You are on page 1of 32

Php 70.

00
Vol. 43 No. 12 • DECEMBER 2009
IMPACT • December 2009 2




SUBSCRIPTION RATES
Philippines
Metro Manila - 1 year - Php 750.00
Provincial - 1 year - Php 800.00
Asia - 1 year - US$ 45.00
Middle East, Australia, New Zealand - 1 year - US$ 50.00
USA, Europe, Canada - 1 year - US$ 55.00
Africa, Caribbean, Latin America - 1 year - US$ 60.00
(2 years: 15% discount on 2nd year surface mail)
Impact is offcially approved as general reference material for students in the Secondary and Ter-
tiary levels and a general professional reading material for teachers in all levels on June 8, 1987.
Address e-mail subscription inquiries to: subscription@impactmagazine.net
ISSN 0300-4155
Asian Magazine for Human Transformation
Through Education, Social Advocacy and Evangelization
P.O. Box 2481, 1099 Manila, Philippines
©
Copyright 1974 by Social Impact Foundation, Inc.
Correspondents:India: Haranath Tadepally; Malaysia: Chandra Muzaffar;
Pakistan: James D'Mello; Sri Lanka: Harry Haas; Papua New Guinea:
Diosnel Centurion
Consultants: Mochtar Lubis, Indonesia; McGillicuddy Desmond, Ireland
(JPIC) MillHill, London; Sulak Sivaraksa, Thailand, (Communications);
S. Santiago, India, (Community Development); Jessie Tellis Nayak, India,
(Women); Dr. Paulita V. Baclig, Philippines (Health)
REMITTING ADDRESSES
AUSTRALIA: Impact P.O. Box 2034, East Ivanhoe, Victoria 3079
BANGLADESH: 1. Community Center, 5 Sadar Road, Barisal; 2. The Priest-in-
Charge, P.O. Box 152, Chittagong
CAROLINE ISLANDS: Social Action Center, Inc., P.O. Box 202, Truk, Caroline
Islands 96942
HONGKONG: Catholic Periodicals Subscription Offce, Catholic Centre, 16, Caine
Road, 11/F, Hong Kong
INDIA: 1. Asian Trading Corp., 310, The Mirabelle, Lotus-House, 33A, Marine
Lines, P.B. No. 11029, Bombay - 400 202; 2. Asian Trading Corp., 150 Brigade Rd.,
Bangalore - 56-0025
INDONESIA: 1. Y.S.T.M. Jl. Gunung Sahari III/7 Phone: 021-354700 Jakarta Pusat;
2. YPD Jl. Veteran 7, P.O. Box 1066, Semarang 5010; 3. Biro Sosial, Jl. Taman
Srigunting 10, Semarang.
JAPAN: Enderle Book Co. Ltd., Ichico Bldg., 1-5 Yotsudya Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160,
Japan
KOREA: J. R. Heisse, C.P.O.. Box 206, Seoul, Korea
MALAYSIA: 1. Anthonian Store Sdn. Bhd., Wisma Anthonian, 235, Jalan Brickfelds,
Kuala Lumpur 09-08; 2. Catholic Information Services 50 E&F, Penang Rd., Penang
NEW ZEALAND: Catholic Depot Ltd., 64 Wyndham Street, Auckland
PAKISTAN: Fr. Joseph Louis, 8-Katchery Road, Lahore
PHILIPPINES: P.O. Box 2950, 1099 Manila
SINGAPORE: Select Books PTE. Ltd., 215 Tanglin Shopping Centre, 2/F 19, Tanglin
Road, Singapore 10
TAIWAN: P.O. Box 8-146, Taipei 100
THAILAND: NASAC, 2 Saensuk, Prachasongkroh Road, Bangkok 10.
U.S.A.: c/o Mrs. M. Taranella, Walsh Bldg., 1st Floor, Maryknoll, New York 10545
Published monthly by
CBCP COMMUNICATIONS DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION, INC.
PEDRO C. QUITORIO III
Editor-in-Chief
PINKY B. BARRIENTOS, FSP
AssoCiate Editor
CHARLES AVILA • EULY BELIZAR
ROY CIMAGALA • ROY LAGARDE
LOPE ROBREDILLO • KRIS BAYOS
Staff Writers
LAARNI BERGADO
Sales & advertising
ERNANI RAMOS
CirCulation
LAURENCE JOHN MORALES
Layout Artist
Editorial Office:
3/F CBCP Bldg., 470 Gen. Luna St., Intramuros, Manila, Philippines
Tel (632) 404-2182 • Telefax (632) 404-1612
Visit our website at www.impactmagazine.net
For inquiries, comments, and contributions, contact:
inquiries@impactmagazine.net
comments@impactmagazine.net
contributions@impactmagazine.net
IMPACT
Quote in the Act
“We are not going to leave Afghanistan to fall back
into the hands of terrorists and extremists.”
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Secretary General of North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO); in a recent move to deploy 7,000 troops in Afghanistan
which is viewed as a powerful vote of support for the American-led initiative.
“Berlusconi is not dealing with Italy’s real
problems. He only cares about his own.”
Elisa Tottone, a teacher who lives in Rome; on the recent protests against the
Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, who is on trial on corruption charges
and politically bruised due to scandals involving women.
“We have strategic interests in South Asia that
should not be measured in terms of fnite times.”
James Jones, US national security adviser; on the recent move of the US
to frm up forces in Afghanistan for a longer time contrary to what President
Obama has earlier pledged to pull out US troops starting July 2011, which
harvested a furry of criticisms.
“Martial Law is double edged. Military rule is out
of the ordinary. The use of weapons to impose that
rule is very risky for human rights.”
Orlando Quevedo, Secretary General of the Federation of Asian Bishops’
Conference and Archbishop of Cotabato; commenting on the recent declaration
of Martial Law in Maguindanao which is being battered with objections by a
cross-section of Philippine society.
“We are people who not only survive, we thrive on
the ice and snow.”
Sheila Watt-Cloutier, an Inuit activist; on the rising temperature that is
causing the Arctic ice sheets to melt posing a major threat to the survival of
about 400,000 Inuit indigenous people; but opening a door for economic boom
in the region by shortening routes for ships sailing between the Atlantic and the
Pacifc thus avoiding the Panama or Suez canals.
“The GMA Government is willingly complicit
by its inability to urgently act on a crime of such
heinous proportions. It even openly brandished
deep ties with alleged butchers in the Autonomous
Region of Muslim Mindanao.”
Maureen Catabian, of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd in the Philippines;
bewailing government’s ineptness in handling the Ampatuan massacre, in a
statement for the Committee on Women, Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation.
C
O
V
E
R

P
H
O
T
O

B
Y

R
O
Y

L
A
G
A
R
D
E

\

C
B
C
P

M
E
D
I
A
Volume 43 • Number 12
3
I
MPAC
T
December 2009 / Vol 43 • No 12
EDITORIAL
'Liberation day' .................................................. 27
COVER STORY
The search for a development paradigm for an
impoverished Philippines ............................. 16
ARTICLES
Young people of Asia .......................................... 4
CBCP review of 2006-2009 ................................. 8
Engaging political leaders in the transforma-
tion of the Philippine Society (Second of Two
parts) ................................................................ 10
After the Massacre ............................................ 13
DEPARTMENTS
Quote in the Act ................................................. 2
News Features ................................................... 21
Statements .......................................................... 23
From the Blogs ................................................... 26
From the Inbox .................................................. 28
Book Reviews ..................................................... 29
Entertainment .................................................... 30
CONTENTS
E
qual l y stunni ng and,
perhaps, as gruesome as
the massacre of 57 civil-
ians on November 23 in Brgy.
Masilay, Ampatuan, Maguin-
danao, was Proclamation No.
1959 “Proclaiming a State of
Martial Law and Suspending
the Privilege of the Writ of Ha-
beas Corpus in the Province of
Maguindanao, Except for Cer-
tain Areas” which was made
public only in the evening of
December 4, 2009.
The reasons concocted for
such boldness, as worded by
the same proclamation, being:
a) “heavily armed groups in the
province of Maguindanao have
established positions to resist
government troops, thereby,
depriving the Executive of its
powers and prerogatives to
enforce laws of the land and
to maintain public order and
safety”; b) “the condition of
peace and order in the province
of Maguindanao has dete-
riorated to the extent that the
local judicial system and other
government mechanisms in
the province are not function-
ing, thus endangering public
safety.”
That, of course, is a
long-shot justification of
Section 18, Art. VII of the
Philippine Constitution
that provides “In case
of invasion or rebellion,
when the public safety
requires it, (the President) may,
for a period of not exceeding sixty
days, suspend the privilege of the
writ of habeas corpus or place the
Philippines or any part thereof
under martial law.”
That also is a stretching too
much of R.A. 6968 that defines
rebellion as one “committed by ris-
ing public and taking arms against
the government for the purpose
of depriving the Chief Executive
or the Legislature, wholly or par-
tially, or any of their powers or
prerogatives.”
But granting, for the sake of
argument, that the justifications of
Malacañang for declaring Martial
Law is legally convincing, still the
effect is chilling. The reason is,
the trust rating of the commander-
in-chief has plummeted to below
zero. Except for the notorious
beneficiaries, nobody believes in
the president—at least, according
to surveys and the laments of one’s
next door neighbor.
This declaration of Mar-
tial Law which is likely to be
affirmed by the lackeys in both
houses of congress, may actu-
ally be more beneficial to the
Ampatuans who can now be
charged with a more comfort-
able case of rebellion instead
of murder.
This issue opens with a
write up about the recently
concluded 5th Asian Youth
Day where the young people
were challenged to be agents of
renewal and transformation.
Augusto Steve Legasto,
Jr. writes our cover story. In a
country peppered with corrup-
tion and dirty politics, is it ever
possible to trailblaze a path to
prosperity with dignity in lieu
of the traditional materialistic
view of economic develop-
ment? Read on.
IMPACT • December 2009 4
By Pinky Barrientos, FSP
T
he young face of the Asian Church
shone brightly in a faith-gath-
ering of close to 2,000 young
people coming from all over Asia and the
Philippines at the recently-concluded 5
th

Asian Youth Day (AYD5) hosted by the
Diocese of Imus, in Cavite.
Nourished by the Word and the
Eucharist, participants to the 5
th
Asian
Youth Day ended their five-day gather-
ing with a statement containing their
commitment to deepen their love for the
Word of God and the Eucharist despite
the many challenges they experience
along the way.
The Asian youth assembly which
carried the theme “Young Asians: Come
Together, Share the Word, Live the
Eucharist” aimed to inspire the young
faithful to live more profoundly their
Catholic faith.
Youth participants came from across
Asia, representing China, Hong Kong,
Japan, Korea, Macau, Taiwan, Cambo-
dia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam,
Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore,
Timor Leste, Bangladesh, India, Nepal,
Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, Kyr-
jyzstan, Mongolia, Siberia, Tajikistan,
Turkmenistan, and other Asian delega-
tions from Australia, Germany, France
and the Netherlands.
The regional counterpart of the
World Youth Day, the Asian Youth Day
(AYD) is usually held on years when
there are no World Youth Day celebra-
tions. It was initiated by the youth desk
ARTICLES
Volume 43 • Number 12
5
under the Office of the Laity of the
Federation of Asian Bishops Confer-
ences (FABC) to help the Asian youth
deepen their spirituality and become
effective witnesses of Christ’s love to
one another. The first AYD celebration
began in Thailand in 1999, followed
by Taiwan in 2001, India in 2003, and
Hong Kong in 2006.
YAsia Fiesta!
The AYD5 slogan YAsia Fiesta
aptly conveys a joyful atmosphere
which truly characterized the youth
event. But in the words of Bishop Joel
Baylon, Chairman of the Episcopal
Commission on Youth of the Catholic
Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines,
the gathering was not merely a festivity
devoid of spirituality, instead it was a
faith-filled encounter manifested in
joyful celebrations.
“Festive dancing and singing during
fiesta are what we Filipinos are known
for. This typical expression of faith is
something unique that we can offer our
delegates,” Bishop Baylon said.
The five-day event was preceded
by a three-day immersion in parishes
called “Days in the Diocese” where
delegates stayed with different host
families and experienced the realities
of Philippine life.
Many of the foster families who
had given accommodation to the del-
egates had been devastated by the
recent typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng
which inundated a greater part of Metro
Manila and environs. But despite their
Young people of Asia
©

