even provided them additional income. “No expansion” agreement violated On May 13, 2004 Silvicultural Industries Inc. (SII) signed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) that requires them to “immediately stop its development/ expansion activities in the area except forest protection activities of the remaining residual forests”. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was entered into by and between RED-DENR XII Mr. Jim O. Sampulna, DAR-Region XII Director Mr. Nasser M. Musali, CESO III, JP-Marbel Executive Director Sr. Susan O. Bolanio, OND, and NCIP South Cotabato Provincial Officer Dr. Danilo Solamo. But the T’bolis themselves are living witnesses of the unhampered expansion of SII. To date, it has already reached Sitio Segowit, Tawan Dagat and Sitio Tuburan, the other three communities included in TAMASCO’s 2,200-hectare ancestral claim. Enter the deadly coal project On October 2009, DOE signed COC 154 with DMC Construction Equipment Resources Inc. (DMC CERI) awarding them with an area of 3,000 hectares (3 blocks) located in the boundaries of South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat. The M & S Co., another Consunji affiliated company also operates IFMA No. 20 covering 11,835 hectares. IFMA 20 was issued of November 28, 1989 and will expire on December 31, 2014. Another 988 hectares of IFMA was awarded to Victor Consunji on April 15, 1993 and will expire on April, 2015. The two IFMAs are also located in Sultan Kudarat Province. Said IFMA projects have resulted to strings of atrocities and human rights violations in ancestral lands as reported by journalist Joey R.B. Lozano in his article titled Corporate Trees in 2004. The article said the victims point to company guards and contractors as responsible for the atrocities in the course of IFMA implementation. Facts of the said atrocities were also investigated and documented by non-government organizations like the Philippine Association for Intercultural Development, Inc. (PAFID) and even government agencies like the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Commission on Human Rights (CHR). The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples even took notice of the Datal Bonlangon story of injustice. In its 2004 report, it says that “In 1991 the company representatives informed them that their land was part of a logging concession area but that this would be

Unyielding against formidable enemies:

lands into an Agrarian Reform despite our objection.” “We accepted DAR’s program in order for us to acquire a tenurial instrument just so we may have peace in our ancestral territories. But the government through its agencies, the DENR and NCIP, has allowed Consunji to incessantly encroach in our lands”. For Danyan, 18 years of waiting for the government to do something about the intrusion is more than long enough but they have continued to hope for appropriate government interventions. “And now comes these drilling activities of another Consunji-owned companyforcoalmining,thisgovernment is ramming their version of development into our throat despite our opposition, this is already too much,” Danyan, speaking in a local dialect, said. Right to say NO Indigenous peoples’ rights advocates echoed Danyan’s sentiments saying that the government has continued to turn a blind eye on the plight of the T’bolis in Barangay Ned. “It seems that the government finds it difficult to respect the decision of the community not to allow the Consunjis and San Miguel Corporation to mine their ancestral domains,” said Sister Susan Bolanio, OND of HESED Foundation. HESED and the Legal Rights and NaturalResources–KasamasaKalikasan/ Friends of the Earth Philippines (LRCKsK/FoE Phils) as well as the Social Action Center of Marbel have been assisting TAMASCO in its campaign to reclaim and developed their ancestral lands. TAMASCO has already filed an application for CADT in 2002. “We appeal to the new administration to respect the decision of TAMASCO. For the T’bolis, the coal mining projects are unacceptable and detrimental to their lives and livelihoods,” said Rosalinda Latonio of LRC-KsK/FoE Phils. “We are saddened by the fact that the government is quick at fast tracking largescale extractive projects but is attending to the needs of the indigenous peoples at a snail pace,” Latonio added.
LRC-KsK/FoE Phils/Davao Regional Office

Datu Victor Danyan, Chairperson of T’boli-Manubo S’daf Claimants Organization (TAMASCO) facilitates a meeting.

come back to Datal Bonlangon and reclaim the land which they have owned since time immemorial. Again the company prevented them from putting up huts and clearing patches of lands. But Datu Victor and his members stood their ground despite persistent harassment. Since their return to the community, the T’bolis labored hard to till few hectares of lands beside the coffee plantation even as SII continued its expansion to other TAMASCO areas like Tawan Dagat and Tuburan without the consent of the T’bolis. Together with other community leaders, Danyan also sought the help of support groups like the Justice and Peace Desk of the Diocese of Marbel (JP-Marbel), Legal Rights Center (LRC) and later the OND HESED Foundation for assistance through livelihood projects, capacity building programs and ancestral domain delineation and management. In 2006, they become “nomadic no more” and “learn sustainable farming to survive,” wrote Romer Sarmiento of Businessworld in his article, T’bolis Nomads No More. The literacy and sustainable agriculture projects implemented with the support of HESED created an enormous difference in their way of life and have significantly increased their production. Until now, communal farms still provide the community enough food to be served in their tables. Corn, cassava, beans, nuts, fruit trees and other root

project area lies within and beyond the ancestral territories of TAMASCO. DMC CERI is but another Consunji owned company. On July 23, 2010, TAMASCO leader Abelardo Wali reported via text message that the company, without due notice closed all plantation roads that lead to TAMASCO communities and other neighboring villages. At the height of the IFMA issue in late 90’s, Datu Victor Danyan and his community were not allowed to use these plantations roads. It was only after a series of dialogues facilitated by JP-Marbel and LRC that SII allowed the community access to these roads. A formidable family? The Consunjis are among the country’s few historical elite who are well entrenched economically and politically. The family owns and controls a number of corporations including those engaged in logging, mining, plantations, engineering and construction, urban development and housing, holding companies and power generation, among others. David M. Consunji is consistently in the Philippines’ top 20 list of richest Filipinos. Semirara Mining Corporation for example is the coal mining arm of Consunji-led DMCI Holdings Incorporated, while the Calaca Power Plant in Calaca, Batangas is now under DMCI Power Corporation.

a positive development because of the building of new roads to transport their produce. Company representatives made no reference to the planting of coffee, much less the conversion of the area into a large coffee plantation.” Within seven months, trees were felled until the area was completely logged over, it added. “Soon after, bulldozers and other heavy machinery arrived and cleared the entire area of bananas, fruit trees, native coffee and other locally grown plants including rattan to make way for a coffee plantation. Only when the mechanized and massive clearing was in full swing did the people realize that their land had been taken away from them,” the report said. The report added: “Thereafter, they were prevented from tilling their farms and those who attempted to do so were harassed by company guards armed with carbines, armalites and rifles. Those who tried to work on the company’s clearings were fired at. Before long, the cleared areas were planted with arabica and robusta coffee.” Government inaction Speaking in the dialect, Danyan said that “the government is hurting us more by not listening and by not respecting our decisions not to allow mining or any other development projects in our ancestral land”. Danyan laments that they “have been respectful of the Government’s action to them, like appropriating our ancestral

More trouble times up ahead Datu Victor Danyan and his community may also have to brace themselves for more corporate onslaught. In March 2010 San Miguel Corporation acquired 100 percent of DAMI through its subsdiary, San Miguel Energy. The Dept of Energy (DOE) has awarded Coal Operating Contract (COC) No. 126 to Daguma Agro-Minerals, Inc. (DAMI) on November 19, 2002 with an area of 2,000 hectares (or 2 coal blocks 380 and 381). The project is now at the production and development stage. Coal block 380 and 381 encroach the ancestral territories of TAMASCO particularly in areas of Tawan Dagat and Tuburan. Angat kefye... The plight of TAMASCO and other indigenous peoples elsewhere who suffer the same fate under the hands of seemingly formidable entities remain uncertain even under the P-Noy administration. For TAMASCO, with unwavering courage and greater resolve, they vowed to fight for their rights and pursue their dream of regaining their ancestral lands, for their life and for angat kefye (T’boli term meaning future). Their message is clear, respect their rights as a people and cancel IFMA 22 and the coal contracts that encroach in their ancestral lands. They expect nothing more from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) except to immediately issue their Certificate of Ancestral Domain Titles (CADT). The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) should also heed their call for the immediate cancellation of IFMA 22. (Erwin B. Quinones is the Campaigns Paralegal of the Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center, Kasama sa Kalikasan, Friends of the Earth.)

LRC-KsK/FoE Phils/Davao Regional Office


OFWs go on pilgrimage to Torreciudad
Filipino pilgrims join pilgrimage in Altötting
By Fr. Adonis Narcelles, Jr. SVD
MORE than 300 Filipino pilgrims, mostly from Germany, Austria and Switzerland made a pilgrimage to Altötting, Bavaria, Germany to venerate the Black Madonna of Altötting on July 24, 2010. The first Filipino Pilgrimage of Philippine Communities and Chaplaincies in Europe was led by Filipino chaplains Fr. Johan Dumandan, Fr. Antonio Enerio SVD and Fr. Adonis Narcelles Jr. SVD. The Filipino pilgrim day in Altötting began with the Holy Rosary and Marian Songs at 9 a.m. followed by the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament for prayers and adoration until 1 p.m. The pilgrims had a “Walk with Mary” to the Basilica of St. Anne where the Holy Mass was celebrated by the three chaplains. The huge church that can accommodate up to 8,000 pilgrims was constructed from 1910 until 1912. Pilgrims representing Zurich, Bern, Luzern, Basel and St. Gallen in Switzerland; Vienna and Salzburg in Austria; Munich, Hannover, Mühldorf, Passau and Berlin in Germany


CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 16
August 2 - 15, 2010

By Fr. Russell Bantiles
CONVERSION and interior peace for many souls: these are mainly the spiritual graces that St. Josemaría Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei, wished every pilgrim would receive upon venerating Our Lady

dedication in Altoaragón, where an 11th century Romanesque image of Mary with the Child Jesus on Her lap (an image also known as Mary, Seat of Wisdom), is venerated. This Marian temple, promoted by the Founder of Opus Dei, was opened for the cult since 1975 and has drawn thousands of

medieval tower which stands over the Cinca river could be appreciated near an ermita or an old chapel where for more than nine centuries, pilgrims venerate the Marian icon. According to a medieval document, “Civitas” is the name Muslim invaders gave to the bulwark (a solid

with her husband and two children. Getting down the bus, everyone could contemplate the picturesque view of a reddish temple against a bluish background, with a complement of some cumulus clouds above it. A refreshing breeze of a 20º Celsius temperature reminds everyone

participated in the lively and multilingual Holy Mass celebrated at the Basilica. Filipino pilgrims coming from the United States and the Philippines also joined the celebration. After the Holy Mass, the pilgrims visited the Holy Places in Altötting including the churches of St. Conrad and St. Mary Magdalene, the Congregation Hall, the Parish Church of St. Philip and James, the Adoration Chapel, St. Michael Church, the Stations of the Cross and the Chapel of Grace (Gnadenkappelle) which houses the much-venerated Black Madonna of Altötting. The pilgrims gathered again at 6 p.m. at the Church of Philip and James, which also celebrates 500th Anniversary of its inauguration, for the blessing of religious articles and the praying of the Holy Rosary. At 7 p.m., the group went to the Church of St. Conrad, a saint from Altötting, for the evening prayer. The pilgrimage ended with a Light Procession at 9

OFWs accompanied by Filipino priests and the sanctuary rector carry in procession the images of Our Lady of Antipolo and Our Lady of Guadalupe.

of Torreciudad in Aragon, Spain. “Graces that the Lord will give to whoever venerates His Blessed Mother in Her sanctuary; these are the miracles I desire: conversion and peace for many souls”, he once said. For the 235 OFW’s from p.m. together with other pilgrims from around the world. Altötting is a main pilgrim site in Germany that receives about 1.5 million pilgrims every year. The pilgrimage to the Black Madonna started as early as 1498. A museum named House Pope Benedict XVI keeps the treasures and historical artefacts of Altötting including a collection of more than 2,500 rosaries and other gifts offered to the Blessed Mother. The pope’s birthplace, Marktl is only 18 kilometers away from Altötting. The pontiff, who used to visit the Black Madonna had expressed the importance of Altötting to him in saying: “I am very lucky to have been born near Altötting and to go on pilgrimages together with my parents and sibling to this place of grace which formed part of my earliest and most treasured memories.” The Holy Father last visited the Black Madonna on September 11, 2006. Like Pope Benedict XVI, many Filipino pilgrims who visited Altötting and Marktl in July 2010 expressed their joy after this blessed experience and went home with “most treasured memories.”

pilgrims each year. Asthefivebusesthattransported some 85 OFW’s from Tarragona and 150 from Barcelona started to escalate the winding road that leads to the sanctuary, almost everyone sighed at the sight of the bright blue-colored water of a

wall-like structure raised for defense) that they had which they used to defend themselves from Christians who wanted to recover their territories. In 1084, the Christians, once recuperated the Aragón area, enthroned the image of the Virgin Mary

that they are 3-4 hours away from home. What was irresistible was the strong temptation of settling down in one place for sometime and contemplate the precious scenery. But the insistent voice of the pilgrimage guide prompted everyone to take their seats in
RETABLO: the magnificent 8-scene altarpiece provide an awesome prayerful atmosphere inside the temple.

