Friday, April 30, 2010

On the matter of endorsing political candidates


Related cbcpnews item here: ‘Mainstream’ CFC will not endorse candidates

In this memo CFC merely clarifies its stand to remain non-partisan, to avoid confusing its position with that of the breakaway group who insists on using the CFC name in some form. From a prerogative point of view, it is acceptable for a Catholic lay organization to either support or refrain from supporting particular candidates. As long as it's the official stand of the leadership, I would say it falls under a matter of legitimate prerogative. Of course if there is a particular endorsement, it goes without saying that it should never carry any element of coercion to its members. Endorsement or no endorsement, the bottom line is that in the final reckoning, it is still the individual's conscientious choice that must be respected. In the contentious matter of selecting the best political candidate, reasonable people can come to different conclusions.

The matter is different though, when we talk of an official endorsement coming from the Catholic clergy. The danger lies when such an endorsement is perceived to represent an official Church stand that the faithful must follow. To my knowledge, there is no allowance in the Church's principles for political partisan endorsements. The Church as a matter of principle avoids endorsing particular candidates for public office, as the matter of voter's choice rests upon contingent and controvertible matters that are beyond the scope of certainty as it relates to the articles of faith. It is the role of the Church however, to issue moral guidelines for arriving at a conscientious choice in line with Catholic teaching.

Here are some profitable readings along the line.

DOCTRINAL NOTE on some questions regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life

- A document released in 2002 by the Congregation of the Doctrine for the Faith, headed by then Cardinal Ratzinger. An interesting portion of the document talks about "moral principles that do not admit of exception, compromise or derogation". Thus we infer that that voting for persons who unquestionably hold such adverse positions goes against a conscientious Catholic choice.
A Catechism on Family and Life for the 2010 Elections

- The voters guide released by the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, which is rather heavy in its admonition against voting for candidates who promote contraceptives. Coincidentally, when the document was released last December 27, 2009, all the popular leading presidential candidates changed their tune and withdrew their support for the RH-bill. Interesting coincidence.
Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics

- A good explanation by Catholic Answers on the Five Non-Negotiable Issues
Abortion Is the Black Hole of Moral Issues

- A great explanation by Jimmy Akin in his featured article for Catholic Answers, explaining Cardinal Ratzinger’s "Proportionate Reasons".
Voters Guide, NOT!

- And lastly, a Voters Guide for the Not-so-Serious Catholics

10 days to go and I am still undecided. Sigh.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Odds and Ends 4/28/10

Tabloid journalism against Pope Benedict XVI

The New York Times report last March 25 on sexual abuse of an American priest relied on speculative sources without authentic documentation as proof. The writers likewise failed to verify the accuracy of their report by consulting directly with duly authorized Church authorities. Without close scrutiny, news editors of the world simply parroted the inaccuracies of the New York Times...

The commentary also quotes: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”

They don't?
Question for today

Why is it so terribly wrong to suggest that there might be a connection between sexual abuse and homosexuality, but perfectly acceptable to say that the sex-abuse crisis shows the need to reconsider clerical celibacy and other aspects of Church teaching regarding sexuality?

Or to put it differently, why is it outrageous to suggest that a homosexual is more likely to molest an adolescent boy, but logical to suggest that a celibate is?

We know something about a homosexual: he likes boys. We know something about a celibate: he is continent. So of the two men-- one who likes boys, the other who controls himself-- which is more likely to molest boys?

Take your time. I know this is a tough one.

Wait. I'm still thinking.
No litmus tests-- except this one

Asked whether he would consider a Supreme Court candidate who did not support legal abortion, President Obama replied that "I don't have litmus tests around any of these issues."

Good. So he might possibly nominate a pro-life jurist? No. Having expressed his distaste for litmus tests, the President immediately applied one:

"But I will say that I want somebody who is going to be interpreting our Constitution in a way that takes into account individual rights, and that includes women’s rights. And that’s going to be something that’s very important to me, because I think part of what our core Constitution -- constitutional values promote is the notion that individuals are protected in their privacy and their bodily integrity, and women are not exempt from that."

What he means, I guess, is that he won't actually use litmus paper.