R
o
y

L
a
g
a
r
d
e

/

C
B
C
P

M
e
d
ia
©

R
o
y

L
a
g
a
r
d
e

/

C
B
C
P

M
e
d
ia
©

R
o
y

L
a
g
a
r
d
e

/

C
B
C
P

M
e
d
ia
©

R
o
y

L
a
g
a
r
d
e

/

C
B
C
P

M
e
d
ia
IMPACT • December 2009 6
ARTICLES
sufferings and want the foster families
insisted on lodging the delegates in
their homes.
The sense of volunteerism shown
by foster families who adamantly took
in the delegates assigned to them, and
of the many youth who had made them-
selves available throughout the entire
event really amazed Bishop Baylon. The
bishop said that the situation of foster
families can teach a lesson or two to
AYD5 participants on the meaning of
poverty and suffering.
“Hopefully, their days in the diocese
will make them realize that in the midst
of poverty, the Church is alive because
of the faith and hope of the people,
remain unwavering,” he said.
Indeed, the immersion program left
quite an impression on the participants.
For many who live in countries that
restrict if not ban the public expres-
sion of the Catholic faith, the Filipinos’
exuberant demonstration of religiosity
comes as truly invigorating.
One of the participants, Rosa Da
Lima from Indonesia marveled at the
way Filipinos celebrate the feast of
Christ the King. She said the obvious
devotion of the people to the Eucharist
and the long procession that accom-
panied the Blessed Sacrament really
touched her because it was something
that she had not experienced in her coun-
try. Others, meanwhile, were awed by
the generosity and cheerful attitude of
Filipinos who remain joyful and faith-
filled despite poverty and want.
Origin of AYD
Youth coordination in the Asian
region took off after a historic meet-
ing of Asian youth in the International
Youth Forum during the World Youth
Day held in Czestochowa, Poland in
1991. The delegates expressed to the
Asian bishops their desire to develop a
common Asian response in the area of
youth evangelization. This was further
taken up and discussed during a youth
consultation meeting in Bangkok in
1993 which led to the creation of a Youth
desk under the auspices of FABC’s Of-
fice of the Laity.
Since its inception in 1994, the
FABC youth desk had organized vari-
ous programs and activities for Asian
youth involved in the ministry. In 1997,
a seminar on the theme “Youth in the
Socio-Economic Development of Asia:
A Challenge to Integrate Faith in Youth
Life and Work” was organized by the
Bishops’ Institute for Lay Apostolate for
Youth (BILA on Youth) in Tagaytay. In
the same year, during the World Youth
Day in France, the first Asian Youth
gathering themed “We are the Church”
was organized where Asian youth del-
egates met for an afternoon of cultural
and spiritual activity. In every WYD
celebration thereafter, Asian youth
delegates come together for a cultural
and spiritual encounter.
The first two events saw the begin-
ning of a regular gathering for Asian
youth dubbed Asian Youth Day which is
held in different Asian countries every
2-3 years. In 1999, with the Church pre-
paring to welcome the new millennium,
the first Asian Youth Day was organized
at Hua Hin, Thailand reflecting on the
theme: “Asian Youth Journeying with
Jesus Towards the Third Millennium.”
The 2
nd
AYD was convoked in Taipei,
Taiwan in 2001, themed “We are called
to Sanctity and Solidarity”; in 2003, the
third assembly was held in Bangalore,
India with the theme “Asian Youth for
Peace”, and in 2006, the 4
th
AYD was
held in Hong Kong.
IMPACT • December 2009 6
©

R
o
y

L
a
g
a
r
d
e

/

C
B
C
P

M
e
d
ia
©

R
o
y

L
a
g
a
r
d
e

/

C
B
C
P

M
e
d
ia
Volume 43 • Number 12
7
Asian youth today
To reiterate the words of Bishop
Cornelius Sim of Brunei, one of the
plenary speakers during the AYD5
event, the youth of Asia today are fac-
ing enormous challenges in the face of
“rapid modernization and globalization,
diversity and plurality of cultures.”
Their social status renders them “power-
less” even as they try to compete in the
vast exchange of diverging views and
ideas around them.
The youth event then was a great
opportunity for these young people to
find their voice, to build their confidence
and hone their skill to become effective
evangelizers of their own fellow youth
in a continuously changing world deeply
mired in consumerism and materialism.
Sharing among them the importance
of the word and the Eucharist in their
lives, they realized that living the word
and the Eucharist means speaking out
for the truth.
In 2008, the Youth desk of FABC
Office of the Laity conducted a survey
among the youth on the importance of
the Eucharist in their lives. The study
revealed that a certain percentage of
Catholic Asian youth have little under-
standing of the Eucharist. The results of
the survey were made public during the
FABC regional conference in Manila in
August 2009.
Infanta Bishop Rolando Tria Tirona,
who currently chairs the FABC Office
of the Laity that commissioned the poll,
said the survey’s outcome presents a
challenge to the Church, especially
to Catholic leaders, who have greater
responsibility in the formation of the
faithful, particularly young people. He
acknowledged the need for the Church
to reach out to the youth sector to make
them understand that the Eucharist is
a “very powerful force” that can prod
them to become “agents of transforma-
tion.” The study provided a situationer
for the Asian youth assembly where the
youth were challenged to live and love
the Eucharist.
At the opening of the AYD5 in
the Diocese of Imus on November 23,
Bishop Tirona noted that the theme on
the word of God afforded the youth
participants a climate to share stories
imbued with faith to one another.
“The challenge for the youth is to
continue telling stories to one another
which maybe sad stories, wonderful or
triumphant stories, but are stories about
themselves, and which are stories of
God,” he said.
Hope of the Church and society
Tagged by United Nations as the
most populous continent in the world
with more than 3 billion population,
Asia with its teeming young people
must have been in Pope John Paul II’s
mind when he said that the future of
the world and the Church belongs to
the younger generation.
“Christ expects great things from
young people,” the pope said in his apos-
tolic letter Tertio Millennio Adveniente.
“If they succeed in following the road
which he points out to them, they will
have the joy of making their own contri-
bution to his presence in the next century
and in the centuries to come...”
Would the young people of Asia
dare make a difference in the face of
unjust societal structures that breeds
poverty, corruption and unpeace?
Bishop Tirona believes so, thus af-
firming the great contribution the youth
can give in the area of evangelization,
of renewal and transformation.
Indeed, there are a lot of issues con-
fronting the Church and society today
where the youth can actively participate
and bring about the needed changes we
all desire. As they themselves acknowl-
edged, they are sent to “live out God’s
love” and called “to transform unjust
structures and to respect the dignity of
all men and women, to work for rec-
onciliation, fight poverty and create a
civilization of peace and harmony.”
Coincidentally, as the youth gathered
and shared among them their potentials
to make a difference, the world bestowed
honor to Efren Peñaforida, an Asian and
a Cavite native. CNN named him "Hero
of the Year" for his innovative work
of teaching children using a "pushcart
classroom". Peñaforida reached out to
the young and made a difference in their
lives by educating them, thus giving them
hope and the chance to see the world
beyond their poor social conditions.
Now that is what the youth are
challenged to do. Where the adults
have faltered and failed, the young can
learn and succeed. The responsibility
of guiding them lies in the families,
communities and parishes where these
young people belong.
Young people of Asia
I
©

R
o
y

L
a
g
a
r
d
e

/

C
B
C
P

M
e
d
ia
©

R
o
y

L
a
g
a
r
d
e

/

C
B
C
P

M
e
d
ia
IMPACT • December 2009 8
CBCP review of 2006-2009
By Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo
A
s the outgoing CBCP Permanent Council welcomes
the incoming Permanent Council, I wish to express
my profound gratitude to the Catholic Bishops’
Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) for entrusting to me
the presidency of our conference for two consecutive terms
from 2006 to 2009.
The effective management of any institution depends
largely on the day to day working of its Secretariat and
subordinate personnel. We have such in the CBCP, working
along with 26 independent and interdependent Episcopal
Commissions concretizing the CBCP Vision and Mission.
The objectives of the CBCP include among others the
formulation of general decrees, pastoral policies and doctrinal
declarations to enlighten and guide people’s consciences in
meeting emerging challenges and new problems arising from
changes in society (Cf. Constitution, Art. 1, Sec. 2).
Let me review what the CBCP had articulated in our ef-
fort to shepherd and guide our country in the last four years
through our Pastoral Letters, Statements and Exhortations.
2006. The CBCP declared the year 2006 as a “Year of
Social Concerns” under the auspices of the Sacred Heart of
Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. [cf. “Renewing
our Public Life Through Moral Values” Pastoral Statement,
January 29, 2006].
At that time we observed that economic benefits were
not being sufficiently shared with the poor, that apathy and
cynicism in politics, and loss of trust in political leaders,
have taken hold of the mind and hearts of many Filipinos.
The root cause of this crisis, we said, is the erosion of
moral values. Among the responses we proposed was the
promotion of a spirituality of public service, integrity and
stewardship. But we believed that even our best efforts in
addressing the problems will come to nothing without the
help of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart
of Mary. (2006 was the 150
th
Anniversary of the Feast of
Sacred Heart instituted in 1856.)
Other social concerns we identified were the mining is-
sues, the alleged “Peoples’ Initiatives” to change the Constitu-
tion (which did not push through because of the vigilance of
the citizens), the controversial “Da Vinci Code,” the notorious
Fertilizer Fund Scam and the spread of Small Town Lottery
or STL. Two breakfast fellowships with Christian Church
Leaders and some government officials were held to share
our common concerns.
The commitment of the Church would consist in build-
ing in our land “a civilization of love” (Centessimus Annus,
10), by building character through honesty and integrity, by
building capacity through empowerment of the poor, and by
building community through formation in the spirituality of
citizenship. [Pastoral Exhortation “Building a Civilization
of Love” May 11, 2006].
The Year of Social Concerns gave emphasis on the
importance of the Social Doctrine of the Church as integral
part of our evangelizing ministry, as emphasized in Pope
Benedict XVI’s first Encyclical “Deus Caritas Est.
The burning issues which were being discussed were:
the family under siege by the reproductive health bills, the
prospect of charter change, the controversial impeachment
process, which did not occur, the clamor for the reform of
COMELEC, advocacy contra extra-judicial killings and
endemic corruption in public and private life. [Shepherding
and Prophesying in Hope, July 9, 2006]
2007. In January 2007 the CBCP recalled the 40
th
an-
niversary of the Rural Congress of 1967 which came to the
crucial conclusion that “The Church must go to the barrios.”
The greater number of the poor are in the rural areas. There-
fore, attending to the rural poverty would be to help lessen
the urban poverty. The CBCP said that the one big means of
alleviating rural poverty is through a determined, vigorous
and honest implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian
Reform Program (CARP). [Pastoral Statement: The Dignity
of the Rural Poor, January 28, 2007].
In 2007 the CBCP also commended the group of lay
faithful who worked with great enthusiasm and dedication for
the May 2007 elections. These lay groups were the PPC-RV,
NAMFREL, NASSA-VOTE CARE, Simbahang Lingkod ng
Bayan, the Catholic Media Network, Legal Network for a
Truthful Election (Lente). These dedicated groups undoubtedly
ARTICLES
©