Tarragona and Barcelona, who made a romería (pilgrimage) to this Marian sanctuary last July 18, 2010, St. Josemaría’s wish came true. Everybody was captivated by the serenity and the prayerful atmosphere of this secular Marian

deep pantano (a reservoir or lake for the purpose of irrigation) that serves as the perfect background of the temple that appears lightreddish under the rays of a noontime summer sun. From the road, ruins of a

in the Ermita, beside what was then called “Turris Civitas” (tower city); hence, the name Torreciudad (in Spanish). “Vale la pena venir aquí, eh” (It’s worth coming here!), said one mother, who came

the audiovisual room as a 20minute video orients them about the place. Somehow, the video orientation contributed a lot to the prayerful mood that the
OFWs / B7

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 16
August 2 - 15, 2010



Securing our Moral Heritage: Towards a Moral Society
(A Pastoral Exhortation on Proposed Bills on Sex Education and Reproductive Health)
b. Beginning with the 5th grade, information will be given on such topics as reproductive systems, cycles, hygiene, gender identity, premarital sex, sexually transmitted diseases. c. Given the right information the hope is that the children would make responsible decisions. We know that sex education concepts have been in place since the 1970’s. The proposed sex education program further highlights and fortifies the concept that contraceptives provide “safe and satisfying sex.” But the following we also know: a. The failures rates of contraceptives against sexually transmitted diseases are high. b. Oral contraceptive pills are classified as Group I carcinogenic, i.e., “there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity.” c. With its very liberal sex education programs and its aggressive attitude in pushing contraceptives and condoms for safe sex, the United States still has the highest teen birth rate, 93.0 per 1000, and one of the highest rates of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) among teens in the industrialized world. We reiterate that the Church is not against sex education. But for reasons of morality and religious faith, we strongly object to the proposed sex education program. The program is devoid of any substantive moral and religious value formation. By its nature, human sexuality is a sacred gift from God and is destined for a divine purpose. Moral and religious value formation is, therefore, absolutely indispensable in appreciating and treasuring human sexuality. This divine gift must not be taught in a Moreover the Constitution protects “the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception” (Art. II, Sec. 12). And conception is the moment of fertilization. At implantation the new life is already a sevenday old human being. For this reason, if its ambiguous stand on contraceptives that are not abortifacients is corrected in favor of moral truth, a house bill such as the new House Bill No. 13 (An Act Providing for the Safety and Protection of the Unborn Child and for Other Purposes) is laudable. This bill seeks to make operational the Constitution’s Declaration of Principles and State Policies, where it indicates that “the State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception.” (Ibid.) Population and Poverty Many people think that to reduce poverty it is necessary to control population. We would raise serious questions regarding this opinion. Does this opinion not have a certain bias against the poor? In population control are not the real targets the millions of poor families whose numbers must be reduced? Moreover, it is our belief that the causes of poverty are complex. We believe that poverty is caused by flawed development philosophies, plans and priorities, by corruption, by inequitable wealth distribution and access to economic resources and benefits, by poor delivery of social services, by unjust economic policies, and by imbalances in our political structures that favor the few and powerful over the many poor. It is social injustice that is at the root of poverty. And social injustice is simply another name for moral and spiritual corruption, the jettisoning THE divinely inspired words of the psalmist in the Sacred Scriptures frame our reflections. We wish to contribute towards our shared dream to become a nation of integrity. We write this letter on behalf of the community of the faithful entrusted to our spiritual care. We present our reflections to all men and women of good will and address ourselves particularly to the leaders and members of the present government. Corruption—the rejection of moral and religious truths “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap.” “Without corruption, there will be no poverty.” This was the political rallying cry of our new President. It resonated deeply, and still does, with the longing of our people for truth and integrity, for a moral society. Allow us to remind you of two timeless and simple but profound truths: 1. At the foundation of the moral society is a central religious truth – our divine origin and our divinely-given identity as persons. God created our inmost self, our inmost being, and knit us in our mother’s womb. We come from God. We are created by God. Our capacity to understand truth and to love, our capacity to have compassion for the weak and for the feeble – these are divinely-endowed wonders of ourselves, of the persons that we are, wonderfully created unto God’s image and likeness. To respect God’s creative act and to be true to God’s image are at the heart of being moral persons. 2. Real corruption is moral and spiritual corruption. The rejection or disregard of morality and religious belief is at the core of corruption. Moral and spiritual corruption breeds its kind in other spheres of life -

An Open Letter to President Benigno Aquino III
His Excellency BENIGNO SIMEON C. AQUINO, III President of the Republic of the Philippines New Executive Building, Malacañang Palace Compound J. P. Laurel St., San Miguel, Manila Your Excellency, We, the Catholic Bishops of the Philippines, join the whole nation in greeting you and welcoming you as the new and duly elected president of our country. Together with others, we are hopeful that your presidency will usher in needed changes in our country. We are especially happy that you have declared it as your policy to listen to the people. As bishops in dioceses all over the country, we are privy to many things that happen among our people, especially among the poor and the voiceless. Emboldened by your openness, we appeal to you to protect and conserve our natural resources. For more than a decade now, we are asking our government to put a stop to large-scale mining since this not only permanently damages the delicate balance of our natural environment, but it also makes our small farmers, fisher folks and indigenous peoples suffer. We question the neo-liberal pitch that there is no other path to development except through further economic liberalization, especially in the mining industry. The CBCP calls for changing the way we manage and develop our natural resources. Our bias for the use of our resources should be for Filipinos and not for foreigners. We are calling for the abrogation of the Mining Act of 1995 that do not adequately protect the interest of our people and the country’s natural resources. As if the Mining Law of 1995 is not bad enough, it has been made more harmful by EO 270-A, better known as the National Policy Agenda on Revitalizing Mining in the Philippines, decreed by former President Macapagal-Arroyo in 2004. It is within your capacity, Mr. President, to revoke this executive order to give a strong signal to our people that now you have the genuine good of the Filipinos at heart. Furthermore, we call for review of all anomalous and controversial mining contracts. We cannot move forward if we fail to rectify previous contentious contracts the state has entered into with mining investors. Connected with this is the request to make public all existing mining applications and contracts. The people and NGOs are not able to scrutinize the applications and contracts because these are kept from the public. We are expecting this new government to turn away from the policy of secrecy that characterized the previous administration. The best instruments we could use in safeguarding the interests of our nation are transparency and sincerity in heeding the voice of the people who are the true beneficiaries and stakeholders of the country’s resources. The promotion of participatory governance guarantees check and balance on government decisions and policies. You have clearly declared that as public servants, you and your colleagues in the government are ultimately accountable to the people. Pursuant to the continuing effort of the DENR to revitalize its environmental conservation and protection strategies, we also ask your commitment to spearhead the reform in DENR bureaucracy and weed the corrupt officials in its national and local agencies. In light of bureaucratic reform, we would like to highlight the principle of subsidiarity. We have many experiences of local governments refusing the entry of mining and even passing a moratorium on mining operations, but only end up not being recognized at the national level. Similarly, we also ask that an appropriate disciplinary measure be imposed upon local DENR officials who try to suppress the legitimate objections of the stakeholders by preventing their complaints from reaching the attention of the national office. We deeply appreciate your commitment towards accountability and transparency, the hallmarks of your government’s platform. We pray that the same level of commitment would reverberate to your office’s pursuit for environmental justice. With my paternal blessing and cordial regards. In Christ, +NEREO ODCHIMAR, D.D. Bishop of Tandag President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) 12 July 2010

It was you who created my inmost self, and put me together in my mother’s womb; for all these mysteries I thank you: for the wonder of myself, for the wonder of your works (Psalm 139:13-14, Jerusalem Bible).
political, social, and economic. Therefore, to get rid of corruption at all levels of life we as a people must acknowledge our origin from the creative power of God and must be true to our identity as created unto God’s image and likeness. This moral truth is at the very foundation of a civilization of truth and love, a humane society, a moral society. To disregard moral and religious truths such as this is to be defenseless to the onslaught of corruption. In brief, we have to restore and secure the moral heritage that governs us as persons, our social relationships, and our institutions. All the faithful, clergy religious and laity, and all our religious institutions are called to proclaim these moral and religious truths. It is our divine mission. Our action or lack of action might sometimes, sadly, contradict our call and weaken our credibility. But realizing this with the deepest sorrow we nonetheless cannot abdicate our duty and mission. We have to vigorously proclaim truth and integrity, combat corruption, and help build up a moral society. But the fight against moral and spiritual corruption in our society is not only the duty of the Church. It is also the duty of the government. This is clear from the Constitution: “The government is to support parents in rearing the youth in the development of moral character...,” (Art 2, sec. 12) “…in the youth’s physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual and social well-being,” (sec. 13) “…in the school’s role in ethical and spiritual values, development of moral character and personal discipline.” (Art. 14, sec. 3) For this reason we address two concurrent and related issues that bring serious implications on the good of the faithful—on you as parents, on young people and ultimately on the family—the crucial building block of society. These two issues are: sex education and reproductive health. 1. SEX EDUCATION: “Adolescent Reproductive Health Through LifeskillsBased Education” Here are some news reports on sex education that the Department of Education has not disclaimed: a. The aim of the sex education program is to curb the population growth rate and reduce HIV incidence among young Filipinos. manner emptied of its deep spiritual and moral dimension. In matters of character formation and nurturance in moral values, it is the parents who possess the fundamental and natural right and duty, a right acknowledged in the Constitution, a right which government may not take away and arrogate unto itself. Lessons on human sexuality are lessons about love, most importantly about God’s gift of love manifested in the total sexual dimension of the human person. In the familial setting of a human trinity, father, mother, and child, there is a sincere and palpable gift of self and love from the parents. In the family, the lessons of love through human sexuality can be learned with respect and awe for the “wonder of God’s work.” Such setting and such manner of teaching will not be found in a classroom sex education program designed simply to inform and not form. Sex education has to impart a sense of the sacredness of the gift of human sexuality. For sex education to be proper, conscience formation, moral and spiritual guidance must be integrated with the whole process. 2. REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH: “The Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2010” (HB 96) House Bill 96 is substantially the same Reproductive Health Bill formerly known as HB 5043. With the utmost concern and urgency we express our strong objection to the fundamental aspects of House Bill 96. The basis of our moral objection is once again the central religious truth of the divine origin and divine image of the human person, of one’s being and life. Like its predecessor the main purpose of House Bill 96 is to make barren what is by nature fruitful and generative of human life. It promotes contraceptive barriers, techniques, supplies, and services that control fertility as if it were a disease. Science has proven that some contraceptives render the mother’s womb inhospitable, thereby causing abortion. And abortion, as Pope John Paul II has cited in “Evangelium Vitae,” the Gospel of Life, was the instrument of the first systematic population control program by a dominant power on a poor slave population, as narrated in the book of Exodus (cf. Ex. 1: 8-22). of moral and spiritual values from private and public life. If this is so, would not the overwhelming attention to control population be a convenient way to ignore the greater causes that keep our poor people below the poverty line? These are the causes of poverty, the removal of which would comprehensively transform our social order and establish social justice. Conclusion To plan our families is, indeed, a Christian value and responsibility. This is why we support the couple’s desire for the planning and proper spacing of their children through natural family planning programs in our dioceses. A contraceptive-oriented population control program is not the moral way. Even if powerful organizations in the world might imperiously and ideologically promote and fund such programs we would still object. For we believe that such programs contradict our moral and religious beliefs. Moral truth is not created by the powerful or by popular opinion. Moral truth is what God wills from the Sacred Scriptures, interpreted and taught authentically by the Church’s teaching authority. The constitutional protection of the unborn child from the first instant of conception is a legacy given to us some twenty years ago during the presidency of President Corazon C. Aquino. In spite of all the foreseeable opposition of politicians and powerful lobby groups, we pray that President Aquino’s moral legacy could be finally and fully realized during the term of her son, President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III. May the Good Shepherd, who himself was raised in a family, bless your family and every child who is nurtured in your homes. May Mary, the Queen of the Family, enlighten and inspire our new leader to build a nation of truth and integrity, a truly moral society. For the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines: + NEREO P. ODCHIMAR, D.D. Bishop of Tandag President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines July 24, 2010

