Items filtered by date: Thursday, 30 November 2017

Davao Archbishop Valles is new CBCP president; Caloocan’s Bishop David VP

Davao's Bishop Valles, the newly elected President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.
MANILA – Leadership has been passed in the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), but outgoing president, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas is confident the new leaders will be more than capable of steering the prelates’ group in a time of unique challenges to the Church.

The newly elected president, Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles, has been described in some media reports as someone for whom President Rodrigo Duterte – known in the past for his scathing attacks on the Catholic hierarchy – has a soft spot, but is nevertheless described by his peers as independent and capable. He is the 20th president of the organization.

The election of new officers at CBCP took place just as some of the most outspoken bishops have taken high-profile roles in denouncing alleged abuse in the Duterte administration’s war on drugs, and the initiative of some supporters to push a “revolutionary government” that one leading prelate said was a template for authoritarian rule.

Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, who provided sanctuary to the family of witnesses in the killing of 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos, was named CBCP vice-president. Meanwhile, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, who has called the proposed “revgov” immoral and wrong, which is why the public must not follow government officials if they intend to push for it, heads the Episcopal Commission on the Laity.

“Ang pagiging officer ng CBCP ay hindi nakasalalay sa experience. Ito ay nakasalalay sa awa ng Diyos at alam na alam ko na ‘yung Espiritu Santo na ibinigay sa kanila nang sila ay maging Obispo, ‘yun din ang Espiritu Santo na gagabay sa kanilang paglilingkod sa CBCP (Being a CBCP officer does not depend on experience. This depends on the mercy of God, and I know very well that the Holy Spirit given to them when they became bishops is the same Holy Spirit who will guide them as they serve the CBCP),” Villegas said in a report by Radio Veritas.

The turnover ceremony is expected to be held Friday, which coincides with the start of their term that will end on November 30, 2019.

The following is the list of new CBCP officials.

President
Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles

Vice President
Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David

Treasurer
Palo Archbishop John Du

Secretary general
Father Melvin Mejia

CBCP Regional Representatives

Luzon:
North – Nueva Segovia Archbishop Marlo Peralta
Central – Bishop Ruperto Santos
South – Bishop Jose Rojas
Southeast – Bishop Victor Ocampo
Southwest – Bishop Reynaldo Evangelista

Visayas:
East – Bishop Isabelo Abarquez
West – Capiz Archbishop Jose Advincula, Jr.

Mindanao:
North – Ozamiz Archbishop Martin Jumoad
South – Zamboanga Archbishop Romulo dela Cruz

CBCP Commissions:

Episcopal Committee on Basic Ecclesial Communities
Bishop Jose Cabantan

Episcopal Commission on Biblical Apostolate
Bishop Sofronio Bancud

Episcopal Office on Bioethics
Bishop Ricardo Baccay

Episcopal Commission on Canon Law
Bishop Jacinto Jose

Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education
Bishop Roberto Mallari

Episcopal Commission on Clergy
Bishop Buenaventura Famadico

Episcopal Commission on Cultural Heritage of the Church
Bishop Julito Cortes

Episcopal Commission on Culture
Bishop Elenito Galido

Episcopal Commission on Doctrine on the Faith
Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Cardinal Quevedo

Episcopal Commission on Ecumenical Affairs
Bishop Angelito Lampon

Episcopal Commission on Family and Life
Bishop Gilbert Garcera

Episcopal Commission on Health Care
Bishop Patricio Buzon

Episcopal Commission on Indigenous Peoples
Bishop Prudencio Andaya

Permanent Committee on International Eucharistic Congress
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma

Episcopal Commission on Inter-Religious Dialogue
Bishop Emmanuel Cabajar

Episcopal Commission on the Laity
Bishop Broderick Pabillo

Episcopal Commission on Liturgy
Bishop Victor Bendico

Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People
Bishop Ruperto Santos

Episcopal Commission on Mission
Bishop Arturo Bastes

Episcopal Commission on Mutual Relations
Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma

Episcopal Commission on Pontificio Collegio Filippino
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle

Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care
Bishop Joel Baylon

Permanent Committee on Public Affairs
Bishop Reynaldo Evangelista

Episcopal Commission on Seminaries
Bishop Gerardo Alminaza

Episcopal Commission on Social Action, Justice and Peace
Caceres Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona

Episcopal Commission on Social Communications
Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara

Episcopal Commission on Vocations
Bishop David William Antonio

Episcopal Commission on Women
Capiz Archbishop Jose Advincula, Jr.

Episcopal Commission on Youth
Bishop Leopoldo Jaucian

National Appellate Matrimonial Tribunal
Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz

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FAMILY TRAGEDY | 4 crushed by toppled cane truck in Negros Occidental

Map showing Bao City, Negros Occidental
BACOLOD CITY, Philippines — Four members of a family, including a four-year old boy, were killed when a truck loaded with sugarcane toppled and crushed their car in Bago City, Negros Occidental Thursday afternoon.

Romulo Espinosa, 59, his wife Josephine, 53, their daughter Christine Sarcia, 31, and Christine’s son Vincent John, 4, were on their way home to La Carlota City from Bacolod City when an oncoming 10-wheeler truck trailer driven by Herman Mahometano, 58, fell onto its side and crushed their Hyundai Eon hatchback in Barangay Atipuluan, Bago City.

It took 30 minutes to retrieve the victims because they needed a crane to lift the truck upright, police said.

Mahometano, who initially fled but surrendered later, said he was negotiating a curve when he felt the trailer begin to sway and then lost control of the truck.