C
B
C
P

M
e
d
ia
©

R
o
y

L
a
g
a
r
d
e

/

C
B
C
P

M
e
d
ia
Volume 43 • Number 12
9
contributed to the emergence of a new political consciousness
among the electorate. Vigilance, volunteerism and coordinated
action characterized their work. We advocated for Electoral
Reforms through revamp of the COMELEC, the holding of those
responsible for anomalies in past elections as accountable to the
people, and the modernization of the electoral system in time
for 2010 Election, continuing education of voters, the cleaning
and publication of voters’ list long before election. [Pastoral
Statement, on the 2007 National Elections, July 8.]
The CBCP endorsed a one year journey “Towards the
Second National Rural Congress” (July 16, 2007). In this year
we commemorated the centenary of the Episcopal Consecra-
tion of Bishop Jorge Barlin (1906), expressed concern on
the nation’s housing problems and on the Human Security
Act vis-à-vis terrorism.
2008. In 2008 the CBCP stated that the “darkness in our
situation” which consists in the subordination of the com-
mon good to private or personal good is due to the lack of a
social conscience. The CBCP said: “To journey to the light,
we need first to realize that we have contributed not a little
to the common malaise – because of the decisions we have
made, decisions that flowed from what we have become
because of our unconcern, inaction, apathy, often thinking
only of our interest. And so with little sense of the future
of our country, we vote for people we should not vote for...
We have to confess that corruption is in truth our greatest
shame as a people.” (Pastoral Letter “Reform Yourselves
and believe in the Gospel” (Jan. 27, 2008)
There is need for personal and communal conversion
towards a social conscience. “This conversion is for all of
us: laity, religious, priests and bishops.” We reiterated the
call for “circles of discernment” in all sectors or levels of the
community, in order that through communal and prayerful
discernment, the roots of corruption may be discovered and
destroyed. [Pastoral Statement, Seeking the Truth, Restoring
Integrity, February 26, 2008].
As part of the celebration of the NRC-II, we advocated
the extension of CARP with reform. “Abandoning the ag-
ricultural sector will not only threaten the farmers but also
imperil food security itself. Conversely, distributing land to
small farmers will provide equitable economic opportunities
on the rural area and eventually reduce poverty and unrests.”
(Agrarian Reform, May 18, 2008). Important highlights of
2008 were the launching of the Year of St. Paul and the
holding of the Second National Rural Congress on July 7-8,
2008 in San Carlos Seminary, Makati.
A special plenary assembly was held on November 14,
2008 in order to articulate the CBCP opposition to the Re-
productive Health Bill 5043. (Pastoral Statement “Standing
Up for the Gospel of Life”)
In 2008, there were series of Bishops–Legislators’
caucuses on Rural Concerns and on Family and Life Issues
held. There was also held a seminar on the Theology of
Pope Benedict XVI.
2009. At the NRC-II the rural poor were given the op-
portunity to articulate their concerns. It was an opportunity
for the church on various levels to listen and discern her
specific role in accompanying the rural folk in their journey;
the small farmers, landless workers, fisherfolks, indigenous
people, rural women and rural youth. (Pastoral Exhortation:
God Hears the Cry of the Poor, January 25, 2009).
At the Rural Congress we declared that in the fight
against graft and corruption, we should encourage our lay
faithful to accompany and support upright public officials
in their efforts to serve the people in transparency and truth.
We further declared that “we shall direct church institutions
and organizations to be more engaged in works of solidar-
ity, justice and charity for the poor in rural areas.” Scripture
warns us: “He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will
himself also call and not be heard.” (Prov. 21/13)
In June of this year 2009, we declared the post-Pauline
year as the Year of the Two Hearts of Jesus and Mary for
Peace-building and Lay Participation in Social Change,
inspired by St. Paul’s reflection on “Christ as ambassador of
CBCP review of 2006 - 2009
Review, page 22
©

D
e
n
n
is

D
a
y
a
o

/

C
B
C
P

M
e
d
ia
©

C
B
C
P

M
e
d
ia
©

R
o
y

L
a
g
a
r
d
e

/

C
B
C
P

M
e
d
ia
IMPACT • December 2009 10
Engaging political leaders in the transformation of the Philippine Society
(or, The Relevance of the Catholic Social Doctrine)
(Second of Two parts)
By Msgr. Lope C. Robredillo, SThD
Stewardship
Y
et, come to think of it—if the
common good has a universal
destiny, it is because no man can
ever claim to own anything as his own;
humans are only stewards of creation.
The principle of stewardship derives
from the understanding that God is the
source of all creation, and whatever
man has is simply God’s gift not for
himself but for the benefit of all. In his
World Day of Peace Message in 1990,
John Paul II asserts that “the earth is
ultimately a common heritage, the fruit
of which are for the benefit of all. In
the words of the Second Vatican Coun-
cil, ‘God destined the earth and all it
contains for the use of every individual
and all peoples’ (GS 69). This has direct
consequences for the problem at hand.
It is manifestly unjust that a privileged
few should continue to accumulate
excess goods, squandering available
resources, while masses of people are
living in conditions of misery at the very
lowest level of subsistence. Today, the
dramatic threat of ecological breakdown
is teaching us the extent to which greed
and selfishness—both individual and
collective—are contrary to the order of
creation, an order which is characterized
by mutual interdependence.”
Can a political leader curb the
greed and selfishness of the privileged
class? Greed and craving for huge
profit left in their wake the destruction
of natural resources—forest denuda-
tion, floods, destruction of crops and
aquatic animals, plunder of mines and
death of rivers, obliteration of corals
and mangroves, to mention a few of
their evil effects. Today, people are
reaping the whirlwind, but although the
problem has affected almost every one,
especially now that climate has changed
a lot, the victims remain those who are
in the underside of history. But one
cannot take up the cause of the poor
without antagonizing those who make
fantastic profits in the destruction of
environment. One wonders whether a
leader could still pursue a program of
total development, given the oppositions
he has to hurdle.
Solidarity
There is no formula for a politi-
cal will that does not antagonize the
beneficiaries of a lopsided system of
distribution of goods, but any attempt
would have to presuppose a change
of vision of humanity. Such a vision
would certainly include the principle
of solidarity, because this stands in op-
position to all that greed and selfishness
imply. If social evil arises because a
good number are lusting for power and
greedy for wealth, and love to work only
for their selfish ends, solidarity signifies
the contrary—the offering of one’s self
for the common good. Solidarity, in
the words of John Paul II in Sollicitudo
rei socialis, is “not a feeling of vague
compassion or shallow distress at the
misfortune of so many people, both
near and far. On the contrary, it is a
firm and persevering determination to
commit oneself to the common good,
that is to say, to the good of all and each
individual, because we are all really
responsible for all” (38).
The principle of solidarity high-
lights interdependence as intrinsic to
the social nature of man. “It is above
all a question of interdependence sensed
as a system determining relationships
in the contemporary world, in its eco-
nomic, cultural, political and religious
elements, and accepted as a moral cat-
egory. When interdependence becomes
recognized in this way, the correlative
response as a moral and social attitude,
as a virtue, is solidarity” (SRS 38).
Solidarity then obliges those who are
well-off to share their goods and services
with the unfortunate. At the same time,
it urges them to correct injustices done
to the poor, especially those that arise
from the consuming desire for profit and
P
h
o
t
o

c
o
u
r
t
e
s
y

o
f

C
A
S
A
F
I
-
A
r
c
h
d
io
c
e
s
e

o
f

C
a
c
e
r
e
s
©

R
o
y

L
a
g
a
r
d
e

/

C
B
C
P

M
e
d
ia
Volume 43 • Number 12
11
Engaging political leaders in the transformation of the Philippine Society
(or, The Relevance of the Catholic Social Doctrine)
(Second of Two parts)
thirst for power, like extending one’s
tenure of office by advocating charter
change. It this way, they are able to lose
part of their possessions and become
committed to the common good.
But the poor cannot just wait for the
rich to be committed to their obligation
under the principle of interdependence;
it is important that the victims of history
express their solidarity with one another,
if society is to be transformed. As John
Paul II asserts in Laborem exercens, “in
order to achieve social justice…, there
is a need for every new movements of
solidarity of the workers and with the
workers. This solidarity must be pres-
ent whenever it is called by the social
degradation of the subject of work, by
exploitation of workers, and by the
growing areas of poverty and hunger.
The Church is firmly committed to the
cause, for she considers it her mission,
her service, a proof of her fidelity to
Christ so that she can truly be the Church
of the poor” (37).
To uplift the poor from misery, a
Filipino leader cannot just therefore
express interdependence through dis-
tribution of rice and noodles in times
of calamities. More has to be done,
including setting up draconian measures
to correct the continuing degradation of
the poor. Far from depending merely
on the oligarchy to dispense crumbs,
he must encourage small communities,
organizations, employees and workers
to unite themselves. Considering the
opposition that this step might create,
since he would be making enemies of
those well-placed in position of power
and privilege, he would need the help
of other institutions, like the Church. If
the Church in the Philippines is really a
church of the poor, it would have to opt
in favor of workers, peasants, fisher folk
and the marginalized, in their effort to
liberate themselves from injustices.
Subsidiarity
That small groups should make
initiatives that could help them achieve
their own perfection brings us to the
last fundamental principle of Catholic
Social Doctrine—subsidiarity. This
principle stipulates that the society, the
government, and other bigger institu-
tions, rather than take advantage of,
or oppress the smaller ones, should be
helpful to them, especially the ultimate
members: the individual. Far from
absorbing them or colonizing them, it
should enhance their proper activity.
Pius XI, in his Quadragesimo anno,
expresses the principle as follows:
“Just as it is wrong to withdraw from
the individual and commit to the com-
munity at large what private initiative
and endeavor can accomplish, so it is
likewise an injustice, a serious harm,
and a disturbance of proper order to
turn over to a greater society, of higher
rank, functions and services which can
be performed by smaller communities
on a lower plane” (79). If the principle
of solidarity is opposed to all forms of
political or social individualism, that of
subsidiarity stands in opposition against
all forms of collectivism.
Like the previous principles, this
one is based on the dignity of the indi-
vidual. All forms of society, whether
big or small, are meant to help him. And
because man is a social being, smaller
societies, like the family, local associa-
tion, small groups and the like, are the
locus in which the individual human
person exercises that social dimension
of his existence and relate him to the
bigger society. This bigger society
has the obligation to create conditions
in which the individual can grow and
develop his potentials, and reach perfec-
tion. Consequently, what can be done
at the level of the small group should
remain there, and not absorbed or taken
over by the larger one. Its competence
is to be respected.
The larger community can take
over its role only if it cannot be real-
ized at the local level; but if it can be
done, the State, for instance, cannot
substitute itself in its stead in terms of
responsibility and initiative. In other
words, the performance of an action is
best done at the lowest possible level.
P
h
o
t
o

c
o
u
r
t
e
s
y

o
f

C
A
S
A
F
I
-
A
r
c
h
d
io
c
e
s
e

o
f

C
a
c
e
r
e
s
IMPACT • December 2009 12
The same may be said of its responses
to local problems. Problems in smaller
groups are to be met at that level, and
the government can intervene only when
the solutions are beyond the capacity of
that level. There is, thus, no justification
for the government to dictate families
as to how many children they should
have; that is the sphere of husband and
wife. Nor can it prescribe what forms
of contraception couples should accept,
for that is the competence of married
people who decide in the light of their
religious belief.
The implication here is that in-
dividuals and smaller communities
are empowered to get involved in the
realization of their life and mission.
They take the reign of their own his-
tory. According to the Compendium,
participation is expressed in activities
through which the citizen contributes
to the cultural, social, economic and
political life of the community to which
he belongs; it is a duty to be fulfilled by
all, with responsibility and with a view
to the common good (189). By partici-
pating, the individual becomes active
in ordering his life, and is also able to
help other individuals in the commu-
nity, especially those in dire need. The
obligation to be at the service of others
is concretized by this principle.
In terms of governance, the prin-
ciple of subsidiary obviously implies
political reforms whereby the influence
of the national government is reduced
in order to promote local autonomy.
The Constitution of 1987 has already
provided some form of autonomy to the
Muslims and to the indigenous peoples.
In 1991, the local government code en-
acted reforms for greater accountability
and transparency. But one wonders
whether these are enough. On the other
hand, how would the people be protected
from local governance where people are
colonized by their own local officials?
The individuals at the local level still
do not participate, and because those in
governance somehow substituted only
the role of those at the national level,
social conditions are never created in
which individuals grow and realize
their potential.
But an even greater challenge is
to transform the political system into
such that the local government becomes
self-sufficient and not merely depends
on the internal revenue allotment for
its survival. But this problem is rooted
in the feudal system that characterizes
the relationship between the national
and the local levels. Under this system,
the master-servant relationship where
loyalty, subservience and dependency
appear as virtues, is itself paralleled
in the local level, in terms of the rela-
tionship between local politicians and
clients, exacerbating the concentration
of wealth in the hands of a few and the
pauperization of the disenfranchised. Of
no less importance, a structural reform
has to be instituted in such a way that
the poor can have a share in the powers
of the government, if their participa-
tion in governance is not to remain in
theory; that way, they can participate,
for instance, in the decisions on the al-
location of funds. With their participa-
tion, they can see to it that money really
goes to where it is needed, not ending
up in the pockets of the elite that now
control the set-up.
Final Word
Taking all these principles into
account, one gets the impression that
the nation has still a long way to go,
if it is really to achieve integral libera-
tion and development. Those entrusted
with governance have to understand
that these principles are sine qua non
for real development, and they have to
be taken as principles for reflection,
criteria for judgment and directives
for action, if they are really intent on
uplifting the majority of the people
from misery. But then, it would take
much sacrifice for them and for those
holding power and enjoying privilege.
Political will would not be enough;
leaders would have to be willing and
ready to lose power and privilege for
the sake of the many in the process of
transforming the Philippine society.
Still, the question remains: will they
be ready to lose them? If our history
of politics has anything to tell us, it is
that politicians scarcely care for any
of these principles, for their objective
is not much more than the capture
of power and the enjoyment of its
privileges, no matter if these harm the
deprived. The challenge for leaders
today and tomorrow is to break with
that history.
IMPACT • December 2009 12
P
h
o
t
o