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media

© Roy Lagarde / CBCP Media


Ref lections

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 16
August 2 - 15, 2010

The Assumption: We pray to our Mother in Heaven
Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Lk 1:39-56, August 15, 2010
man became the instrument of death, by rejecting God, the new Adam, Jesus Christ, became the instrument of life. It is in this light that we come to an understanding of the Assumption of Mary into heaven. Her death was a transformation from this life to the next. She is the model Christian who heard the Word of God and lived it. She carried the life of God within her, celebrated the life of her Son on earth and in His resurrection, and is united to His life for all eternity. The bottom line of the feast is this: Mary is in heaven. The one who is our mother is with God for all eternity. Our prayers to Mary are the prayers of children asking their mother for help. We pray to Mary because she is our mother. When we were little and we fell down and scraped out knees, we called out to our mommies. When we got older we stopped calling out to our moms in time of minor difficulties, but when major traumas hit, when a girl loses a baby, when a young man learns that he has cancer, it is usually Mom who is still the first person called upon for help.

By Fr. Joseph Pellegrino
ALTHOUGH the dogma of the Assumption is a relatively new declaration by the Church, made by Pope Pius XXII in 1950, the belief in the Assumption is one of the oldest and first beliefs in the Church regarding Mary. Instead of using the word Assumption, though, the early Church used the word, Dormition. Mary fell asleep in God’s hands where she remains united with Him in heaven. Actually, the Assumption of Mary was one of the most popular themes in the religious art of the medieval times. In those days when plague and class turmoil dominated life, the people were reminded that just as Mary is in God’s hands, the faithful Christian will join God. In the second reading for the vigil, St. Paul states that death is swallowed up by the victory of Jesus. Physical death is a transformation from one manner of living to another. A few verses before this reading, we have the second reading for the feast itself. In this Paul explains that since the first

Jesus gave Mary to us to be our Mother. He wants us to call upon our Mom in times of need. She wants us to call upon her for help. And that is what we are doing today. We are praying to our mother Mary to help us. Help our country make moral choices. Help our people to ascend beyond the sex culture. Help us to reflect her Son’s Love to all. We Catholics have got to stop being over concerned with the misinterpretations and out and out lies perpetuated by anti-Catholics, sadly, some of whom claim to be Christian. We don’t worship Mary. We do pray to her. We recognize her love and care in our lives. We say the Rosary meditating on the mysteries of her Son and asking Mary to pray for us sinners. We recognize that it is Jesus’ life and power that saves us, but we also recognize that Mary was given to us at the foot of the cross as our mother. We call upon her to pray to her son, Jesus, to extend the various manifestations of His Love to us. O Mary, Assumed into heaven, pray for us, your children, who are fighting the attacks of sin.

Fr. Francis Ongkingco


The Givens and the Gifts
THE basic algebra teacher was showing her students how to solve an equation. “Now class, pay attention to what I’m about to teach.” She neatly scribbled a formula on the board. “We have the following equation. We are supposed to solve for z. Now, in order to do this, we have the help of the following givens: x = 5 and y = 10.” She paused to see if her students we following her. “With these known variables, we are going to solve for….” “Excuse me, miss,” a student raised his hand. “Yes, Arnold, what is it you don’t understand?” she adjusted her glasses. “Miss, I’m wondering why are they called ‘givens’?” “Because they’re constants,” she paused when she realized her definition was not fully grasped by the children’s wrinkled brows. “I mean, they are fixed values, in other words, they don’t change. They are necessary to solve for the unknown variable or variables in an equation.” “Okay,” Arnold said, “but who gives them?” *** Life is also like an equation, though not tackled exactly in a mathematical way, which we have to solve. There are also givens and unknowns in life. The solution to life is finding these unknown variables with what we already have by converting them into occasions to grow more in our love for God and the others. Our life on earth has only one answer or final solution: going to Heaven. The givens of life come in varying forms and degrees. They can either be positive or negative. They differ according to each person’s circumstances. They normally do not change overnight, and even for a lifetime. We are aware of them and we can either learn to grow through them or be bullied by their weight. For example, the temperament that God has given us or the particular family circumstances we were born into. Added to this personal sphere of givens is another layer of fixed situations in the form of unique socio-cultural structures. There are, for example, the overwhelming trends of hyperurbanization, maddening traffic behavior and conditions, the harmful levels of environmental pollutants, etc. These conditions also are not reversed or resolved in one go. Now when these various constants engage a person, there comes to play in him a set of given attitudes, convictions and reactions. Let’s take the example of a personal negative constant called impatience or to be more positive, the effort to moderate our temper. Our patience is put to the test when we are beset by the many uncontrollable or unforeseen events around us. Thus, at the end of the day many of us would be personally fulfilled if we have on managed to greatly curb our impatience towards bad traffic or an incompetent colleague. The constant struggle to maintain our patience through weeks, months and years is indeed something noteworthy. This continuous and sincere effort is also a kind of a given. There is, however, one small problem in this desire to improve: limiting ourselves only to this particular given. We end up thinking that this is all there is to struggle for in life and we overlook the gifts behind the givens. Let’s further develop the example of patience. We might have the common complaint that the helper didn’t do as she was told, that the driver once again took the wrong route, that the class was superboring, or that the neighbor’s howling dog won’t just fold up and die. As we’ve previously pointed out, our effort to avoid giving in to our impatience is something valuable. Surely, however, this isn’t all that God wants me to work on for the rest of my life? This is the moment to open our eyes and hearts to the gifts that God stores behind every given whether positive or negative. What else could we gain in living the virtue of patience? There is the motive behind for living this virtue: to consider how a son of God should not be easily perturbed by such small nuisances, the pious act of praying for the persons or situations that can try us, or the initiative to foresee such “undesirable events” and already propose a possible solution beforehand. In seeking the deeper gifts behind the givens we actually grow not only in one aspect of our personality and spiritual life. We also grow in the other areas that we had previously neglected. Some more example of these gifts are: discovering God’s Fatherly mercy and compassion expressed through our patience towards our neighbor, learning to discover and receive the true gifts that come from within various moments in life in the form of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit (i.e. wisdom, understanding, fortitude, piety, etc), and deepening our love for the Eucharist when we use these daily givens to prepare our hearts to receive Jesus in a purer way in Holy Communion. This constant attitude of finding the gifts behind the givens cannot be reduced to a simple optimistic attitude in life. Seeking to find the gift is not discovering something, but encountering and loving someone. It is being transformed in the process, when the givens allow us to be truly gifts of ourselves to God and the others.


Bo Sanchez


Bishop Pat Alo

Say thank you often
WHEN I was a kid, I sort of liked getting sick. Honest. Not only because I could miss school and stay home. I liked being sick because Mom would bring me milk and cookies as I stayed in bed. In all the times I got sick as a kid (which was about every other month), I never saw my Mom get too tired not to serve me, or feed me, or fuzz over me. In my mind, the earth may shake, the moon melt, and the sun explode, but she was the one thing in this universe that will never ever change. Many years later, already as a lay missionary, I remember getting terribly sick. And there she was, just as if the decades folded up into mere days, as she went up to my room for her hourly visits, bringing food, warm clothes, medicine, prayer, etc. Again, it felt good having a loving mother to watch over me. All I had to do was ask, and she’d be there for me. But this time, as her visits progressed, I noticed how she entered my room almost panting, her breath short, her words faint, her movements slow. I also read in her eyes the acceptance of a painful loss: for the first time, she was discovering that she couldn’t care for me much longer. My suspicions were right. A few days later, she tearfully shared with me her emotional realization. “I’m just getting older, Bo. I got so tired these past few days caring for you. I began thinking that perhaps it’ll be good for you to get married and have a wife now.” That was the first time she ever said that to me—someone who for years always wanted me to be a priest. One day, Mom got sick. A rare event when it happens. So I went to her room, sat beside her, and chatted about everything she wanted to talk about. (To her, talking to me is better than all the milk and cookies in the world.) I felt good just being beside her. I’m writing this to you, Mom. I know I travel a lot and I’m rarely at home, because that’s the life of a missionary. And I do thank you for your all-out support for me in my decision to serve the Lord. But if you do get sick, and no one’s at home to give you milk and cookies, I want you to know that all you have to do is call me, and I’ll be there for you. Yes, we can talk as much as you want. You’re the best mother I can ever wish for. You may be too old to care for me the way you did, but I’m old enough to care for you now. In my pride, I don’t show it as much as I should, but I just want you to know that I love you, Mom. I really, really do. You have given me your life. I thank you.


Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace
WE hear of the Lipa, Batangas apparitions at a Carmelite Monastery when Our Lady described herself as the Mediatrix of all grace. That was in 1984. With Jesus and under Jesus she holds an intercessory role to help us, poor and sinful mortals, reach our final destination and goal, the heavenly kingdom with God our Father, and His beloved Son Our Lord Jesus Christ. This title as Mediatrix is not contradictory but rather correlative to her many other approved titles which you find in her litany, for example, Mother of God, Mother of the Church, Mother of divine grace, Virgin most powerful, Virgin most merciful, Mother of our Creator, Health of the sick, Help of Christians, Queen conceived without original sin, Queen of all saints… The early Fathers of the church, throughout their writings, saw in Mary the new Eve, which was mentioned in the Book of Genesis (3:15), and who was to be closely united in the work of Redemption with the new Adam, Christ, and as the first Eve was in truth the cause of the spiritual death for all humanity, so Mary is the cause of the supernatural life for the human race. In May 3-7, 2005 a good number of Cardinals, Bishops, and prominent theologians gathered in Fatima, Portugal to attend the Symposium on Mary as Unique Cooperator in the Redemption. The Symposium was sponsored and directed by Cardinal Telephore Toppo, Cardinal Luis Aponte Martinez, Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil, C.S.S.R., Cardinal Edouard Gagnon, P.S.S., Cardinal Ricardo Vidal, Cardinal Ernesto Corripio Ahumada. The topics included Mary’s role as Mediatrix, co-redemptrix and advocate. Certainly, it is not contrary to God’s plan that a creature, close to the Lord in holiness of life, would be instrumental in man’s salvation. That was also clearly stated by the late Pope John II in his book: Crossing the Threshold of Hope (page 221). “On this universal level, if victory comes it will be brought by Mary. Christ will conquer through her, because He wants the Church’s victories now and in the future to be linked to her”. In fact the implication of the very last instruction of Jesus before His heavenly Ascension is that everyone of us (as one body of Christ, cf. 1 Cor. 12) under guidance of the Church do our utmost in proclaiming and living the message of Jesus Christ. And if the principle is truecontra factum non valet argumentum (translate: You don’t argue against facts), as He had promised He will provide signs and wonders to accompany the work of proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ. You can only go over and investigate the history of the Catholic Church and the many recognized saints of Christianity to see how the Lord gives His signs and miracles. “And he said to them, Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved, he who does not believe will be condemned. These are the signs that will be associated with believers: in my name they will cast out devils; they will have the gift of tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and be unharmed should they drink deadly poison; they will lay their hands on the sick who will recover.’ (Mk. 16:16-20).