Witnesses told local radio Romulo apparently noticed something wrong with the truck and stopped his car. Unfortunately, he did so at the exact spot where the truck fell over.

Police said they found no mechanical defects that could have caused the truck to fall over, indicating it may have been overloaded.

In the wake of the fatal accident, many residents of Negros Occidental have called for the strict regulation of how much cane can be loaded onto trucks for milling. The province is in the middle of the sugarcane milling season.

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Alarm raised after posters of activists ‘wanted’ for case dismissed in July 2016 appear in Davao City

One of the wanted posters in Davao City. (courtesy of Karapatan-SMR)
MANILA, Philippines — A human rights group has raised concerns over what it called an “escalation of black propaganda” against progressives after “Wanted” posters of activists slapped with criminal charges began sprouting on the streets of Davao City.

The hitch is, the kidnapping with serious illegal detention charges against them for supposedly abducting and forcibly lumad at the Haran compound of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, had already been dismissed in July last year.

Karapatan-Southern Mindanao Region, whose secretary general, Hanimay Suazo, is one of the activists on the posters, called the “smear campaign … another of the state’s cheap tricks to intimidate and harass leaders and members of progressive organizations.”

The others pictured on the posters, a copy of which was obtained from Karapatan-SMR, are: Pasaka Confederation of Lumad chairman Kerlan Fanagel, Kharlo Manano of Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns, Benedictine nun Stella Matutina, who was recognized with a German human rights award for her work among the lumad and peasants of Mindanao, Exodus for Justice spokesman Jurie Jaimie, Save our Schools Network spokesman Rius Valle, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-SMR’s Sheena Duazo, and Gabriela-SMR secretary general Mary Ann Sapar.

They are among 15 activists slapped with the criminal charges over the Haran refugees, thus their collective moniker, “Haran 15.”

The charges against them were dismissed when the supposed complainants all recanted their statements.

Valle, whose organization works with schools set up by civil society and religious groups in lumad communities that have often been targeted by the military and various militias, saw the appearance of the posters as a “build up to the massive crackdown” that President Rodrigo Duterte had threatened on what he claims are “legal fronts” of the communist revolutionary movement after he broke off peace negotiations with them.

“They are conditioning the public,” Valle said. “This is a clear threat and harassment of progressive leaders.”

Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Isagani Zarate, who had been separately charged with serious illegal detention, kidnapping and child abuse before the Office of the Ombudsman, also over the Haran refugees, also slammed the appearance of the posters.

“Clearly, the resurrection of the wanted posters is meant to mislead the public; more importantly harass and vilify the progressive leaders — and even (more) dangerously — make them open target even for physical harm under the current situation,” said Zarate, a native of Davao City.

The charges against Zarate and the Haran 15 were filed soon after clashes broke out in July 2015 between the refugees and police who attempted to forcibly evict them from their sanctuary on the behest of North Cotabato Representative Nancy Catamco, who claimed she wanted to “rescue” the lumad from groups she accused of “exploiting” them.

Before the “rescue” attempt, Catamco, accompanied by military officers, visited the Haran refugees who rebuffed her bid to convince them to return home to the communities they fled after soldiers and militias occupied their villages and schools.

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Torch-bearing Mindanao protesters converge in CDO to mark Bonifacio Day

Protesers in Cagayan de Oro City mark Bonifacio Day. Photographed by Erwin M. Mascariñas, News5 | InterAksyon

Cagayan de Oro City – Protesters from various groups in Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon and Lanao provinces held a flashmob-like lightning rally Thursday along the national highway here commemorating Andres Bonifacio Day and to call out the Duterte Administration for its tyrannical and oppressive tendencies.

“Today we mark the 154th birthday of our hero Andres Bonifacio, who successfully spearheaded the call for revolution against the Spanish colonizers. We call for more vigilance as this administration is slowly showing its true colors, oppressing the right of the Filipino people to speak out against the wrong doings of the government,” said Wildon Barros, spokesperson of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) for Northern Mindanao.

Barros added that the commemoration marks not just the birth of Bonifacio but the life that he lived.

“Bonifacio was a hero especially among laborers, the common worker, as he was himself one of us and today also happens to be Trade Union Day. Our hero was once a worker in the warehouse, he fought and pushed for fair and equal rights and compensation.”

Barros slammed President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncements tagging progressive activists groups as supporters of the rebel New People’s Army (NPA). 

“Tagging us like that is the means for the administration to quell any group that wants to question the shortcomings of the government. By this means they seek the leverage they need to silence us. But we believe in the rule of law, if they want to have us arrested then they better make sure that they have sufficient evidence that would stand in court,” Barros added. 

He pointed out: “We do not adhere to violence, and that is the very reason why we take our grievances to the streets and not in the mountains taking up arms.”

Kristine Cabardo, chair of the League of Filipino Students (LFS) in Northern Mindanao pointed out during the rally the misguided conception of Duterte supporters calling for a revolutionary government.

“It is very clear that they are creating a scenario for Duterte to push toward a revolutionary government under the guise of federalism, which is nothing but another form of dictatorship, this is another form of tyranny,” said Cabardo. “We condemn this rebel tagging and accusations. If calling for equal rights, adequate and proper education, equal opportunities and land reform are, for Duterte, considered a form of rebellion then so be it.”

“The people,” said Cabardo, “should know, that it is not wrong or a mistake to stand tall and hold our government accountable. Andres Bonifacio died for our freedom against tyranny and oppression. Our hero’s death should not be in vain.”

The protesters brandished bamboo torches to signify the light of the struggle and the revolution that Bonifacio started.

All photographs by Erwin M. Mascariñas, News5 | InterAksyon

 
 
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