c
o
u
r
t
e
s
y

o
f

C
A
S
A
F
I
-
A
r
c
h
d
io
c
e
s
e

o
f

C
a
c
e
r
e
s
Engaging political leaders in the transformation of the Philippine Society
I
Volume 43 • Number 12
13
ARTICLES
socio-political insanity “to the max” until, mad as the gods
had allowed them to become, they literally went over the
edge—and fell. For, truly, whom the gods wish to destroy
they first make mad.
Their would-be replacement by the Mangudadatus is
no solution. That would be the most superficial dismissal
of the massacre as “election-related”, totally missing the
fundamental political and economic implications of a deed
so foul and an incident so unusual.
To repeat: political office is now so attractive due to the
billions of pesos in IRA remittances that electoral victory
provides—a victory always characterized by “symbiosis”
between the new-style warlords and central government
power-holders, military and civilian. The “winner-takes-all”
nature of these electoral games also means that competition
has become costlier and bloodier. The overall result is that
central State is less and less able to deal with lawlessness
and conflict.
In this context, political legitimacy ceases to be a univo-
cal and becomes an analogous term. It has very little to do
with protecting people’s rights or providing basic services.
It’s all about providing protection to one’s fellow clan
members by trumping the firepower of one’s competitors,
perhaps leaving people alone, and forgetting about taxes.
People actually expect local leaders to pocket government
resources, and are willing to look the other way so long as
their clans dominate and they are given a small slice during
elections, or after victory.
The sad thing about the recent massacre is that it could
have been avoided. Everyone in Central Mindanao knew
about the looming violence months if not years before as
everyone knew the rise and rise of the abusive character of
ARTICLES
Background Thoughts
T
he Ampatuan massacre has provided the incoming
political season the kind of start that may never be
forgotten decades upon decades hence as an all-time
mark of infamy. Even now it beggars Philippine memory in
cruelty and insanity.
Nothing like this has ever happened before. This is
the first time the Philippines has bred its own version of
an Idi Amin wantonly committing crimes against human-
ity. Surely the ogre is not an orphan. Examine it carefully
and you can trace its being to many parents: presidents
and cabinet secretaries, Generals and Napolcom officials,
even media cohorts and a long list of the bribed and the
terrorized.
The world has witnessed at last the evil that the licen-
tious and the privileged are capable of doing when they are
allowed to internalize a culture of impunity.
For, no doubt about it, the Ampatuan massacre is rooted
in the evolution of new-style warlords essentially related to
a weak state’s willingness to grant such political thugs and
armed groups political and military dominance over decent
politicians and democratic forces in order, lazily, to “secure”
far-flung areas, fight “separatists”, and hope somehow
to extend government’s administrative influence—all the
while disdaining serious governance and strategic stability
through authentic autonomy\and serious efforts to rise out
of the Third World doldrums.
Because of being allowed control of vast sub rosa busi-
nesses (including drugs and other mala prohibita) and an
ever-growing share of internal revenue allotments (IRA)
the new-style warlords in turn develop a violent addic-
tion to political office. The Ampatuans exemplified this
By Charles Avila
©

M
a
r
k

N
a
v
a
le
s

/

U
C
A
N
IMPACT • December 2009 14
ARTICLES ARTICLES
the Ampatuan monster.
Yet, except for the futile efforts of National Security
Adviser Norberto B. Gonzales, neither Malacañang nor the
COMELEC, neither the DILG nor the PNP, nor the AFP made
any attempt to monitor warlord activities, disarm their private
security, and demobilize their loyalists within the police
and military. There may even be ample evidence that PNP
appointments of new recruits were bought by the warlords
for huge amounts per appointment, which they considered
worthwhile in order to build an army “legitimately”. The per-
petrators of the Ampatuan
massacre were almost all
100% “legit”.
Muslim Mindanao is
known for a long history
of electoral fraud. It has
often had the ability to
provide the millions of
votes that can overturn the
results of national elec-
toral contests, reinforced
by the sort of democratic
political competition in
the post-Marcos era that
makes local bosses more
powerful and national
leaders more beholden to
them. This was the case in
the presidential elections
of 2004 and the senatorial
race in 2007. What about
2010?
Following the Am-
patuan infamy, many
are—again—suggesting
loudly that there should
be a moratorium on elec-
tions in Muslim Min-
danao. In those areas,
as many good people
now firmly believe, no
elections can only mean
change for the better.
The rule of money is one
thing. The rule of the
gun, which is still the
rule of money in a more
lethal form, is another
thing altogether.
In Muslim Mindan-
ao, elections are simply
not good for human health, or for human dignity, or for
the country’s image as a whole—if this is something that
still matters. In those areas, elections are goons or “strik-
ers” of Maguindanao’s ruling mafia entering precincts in
broad daylight and erasing the names of candidates people
voted for and changing them to the mafia’s unpopular
choices. Elections are the impotence of the Comelec and
the boastful media to do anything about crass terrorism.
There elections are not people-empowering: they are a
waste of time, a waste of money and an awful waste of
precious life.
Needed Now
We badly need immediately a realistic inter-faith con-
certed effort to bring out the most courageous and the most
enlightened, the best in people of the various communities,
in order to overcome defeatism, nihilism and cynicism,
encourage bold thinking into the causes of our malaise, and
make proposals that the people of the local communities can
collectively act on.
This interfaith effort should promote among groups a
readiness to accept past and present hurts and a commitment
to explore new ways of
building peace, including
new ways to prevent the
recurrence of ogre-size
Ampatuan clones.
These consultations
should reach grassroots
communities and diverse
sectors of society. All
affected by the new war-
lordism have something
to say to their peers and
must be encouraged to tell
their tale.
The interfaith effort
will ask people to envi-
sion new arrangements,
and learn new lessons to
enrich our common peace
efforts.
It must reach the
whole of Mindanao and
more—Central Mindan-
ao, Basilan-Sulu-Tawi2,
Zamboanga peninsula,
Davao region, Caraga,
Socsksargen, Northern
Mindanao and Lanao re-
gion. In addition it must
have a web- based region
to reach our brothers and
sisters in diaspora.
The Bishops Ulama
Conference, the Imam
League, the Catholic
Bishops Conference of
the Philippines (CBCP),
the United Church of
Christ of the Philippines
(UCCP), the like must
all be approached for
participation even as everyone is encouraged to keep an
open mind, an open heart and the realization that it takes
all kinds—different kinds of people and action ideas for the
common good. “Consult Mindanao” under the leadership
of Archbishop Fernando R. Capalla, DD and Father Alberto
Alejo, SJ may be a good start and point of departure, but this
time the Muslim element must be truly substantive from all
ages and all walks of life.
(Charles Avila was a former Consultant to the First
ARMM Administration.)
After the Massacre
©

w
w
w
.
d
.
y
im
g
.
c
o
m
©

w
w
w
.
d
.
y
im
g
.
c
o
m
I
Volume 43 • Number 12
15
T
he latest SWS survey revealed the
greatest hunger of Filipino voters is
for integrity, honesty and character
among their leaders. Unfortunately the
same survey also revealed dissatisfaction
with the “motherhood” promises and
platitudes being mouthed by all the presi-
dential candidates—fighting corruption,
alleviating poverty, creating jobs, raising
the quality and reach of education, restor-
ing the Philippines to its former exemplary
status and so on.
There is hunger for a clearly defined set
of action plans and programs for fulfilling
these promises. What is needed is a clear
blueprint that will lead to a reversal of the
increasingly deteriorating life conditions
of Filipinos.
By Augusto Steve Legasto, Jr.
In a country peppered with corruption
and dirty politics, is it ever possible to
trailblaze a path to prosperity with dignity
in lieu of the traditional materialistic view
of economic development?
THE SEARCH FOR A
DEVELOPMENT
PARADI GM
FOR AN IMPOVERISHED
PHILIPPINES
©

D
e
n
n
is

D
a
y
a
o

/

C
B
C
P

M
e
d
ia
Year 2010 comes at a very unique
juncture in Philippine history. The depth
and breadth of corruption, disorder, self-
serving mode of governance, poverty and
hunger, ill-preparedness in the face of
calamities, loss of global competitiveness,
budget deficits, incompetence (primarily
in the public sector), decline in the quality
of health care and education, brain drain,
food insecurity and human rights violation
have reached such unprecedented levels in
the entire history of this nation. Most note-
worthy is the serendipitous unfolding of a
series of extra-natural events that can best
be attributed to “divine providence”—Cory
Aquino’s death, the Filipino people’s acute
hunger for true good governance and for a
government of, by and for the people, the
By Augusto Steve Legasto, Jr.
In a country peppered with corruption
and dirty politics, is it ever possible to
trailblaze a path to prosperity with dignity
in lieu of the traditional materialistic view
of economic development?
THE SEARCH FOR A
DEVELOPMENT
PARADI GM
FOR AN IMPOVERISHED
PHILIPPINES
©