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 16
August 2 - 15, 2010

Social Concerns


Helping the hungry feed themselves
By Fr. Shay Cullen
MY first encounter with death by starvation was in Olongapo City many years ago when I was called out to bless a dead child. I was led to the hovel made of cartons and plastic sheet where the three year old was about to be buried. I found a little girl about in a cardboard box covered with dress cut out of paper. It was all the emaciated mother could afford. The family hadn’t eaten in days. It led me to ask why and what could I do to prevent it. That quest pulled me out of the comfort of the church rectory into the farms and factories, onto the streets and into the harsh realities of poor people’s lives and to understand better the causes of poverty and led to me to start Fair-trade projects all over the Philippines. How could I be content to eat well everyday and enjoy food security when millions went hungry? It led me to look closely at the social teachings of the church and realize that faith in the God’s given dignity of the human person is only real when it leads to action for justice that will uplift the downtrodden and lead to a life of dignity for all. In the Philippines about 200 families own or control 70% of the wealth. They control the congress and the army ensures their survival. Only a handful of rich families, politicians, and tycoons own or control most of the private arable land in The Philippines while the majority goes landless and hungry. For example, seven out of 10 peasants still do not own land while less than 1/3 of landowners own more than 80% of agricultural land. Not only has the land reform project (CARP) failed, only a fraction (17%) of the 1.5 million hectares of private lands has been fairly redistributed to the tenants who worked the land. The previous government of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo negotiated a 25-year lease with South Korea for 94,000 hectares of prime arable land in Mindoro for food production for South Koreans while Filipinos went landless and hungry. Since the rapid increase in commodity prices world-wide three years ago, rice has remained at an all-time high in the Philippines. Small farmers did not benefit, fertilizer and pesticide costs rose, millions of pesos designated to help subsidize the inputs were allegedly siphoned off to support the reelection of (a former) president. Besides the government did not offer higher prices to farmers to grow more rice, instead they imported millions of tones of rice and allowed traders to manipulate the prices by hoarding. So as usual, the rich are getting richer on the hunger of the poor. There are a billion hungry people in the world today, most of them in Asia at 642 million, in Sub-Saharan Africa 265 Million, Latin America and the Caribbean 53 Million, Near East and North Africa 42 Million and developed countries 15 million. Children suffer most from this global malnutrition. If they don’t get the basic food intake between one to three they are brain damaged and if they survive will join millions of children that are unable to learn and remain uneducated and can never have a decent job and a life of dignity. Undernourished children are sick 160 days of the year and this leads directly to the death of an estimated 5.4 million children every year. Another 5 million children die because of
OFWs / B4

preventable diseases diarrhea (61%), malaria (57%), pneumonia (52%), and measles (45%) which do their deadly damage because the children are so weak from undernourishment. Three years ago, almost 33 percent of Filipinos were living below the poverty line. Now it is even worse because of the recession. As of 2005, 10.8 percent of the country’s population survive on just $1 a day, and another 41.2 percent make do with less than $2 daily. This is the greatest challenge that faces the Aquino administration. It also challenges all people of good will and non-government agencies to continue to work helping the poor to grow food and develop livelihoods. (Contact Fr. Shay Cullen at the Preda Center, Upper Kalaklan, Olongapo City, Philippines. e-mail: preda@info.com.ph)

By Denis Murphy

What is needed for change?
all poor people who struggle for just treatment, she was selected as the Urban Poor Person of the Year for 2009 at a special mass in the Manila Cathedral celebrated by Bishop Broderick Pabillo. What is truly alarming in this matter is the brash disregard shown by the landowners and government officials for President Noynoy’s promise to end government that is “indifferent to the appeals of the people.” He warned officials not to continue “the crooked ways that have become the norm for so long.” Clearly the powerful landowners and public officials involved will not be stopped by words alone. Traditional unjust practices continue, even as urban planners inside and outside government and the urban poor are moving toward consensus on what principals must guide the renewal of the slums. For example, at a recent meeting of 50 such people at the World Bank Offices on July 2 the participants agreed there should be no more relocation outside the cities; all relocation should be in-city. The group also agreed that upgrading or improving urban poor areas in the city, rather than relocation outside the city should be the major tactic of government in addressing the problems of our slums. If the government is prepared to improve the slums, it has at hand agreement on the policies needed. The number of urban poor in our society is now just above 21 million persons (UN Habitat), or about 20% of the total national population. There is need, therefore, for housing officials who can act with foresight, justly and rapidly. There is also need for an official, or an office that will be tasked with coordinating all government services for the poor. The task of such an official would be to make sure the poor receive all the services due them: piped water, legal electric connections, improved schooling, health services and similar benefits, including job opportunities. It is clear to anyone who works with the urban poor that projects move ahead more quickly if the poor people are in support of the projects. Agreement on the plans to be pursued is possible. There may be need for negotiation, but there is hope for agreement. The poor want good solutions as much as government, and they are very practical. If something is really not possible, they will not insist it be done. They expect substantial action. They take election promises seriously. The poor have long appreciated the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines Statement on

URBAN poor people are astonished at the remarkable speed with which landowners and corrupt government officials have continued with their illegal forced evictions and demolition of poor families’ houses without relocation. Only a day after the country’s new president promised a great concern for justice and the poor, the evictions began. Clearly the landowners and officials don’t think anything has or will change. They believe it will be business as usual. One of the on-going evictions is especially poignant. People living near the Tullahan River in North Fairview are ordered out of their homes. If they destroy their homes and move away, they get P21,000. If they resist this illegal practice, they will simply be demolished by the city. In no case is there any relocation as prescribed by law. In this area Myrna Porcare and her 18-year old son were shot to death by security guards last October, because she tried to protect her home from demolition. She was the leader of the people of that area. Her son was shot when he came to the aid of his mother. The trial of the guards is on-going. To honor Myrna, her son, and

the Nation’s Housing Problem that summarizes the Church’s basic teaching on our urban poor. “Our urban poor people, as human beings and children of God, have basic human rights to clean and inexpensive water, decent houses, communities free of stagnant disease-ridden water, and uncollected garbage. They have a right to security of tenure, to be free of a constant threat of eviction and fire, and very importantly, they have the right to organize themselves to seek solutions to their problems in a democratic and a non-violent manner. “Despite their own efforts and those of many groups, including government and the Church, we cannot say our urban poor people enjoy these rights today. “We are all compelled to do everything possible to remedy this situation. We must all work that all may have their own homes that are suitable for God’s persons who are made in God’s image and likeness. We cannot achieve complete success in a short time—we lack resources for one thing—but we can do something.” (January 28, 2007) A house suitable for God’s persons. That is the challenge. (Denis Murphy works with the Urban Poor Associates. E-mail: upa@pldtdsl.net)


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pilgrims maintained as they solemnly entered in procession to the sanctuary’s temple. Four men carried on their shoulders the statue of Our Lady of Antipolo, also known as Our Lady of Good Voyage. In front goes the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Tarragona Filipino Catholic Community, organized barely more than a year ago. Fr. Javier de MoraFigueroa, the sanctuary’s rector, led the procession, accompanied by four Filipino priests, namely, Fr. Russell Bantiles (Davao), Fr. Allan Rodriguez (Davao), Fr. Elizar Cielo (Ipil) and Fr. Emil Larano (San Pablo). Entering the temple, the pilgrims were mesmerized by a magnificent alabaster Retablo (reredos or altarpiece), designed by a famous Catalan sculptor, Juan Mayné, in the PlateresqueRenaissance style of Damián Forment. The 9.5 meters wide and 14.5 meters tall Retablo took three years to finish (19721975). It has eight groups of sculptures, following the classical iconographical criteria and some explicit indications of St. Josemaría and representing episodes from the life of the Virgin Mary, namely: the Betrothal of Mary with Joseph, the Annunciation of Gabriel, the Visitation of Mary to Her cousin Elizabeth, the Adoration of the Shepherds, the Flight to Egypt, the Workshop in Nazareth, the Crucifixion of the Lord and the Coronation of Mary. At the center just above the Crucifixion scene is the Blessed Sacrament adored by four angels. Below it is the Camarín of Our Lady, a little cubicle where the statue of the Virgin with the Child is venerated. The spiritual awe that the Retablo inspires was accompanied by the warm welcome of the rector. At twelve noon, all the pilgrims went down to the Confession chapels located just below the temple for the administration of the sacrament. A total of 40 confesonarios (or confessional cubicles) are distributed in three chapels dedicated to various Marian advocacies like Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Loreto and Our Lady of Pillar. For an hour, various pilgrims received the Sacrament of Reconciliation administered by the five priests, in English, Tagalog and Spanish. Fr. Allan and Fr. Elizar—who just recently arrived from the Philippines to start their intensive

Spanish language course – concelebrated the Mass with me in Tagalog, which ended with the symbolic offering of children by their parents. This custom dates back to the famous episode in the life of St. Josemaría Escrivá. In 1904, Josemaría was two years old when a deadly sickness struck him which the doctors said he would not survive the next morning. His mother, Dolores, pleaded the Blessed Virgin and promised to offer the child in a pilgrimage to Our Lady if She would cure him. The next day, when the doctors asked: “At what time the child died?” they were very surprised upon discovering that he recuperated. Josemaría’s parents, then, brought him to the Ermita and offered him to Our Lady. In 1956, the founder of Opus Dei wanted to express his gratitude to this great favor and wished to spread the devotion to Our Lady of Torreciudad by constructing a sanctuary. After the sumptuous lunch, the Tarragona pilgrims presented various folk dances and Filipino songs. A video on the visit of Monsignor Javier Echevarría, the Prelate of Opus Dei, to the Philippines in 1998, gave the pilgrims some ideas on the apostolate that the personal prelature is doing in the archipelago. The romería or pilgrimage ended at 6:00 p.m. with the meditation of one of the three parts of the Holy Rosary (two parts were prayed during the round trip) and the benediction with the Blessed Sacrament. A quick visit to the Ermita, while enjoying the beautiful scenery along the way was worth the sweat. Everybody ended up dog-tired but with a smile on the face. “We must do it again next year”, said one couple who live in Tarragona. “Ay, sayang, hindi ako nakasama”, (What a regret having missed the occasion!) said one lady, to which a cheerful señora retorted: “You don’t know what you’ve missed!” (Fr. Russell Bantiles is helping the OFWs of Tarragona organize and form a Catholic Community where all members could lead good Christian lives. Twice a month, the community celebrates the Holy Eucharist and the Sacrament of Confession in Tagalog, and receives catechism in the parish church of St. John the Baptist. For a virtual tour of the sanctuary, click this link: http:// www.torreciudad.org )


Moral Assessment

Technical Assessment

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 14 No. 16

August 2 - 15, 2010

 Abhorrent  Disturbing  Acceptable  Wholesome  Exemplary

 Poor  Below average  Average  Above average  Excellent

THE Sorcerer’s Apprentice opens with a flashback to the Middle Ages, when wizard Balthazar Blake (Nicholas Cage), a pupil of Merlin, the legendary medieval wizard, has been tasked to watch for the emergence of the prophesied successor of Merlin Year 2000, grade schooler Dave Stutler (Jake Cherry) accidentally discovers a store called Arcana Cabana, which is actually more of a museum housing the sorcerer Balthazar’s treasures. The treasures Balthazar guards in Arcana Cabana include a matrioshka (Russian nesting doll) imprisoning another medieval sorcerer, Maxim Horveth (Alfred Molina), Balthazar’s contemporary as pupil of Merlin who had flipped over to black sorcery. Subjecting the 9-year old Dave to a test, Balthazar discovers the boy is the person he has been looking for through the centuries. However, the boy is scared and incredulous, especially when his story about his encounter with Balthazar is seen as hallucination by people who hear of it. Year 2010, 19year-old Dave (Jay Baruchel) is now a socially-awkward physics geek at New York University and his humdrum existence is about to be punctuated by his encounter with the evil Maxim who has been newly freed from his doll-prison and is doggedly after the magical ring in Dave’s possession. Like movies of this genre, director Jon Turtletaub’s The

Sorcerer’s Apprentice is meant to be a fantasy-adventure. It will be compared—perhaps unfairly and unfavorably—to a Harry Potter movie, but this doesn’t mean it can’t stand on its own. Due to the proliferation of such magic-driven flicks, the viewer can’t help but recognize in this movie elements from other kindred-creations, particularly in the display of sorcerous powers. Because it has its own fantastic story to tell (authored by Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal and Matt Lopez), advanced by CGI and special effects, it has enough energy and splash to entertain the audience, mostly the young ones. Happily, the script (by screenwriters Matt Lopez, Doug Miro and Carlo Bernard) is devoid of vulgar language albeit slightly tinged with toilet humor. Molina’s villain is the kind audiences love to hate, while Cage is a surprise, a departure from his usually morose characters, he is quite lighthearted here and smiles a lot in spite of his bad hairpiece. Disney’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, with all its bloodless stylized violence, is inoffensive enough for pre-teens, but parents and educators guiding young viewers should arm themselves with convincing explanations in case the latter ask about the probability of people being imprisoned in dolls and coming back to life after centuries. The movie’s hero is a young person, so expect young people to resonate

Title: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Cast: Nicholas Cage, Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina, Teresa Palmer, Toby Kebbell Director: John Turtletaub Producer: Jerry Bruckheimer Screenwriters: Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal Music: Trevor Rabin Editor: William Goldenberg Genre: Fiction/Fantasy, Comedy, Action/Adventure, Drama, Kids/Family Cinematography: Bojan Bazelli Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Location: New York, USA Running Time: 111 min. Technical Assessment:  Moral Assessment:  CINEMA Rating: For viewers age 13 and below with parental guidance

with it, and maybe affirm its values without question, so do be forewarned. Older teen and other viewers will benefit from discussions on the topics of power, destiny, and sexual attraction as portrayed in the movie. (Note that school kids here are shown attracted to the opposite sex at age 9). Perhaps one exercise would be to ask “What would you do if you had Dave’s powers and you are asked to save the world?” While CINEMA may give this movie PG 13 rating, parents are advised to bring only older children as some of the scenes might prove too scary for very young children.