Or that giving litmus tests is above his pay grade. Whatever.

Finally for the liberal press, all politicians, and especially for all those vying for public posts in the coming May 10 elections:

Here is a quote from Alfred Adler:

A lie would have no sense unless the truth were felt to be dangerous.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

What Jesus' voice means

The Good Shepherd
Sunday, April 25, 2010
John 10:27-30

Once on a brief trip to Barcelona, I was strolling along the famous Las Ramblas strip one chilly morning. I craved for a hot cup of coffee so I ducked into a small cafeteria which was the only one open in those early hours. In my fractured Spanish, I tried explain to the only waitress around that I wanted a hot cup of brewed coffee with no cream. She replied in a rapid stream of Catalan, and it was evident that she didn't quite understand my simple order. As I tried to explain again rather futilely, a sudden understanding seemed to dawn upon her as she inquired: "Teka, Pilipino ka?". It turned out she was a compatriot, and must have noticed my quaint intonation. In a very short while, I had my steaming café caliente, plus some hot buns on the house.

Of the many distinctions in the human body, the larynx is quite notable in that equips each one of us with distinctive voices and intonations. The larynx is not confined to humans as animals also possess it in their anatomy, although only the human voice has the versatility in producing a rich variety of tones and pitches in varying modulations. Humans can even mimic the sounds of birds and animals but the reverse is not true, except perhaps in a limited way for some breeds of birds. That makes human voices superior among living things. Knowing this, a guy once taunted a talking mynah: "Hey stupid parrot! Can you talk ha? ha? c'mon show me".. The bird replied: "Who's stupid? Of course I can talk, but can you fly?".

Our voices also appear to be unique for each individual. Some years ago, I attended a Letran high school reunion party. Most of us haven't seen each other in 25 years. I had a very hard time recognizing faces, as many of us had radically changed appearances, especially in the hair and waistline departments. It's amazing how people have changed, more so when you compare with their old yearbook photos. The funny thing about it is that their raucous voices sounded the same after all those years. Although I had difficulty in recognizing their appearances, I found out that I could recall them when I paid attention to their voices.

In today's Gospel Jesus said: "My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me.". Too bad there weren't any audio recording devices in those biblical times. I imagine the Good Shepherd's voice must be a booming, rich baritone as depicted so often in the movies. As the shepherd tends to hundreds of sheep, his voice must be clearly heard even by the farthest one in the flock. In our own reality, Jesus' voice is expressed in soft and subtle ways, but it can be quite clear if we pay enough attention. Sometimes it can be a child crying. A plea for help. A call to serve. An unexpected blessing. An answered prayer. The Good Shepherd speaks to us in many ways, and we should be able to understand what His voice means.

It means Love, and it never changes.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Kiddie condoms with regular fries, please

Extra small condoms for 12 year-old boys go on sale in Switzerland
Alexandra Williams in Geneva
Published: 8:13PM GMT 03 Mar 2010

Called the Hotshot, the condom has been produced after government research showed 12 to14-year-olds did not use sufficient protection when having sex.

The study, conducted on behalf of the Federal Commission for Children and Youth, interviewed 1,480 people aged 10 to 20.

It showed more 12 to 14-year-olds were having sex, in comparison with the 1990s.

The Hotshot condoms, which cost 7fr60 (£4.70) for a packet of six, have been created by Lamprecht AG, a leading condom manufacturer in Switzerland.

The company has said the UK would be "top priority" if they expanded abroad, considering that it has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe....

Nancy Bodmer, who headed the research, said: "The result that shocked us concerned young boys who display apparently risky behavior. They have more of a tendency not to protect themselves. They do not have a very developed sexual knowledge. They do not understand the consequences of what they are doing and leave the young girls to take care of the consequences"....

Maybe they should package the Hotshot mini-condoms with McDonalds Kiddie Meals. While they are at it, it might be a good idea to produce and market Hotshot versions of various adult items for kids too. Like mini sports cars, mini drug syringes for drug abuse, even mini guns and knives for the quarrel-prone
kids. They could even throw in bubblegum and regular fries as a promo.