D
e
n
n
is

D
a
y
a
o

/

C
B
C
P

M
e
d
ia
IMPACT • December 2009 18
COVER
STORY
global financial meltdown, the global
food crisis, the series of typhoon-related
calamities, the Maguindanao massacre,
the awarding of the Nobel prize for eco-
nomics to “governance economists”.
ANT paradigm
Last year, I was commissioned by
Transpacific Broadband Group Inter-
national to write a book entitled “A
Nation’s Blueprint to True Prosperity:
Antidote to Financial Meltdowns”. In it,
I present a new development paradigm
which first emerged out of my doctoral
thesis effort between 1972 and 1974. It
is now called the “ANT Paradigm”.
The “ANT Paradigm” has been
designed for countries like the Philip-
pines to replace the largely discredited
traditional industrialization-centric de-
velopment paradigm proffered for so
many decades by “developed” nations,
their multilateral agencies (mainly, the
World Bank, UN, IMF, ADB, et al.) and
their own funding institutions (e.g.,
USAid, AusAid, JBIC, JICA, et al.).
The root cause of the global financial
meltdown is the short-sightedness of this
“western” development paradigm. The
new development paradigm blazes a new
path to “true prosperity”, or “prosperity
with dignity” for the Filipino people.
In lieu of the traditional materialistic
view of prosperity, we need to pursue
“prosperity with dignity” in our country
where:
• The measure of personal worth is
based more on the value of a person’s
contribution to the welfare of others
than on how much wealth he has. A
concerted effort led by mature and
credible faith-based communities shall
be needed to bring about the requisite
scriptures-based values transformation.
The key guiding principle lies in the
truth that the Creator of man and the
universe has an original blueprint for
mankind and human society. This is
recorded in the scriptures.
• Excess incremental wealth is in-
vested in wealth building investments
that benefit the poorest. Wealth building
investments are made through social
business enterprise (SBE) vehicles.
For example, for every dollar (or
peso) spent on luxurious expenses a
dollar (or peso) is invested in a sus-
tainable project with social upliftment
impact similar to the joint venture
company established in Bangladesh
between Danone Foods of France, the
world’s foremost yogurt maker, and
Yunus’ Grameen Bank named ‘Grameen
Danone Foods’. Locals from the com-
munity, Bogra, where its factory was
established played a major role in the
success of the venture, most especially
their womenfolk. This 2007 project has
come to be recognized as the first suc-
cessful multinational “social business
enterprise”. The project succeeded in
creating new jobs, producing affordable
foods for the poor while at the same
time alleviating a severe malnutrition
problem in the community.
In countries like the Philippines,
there are many opportunities for SBE
ventures like this one—e.g., biofuel
production, economic-scaled agri-
cultural and aquacultural production
for food security and for export of
such products as rice, corn, mango,
high-value vegetables, grouper, jack,
cream dory.
• Governance is executed via a
“bottom-up”, rather than a “top-down”,
process where the lowliest citizen has
a real say in community and national
planning and building. This scenario
can only be achieved through strategic
deployment of Internet access and
laptops/netbooks through a “Internet
Access per Family Program” (IAFPro)
nationwide. The plan is to prioritize
deployment to high school students,
then college and elementary students.
A sustainable financing scheme can be
made feasible by leveraging the use of
trading and other e-Commerce networks
to generate new revenue streams for
the parents who can use the computers
between school hours with the aid of
these students.
The democratizing impact of the
Internet demonstrated during the recent
Obama presidential campaign in the US
can be tapped to the benefit of the less
fortunate. The Internet can be harnessed
to close the digital divide between the
“haves” and the “have-nots”, rather than
be allowed to exacerbate it.
• The societal goal is not primar-
ily to maximize economic growth or
GDP per capita. History has shown that
this has only served to worsen the gap
between rich and poor. Neither is the
primary goal to alleviate poverty. The
primary goal must be cognizant of the
full nature of man as a creature made
up of body, mind and spirit. The book
presents a quality-of-life index or well-
being index that reflects every basic
need that God has imbued each and
every human being with. The primary
© Dennis Dayao / CBCP Media
Volume 43 • Number 12
19
The search for a development paradigm for an impoverished Philippines
goal is to optimize a society’s “quality
of life” or sense of well-being.
The “ANT” paradigm’s focus on
“prosperity with dignity” reflects the
true basic wants and needs of the
Filipino people who happen to be
among the most “spiritual” people in
the world.
Embracing “Governance Econom-
ics”
The recent awarding of the 2009
Nobel Prize for Economics to two “gov-
ernance economists”, Elinor Ostrom
and Oliver Williamson underscores the
timeliness and value of our “prosperity
with dignity” (PWD) blueprint.
Governance Economics (GE) is the
science of allocating scarce resources,
coordinating and controlling activity in
societies through the use of institutions,
structures of authority and collabora-
tion. GE studies how humans can better
manage common resources such as wa-
ter systems, forests, fisheries, oil fields,
metal and mineral deposits, or grazing
lands—and even themselves—by being
active participants in decision-making
and management of resources. In study
after study, it was found that the key to
success has been the involvement of lo-
cal people who are affected and have a
vested interest in the local enterprises.
Governance economics has shown how
these common resources can be man-
aged successfully by the people who use
them, rather than by governments or pri-
vate companies. Traditional governance
has long ignored what citizens can do
and the importance of real involvement
of the people involved—versus just
having somebody in Malacañang or in
Washington make a rule.
The PWD blueprint stresses how lo-
cal people should be mobilized through
the formation of social business enter-
prises (SBEs) into income-generating
production within their communities
with the aid of information and com-
munication technology. Partnerships
among the locals, professionals, sea-
soned businessmen, academicians,
faith-based institutional leaders, the
youth of civil society and financiers
need to be forged under the guidance
of proposed regional management and
development coordinating councils
(MDCCs) all over the country.
Per the PWD blueprint, these enter-
prises need to be operated at “economies
of scale”. Because such enterprises
will require huge amounts of funding,
the sourcing will rely more on foreign
sovereign funds like Saudi Arabia’s
which do not carry the same stringent
conditions that multilateral funds im-
pose on beneficiary countries. I am
highly critical of multilateral funding
activities in countries like the Philip-
pines because they tend to favour the
pockets of consultants more than those
of the target beneficiaries and even the
local consultants.
Under the ANT Paradigm priority
is given to the grassroots and then up-
ward to the middle classes. The PWD
blueprint states that the Development
Strategy:
1. Must Rely Heavily on the Power
of Information and Communication
Technology. Our state-of-the-art devel-
opment strategy and action plan recog-
nizes the crucial role of ICT as the only
means available to ever bridging the
ever-widening gap between the “haves”
and the “have-nots” within nations and
among nations.
2. Must Empower Local Econo-
mies while Strengthening Presidential
Management ‘Command-and-Control’
Capabilities. Through full implemen-
tation of the Local Government Code
of 1991, R.A. 7160, LGUs shall enjoy
genuine and meaningful local autonomy
to enable them to attain their fullest
development as self-reliant commu-
nities and make them more effective
partners in the attainment of national
goals. This decentralization cannot
©

C
B
C
P

M
e
d
ia
IMPACT • December 2009 20
The search for a development paradigm for an impoverished Philippines
be safely done without a web-based
Integrated Financial and Management
Information Support (IFMIS) system.
Happily, this IFMIS system has already
been assembled by the Transpacific
Broadband Group International Con-
sortium and is ready for roll out either
through Land Bank of the Philippines
or DBP, or both.
3. Mobilize ‘Management and
Development Coordinating Councils’
(MDCCs) nationwide from the congres-
sional district level up to the national.
These MDCCs are to provide the or-
ganizational and logistical support the
president will need. The detailed formu-
lation of ‘actionable’ development plans
must be done from the bottom up but
the development template and measures
of indicators must be standardized by
the MDCC.
An MDCC is at minimum com-
prised of highly qualified representa-
tives from the government, faith-based
institutions, academia, professional
societies or sector of practitioners (e.g.,
lawyers, accountants, marketing or
other such specialists), civil society
youth, corporate executives and entre-
preneurs and NGOs.
4. Fast track economic develop-
ment and jobs generation through
large scale social business enterprises
(SBEs). The next president cannot en-
gineer real growth in the countryside
through the traditional reliance on
private sector investment initiatives,
microfinance, or corporate social re-
sponsibility initiatives. These gener-
ate neither the magnitude, breadth
nor depth of positive socio-economic
impact needed to bring about true last-
ing prosperity in the communities and
the nation.
5. Establish a new set of socio-
economic indicators for measuring
improvements, or lack thereof, in the
quality of life in each community and
in the nation as a whole. The quality
of life indicators to be used to measure
the impact of government programs and
investments is an enhanced version of
the Millennium Development Goals
(MDG) model of the United Nations
which I first developed in my doctoral
thesis.
6. Overhaul and Professionalize
the Government Bureaucracy. Getting
new legislation passed to streamline
and professionalize the government
by stipulating new strict and enhanced
guidelines and standards for hiring and
maintaining personnel and choosing
executives and better compensation
packages than the private sector’s.
7. Overhaul the Tax Information
and Collection System and Lowering
Individual and Corporate Tax Rates.
Lower tax rates can be used to dramati-
cally boost revenue collection efforts
such that total annual tax revenues can
be raised higher than ever.
Concrete programs
These are some of the initial con-
crete programs under the PWD blue-
print:
• Education and Risk-free Pre-Need
Plan. Partnering with private-sector ed-
ucational institutions; Internet-powered
e-Education;
• Health Care and Risk-free Pre-
Need and Insurance Plan
• Food Security. Filipino-led large-
scale food supply projects with foreign
funding and foreign market targets for
surplus production,
• Countryside and Urban Poor Sec-
tor Development. Initial focus on in-
digenous peoples’ communities (which
comprise 14 million nationwide), re-
sponsible mining, outsourcing of af-
fordable fertilizer from new sources
through interfaith initiatives
• Energy. Energy security through
interfaith initiatives, oil exploration,
biofuel initiatives and other alternative
energy systems with special focus on
solar energy, including biomass, algae
and nuclear energy
• Infrastructure Development in the
Neediest Areas. Potable water supply,
irrigation projects, modern economy-
scaled fixed and mobile processing and
packaging plants, sewage and water
treatment projects, world-class tourism
development projects,
• E-Commerce. Web-based fi-
nancial and management information
support systems, web-based and ATM-
based payment, payroll and remittance
systems
• Decent and Secure Shelter. Re-
sponsible urban planning; partnering
with NGOs (e.g., Gawad Kalinga and
Habitat for Humanity)
• OFW Support Systems. Remit-
tance cash cards with powerful savings
and fulfilment components,
• Medical and Retirement Village
Tourism Initiatives
• Interfaith-based Cooperation for
Peace and Security especially in Min-
danao
(Steve Legasto is among the earliest
researcher and writer in governance
economics starting with his doctoral
dissertation at Columbia University
(NY) followed by numerous articles in
professional academic journals and
two books since 1972. His 2009 “Blue-
print” book is his third. Legasto got
his Ph.D. and M.Phil in Management
Science from Columbia University, and
M.A. in Administrative Science from
Yale University. He is currently an IT
consultant.)
C
o
n
t
r
ib
u
t
e
d