Title: Hating Kapatid Cast: Judy Ann Santos, Sarah Geronimo, Luis Manzano, Vice Ganda, JC de Vera, Cherry Pie Picache, Ms. Gina Pareño Director: Wenn Deramas Screenwriter: Mel Mendoza-del Rosario Genre: Drama/Comedy Distributor: Viva Films Location: Philippines Running Time: 110 min. Technical Assessment: 2.5 Moral Assessment: 3 CINEMA Rating: For viewers age 13 and below with parental guidance


Ni Bladimer Usi

UMALIS ang mga magulang nina Rica (Judy Ann Santos) at Cecilia (Sarah Geronimo), noong sila’y mga bata pa upang maghanap-buhay sa ibang bansa. Naiwan sila sa kanilang lola (Gina Pareno) at sa loob ng halos 20 taon ay si Rica na ang tumayong ama at ina para kay Cecilia. Dahil sa isang aksidente noong bata pa si Cecilia, napilitan si Rica na isakripisyo ang kanyang buhay-pag-ibig. Itinuon na lamang niya ang buo niyang lakas sa pag-aalaga at pagbibigay proteksiyon sa kapatid habang wala ang kanilang mga magulang. Unti-unti’y napapalayo na ang loob ni Rica sa kanyang ina (Cherie Pie Picache) at ama (Tonton Gutierrez) dahil sa matagal nilang hindi pag-uwi sa bansa. Kaya’t nang makatapos si Cecilia sa kolehiyo at magbalik-bayan ang kanilang mga magulang ay matabang na ang pakikisama nito sa kanila. Si Cecilia naman ay masaya sa pagbabalik ng kanyang mga magulang at sa wakas ay buo na silang pamilya. Hindi ito magugustuhan ni Rica at magsisimula nang magkalamat ang relasyon nila ni Cecilia. Lalo pa itong lalala, nang malalaman ni Rica na may manliligaw (Luis Manzano) na ang kapatid. Marami sanang magandang nais sabihin angHating Kapatid patungkol sa pamilya at relasyon ngunit pawang napako ang mga ito sa lantarang kakulangan ng sinseridad ng pelikula sa kabuuan. Gaano man kahusay ang mga talinong nasa likod nito, pati na ang mga di matatawarang galing ng mga aktor, semplang pa rin ang pelikula dahil sa walang pakundangan nitong komersiyalismo na labis na naka-agaw ng pansin sa daloy ng kuwento. Masyadong ginamit ang pelikula upang maisulong ang interes ng mga kalakal at serbisyong ine-endorso na ng mga artista. Tuloy, pawang naglaho ang mga tauhan at pawang mga artista na lamang ang napapanood sa isang pinalawak na patalastas sa telebisyon. Kakatwa rin sa maraming pagkakataon na ang mga patawa, kung hindi luma, ay kapos naman sa hagod o sobrang bagal ng pagkaka-bitaw. Nawawala tuloy ang dapat sana’y magandang epekto sa manonood. Hindi rin nabigyan ng pansin ang paghagod sa karakter, emosyon at kuwento. Pawang minadali ang lahat. Sayang ang manakanakang aliw sa mga eksena, pati na rin ang ilang eksenang may kurot sa puso na maari sana’y napalawig pa. Sa kabila ng mga kakulangang teknikal, hitik sa mensahe ng pagmamahal at pagpapahalaga sa pamilya ang Hating Kapatid. Sinasalamin nito ang maraming pamilyang napipilitang mabuhay nang magkakahiwalay dala ng matinding pangangailangan na mangibang-bayan. Totoo ang sakripisyo ng mga magulang na umaalis mabigyan lamang ng magandang kinabukasan ang mga anak. Kaakibat din nito ang maraming suliraning dala ng paghihiwa-hiwalay. Nariyang malayo ang loob ng mga anak sa magulang dahil sa tagal ng panahong hindi pagkikita. Hindi nga naman mapupunan ng anumang materyal na bagay ang init ng presensya at pagiging nariyan para sa mga anak sa oras ng pangangailangan. Sinubukan namang punuan ng mga magulang ni Rica ang mga pagkukulang na ito sa pamamagitan ng pagtawag sa telepono at paggamit sa makabagong teknolohiya, ngunit sadyang di pa rin sapat. Sa bandang huli’y nagsubok naman ang mga magulang niyang bumawi sa kanilang pagbabalik. Nakakabahala nga lang ang malabis na poot na naitanim ni Rica sa kanyang mga magulang na wala namang hinangad na hindi maganda para sa kanilang magkapatid. Kahanga-hanga naman ang ipinakitang pagmamahalan ng magkapatid sa pelikula. Pati ang aral na ang tao, gaano mo man kahusay alagaan, ay hindi mo kailanman magiging pag-aari. At ang pagmamahal ay ibinabahagi at hindi sinasarili. May mangi-ngilan nga lang na patawang eksena sa pelikula na maaring maka-sakit sa damdamin ng ilan tulad na lamang nang gawing katawa-tawa ang isang matanda. Pati na rin ang pag-iingat sa paggamit ng mga paputok ay dapat na mabigyang-pansin. Kaya nararapat pa ring gabayan ang mga batang manonood na 13 gulang pababa.

Buhay Parokya

Look for the images of the Bishop’s Staff, Holy Rosary, Chalice.

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 16
August 2 - 15, 2010


The Cross

A Supplement Publication of KC Life and the Order of the Knights of Columbus

Insurance Commission renews KC Life’s license to operate. The Insurance Commission (IC) has granted the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KC Life) a renewal of license to operate as a mutual benefit association under license number 2010-7-R. Deputy Insurance Commissioner Vita L. Chiong, OIC of the Insurance Commission awarded the license to KC Life on July 29, 2010. In photo (from L-R) are KC Life VP-Information & BC Holders’ Services Ronulfo Antero G. Infante, VP-Finance Mary Magdalene G. Flores, Executive Vice President Ma. Theresa G. Curia, President Alonso L. Tan, Insurance Commission OIC Vita L. Chiong, KC Life VP-Actuarial & Business Development Angelito A. Bala and VPFraternal Benefits Group Joseph P. Teodoro.

KC Life holds sales visitation in Mindanao
KC Life Executives, Fraternal Benefits Associates, Area Managers and Fraternal Counselors during the GEAR 5: Executive Sales Visitation held at De Luxe Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City on July 10, 2010.

THE KC Life has recently conducted a GEAR 5: Executive Sales Visitation with the Sales Group of the Mindanao Jurisdiction last July 10, 2010 at the Deluxe Hotel in Cagayan De Oro.
The meeting intended to give the FCs a better knowledge of the rules governing the incentive program and update the sales persons with the current development in the Association to enable them to answer queries from the field especially those affecting the management and operation of KC Life. Ronulfo Antero Infante, Vice President of Information and BC Holders’ Services, discussed the BC Relations and Underwriting Update to the Fraternal Counselors which gave emphasis on the filling-up of the BC Applications. The KC Life products, incentive programs and sharing of selling experiences and tips were tackled by Gari M. San Sebastian, Manager of the Fraternal Benefits Services Department. Then KC Life President Antonio B. Borromeo presented the continuous growth of the KC Association to the FCs while Executive Vice President Ma. Theresa G. Curia gave an inspirational message. Along with their Fraternal Benefits Associates, Fraternal Counselors from major parts of Mindanao were also present. FBAs Bong M. Bragat (ECM, NM, & NWM), Adrian Boston (CM & EM) and Jeffrey Galea (SWM) and Area Managers Cres Dal (NM), Jojo Amoroso (ECM), Boy Labrador (EM), as well as
Mindanao / C2

KC Life maintains ISO 9001:2008 certification

KC Life’s SICAP project ends

SICAP participants and KC Life employees during the culminating program of SICAP project held at the KC Youth Livelihood Center in Intramuros, Manila last July 12, 2010. KC Life Officers headed by President Antonio B. Borromeo and Executive Vice President Ma. Theresa G. Curia with Certification International Phils., Inc. representative, Sofia Mangahas.

THE Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KC Life) remains in conformance to standards set by the International Organization for Standardization or ISO, a worldwide federation of standards bodies. The Certification International Philippines, Inc. (CI), represented by Ms. Sofia

Mangahas, audited the Association’s Quality Management System last July 20, 2010 and certified KC Life as compliant to ISO 9001:2008 for the scope of design, development and provision of mutual benefits. “KC Life is proud to be the first mutual benefit association to be certified as

ISO compliant, and even more proud that we are able to maintain our certification for more than three years now,” said Ms. Magdalene Flores, KC Life’s Vice President for Finance and Quality Management Representative. KC Life first acquired its certification
ISO / C2

THE Social Improvement through Community Action Program (SICAP) has ended its session last July 12, 2010 at the KC Youth Livelihood Center in Intramuros, Manila. This project has been conducted as a response of the KC Life to the growing concern for poverty and unemployment. The participants of the program

were: Susan Abulencia; Gina Joy Bello; Shiela De Leon; Macrina Isturis; Mary Ann Lucrecio; Rowena Padilla; Melrose Perez; Lydia Rarogal; Teresita Rosal; Archie Silvestre; Nora Tabonyag; Marlina Tanlawan; Alma Viernes; Wilma Almerino; Marites Camacho; Mary Ann Conde; Leonila Enegente; Delia Lequin; Marivic Tolmo and Jocelyn Barasona.

KC Life turns over income from Seed of Hope Fund to CBCP
FOR the third consecutive year, KC Life turned over the income from the P10 M Seed of Hope Fund to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) last July 10, 2010 after the concelebrated mass officiated by the Papal Nuncio Edward Joseph Adams. The P809,000.00 check represents 2009 income from the P10 M fund. The turnover took place at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Paco, Manila during the annual plenary session of the CBCP. Receiving the check were Most Rev. Nereo P. Odchimar, DD, President of CBCP and Bishop of Tandag

Priests hold Lakbay-Aral in Quezon. Seventeen (17) visiting priests from the Diocese of San Fernando, La Union headed by our own Priest-Scholar, Rev. Fr. Romeo G. Lopez (seated 4th from left), Diocesan Director of BEC Program, recently had their Lakbay-Aral to the dioceses in Quezon Province including a stop-over in Manila. The priests were accommodated on an overnight stay at the KC Life Dormitory in Intramuros, Manila. Former KC Life President Antonio B. Borromeo (seated next to Fr. Lopez) and Executive Vice President Ma. Theresa G. Curia (seated 3rd from left), took the opportunity to present to them the Order of the Knights of Columbus and KC Life during a breakfast meeting. Former President Borromeo later gave each a souvenir copy of coffee table book released in 2008 during the 50th Anniversary of KC Life. Fr. Lopez was grateful for the hospitality accorded to them.