Perhaps the commission should go the extra mile by establishing kiddie clinics for abortion just in case the Hotshot condoms fail, as condoms are wont to do. As head researcher Nancy Bodmer says: "They do not understand the consequences of what they are doing...". Surely this conclusion applies to all ages as well, and must be the most significant finding in the research.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Clinton defines reproductive health

Madam Secretary Clinton could not be any more blunt, and it appears she
is lecturing her Canadian hosts.

On Tuesday, at a press conference in Quebec after a meeting of G8 foreign ministers, Clinton was asked in the light of the “debate in Canada,” whether she thought contraception and abortion should be included in the G8 maternal healthcare focus.

“I’m not going to speak for what Canada decides, but I will say that I’ve worked in this area for many years,” she replied. “And if we’re talking about maternal health, you cannot have maternal health without reproductive health. And reproductive health includes contraception and family planning and access to legal, safe abortion.”...

Whoah. I imagine the jaws of her Canadian hosts dropping on that one, but there she said it clear as daylight. I also imagine she added " m*r*ns..." under her breath, but thanks, Madam Clinton. We can stop wondering whether ObamaCare would include funding for abortion, or whether 'maternal health' is an euphemism.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Campaigns to intensify

May 10 is just around the corner...
Roxas City, Philippines - Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III on Thursday said that the Nacionalista Party (NP) also has many good and upright candidates. "I believe LP has the best platform for governance. Although we have different political views with the NP, I have a high respect for Villar and his partymates. May the best candidates win in the coming elections. Let the people decide." NP spokesman and senatorial candidate Gilbert Remulla said in response: "The feeling is mutual. Although we are convinced that Villar is the best candidate for the presidency, we believe that Noynoy Aquino is a very worthy challenger.". For this part, LP vice-presidential candidate Mar Roxas added that their campaign has been marked by "a strong emphasis on instructive platforms for good governance", which shows the "high maturity level" of our politicians and the electoral system. Meanwhile, former President Joseph Estrada's campaign manager reported that Erap is still busy campaigning in Cebu, informing the people of his "comprehensive plans to eradicate poverty".

With just 24 days to go before the May 10 presidential elections, the campaigns are seen to intensify.

The above report are excerpts from the highly accurate New York Times.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Lessons from a commencement speech

Portions of MVP's Ateneo speech side by side with plagiarized sections are documented here.

MVP's apology and offer to resign is posted here.

...and the latest:

Ateneo rejects MVP resignation
By Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines - The Board of Trustees of the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) has rejected the resignation of businessman Manuel Pangilinan as the board’s chairman following the controversy over plagiarized portions of his speech during the recent graduation rites in the school.

Fr. Bienvenido Nebres told a press briefing yesterday at the Ateneo campus in Quezon City that the Board of Trustees met last Sunday and decided to ask Pangilinan to reconsider his offer to resign....

Nebres said the unanimous decision of the board is not to accept Mr. Pangilinan’s resignation and the board expressed full confidence in his leadership as chairman...
There are 14 members in the Ateneo board, excluding chairman Pangilinan, and they voted unanimously to reject the offer of resignation. Curiously, not one of them considered that this decision might only fan the fires of controversy, instead of closing the book. What mixed messages are they imparting to the students? To the general public? From now on, would they now forgive all the "unintended" dishonesties of its students? How does one weigh accountability for results against intentions? How about facing consequences? How about understanding consequences? Isn't the Ateneo board opening itself to charges in favoring the monetary contributions of MVP? What are the lessons learned? The way I look at the board's decision, there are more excuses than lessons learned. MVP's graduation speech has many more lessons to impart, long after it has been delivered.

Off you go, graduates.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Arrest the Pope!

The story originated from a call from British atheists Dawkins and Hitchens, as well as from a similar call in an article by a UN lawyer. Curiously, they called for an international trial based upon unfounded charges.

British atheists call for pope's arrest

UN Judge Says Pope Should be Prosecuted at International Criminal Court

I guess silliness knows no bounds in the current trend to smear the Pope with imagined charges. The fictional 'reporting' of New York Times and Associated Press is oh so typical. Dawkins and Hitchens, who pride themselves in idolizing empirical science, apparently are ready to abandon their facts-based 'ideology' when it comes to saying things about the Pope.