p
h
o
t
o
I
Volume 43 • Number 12
21
BHOPAL, India, Dec. 3, 2009─Christians
in Bhopal have staged their own prayer
meeting and torchlight vigil to mark the
25th anniversary of the world's worst
industrial tragedy.
About 3,000 people died on Dec.
3, 1984 when 40 tons of deadly methyl
isocyanate gas escaped from a chemical
plant owned by the Union Carbide Cor-
poration in Bhopal, capital of Madhya
Pradesh state.
According to state government fig-
ures, some 15,000 people subsequently
died as a result of the tragedy, whereas
NGOs put the death toll at over 20,000.
The government has also admitted the gas
leak affected around 573,600 survivors.
About 100 people from various
Christian denominations attended the
prayer meeting on Dec. 2, the eve of the
tragedy. The commission for ecumenism
and dialogue of the state's Catholic
bishops' council organized the event
at Seva Sadan, Bhopal archdiocese's
social service center.
The participants, including mem-
bers of the Madhya Pradesh Isai Ma-
hasangh (grand assembly of Christians
in Madhya Pradesh), lit candles and
observed two minutes of silence as a
mark of respect for the victims. They
also prayed for peace and comfort for
the survivors.
"The magnitude of the tragedy
was so powerful, even now people are
suffering from its aftermath," said Fr.
Anand Muttungal, the commission sec-
retary and spokesperson of the Catholic
Church in the state.
Survivors and those born since then
still suffer from breathing difficulties,
gastro-intestinal problems, menstrual
irregularities, miscarriages and neuro-
logical problems, Fr. Muttungal said.
Other common ailments include
MANILA, Dec. 3, 2009—Redemptorist Missionaries
of the Cebu Province called for the dismantling of all
political dynasties in the Philippines particularly in
Maguindanao.
“We call for the dismantling of all political dynasties
in Maguindanao and in the whole Philippines,” the mis-
sionaries said.
In this light, the group urged the government for the
immediate passing of an enabling law, “with provisions that
give teeth for its uncompromising implementation for the
whole country.”
“The continued existence of political dynasties is
one of the root causes of this dastardly crime,” the mis-
Missionaries call for breakup of political dynasties
sionaries said.
The group also dared President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
to instantaneously tear down all the political, military and
economic powers of all family dynasties involved in the
Maguindanao carnage that is “if it is in her Constitutional
Emergency Powers in Maguindanao not to wait for any
enabling law.”
“We also call on our government leaders to act swiftly
and bring all the perpetrators of this heinous crime behind
bars,” they declared.
The group, like other sectors, also stated their condem-
nation to the “barbaric massacre of civilians and journalists
in Maguindanao.” (CBCPNews/Kate Laceda)
Christians mark Bhopal gas tragedy
susceptibility to infections, chromo-
somal abnormalities and chronic con-
junctivitis, he added.
Later generations are paying "a
huge price," Fr. Muttungal said. "We
need to become more conscious of the
dangers when industries like this build
plants around the world."
Fr. Muttungal said the contaminated
soil and drinking water have added to
survivors' miseries.
On Dec. 3, Fr. Muttungal also
attended an inter-faith prayer service
the state government organized to pay
tribute to the victims.
State Chief Minister Shivraj Singh
Chauhan told the gathering the accident
was a man-made one.
Mufti Abdul Razak, a Muslim urged
people to do more for survivors' welfare.
"As a society we have failed to wipe
away the victims' tears," he said.
Asked what the Church has done
for the victims, Fr. Muttungal said it
had done its part during and after the
disaster by assisting the government
and NGOs.
Gerry Paul, who was nine when the
disaster struck, says the Church needs
to do more. Many survivors still live
in "very deplorable conditions," the
Catholic man told UCA News. "Widows
and their children need Church help
as they are still unable to get on with
their lives."
Richard D'Silva, another Catholic
survivor, said the tragedy occurred
when he was in his first year at col-
lege. D'Silva, who remembers seeing
bodies piled up along the roadside, says
he too wants the Church to do more to
help survivors instead of saying that
the government and NGOs are already
assisting them. (UCAN)
NEWS
FEATURES
IMPACT • December 2009 22
NEWS
FEATURES
Peace and Reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5/18-
20; Eph. 2/12-18). In this year of the
Two Hearts “We challenge our Catholic
Laity to take the lead in the task of moral
renewal towards a deeper and more last-
ing change in the Philippine society …
urging (them) to give a concrete expres-
sion to Christian discipleship through
responsible citizenship.”
What a providential coincidence,
the Year of Two Hearts which the CBCP
announced for the Philippines has also
been declared by Pope Benedict XVI
for the Universal Church as “Year for
Priests” with the theme “Faithfulness
of Christ, Faithfulness of the Priest,”
in commemoration of the 150
th
An-
niversary of St. John Mary Vianney.
Pope Benedict XVI has articulated the
purpose of this Year for Priests: “The
Church needs holy priests,” holy priests
who will guide the lay faithful in their
participation in the renewal of church
and society. In response to the Pope’s
call for the Year of Priests there will be
a Second National Congress of Priests
to be held in January 2010.
We see how the hand of God is
guiding the Catholic Bishops’ Con-
ference of the Philippines in this last
four years: we placed 2006 the Year of
Social Concerns under the auspices of
the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Im-
maculate Heart of Mary. And this year
in June we declared the “Year of Two
Hearts for Peace and Lay participation
in Social Change.”
As shepherds and guardians of
the flock, our reading of the “Signs of
the Times” goes on as we have been
doing. Our advocacies for the good of
the church and our country continue.
In our conference, no one can ever be
an isolated performer. The 10-member
Permanent Council and the 30 Chair-
men of the various Commissions, Com-
mittees and Offices together with the
Secretariates have all been working
together each with no little sacrifice,
like a chorus singing the Magnificat or
the Gloria in Excelsis.
I had the distinct privilege of pre-
siding at our CBCP General Assembly.
I am sorry for whatever mistakes or
failures I may have committed during
my watch. But I was as confident as
the CBCP was that it is the Lord that
watches over our Conference.
My gratitude to the CBCP can never
be as great and as profound as the trust
that it has gifted me with.
Review, from page 9
Church-run shelter gives
hope to single mothers
CHIANG MAI, Thailand, Dec. 2,
2009─In many Asian societies, it is
usually the woman who suffers most
when she gets pregnant out of wed-
lock. Often she gives birth to her baby
without a husband's support and has to
deal with societal disapproval at the
same time.
That is why the US-based Maryknoll
missionary society started Wildflower
Home to assist such women and their
children in northern Thailand.
Situated in Doi Saket district, just
outside Chiang Mai town, the home
has been providing shelter for young,
single mothers since 2005. It provides
them with education and health care,
and also trains them to be economically
independent.
Currently 16 mothers aged 14 to 40
years and their eight young children live
at the home, which comprises several
wooden and bamboo buildings.
The women face many forms of
discrimination within the local patriar-
chal society, says Elizabeth Lachowsky
Thaibinh, a Maryknoll lay missioner
working at the home. Pregnancy out of
wedlock is seen as the woman's mistake,
not the man's, observes Lachowsky,
who is assisted by five staff members
and visiting foreign helpers.
Most of the women in the home
are members of hill tribes or migrant
workers from northeastern Thailand,
Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
Thaibinh explains that the home
provides counseling and psychotherapy,
and training in computer skills, sustain-
able farming and the Thai and English
languages. Residents also learn how
to make items such as cloth bags and
key chains.
Some of the women residents shared
their stories.
Shin, 21, a member of a hill tribe,
said she got pregnant after being raped
by a co-worker. "I felt very scared. I
didn't know who and where I could
get support from. Later I heard about
this home, so I came." She received
training in bag-sewing and now earns
an income.
Wan, 14, from Tak province, arrived
at the home eight months pregnant. She
said she got pregnant by a seventh grader
who still does not know he has fathered
a child. The home looks after her child,
now seven months old, as she attends
school in the mornings.
Nong, 40, whose husband is in jail,
came to Chiang Mai to look for her in-
laws. However, they did not welcome
her. She then went to a government
office for support and it sent her to this
home. She now cultivates an organic
garden at the home while also teaching
other women about organic farming.
Lachowsky says the home has
served 75 women in crisis since it
opened. "We are still in touch with
women who have left and are now
able to live independently," she said.
(UCAN) I
Volume 43 • Number 12
23
STATEMENTS
T
he CBCP joins the nation in mourning and condemning
the massacre of 36 innocent civilians, mostly women,
including drivers and journalists. Whether it is politi-
cally motivated or not, it is still a crime against respect for
life and peace and order in the community.
We join the appeal to rightful authorities to restore jus-
tice in the situation. We likewise appeal that the common
good as well as respect for human life be uppermost in the
T
o all People of Good
Will:
Last Monday,
23 November 2009, the
shocking news of a hor-
rifying massacre began
circulating through radio,
text messages, and word
of mouth. Twenty four
hours later, there were still
no complete and accurate
reports on what really hap-
pened along the highway
between Shariff Aguak
and Kauran, Ampatuan,
Maguindanao. The num-
ber of people massacred
continues to rise even now,
family-members, friends, legal advo-
cates, journalists, and civilians who
found themselves in the wrong place
at the wrong time.
From the beginning there was no
doubt that we were hearing or reading of
a tragedy unprecedented in the history of
the once empire province of Cotabato,
unprecedented in its ferocity, brutality
and brazenness.
People cry out to God and to one
another, “How could this thing happen?”
And as more and more bodies were un-
earthed from that now infamous “killing
feld,” the wailing and grieving of hun-
dreds of families related to the victims
as brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers,
cousins, nephews and nieces, in laws or
friends are turning into righteous rage and
the natural desire for vendetta. For the
sake of humanity we must not give in to
this desire to seek vengeance that can so
easily spiral into a cycle of violence.
From the depths of my soul as
a religious leader, I condemn in the
strongest possible way this barbaric
act of massacre as a conscience-less
crime that cries out to heaven.
As a citizen I demand that the
government, without fear or favor,
use all its powers and decisively act
to identify and arrest the perpetra-
tors and apply the full force of the
law on them.
As a believer in the God of all, I
pray for the souls of the victims and
ask the Lord to console, comfort,
and give strength to their families.
I grieve with them and express my
deepest sympathies.
Many politicians and non-politi-
cians have quickly blamed others for
this shocking tragedy. This is only partly
right and conveniently absolves us from
any culpability. My sense of history
leads me to believe that somehow we
all share the blame to a certain extent.
A culture of impunity has, indeed,
grown through the years.
Political administrations
and officials from all par-
ties from the 1960s to the
present have cultivated and
exploited to their own ad-
vantage a social structure
of traditional leadership
that was meant to be for
the good of the people.
This was so with powerful
political families in other
parts of the country. We
have not tried to change
this culture of political con-
venience and thus allowed
a culture of impunity to
endure through successive
administrations. Elections have not and
will not change this situation. We simply
get more of the same.
We need to change from the bot-
tom-up, from individuals to families,
from families to communities. We need
to change our values that tolerate evil
or choose the lesser evil. We need to
learn new values that will transform
our cultures from within. For Muslims
the Koran, faithfully and correctly
followed, will be a guide. For Chris-
tians, the Holy Bible, also faithfully
and correctly interpreted, will provide
direction for value transformation.
Beloved People of Good Will, yes,
indeed, we must condemn. We must de-
mand decisive action for justice. We must
pray. But we also must begin to change.
With the grace of God, we can.
+ORLANDO B. QUEVEDO, O.M.I.
Archbishop of Cotabato
November 26, 2009
Press Statement on
Maguindanao Massacre
campaign for political ends.
May this painful situation be a strong reason for further
pursuing the ongoing peace process in Mindanao.
+ANGEL N. LAGDAMEO, DD
Archbishop of Jaro
CBCP President
November 24, 2009
A Crime that Cries out to Heaven
©

w
w
w
.
d
.
y
im
g
.
c
o
m
IMPACT • December 2009 24
STATEMENTS
A
fter the terrible destructions
brought about by typhoon On-
doy in our metropolis, we now
embark in rebuilding our lives and
our cities. Life must go on. We must
move on. We move now to the arduous
work of rehabilitation. Let us do this
not haphazardly and superficially so
that we rebuild on firm foundations
and the sufferings of others may not
be aggravated. Let us allow ourselves
to be guided by the Lord and his
teachings.
On October 9, Aling Myrna and her
teen-age son, residents of a community
living in North Fairview, were shot to
death by a private security guard as
they protested the location of a fence
being put up to keep them and their
community “out of danger!”
Why do the thousands of people,
people like Aling Myrna, cling to their
homesites even in danger areas, and
resist relocation to safer sites outside
the city? The answer is simple. Their
sources of livelihood are in the city,
and there are none in far-away relo-
cation areas. Commuting to the city
from these areas would take many
hours each day and would cost a very
substantial part of a day’s income.
Better the risks of life as an informal
settler in a danger zone, they argue,
than death by starvation in nice houses
far away.
These, be it noted, are the people
who keep the city humming. They
are mainly market vendors and small
tradespeople, bus and taxi drivers,
washwomen and house help, janitors
and construction workers, even po-
licemen, firemen and public school
teachers. They do not beg in the streets
or steal food. Without them the city
would come to a halt. Yet there is no
legal place for them in the city.
Pope John Paul II in his encyclical
“Centesimus Annus” (no. 43) is sharp
and to the point on this matter.
"The obligation to earn one' s
bread by the sweat of one's brow also
presumes the right to do so. A society
in which this right is systematically
denied, in which economic policies
do not allow workers to reach satis-
factory levels of employment, cannot
be justified from an ethical point of
view, nor can that society attain social
peace."
Behind the killing of Aling Myrna
and her son lies a whole “structure of
sin”: land values which are far beyond
the reach of our poor and many of the
middle class, low taxes on unused land,
the use of vast amounts of land for
shopping malls, for upscale residential
subdivisions and golf courses.
The term “structure of sin” tells
us that the evil is pervasive, built into
the structures of our society, something
of which we are all a part. If the con-
struction workers who build our homes
and offices received wages sufficient
for legal income, those homes and
houses would cost far more than they
T
he power of the media brought to our living rooms
heart-rending images of the savagery that had been
let loose by brutal men in a village of Maguindanao
on hapless civilians including women and journalists.
We are shocked and appalled that such an act could be
carried out in broad daylight with indescribable brazenness
and effrontery, that it seemed the perpetrators were confident
that they could not be made accountable for it.
We join our peace-loving countrymen—Archbishop
Angel Lagdameo, the president of the Catholic Bishops’
Conference of the Philippines, the Archbishop of Cebu
Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, Archbishop Fernando Capalla of
the Bishops Ulama Conference among them, and Mus-
lim religious leaders, among them part of the National
Ulama Conference of the Philippines—in condemning
the Maguindanao massacre as a “crime against God and
humanity; a crime against Allah and humanity.” Cardinal
Vidal pointed to the act as “unheard of and horrifying.”
Indeed, we add our voices to theirs in strong condemna-
tion of this evil deed.
Such an act should not go unpunished; it cries out
most vehemently for justice. This is a task that our
government must attend to with utmost urgency and
speed. The hearts of Filipinos who love peace and who
adhere to democracy are restless and uneasy. After all,
the victims were civilians performing a democratic
task—participating in the democratic election process
on the part of the local politicians and exercising free-
dom of the press on the part of the media people. The
murders assault our democratic principles; they shatter
our peace.
We call on the President to exert her leadership most
forcefully in this regard so that this great wound on our
national psyche and on our democratic institution be ban-
daged and brought to healing before it opens up into more
tragic consequences. It is a responsibility she must face if
she desires wholeness for her country and people.
We pray for all the victims, that God will give
their souls eternal rest and peace. We offer our deep-
est sympathies to their families, and pray that God’s
loving embrace may comfort them in their moments of
immeasurable grief; that they may find consolation and
surcease in their faith.
We pray that the smoldering fire of hatred and anger
among those who seek power through elected positions be
doused with the water of peace and love, and commitment
to genuine service and the common good.