In photo (from L-R) are KC Foundation Executive Director Roberto T. Cruz, KC Life VP-Finance Mary Magdalene G. Flores, Former President Antonio B. Borromeo, Bishop of Tandag Most Rev. Nereo P. Odchimar, DD, KC Life EVP Ma. Theresa G. Curia, Former Treasurer Antonio T. Yulo, former Corporate Secretary Alonso L. Tan, Former Chairman Patrocinio R. Bacay, Archbishop of Cebu His Eminence Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal, DD, Archbishop of Manila His Excellency Most Rev. Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales, DD, and Bishop of Cubao Most. Rev. Honesto F. Ongtioco, DD.

By Annie M. Nicolas
CHAIRMAN Hilario G. Davide, Jr. or “Jun” as he is known to his relatives and friends, was born in Colawin, Argao, Cebu. He is one of the seven children born to parents who were both teachers. Married to former Virginia J. Perez, their marriage was blessed with 5 children and 11 grandchildren. As a young boy, he walked several kilometers, often barefoot, in order to reach his school. Poverty did not deter him from working his way. By the 1960’s he passed the bar and begun his career as a lawyer. He started his professional career in the government service early. In 1959, he became the Private Secretary to the Vice –Governor of the Province of Cebu, and later on to its Governor. Like his parents, he also became a professor. He was a faculty member of the College of Law of Southwestern University in Cebu City from 1962 to 1968. It was in 1971 when he embarked on what has now become a long list of government assignments and engagements. From representing Cebu Province at the 1971 Constitutional Convention (CONCON) to having been appointed as Chairman of the Truth Commission by President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III. Little, however, has been said about Chairman Davide being a member of the Knights of Columbus. Bro. Jun was exemplified into the First Degree in 1975. In subsequent years, he was exemplified into the Second and Third Degrees, and in 1982 he was conferred the honors of the Fourth Degree. For Bro. Jun, the time when he became a knight was a life-changing event. During the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines’

The Cross
contributions of extraordinary knights. His being elected to the position of Chairman of the Board on July 2, 2010 (Friday) during the 52nd Annual Founder Members meeting makes him the 8th Chairman of KC Life. After being advised as the duly elected Chairman, he immediately requested to be briefed about the KC Group of Companies on the first working day of the following week. A gesture, which did not surprise many as he is already known for his diligence, professionalism and readiness in assuming leadership. It was on July 27, 2010, that he had his first ever series of meetings (a total of 9 meetings throughout the day) with the Board of KC Life and all its subsidiaries, which lasted for 11 hours overall. The conduct of all the meetings was said to have been consistently done in a very legal manner, similar to that of senate meetings usually seen on television. All nine meetings started with the Prayer for the Beatification of Fr. George J. Willmann and ended with the Prayer for the canonization of Fr. Michael J. McGivney. During the meetings, Chairman Davide would use first name basis in addressing his board members. That’s when he realized that there are 3 “Juns” in the board including himself: Bro. Jun Esteban, Bro. Jun Suralta & Chairman Jun Davide. Having Sir Knight Hilario G. Davide, Jr. for a Chairman, will definitely give KC Life an experience of a whole new leadership style. His popularity along with his many achievements will surely bring prestige to the Association. But more than anything, it is his character and his commitment to the Order that make him fit for his new role. Chairman Davide, a person to look up to, an inspiration to the KC Life family.

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 16
August 2 - 15, 2010

A closer look at KC Life’s new Chairman

New KC Life President

Centennial Celebration in 2005, he recalled “one of the most memorable moments in my life was my admission some thirty years ago, to the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines through the Fr. Matias Lucero Council 6054 in Argao, Cebu. It was a moment of transformation for me that changed the course of my life. I felt that no day unfolded and ended in the same way as the previous ones. Every day was unique. No day ended in a sunset, but in dawn of new one enriched by faith, hope, and love.” Chairman Davide was one of the only four Filipinos featured in the book “By Their Works” published by the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council to honor the

Atty. Rizal V. Katalbas, Jr.

From the Legal Standpoint

Revocable or Irrevocable?
WHEN applying for insurance coverage, there is an item in the Application for Membership Certificate (FM-KCFAPIFBN-08) which requires you to choose between revocable beneficiary and an irrevocable beneficiary. Your Fraternal Counselor (FC) should explain the difference and effects of the designation. Here are some points you should know in designating your beneficiary/ies: * In a revocable beneficiary, the insured BC Holder/ Insured may change his/her beneficiary anytime during his lifetime, while in an irrevocable beneficiary the insured may not change his beneficiary any time during his lifetime. The basis for the distinction can be found in Sec. 11 of the Insurance Code of the Philippines (P.D. No. 612), which state: “The insured shall have the right to change the beneficiary he designated in the policy, unless he has expressly waived this right in said policy”. * In a revocable beneficiary the BC Holder does not need to get the consent of his beneficiary/ies in case he decides to make any amendment (changes) in his benefit certificate, contract a loan, assign the proceeds from his BC or surrender his BC. In an irrevocable beneficiary the BC Holder has to secure in writing the consent of his beneficiaries before he can do any of the aforementioned acts or any act which may diminish the amount the beneficiary may recover. The reason for the limitation with an irrevocable beneficiary is that the beneficiary acquired an absolute vested interest in the policy from the date of its issuance and delivery. This principle is based on the ruling of the Supreme Court in the case of Gercio vs Sunlife (G.R. No. 23703) wherein the husband named his wife as the beneficiary but did not reserve his right to make changes in the policy. When the husband wanted to change his beneficiary the insurer refused to do so for the reason that the insured waived his right when he designated his wife as an irrevocable beneficiary. The court upheld the contention of the insurer saying that the wife had already acquired a vested interest over the policy. So for prospective BC Holders, before deciding between a revocable beneficiary and an irrevocable beneficiary it is a must that the applicant consider first its consequences to avoid future inconveniences or misunderstandings when transacting with KC Life and to fully appreciate the features under his benefit certificate.

MEET the new President of the Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KC Life) – A one true Knight, who also embodies the knightly ideals of the Order… Sir Knight ALONSO L. TAN. Sir “Alon”, as he is fondly called was born in Cuyo, Palawan on January 11, 1946 and is presently residing in Philam Homes, Quezon City. He is married to Sister Thesse and is blessed with three children. He is a B.S. Commerce – Management graduate from the University of the East and took up General Management Course at the Ateneo De Manila University. Among his professional affiliations are the following: Chairman & CEO Goldrock Construction & Development Corporation; Board of Director, RBL Fishing Corp.; President, Inter-Island Deep-Sea Fishing Association; President, Alliance of Phil. Fishing Federations, Inc.; Member, Board of Director, Philippine Fisheries Dev’t. Authority; Member, Governing Council Body, Phil. Council for Aquatic and Marine Research Development; Vice Chairman, National Agricultural & Fishery Council; President, Chamber of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources of the Philippines, Inc.; and a former Chairman of ASEAN Fisheries Federation. He became a member of the Knights of Columbus, Manila Council 1000 in 1977. Since then, he became very active in the Order. He was a two-time Knight of the Year Awardee (1981 & 1986), a Grand Knight of Manila Council 1000 from 19861987 and a Centennial Grand Knight for the same council from 2004-2005. He became a District Deputy of M53 from 1992-1995 during which, he was awarded as the Most Outstanding District Deputy of the whole Luzon Jurisdiction (1993-1994). Eventually, he was appointed by the Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson as Luzon Deputy in 2007. He will be serving a four-year term until June 30, 2011. Further, he was recently nominated by no less than the Supreme Knight himself to be a member of the Supreme Board of Directors of the Knights of Columbus. Sir Alon is no stranger to KC Life. As a matter of fact, he has held various significant posts such as being the former Treasurer and past Corporate Secretary of the Association. Concurrently, he is the Director of one of KC Life’s subsidiaries, Keys Realty & Dev’t. Corporation. Likewise, he is the President of KC Life’s two foundations: the KC Fr. George J. Willmann Charities and KC Philippines Foundation. Truly, the Association is blessed with this very hardworking and dynamic leader!! Do the “wave” in welcoming KC Life’s new President, Sir Knight “Alon” Tan!!! (Ma. Kristianne G. Pascual)

Joseph P. Teodoro

For Brother Knights by Brother Knights

Executive Sales visitation goes to Solano
THE morning sun has barely made his appearance in the horizon when the KC Life officers left the Home Office compound in Intramuros, Manila. FBG Vice President Joseph P. Teodoro, Medical Director Dr. Jaime Talag, FBS Manager Gari San Sebastian and Jemwel Santillan left the office in the early morning of Friday, July 16, 2010 to conduct the Executive Sales Visitation in Solano, Nueva Vizcaya which will be attended by fraternal counselors from the Northern Luzon Cavaliers headed by Area Manager, Armando Gonzales. The next day the group composed of Angelito Bala, Edwin Dawal and Carmelita Ruiz followed and arrived
Mindanao / C1

on time for their respective roles in the sales visitation. FBG Vice President Joseph P. Teodoro while essaying the truism that each one of the attendees has his own technique in making a successful sale, delivered the step by step selling process as practiced in life insurance industry. These steps involve prospecting, preapproach, approach, sales presentation, closing techniques and handling objections. Teodoro also oriented the group in market segmentation, identifying the needs of the specific market segment and helping them get the right plan and adequate insurance program for their families and for themselves.
ISO / C1

Angelito Bala, VP for Actuarial and Business Development, discussed the role of his group in KC Life. He meticulously answered a question on how dividends are arrived and the factors affecting the amount of dividends a member is entitled such as size of benefit certificate, amount of premium, type of plan and the length of time the benefit certificate has stayed in the books of KC Life. Edwin Dawal, Benefit Certificate Holders’ Relations Office (BRO) Manager, made clear the workings of his department which is dedicated to attaining Customer Satisfaction to the level of excellence expected by the insured members.

Carmelita Ruiz, Underwriting Manager, emphasized clarity and completeness in accomplishing the life insurance application form as a requisite for appraisal of risk, shorter turnaround time from submission to released status and conversion to paid business. Gari San Sebastian explained to the satisfaction of the group the incentive programs which KC Life has lined up for the quarter and through the year 2010. Foremost is the 52nd Anniversary Sales Drive which encourages optimum participation of fraternal counselors nationwide, the Most Outstanding District Deputy and KC Life Council of Honors Award to recognize the support

given by district deputies and grand knights. Finally, the Fr. George J. Willmann Award for Academic Excellence which seeks to recognize members and children of members who will show outstanding performance in academics this school year. The group proceeded back home with the successful delivery of the objectives of the Executive Sales Visitation. The fraternal counselors numbering about 28 were highly satisfied of the experience. They are now more equipped in servicing the needs of brother knights and their family members. It was Sunday afternoon when the KC Life officers arrived home.