+GAUDENCIO B. CARDINAL ROSALES, DD
Archbishop of Manila

+ BRODERICK S. PABILLO, DD
Auxiliary Bishop of Manila

+ BERNARDINO C. CORTEZ, DD
Auxiliary Bishop of Manila
Act Swiftly now on Maguindanao Massacre
Pastoral Letter on Urban Planning and Development Policies
Unless the lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. (PS 127, 1)
Volume 43 • Number 12
25
STATEMENTS
needs of the least in our society are
addressed will our society achieve true
and lasting development.
Let us not lose courage. Let us
heed the voice of God in the recent
events. God is telling us something.
We have experienced the bayanihan
and damayan spirit in a remarkable
degree these few weeks. This tells
us that if we want to, we can work
together and be concerned even to the
point of sacrifice. Let us then continue
to work together and be concerned to
reform our ways that the environment
be respected and protected and the poor
be given deeper consideration so that
they too may have a more generous part
in the development of our cities.
Your pastors in the Lord Jesus
Christ.
+ GAUDENCIO B. CARDINAL
ROSALES, D.D.
Archbishop of Manila
+ BERNARDINO C. CORTEZ, D.D.
Auxiliary Bishop of Manila
+ BRODERICK S. PABILLO
Auxiliary Bishop of Manila
November 11, 2009
Press Statement of the
Bishops Ulama Conference
O
n behalf of the Bishops Ulama Conference, let it be
known that Islamic and Christian faiths condemn
in the strongest possible terms the abduction and
killing of 36 relatives and supporters of Buluan Vice
mayor Datu Ismail “Toto” Mangudadatu in Maguin-
danao yesterday morning. A number of journalists were
likewise included in the massacre.
This abominable sin was inflicted upon unarmed civil-
ians whose only “crime” was to proceed to the Commission on
Elections office to file the Certificate of Candidacy on behalf of Mangudadatu,
who is gearing for the gubernatorial seat in Maguindanao.
We grieve with the families of the victims, offer our prayers for the
eternal repose of the innocent souls, and call upon the authorities to squarely
address this atrocity.
For this crime, unprecedented in the province, mocks our humble but
painstaking efforts to build harmony and understanding in Mindanao.
In the name of Allah, Bathala, and God Almighty, we call on the enemies
of peace to: STOP THE VIOLENCE! END THIS MINDLESS SAVAGERY!
RESPECT HUMAN LIFE!
+FERNANDO R. CAPALLA, DD
Archbishop of Davao
Chair, Bishops Ulama Conference
November 24, 2009
do. Our newspapers would cost far
more if the scavengers in Payatas who
collect old paper for recycling were
able to live away from the garbage
and filth. Indeed, practically all that
we buy or the services we use bear the
mark of this sin.
It is not enough then, to simply
order people off the waterways. A deep
restructuring of our society is called
for, starting in the present crisis with
urban and land policy. To this effort of
restructuring, we, the Archbishop and
Bishops of Metro Manila pledge our
full support. Hence we call for:
1. Urban land reform so that the
poor may have the possibility to have
security of tenure in our cities where
their livelihood is found.
2. A moratorium on demolition
of the dwellings of the poor if there
is no humane relocation for them as
our present laws require. Humane
relocation would include accessible
places of work for them.
3. A follow through of the process-
es to allot public lands to the poor in
the areas that have been given to them
by presidential declarations. Let the
public lands declared by the President
be developed and effectively be made
available to the poor.
4. Legislations to raise taxes on
properties that are idle, or to altogether
expropriate them. The right to private
property should not be given priority
but the common good.
"Christian tradition has never
recognized the right to property as
absolute and untouchable. The right
to private property is subordinate to
the right to common use, to the fact
that goods are meant for everyone.
Private property is in its essence only
an instrument for respecting the prin-
ciple of the universal destination of
goods; in the final analysis, therefore,
it is not an end but a means." (Com-
pendium on the Social Teachings of
the Church #177)
5. The swift implementations of
the Clean Air Act and other environ-
mental laws by disallowing heavy and
highly pollutive industries within our
cities which are densely residential and
commercial. The zoning ordinances of
the cities should be reviewed. Heavy
industries, and not the poor should be
relocated outside of our cities. If this is
done, more people will move out of our
cities to work in these industries.
6. In re-settling the poor and re-
habilitating our cities priority should
be given to the employment of the
people. Informal settlers have grown
in number because of lack of employ-
ment possibilities in places outside the
metropolis. The “squatting” problem
is not primarily a problem of housing;
it is a problem of employment.
7. Let us not blame the poor in
the waterways for the flooding of
our cities. Let us look beyond: the
unabated logging in Sierra Madre and
Mt. Banahaw, mining ventures in our
mountains, haphazard collection and
unplanned disposal of our garbage,
irresponsible city planning and devel-
opment of subdivisions, just to name
a few. Together let us take a hard
look at our present practices and have
the political will to reform them. In
truth we can say that the government
officials and the rich have more to do
with the destruction of our environ-
ment that aggravated the recent flood
than the poor!
There are many cries for reform
as we experienced the unprecedented
calamities of our times. We join our
voices as your pastors in this call but
we call for much deeper reforms that
would really address and better the
situation of our cities. Only when the
IMPACT • December 2009 26
FROM THE
BLOGS
I
t is certainly not a secret that there is a sizable number of
Catholics priests in the Philippines—and in the Catholic
world in general—who failed to keep the formal and
categorical promises, obligations or commitments specially
appended to their deliberate option to receive the Sacrament
of Sacred Orders. The usual reasons for such signal failure are
one or more of the more common following causal factors:
One, they were not really meant for the nature, fnalities and
complementary duties attached to Sacred Orders. Two, they
did not take seriously what was taught them during their
long years of seminary formation, about who they should
be, how should they live, what should be their value system
and consequent action and reaction patterns. Three, they
honestly tried to live their priestly life and ministry until
for one reason or another, they no longer could. Conclusion:
They eventually left the active priestly ministry.
Let it be explicitly said that when priests leave their
active ministry for one reason or another—irrespective of
what they do thereafter—it is defnitely a big loss for the
Church as a whole and for a concrete group of Catholic lay
faithful they are meant to serve, teach and sanctify. But,
truth to say, it is however much worse, if not a downright
big scandal among the people, if priests who are not ob-
servant of their mandates, responsibilities or duties, in fact
still remain in active priestly ministry, viz., live and act as
if everything were all in right order. Hence, in the event
that such priests do decide to leave or actually left behind
their mandated priestly life and ministerial agenda, they
should be instead admired. Reason: They merely admitted
and thereby observed the truth and its consequence.
Above observations made, it might be not only good
but also proper to reconsider the common nomenclature
of “ex-priests” used to qualify or identify the above said
gentlemen. The fact is that some of them even bond together
under such title as “Association of Ex-Priests”. Now, ac-
cording to the doctrine and discipline of the Church, there
is absolutely no such thing or reality as an “ex-priest”.
Reason: One constant, standing and wherefore defnite and
defned doctrinal posit of the Church as a whole the world
over, is a plain and clear as this: “Once a priest, always a
priest.” Translation: A duly ordained priest dies as a priest
such that the Sacred Priesthood follows even beyond him
to his grave. Question: What then happens to those priests
who leave the priestly life and ministry? Who are they?
How should they be called in reality and truth?
Answer: “Ex-Clerics” or “Former Clerics” or “Past
Clerics”—but defnitely not “Ex-Priests”, neither “Former
Priests” nor “Past Priests”. Reason: What the gentleman
concerned abandoned or left behind is merely their Cleri-
cal State whereto the following three main obligations are
inherent: One, living continence and wherefore celibacy.
Two, praying the Breviary every day at stipulated times
thereof. Three, obeying the Bishop at all times. Wherefore
the same gentlemen remain priests whatever another state
of life they subsequently choose, whatever another kind
of occupation they have. Needless to say, hopefully, they
live upright lives and engage in morally sound agenda.
www.ovc.blogspot.com
‘Ex-priests’
I
t is well known that democracy stands for the rule of the
people through the government they choose, acting as free
and sovereign citizens. Needless to say, a fundamental
element of democracy is the freedom of the people precisely
to choose/elect the members of the government they want.
When a democracy is further qualified by the reality-word
“republican”, this in fact is a strong buttress of the freedom
of the public more specifically in terms of their government
categorically working for the affirmation and promotion of
their public welfare whereby the population in general is
thus empowered to freely pursue their respective aspirations
and contentment.
A free people determining not only the form of their
government but also those who govern them by their ma-
jority will, a free people thereby benefiting by the common
good actualized by their formed and chosen or elected gov-
ernment and a free people therefore individually and/or in
group working towards their respective opted lot and chosen
destiny—this is the pivotal element of a democracy, this is
the essential attribute of a republican democracy: People
freedom! In other words, both the content and spirit of the
Fundamental Law of the land as reflected in the Philippine
Constitution are distilled in the truth that this Country has
a Republican Democracy.
The urgent, both realistic and practical questions are
the following: In a state of poverty, can there be a true and
factual Republican Democracy? Is Republican Democracy
consonant with a state of poverty? Do the state of poverty
and a Republican Democracy make a suitable, compatible
or viable pairing? While those in government are not simply
free in their choices but even licentious in their living, are
people who are impoverished, hungry and destitute, free?
Is it not true that empty stomachs have no ears to hear, no
leisure to listen?
Recently, a group of recognized economics in the
country came out with the really bad news that no less
than some 35% Filipinos are convinced that they are living
below the poverty line. Translation: More than one-third of
the population consider themselves not simply poor—but
poorer even! It would take a lot of erratic mental gym-
nastics to conclude that they are free, that they enjoy the
benefits of democracy, that they relish the blessings of a
Republican Democracy.
Recently too, there was one Comelec official who pon-
tificated and practically condemned people who sell their
votes—adding that those who consider themselves guardians
of morals better do their job and teach them the sanctity of
the ballot, the duty of voting for the right candidates, etc. etc.
Incidentally, the official concerned is big-bellied, over-weight
and evidently well fed. How gross can one get?! While it
is a rudimentary truth that vote-selling is objectively a big
offense to the electoral process and a taboo to elementary
ethics, when a hungry man does sell his vote for him and his
family to have something to buy food with—what? Condemn
him? Jail him? Shoot him?
www.ovc.blogspot.com
Republican democracy
and state of poverty
Volume 43 • Number 12
27
justice was not only costly in terms of human rights but also
dangerous in terms of human lives. And the desire for freedom
was not simply extra-diffcult but likewise super hazardous.
No wonder therefore that “Liberation Day” was then eagerly
sought and intensely awaited by Filipinos.
It is rather interesting that the Filipinos of these times are
once again yearning and waiting for their own “Liberation Day”.
They pine and crave for the truth behind the odious cheatings
and atrocious deceptions propagated by the present regime, for
justice to many graft and corrupt practices it became an expert
of, for the truth in the forced disappearances of its dissenters,
inclusive of the extrajudicial killings of one too many of them,
and for the freedom it tries more and more to “constitutionally”
suffocate. This is not to mention the massacres that took place
here and there—with the standard non-administration of justice
on their perpetrators. And there is also the big poverty and wise
misery it ably instituted. It is uncanny that the same regime
also has its well benefted and paid collaborators who however
have started to both secretly and publicly abandon it.
To borrow from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans (8:22),
the Filipinos are groaning for their day of liberation which,
time and again, have been doomed by the very people who
promised them heaven. President Manuel Quezon was pro-
phetic when he declared, “I prefer a government run like hell
by Filipinos to a government run like heaven by Americans.
Because, however bad a Filipino government might be, we can
always change it.” We have been changing it, indeed: from
bad to worse. With power addicts in the offng, 2010 does not
augur too well, too.
T
here was a time in a very exasperating period of Phil-
ippine History that “Liberation Day” was considered
as the summit of an ardent yearning of Filipinos, and
pursued as the apex of their strong longings. The “Day” was
then expected with excited certainty and gleeful anticipation.
Among other things, it then meant the release of the Philip-
pines from the cruel clutches of the Japanese occupation, the
extrication of Filipinos from the barbaric treatment by most
Japanese soldiers, the freedom of men, women and children
of the country from the many heinous crimes and abhorrent
atrocities perpetrated against them by a good number of
the members Japanese military forces—then relishing their
“Philippine Occupation”.
Thus it was that the Filipinos then fervently prayed and
anxiously waited for their “Liberation Day”. Not really all of
them however. As expected, there were a sizeable number of
them who proved to be Judases of those times. They were then
known as the despicable Japanese “collaborators” who betrayed
nationalists Filipinos, naming or pointing at them with neither
shame nor remorse. But as evil is eventually conquered by the
emergence of truth and the observance of justice, these Japanese
cooperators were ultimately likewise brought to humiliation
and submission when “Liberation Day” came.
In its proper context, the fact of this particular day of
liberation had in fact three basic phases: First, its clear signs.
Second, its expected start. Third, its fateful fulfllment. Thou-
sands of Filipinos had to die frst. Hundreds of Filipinos had
to be violated as well. Countless families with their elderly
and children had to suffer hunger and want. The quest for
EDITORIAL
‘Liberation day’
I
llu
s
t
r
a
t
io
n