Team Leader Nato Acupan attended the meeting. Culminating the event was the awarding of certificates to those who have attended and participated. “The participants of the GEAR 5: Executive Sales Visitation not only received their Certificates of Attendance but also the knowledge imparted by the resource speakers, the experiences of other Fraternal Counselors in

their sales activity and wisdom of the KC Life Management,” the organizers said. Meanwhile, coinciding with the visitation was a contract signing of the newly appointed team leaders Jing Galon of NWM-Shooters and Pio Detal of the NWM-Warriors. Gari M. San Sebastian and Bong M. Bragat attended to witness the said contract signing. (KC Life News)

in 2007 as it was assessed by CI as compliant to ISO 9001:2000. In February this year, the Association passed the surveillance audit and was again certified as compliant to the revised standard ISO 9001:2008. “Our continued certification is a testament of KC Life’s untiring effort to always improve our systems and products to serve to our BC Holders better,” Flores added. (Ira J. Tee)

with His Eminence Gaudencio V. Cardinal Rosales, DD and Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal, DD. Turning over the check were former KC Life Chairman Patrocinio R. Bacay, former President Antonio B. Borromeo, former Corporate Secretary Alonso L. Tan, former Treasurer Antonio T. Yulo, Luzon State Treasurer Joven B. Joaquin, Executive Vice President Ma. Theresa G. Curia, Vice President for Finance Mary

Magdalene G. Flores and KC Foundation Executive Director Roberto T. Cruz. After the mass, copies of the Sacrament of Marriage (Series no. 5) and the Sacrament of Confirmation (Series no. 2) of the Fr. Willmann Series on the Sacraments were distributed to the bishops. In addition, the Primer on Freemasonry which represents the Catholic Church’s position regarding

the incompatibility of Freemasonry with its doctrines/ teachings were also given out. The pamphlet provides some historical background on Freemasonry as well as an analysis of its religious aspects. Lastly, the bishops were each given copies of the first two issues of the Fr. Willmann Gazette which is a quarterly newsletter on the Cause of Fr. Willmann. (Roberto T. Cruz)

They were awarded certificates for having completed the SICAP program. Ira Tee, SICAP Coordinator, said these members attended the weekly meetings, trainings, seminars scheduled within the 6-month program. The seminars conducted during the SICAP were on livelihood and/or health, wellness, Catholic faith and social awareness. The speakers of the various sessions held were also present during the clos-

ing ceremonies. KC Life has provided them with a simple token. The resource persons were: Lita Bongolan (for the leche flan session); Ivy Tee (for chocolate candies and cordon bleu sessions); Rowena Patricio (for voters’ education session); Nenita Casiño (for the yema session); Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III (for catechism); Dr. Jaime Talag (for breast care information); Eva Dawal (for the pizza roll and siomai sessions);

Emma Gumapac (for the seminar on osteoporosis) and Coco Nadal (for the creamy pork stew cooking session). KC Life employees such as Gerard Francisco, Michael de Castro and Enrique Mangona were also recognized for assisting Tee in organizing and executing activities of the project. Present during the closing session were KC Life Executive Vice-President Ma. Theresa G. Curia, Spiritual Director

Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio III, Vice President for Finance Magdalene G. Flores, Vice President for Actuarial and Business Development Angelito A. Bala; Ms. Susan Sevilla, Representative of Brgy. 658 and Chairman Jose Caranto. KC Life, through this project, intends to develop and strengthen self-help values and entrepreneurial capacities of members through livelihood trainings/seminars and to provide financial

assistance to those who would want additional capital for their start-up or ongoing small business. Members of this program were the selected women from Brgy 658, Intramuros, Manila. “The project was officially launched last December 2009 and was scheduled to hold weekly meetings, trainings, seminars for six months (Jan-June 2010),” said Tee. (Kate Laceda)

CBCP Monitor
Vol. 14 No. 16
August 2 - 15, 2010

The Cross
through an informed conscience, and cultivate such a conscience by being faithful to the Church’s teachings. This requires solidarity with our bishops and priests, something we have been committed to since our founding by Venerable Michael McGivney. For 128 years, the Order has been led by its first principle, charity. Every day, people witness the work undertaken by Knights as members work in thousands of communities around the world. Combined with unity—with our Church and with our neighbor—charity provides us with the means to fulfill Christ’s great commandments. This is what it means to be “in service to one, in service to all.” Lives filled with charity, motivated by faith and hope, are what will make Christ known to others. Reflecting on the Gospel story of the Good Samaritan, Pope Benedict XVI said in his July 11 Angelus address that the parable “must make us change our attitude following the logic of Christ, which is the logic of charity: God is love, and worshipping him means serving our brothers with sincere and generous love.” He added that this passage “offers the ‘standard,’ which is the ‘universal love toward the needy we encounter by chance, whoever they may be’” (cf. Deus Caritas Est, 25). It is this spirit of the Good Samaritan that has always propelled the Knights of Columbus. This is the reason why our history is one of service: helping the widows and orphans of the late 19th century; providing necessities to the American troops in World War I regardless of their race or religion; publishing books on the contributions of African-, Jewish- and German-American citizens four decades before the civil rights movement; working in support of Catholics in Mexico when the government there persecuted the Church in the 1920s; protecting parents’ rights to send their children to Catholic schools; helping the hungry in the city of Rome during and after World War II; adding the words “under God” to the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance; pioneering nationwide blood drives; promoting the dignity of people with intellectual disabilities through Special Olympics and other programs; supporting mothers and their unborn children through our work with pregnancy resource centers and our Ultrasound Initiative; giving winter coats to poor children; providing mobility to people with physical disabilities through wheelchair distributions; providing food for families in need; and in general, being a force of love for our neighbors, wherever and whenever a need arises. In practicing charity, in a spirit of unity, we lead by our witness, and we bring to life Christ’s words in the Gospel, that all will know we are his disciples by the way we love one another. Vivat Jesus!


In Service to One, in Service to All
By Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson
THE phrase “In service to one, in service to all” has long been a motto of the Knights of Columbus. It simply means that Knights take seriously the two great commandments of Jesus Christ: to love God with our entire being, and to love our neighbor as ourselves (cf. Mt 22:37-40). A good explanation of why this motto reflects the Order’s purpose comes from the Second Vatican Council document Lumen Gentium, which truly serves as our mission statement: “The laity, by their very vocation, seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and by ordering them according to the plan of God. They live in the world, that is, in each and in all of the secular professions and occupations. They live in the ordinary circumstances of family and social life, from which the very web of their existence is woven. They are called there by God that by exercising their proper function and led by the spirit of the Gospel they may work for the sanctification of the world from within as a leaven” (31). The idea of working in this world “as a leaven” is not a new concept for the Knights. We know that we are called to be witnesses to Christ in our families, in our jobs and in our service to society. We know God’s plan and will for us

Supreme Knight lauds KC spiritual formation book
SUPREME Knight Carl Anderson praised the three Philippine State Deputies for the establishment of a spiritual formation book, entitled Spiritual Formation Courses, this volume contains the spirituality of the Order of the Knights of Columbus and basic catechism based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Through the leadership of Luzon Deputy Alonso L. Tan, Visayas Deputy Dionisio R. Esteban and Mindanao Deputy Sofronio R. Cruz, the Formation Team of Luzon that composed the editorial board were the ones who painstakingly wrote the book. Anderson said the “Supreme Council has made one of its priorities the spiritual formation of all Knights of Columbus.” “To this end, we have employed a full-time priest to advice our priest-chaplains in taking a more active role in their councils, and we have set aside two pages in Columbia magazine each month for our Supreme Chaplain, Bishop William E. Lori, to provide guidance and instruction in this area,” the Supreme Knight added. “The Spiritual Formation Courses, according to Anderson, that has been produced for Filipino Knights is an excellent example of the type of resources that state councils can offer for their members. Anderson expressed his joy and gratitude that the Filipino Knights has dedicated the spiritual formation

book to its founder Venerable Michael J. McGivney, and to Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ, who is known as the “Father McGivney of the Philippines.” Meanwhile, he also thanked Cubao Bishop Honesto F. Ongtioco, the Luzon Chaplain, and Msgr. Pedro C. Quitorio, Luzon Assistant Chaplain, for their contributions, for their supervision in the writing of the book. “A special word of thanks also goes to the Spiritual Formation Committee and

all the members of the editorial team who made this book possible,” expressed the Supreme Knight. Anderson hopes that this book will reach the hearts of all Knights and their families in the Philippines and will serve as means for spiritual renewal of the Knights of Columbus. The cost of printing of the book was subsidized by the KC Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc., (KCFAPI) which is also known as KC Life. (Kate Laceda)

2010 Board of Trustees / Directors
KC Life Hon. HILARIO G. DAVIDE, JR. - Chairman TEODORO O. ARCENAS, JR. - Vice Chairman ALONSO L. TAN - President GUILLERMO N. HERNANDEZ – Treasurer RAMON E. RODRIGO - Corporate Secretary EMILIANO R. DELEVERIO - Independent Trustee HOSPICIO T. SURALTA, JR. - Independent Trustee & Compliance Officer DIONISIO R. ESTEBAN, JR. - Trustee SOFRONIO R. CRUZ, JR. - Trustee Keys Realty TEODORO O. ARCENAS, JR. - Chairman HENRY A. REYES - President RUBEN L. GUTIERREZ - Treasurer RENATO M. BERNABE - Corporate Secretary ANTONIO B. BORROMEO - Director POLICARPIO B. ALBERTO – Director ISMAEL V. DE LEON - Director ALONSO L. TAN – Director DIONISIO R. ESTEBAN, JR. – Director SOFRONIO R. CRUZ – Director JOSE D. BACALANMO, JR. – Director Mace Insurance PATRICIO J. VERA - Chairman ANTONIO T. YULO - President PASCUAL C. CARBERO – Treasurer COMM. RENE V. SARMIENTO – Corporate Secretary COMM. LUCENITO N. TAGLE - Director DANILO A. SANCHEZ - Director RAMONCITO A. OCAMPO – Director KC Fr. George J. Willmann Charities Justice JOSE C. REYES, JR. - Chairman PATROCINIO R. BACAY - Vice Chairman ALONSO L. TAN - President RUPERTO P. SOMERA – Treasurer MARIANO R. SIDECO - Corporate Secretary TEODORO O. ARCENAS, JR. - Trustee ANTONIO B. BORROMEO – Trustee SOFRONIO R. CRUZ - Trustee DIONISIO R. ESTEBAN, JR. - Trustee ARSENIO R. LOPEZ – Trustee PANFILO O. PACUBAS, SR. – Trustee MSGR. PEDRO C. QUITORIO III – Trustee FR. JEROME J. CRUZ – Trustee FR. RENATO M. SAPUNGAN – Trustee FR. BENJAMIN DEOGRACIAS M. FAJOTA – Trustee KC Philippines Foundation Justice JOSE C. REYES, JR. - Chairman ALONSO L. TAN - President RUPERTO P. SOMERA - Treasurer FRANCISCO V. TANKIANG - Corp. Secretary TEODORO O. ARCENAS, JR. – Trustee PATROCINIO R. BACAY – Trustee ANTONIO B. BORROMEO – Trustee SOFRONIO R. CRUZ – Trustee DIONISIO R. ESTEBAN, JR. – Trustee

Emiliano R. Deleverio
Member, KC Life Board of Trustees
The Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KC Life) welcomes its newly elected Independent Trustee for the Columbian year 2010-2011, SK Emiliano R. Deleverio. Deleverio, a practicing lawyer was born in the province of Cebu. His family later moved to Mindanao. He has been active not only in the field of government service and civic affairs but also in the Order of the Knights of Columbus (K of C) in the Mindanao Jurisdiction. Atty. Deleverio had been a member of Zamboanga del Sur Provincial Board for 13 years. He was awarded as the Most Outstanding Legislator of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in 2003. He held valuable positions in different organizations such as being the President of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)–Zamboanga del Sur Chapter from 1985 to 1987, President of the Rotary Club of Pagadian in 1996, Provincial Chairman of the National Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL)–Zamboanga del Sur & Pagadian City Chapter during the 1986 elections, Regional Chairman of the Zamboanga Peninsula Human Rights Advocate (ZAPAHRA), Purok President of Purok Adelfa of Barangay San Pedro in Pagadian City from 1970 to 1990, and currently, the Vice Chairperson of Union of People’s Lawyer, promoting human rights advocacy, since 2007. His affiliation with K of C began when he was initiated as a member on March 1, 1969. He held various positions in the Order such as becoming a Grand Knight in Pagadian City Council 6713 from 1983 to 1987 and a District Deputy from 1988 to 1992. In 1993, he became a Faithful Navigator of the Archbishop Luis del Rosario Assembly. During the same year, he also became a Mindanao State Advocate and was reappointed in 2008. While in 1994, he became a 4th Degree District Master for two terms. Aside from these, he also became an Assistant to the Mindanao Deputy for Region 9-B. Emil, as he is fondly called is married to Dr. Perla Rosos Deleverio and are blessed with four children, namely Monalisa, Preciosa, Dean and Evangeline. As one family, KC Life welcomes its newest Board member! (April B. Basilio)

FBG Vice President attends organizational meeting of Regional, Provincial and District Deputies
THE Vice-President of the Fraternal Benefits Group, Joseph P. Teodoro, attended the recent organizational meeting of the Regional, Provincial and District Deputies of Central Visayas at the Ecotech Center in Lahug, Cebu City last July 10, 2010. The meeting was convened by the Knights of Columbus Visayas Jurisdiction with the theme “Year of the Volunteer.” Teodoro has presented the President’s report and discussed the various incentive programs of the KC Life. Among those incentive programs were the Most Outstanding District Deputy (MODD), Council of Honors Award and the Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ Award for Academic Excellence. “Most of the concerns raised during the open forum were reasons for denial of claims, none receipt of contribution notice, FADB and others,” the FBG Vice President announced. A discussion on the thrust of the jurisdiction for the Columbian Year 2010-2011 was also prepared following the discussions on membership; service programs and financial management. Present during the organizational meeting were the regional, provincial and district deputies coming from the Central Visayas region. The fraternal meeting culminated with a fellowship. (KC Life News)

KC Foundation announces names of new Collegiate scholars
THE Knights of Columbus Philippines Foundation has recently announced the new beneficiaries of its Collegiate Scholarship Program for the school year 20102011. For Luzon: Vince Alvic Alexis Nonato, UP Diliman (Journalism); Kester Laurenz Arenas, UP Diliman (Computer Science); John Alfred Halo, UP Diliman (Industrial Engineering); Jan Carlo Oblepias, PUP (Accountancy); and Alithea Jumawan, UP Los Baños (Food Technology). For Visayas: Jayvee Elnar, Siliman University (Accountancy); Kareen Suarez, University San Jose Recoletos (Int’l. Studies); and Alvin John Aligway, Cebu Tech. University (Marine Engineering). For Mindanao: Stephanie Grace Quezada, UP Diliman (Geodetic Engineering); JM Leor Fernandez, STI Zamboanga (Information Technology); and Earl Rafael Labitad, Xavier University (Agricultural Engineering). The KC Foundation also announced the beneficiaries of the Supreme Council Scholarship which is under its supervision. For Luzon: Gerard Paul Pascual, UP Diliman (Computer Engineering); Brette Michael Castillo, St. Louis University (Mechanical Engineering); and Kevin Lebril, PUP (ECE). For Visayas: Arvin Dominic Agner, UP Tacloban (Biology); Hershey Mae Calago, University of San Jose Recoletos (Accountancy); and Lee Ann Margareth Tajor, University of San Jose Recoletos (Civil Engineering). For Mindanao: Katrina Baliling, MSUIIT (Accountancy); Fritz Harold Raran, Xavier University (Political Science); and Carmela Goc-ong, Negros State College of Agriculture (Elem Educ.) Inquiries about the Scholarship Program may be coursed through Bro. Roberto T. Cruz, Executive Director, at tel. nos. 5272223 local 210 with office address at General Luna corner Sta. Potenciana Streets, Intramuros, Manila. (KC Life News)


The Cross

CBCP Monitor

Vol. 14 No. 16

August 2 - 15, 2010

District Deputies during the DD’s Organizational Training held at De Luxe Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City last June 26, 2010. Mindanao Deputy, Sofronio R. Cruz facilitated the event. Also present was Gari M. San Sebastian of KC Life who presented awards for Most Outstanding District Deputy, Council of Honors Award and the Fr. George Willmann Academic of Excellence Awards.

Knights participate, attend Sports festival
COLUMBIAN spirit was kept strong and close-knit through various sports and recreational activities in the recent 1st Interdiocesan Sportsfest 2010. Brother Knights and their families from the Archdiocese of Davao and Dioceses of Digos, Tagum and Mati gathered at the Woodridge Part in Ma-a, Davao City to participate in the event. Mindanao Deputy, SK Sofronio R. Cruz welcomed close to 500 participants and family members while he called on the Regional Officers “to keep up the good work.” Organizers led by Regional Secretary and State New Council Development (NCD) Chairman SK Reynaldo C. Trinidad made sure everyone had a good time in the whole day affair. Overall winner were Archdiocese of Davao; followed by Digos Diocese, the 3rd placer goes to the Mati Diocese and 4th placer was Tagum Diocese. “All made their best in playing basketball, volleyball, lawn and table tennis, badminton, bowling, billiards, swimming, dart, chess, tug-of-war and free-throw competition for Columbian Squires,” organizers said. An awarding ceremony and fellowship night highlighted the whole day activities. The culminating activity which was held at Tabing Ilog, Marfori Bridge in Ma-a, Davao City, showcased performances from a Brother Knights’ Band and backed-up by different talents from the four participating dioceses. Awarding of trophies and medals, and the drawing of raffle tickets concluded the affair. (SK Rey Trinidad and SK Ricky Jimenez/KC Life News)

In behalf of Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson and Supreme Board of Directors, LD Alonso L. Tan presented the Charter Certificate of the Annunciation Council 15055 at Annunciation Parish, Pasong Camachile, General Trias, Cavite to Charter Grand Knight Fredy Ramos and Council Chaplain/Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Claro Sumague, in the presence of District Deputy Manuel H. Carpio of District I36 and Manuelito R. Putong, Past Grand Knight of Sponsoring Council, the Immaculate heart of Mary Council 13538.

KC Life presents death claim to Garlitos family
THE Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc. (KC Life) has presented a death claim to the Garlitos family following the death of SK Bienvenido G. Garlitos. Area Manager Armando C. Gonzales of Northeastern Luzon Cavaliers (NEL) presented the death claim to Bienvenido’s wife, Liwayway. Died at the age of 79, Garlitos was a former Fraternal Counselor and a Past Grand Knight of Council 4365 in San Mateo, Isabela. Mrs. Liwayway Garlitos said her husband died on June 12, 2010 in Houston, Texas. “On his last will and testament, he wanted his body to be buried in the Philippines and wanted K of C Philippines to serve during his wake,” they said. The death claims, said the Association, is being provided to Brother Knights who have insurance coverage with the KC Life. SK Bienvenido Garlitos’ wife bought the Special Program for Elderly Knights (SPEK) Plan while his daughter bought the KC Dollar Heritage Plan after receiving the death claim. The two plans are just some of the products of KC Life. (KC Life News)

MY name is Edgar R. Rebusto, Jr. presently studying at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary as first year theologian. I graduated from Inahan sa Kinabuhi College Seminary at Del Carmen, Iligan City and earned my bachelor’s degree at St. Michael’s College with a degree of Bachelor of Arts major in Philosophy. I am now in my sixth year of formation pursuing my goal to become a priest someday. I could not reach this far without the support of my family. I was born on September 17, 1986 at Ditucalan, Iligan City. We are seven in the family and I am the fourth child. I am 23 years old. My father is a farmer and a part time security guard in a private property. My mother is a laundry woman and also a farmer. It would be great to look at the history of my life. And so, allow me to narrate my vocation story. My family is not a religious type of some sort. On the one hand, my father is an inactive member of the Knights of Columbus. But he was a choir member during his early adulthood. My mother, on the other hand, is a typical churchgoer. My grandfather plays a very important role in my faith journey. He was the one who taught me everything I knew about faith during my adolescence. I remember when I was a child, my dream was to become a civil engineer

A letter from a KC Foundation scholar
because I wanted to help my family. But when I reached high school, I learned how to draw and use some calligraphic method as style. And so when my teachers asked me of what I want to become, I answered her that I wanted to be a famous painter. When I graduated from high school, I decided not to continue my studies in college due to some financial problems my family was facing during that time. In order not to waste my time doing nothing, I willingly helped my grandfather in his farm. Indeed, I learned many things about farming. It was on my sixth month, helping out my grandfather in the farm, when my foster parents visited me. They insistently asked me to become a sacristan and convent boy but I didn’t take their offer. Still they were very persistent and even more, I guess, because they would not leave without me. In the end, I went with them because I was carried away with compassion, leaving my grandfather in the farm. Out of my compassion, I served the parish as sacristan and convent boy. I served two parish priests; the first for almost nine months and the second, who followed, was the one who really inspired me. This priest really moved me and awakened my desire to be a priest. He was very humble, simple,

and always smiling. Even when he celebrated the Holy Eucharist, he really had the character of an angel. There was this very striking experience of mine which really moved me. I was left alone in the convent that time when an old lady approached me and asked for a priest to administer the sacrament of anointing of the sick to her dying husband. It was untimely because our parish priest was unavailable for he was also attending an equally important matter at that time. When she knew that there was no priest available, I saw tears welled in the old lady’s eyes as she requested me instead if I could perform the said sacrament. And I told the old lady, “Lola, I’m not a priest.” Upon hearing the old lady’s request, I could feel my heart beating too fast. At that very moment, I was struck by the fact that priesthood is a road less traveled and I realized that God, through the old lady, was calling me to become a priest. As I went to bed later that night, I reflected on what had happened that day. And I decided, with God’s grace, to enter the seminary and become a priest who will be of service to everyone. With this, I am asking your prayers and support as I continue my formation in the seminary in response to the call of God.

Board of Trustees approves Increase in Retention Limit
ON its last meeting held last July 2, 2010, the KC Life Board of Trustees approved the recommendation of the Management to increase the retention limit with the Reinsurer, Philippine National Reinsurance Corp., from P1 Million to P2 Million for non-accidental death benefit and from P500,000 to P1 Million for accidental death. This increase in retention limit automatically increases the reinsurer’s automatic acceptance limit, which is 5x the retention limit, from P5 Million to P10 Million per life. Through the years, KC Life has built a strong and solid financials to cover all benefits promised to brother knights and their immediate families in times of dire loss. Increasing the retention limit will result to greater savings on reinsurance premiums but will likewise result to higher anticipated death claims that KC Life shall cover. With its 52 years in life insurance operations, KC Life has gained full faith and confidence in its underwriting expertise and skills and is now ready to absorb more risks. Not only will KC Life gain savings in expanding the retention limit, it will also provide the Association the opportunity of accepting jumbo-sized coverage without resorting to costly facultative reinsurance, wherein the reinsurer is under no obligation to accept the risk. Rest assured that KC Life will continue its quest of improving the way it does business to achieve continuous growth and stability and to provide better service in meeting the needs and requirements of brother knights and their immediate families during good times or bad times. (Ma. Celina Tabin)

Contribution Default Q. I wasn’t able to pay the insurance contribution on my benefit certificate on the due date because I didn’t receive the billing notice on time, what will happen to my BC? What are my options? A. Your BC will continue to remain in-force thanks to the thirty (30) day grace period. Should you meet an unfortunate event, the death benefits shall be payable to your beneficiaries less any unpaid contribution and overdue interest. In case you can no longer continue to pay the required contributions, you can instruct KC Life to withdraw from your accumulated dividend balance and apply the same to your contribution due. Another option is to change your non-forfeiture option in case of contribution default to automatic contribution loan (ACL). This allows you the facility to borrow from your BC’s cash value to pay your contribution. However, the borrowed amount together with accrued interest shall be treated as a loan against your BC and will be deducted from any benefits due you or your family. Still another option is to use your BC’s cash value to buy a fully paid reduced paid up insurance or extended term insurance. Note: Provided there is accumulated dividend balance (dividend option C), the application of dividend as payment for insurance contribution is system-generated. On the other hand, payment of contribution through ACL is BC holder initiated, that is, via a written request. Misstatement of Insurance Age Q. What happens if there is an error in the birth date on the application for insurance? A. One of the most important data being considered when applying for life insurance is your birth date or insurance age. It is used as a reference or basis on how much KC Life will charge a client (called insurance contribution) in proportion to the promised benefits in the BC. In cases of misstatement of age, our BC provision states that the amount of benefits payable under the BC will be adjusted to the amount, which the contribution paid would have purchased at the correct issue age, applicable risk class, and applicable contribution rates as of the Issue Date. This provision applies not only to death benefits but also to maturity benefits as well. When the issue age is understated, the

benefits under the BC will be smaller than the face value as a higher contribution rate will be imposed on the insured. When the issue age is overstated, the benefits under the BC will be paid in full together with the excess contributions without interest. A gentle reminder: to avoid or minimize mistakes, the proposed applicant/insured must be the one who must answer and complete the application form. The FC is there to guide you and is more than willing to assist you in accomplishing the form. If you discover any error or omission in your BC, please call the attention of your servicing FC or call direct our friendly customer care representatives at (02) 527-2223. (Loriz Mae Sangalang /Jose Felimon Abanador)