b
y

B
la
d
im
e
r

U
s
i
IMPACT • December 2009 28
FROM THE
INBOX
From the e-mail messages of lanbergado@cbcpworld.net
B
arbara was driving her six-year-old son, Benjamin,
to his piano lesson.
They were late, and Barbara was beginning to
think she should have cancelled it. There was always so much
to do, and Barbara, a night-duty nurse at the local hospital,
had recently worked extra shifts.
She was tired. The sleet storm and icy roads added to
her tension. Maybe she should turn the car around.
“Mom!” Ben cried. “Look!” Just ahead, a car had lost
control on a patch of ice. As Barbara tapped the brakes, the
other car spun wildly rolled over, then crashed sideways
into a telephone pole.
Barbara pulled over, skidded to a stop and threw open
her door. Thank goodness she was a nurse – she might be
able to help these unfortunate passengers.
Then she paused. What about Ben? She couldn't take
him with her. Little boys shouldn't see scenes like the one
she anticipated. But was it safe to leave him alone? What if
their car were hit from behind?
For a brief moment Barbara considered going on her
way. Someone else was sure to come along. No!
“Ben, honey, promise me you'll stay in the car!”
“I will, Mommy,” he said as Barbara ran, slipping and
sliding toward the crash site. It was worse than she'd feared.
Two girls of high school age are in the car. One, the blonde
on the passenger side, was dead, killed on impact.
The driver, however, was still breathing. She was
unconscious and pinned in the wreckage. Barbara quickly
applied pressure to the wound in the teenager's head while
her practiced eye catalogued the other injuries. A broken
leg, maybe two, along with probable internal bleeding. But
if help came soon, the girl would live.
A trucker had pulled up and was calling for help on his
cellular phone. Soon Barbara heard the ambulance sirens.
A few moments later she surrendered her lonely post to
rescue workers.
“Good job,” one said as he examined the driver's wounds.
“You probably saved her life, ma'am.” Perhaps.
But as Barbara walked back to her car a feeling of sad-
ness overwhelmed her, especially for the family of the girl
who had died. Their lives would never be the same. Oh God,
why do such things have to happen?
Slowly Barbara opened her car door. What should she
tell Benjamin? He was staring at the crash site, his blue
eyes huge.
“Mom,” he whispered, “did you see it?”
“See what, Honey?” she asked.
“The angel, Mom! He came down from the sky while
you were running to the car. And he opened the door, and
he took that girl out.”
Barbara's eyes filled with tears. “Which door, Ben?”
“The passenger side. He took the girl's hand, and they
floated up to Heaven together.”
“What about the driver?”
Ben shrugged. “I didn't see anyone else.”
Later, Barbara was able to meet the families of the
victims. They expressed their gratitude for the help she had
provided. Barbara was able to give them something more
–Ben's vision.
There was no way he could have known what happened
to either of the passengers. Nor could the passenger door
have been opened; Barbara had seen its tangle of immov-
able steel herself. Yet Ben's account brought consolation to
a grieving family. Their daughter was safe in Heaven. And
they would see her again.
©

C
B
C
P

M
e
d
ia
Volume 43 • Number 12
29
The Great Medieval
Heretics
Five Centuries of Religious Dissent
Michael Frassetto
The time of the Inquisition during the Middle Ages
was a dark period in the life of the Church. Men
and women of great learning accused of spreading
heretical ideas met violent deaths either through
public execution or burned at a stake. In this
interesting historical account, Frassetto tells of
the fve centuries of turmoil that had rocked the medieval Church and how the ideas and
action of the proponents of heretical movements had totally altered the religious, cultural
and political landscape of Europe. The book is indeed a fascinating narrative “of the search
for spiritual truth and purity, and a testimony to the power of faith in the face of suffering
and persecution.”
God is Love Alone
Glimmers of Happiness
Brother Roger of Taize
The book is a collection of short refections written shortly before the author’s death in
2005. Simple but profound, the insights are meant to draw the reader to experience deeply
God’s unconditional love and his loving presence
in our lives. The founder of the community of Taize,
Brother Roger lived a life that was profoundly
focused in loving and serving God in others. This
book of refections is published by St. Pauls.
The Gift of the Black Folk
The Negroes in the Making of America
W. E. B. DuBois
It may be said that the greatness of a nation is measured not by its accomplishments but
by the early people who have toiled and helped shape the country’s development. This
book tells just that. Written by an African-American, the book chronicles the role of black
people in the making of the American nation. Actually, a reprint of the 1924 edition, this
book frst came at a time when struggle for equality and freedom was gaining momentum
among the Black communities in the country. In it, the author details the history of Black
people and their contribution in “virtually every aspect of American culture—music, painting,
sculpture, literature, theater, and invention.” Du Bois, who died in 1963, was a co-founder
of the Niagara Movement, which became the National Association for the Advancement of
Colored People in 1909. He was a gifted writer, scholar, sociologist, historian and activist
during his lifetime.
book
Reviews
Reforming the Liturgy
A Response to the Critics
John Baldovin
Liturgy was among the many reforms that were introduced in the Church after Vatican II.
Understandably, it met many criticisms, with some wanting to revert back to the traditional
Mass or the pre-Vatican II mass. In this book, liturgical scholar John Baldovin gives an
objective evaluation of the changes in the liturgy since the Vatican II council, focusing on
philosophical, historical-critical and theological questions. Baldovin addresses the major
issues that have been severely criticized through the years by those against the liturgical
reform. First among the issues are church architecture and position of the priest-presider and
of the tabernacle where the Blessed Sacrament is
reserved. The second item is the issue of liturgi-
cal language and the debate over the translation.
Another point of contention is the liturgical music
which has departed from the traditional Gregorian
chant. Going over the criticism one by one, Bal-
dovin upholds what is precise and essential, rejects
what is “backward-looking” and proposes a “set of
principles to guide future development.”
IMPACT • December 2009 30
ENTERTAINMENT
CATHOLIC INITIATIVE FOR
ENLIGHTENED MOVIE APPRECIATION
T
he classic tale of Charles Dickens comes to life in this
3D animation: Ebenezer Scrooge (Jim Carrey) has
been living a miser’s life of indifference towards the
less fortunate. He maintains such attitude with crankiness
and grumpiness of an old man even during Christmas season
wherein he outwardly dismisses any idea of generosity, good
will and merry-making. On Christmas eve, the ghost of his
business partner, Jacob Marley (Gary Oldman), visits him
to warn him about the chains he would bear if he does not
change his ways. He is further warned of the three ghosts
who will visit and show him the error of his ways. Indeed,
on that same night, Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his
Christmas past, present and future to show him everything
that he has become, and all the things he has lost and about
to lose if he doesn’t change.
This latest animated version remains faithful to the text
of the Charles Dickens classic tale. It works quite well given
the premise that it is the same classic story the audience is
about to see only with a different twist of some imaginative
3D animation. The result is a pretty impressive visual treat
that is able to combine the story’s drama, humor and horror.
It only feels a little odd to hear characters speak the classic
Victorian language in what appears to be a techno-heavy
animation. But then, Jim Carrey pulls it off with his enthu-
siastic performance. He is effective in all the characters he
voiced in the movie. Other voices come out very well too
including that of Gary Oldman. But given the dark treatment,
the movie may not appeal well to the younger audience
who is supposedly the film’s target. As the movie tries hard
to please and encompass all audiences of all generations,
it ends up as just another 3D animation. The exhilarating
feel of 3D experience is there while watching but it never
lingers after.
A Christmas Carol is one classic tale that tells one classic
moral – charity, the very essence of the Christmas season
and the core of Christ’s teachings. Scrooge is one classic
character that audiences can easily relate to.
There is actually a Scrooge in every one of us when-
ever we act greedy, selfish, insensitive or indifferent to the
needs of others. Although the film shows how one person
becomes who he is by the circumstances that happened in his
life, it strongly suggests that humans still has the capacity
to change his own circumstance only if he so will it. The
message is clear: we can do nothing with our past but we
certainly can still do something with our present and future.
But then, such message is told in a quite dark manner us-
ing horrific ghosts and images that can be a bit disturbing
for the younger audience. The film also talks about death
all along which might not be grasped by children without
the guidance of an adult. But the entire context of the film
would teach the young ones and the young-at-heart valuable
lessons in life so it remains to be worth watching. CINEMA
strongly recommends parents to accompany their children
in watching the movie.
Cast (Voice): Jim Carey, Steve Valentine, Daryl Sabara, Amber
Gainey,Meade
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Producers: Jack Rapke, Steve Starkey, Robert Zemeckis
Screenwriters: Charles Dickens, Robert Zemeckis
Music: Alan Silvestri
Editor: Jeremiah O’Driscoll
Genre: Animation/ Drama/ Family/ Fantasy
Cinematography: Robert Presley
Distributor: Walt Disney Studious Motion Pictures
Running Time: 96 mins.
Technical Assessment: 
Moral Assessment: ½
CINEMA Rating: For viewers age 13 and below with
parental guidance
Volume 43 • Number 12
31
The CBCP Media Offce has conducted a little fund campaign throughout the year 2009. Friends
have been very generous beyond expectations. With their generosity we were able to continue our
media apostolate which consisted mainly of the following: 1) Media relations, 2) Publication of CBCP
Monitor and Impact Magazine; 3) CBCP News Service; 4) Multimedia; and 5) Trainings in media and
information technology.
While others preferred to go unnoticed, below is the list of those we are profoundly grateful.
Couples for Christ
Daughters of Charity
Diocese of San Pablo
Fr. Isidro T. Marinay
Fr. Jose Glenn Orocio
Fr. Luis Sierra
Fr. Ricardo D. Bianquisco
Manila Cathedral School
Marcy & Rona Abcede
Mr. Veredigno Atienza
Ms. Felicidad Calimbas
Mo. Felina Caspillo
National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians
Nuestra Señora de Gracia Parish
Oblates of Holy Spirit
Parish of the Hearts of Jesus & Mary
San Isidro Labrador Parish
San Sebastian Basilica
Shrine of Jesus, the Way the Truth & the Life
Shrine of Mary Queen of Peace
Sr. Imelda Primosh
Sr. Ma. Nars A. Cagas
St. Anthony's Shrine
St. Joseph Parish Church
Sto. Niño Parish Church
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
"The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention."
—Oscar Wilde