More on the Murphy Case

Journalists abandon standards to attack the Pope


Odds and Ends 4/12/10

Maternal mortality decline in Chile quashes pro-abortion claims

NEW YORK, USA, February 11, 2010—A CHILEAN epidemiologist’s findings examining the dramatic decrease in maternal mortality in Chile over the past fifty years appear to nullify claims by abortion advocates that liberal abortion laws reduce maternal deaths.

From the University of Chile’s Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Elard Koch said that the promotion of “safe pregnancy” measures such as “prenatal detection” and accessibility to professional birth attendants in a hospital setting are primarily responsible for the decrease in maternal mortality in the Latin American country. The maternal mortality rate declined from 275 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 1960 to 18.7 deaths in 2000, the largest reduction in any Latin country...

Statistics released by the World Health Organization (WHO) support such conclusions. In South America, according to WHO, Chile boasts of the lowest rate of maternal mortality, whereas Guyana, which significantly liberalized its laws in the mid-1990s citing concern over maternal deaths, has the highest...

Well, we've always known long before that 1 + 1 = 2.
Journalists abandon standards to attack the Pope

The "exclusive" story released by AP yesterday, which has been dutifully passed along now by scores of major media outlets, would never have seen the light of day if normal journalistic standards had been in place. Careful editors should have asked a series of probing questions, and in every case the answer to those questions would have shown that the story had no "legs."...

So to review: This was not a case in which a bishop wanted to discipline his priest and the Vatican official demurred. This was not a case in which a priest remained active in ministry, and the Vatican did nothing to protect the children under his pastoral care. This was not a case in which the Vatican covered up evidence of a priest's misconduct. This was a case in which a priest asked to be released from his vows, and the Vatican-- which had been flooded by such requests throughout the 1970s -- wanted to consider all such cases carefully. In short, if you're looking for evidence of a sex-abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, this case is irrelevant.

Now AP joins NYT and the rest of the "dutiful" media in reporting that 2 + 2 = 5.
Tycoon builds dams vs drought in north Luzon

MANILA, Philippines—Tycoon Lucio Tan is building more mini dams and water catchment basins to help mitigate the impact of El Nino and severe drought in most parts of Northern Luzon.

Tan, 76, made the commitment during the inauguration of his latest water impounding project in Casilagan Norte, Banayoyo, Ilocos Sur on Good Friday.

The eighth mini dam restored by the tycoon in the last five years, the Casilagan Norte diversion dam is capable of storing 60,000 cubic meters of water. It was designed to serve 120 hectares of rice and tobacco farmlands even through the dry summer months...

The tycoon said he is building and rehabilitating mini dams to set an example that it doesn’t take much to store water that will enable farmers to plant even during the hot summer months. More importantly, he said his project teaches water conservation, helps farmers enhance productivity, and provides extra sources of livelihood.

Now here is one guy who knows how to do the math. Rehab and build dams = mitigate farmlands drought.
As for the government who's supposed to...


While reflecting on 'doubting Thomas' in yesterday's Gospel, my thoughts turned to choosing the right candidate in next month's presidential elections. So far the campaigns, if they might properly be called campaigns, appear to revolve around one basic issue: lying. That candidate is lying. My opponent is twisting the truth. The other camp is fabricating stories. That candidate cheated in the past. This candidate is making false claims, and so on. I have never even heard of campaign platforms bandied about, as the campaign issues mainly revolve around destroying the credibility of one's opponents. Being the case, the electorate is steered towards rejecting certain candidates based on perceptions of dishonesty, most of which are devoid of evidence and are simply innuendos. It is a very unsound way of evaluating presidential candidates, yet we cannot totally blame the electorate who are wounded by our painful political history.

But let us assume for a while that all the candidates are telling the truth, and let us give everyone the benefit of the doubt that each one will rigorously drive their political platforms once elected. No accusations of dishonesty will be made. The contest would now be focused on the political platforms, and how well the candidates justify and defend those platforms. Secondly, we must look at the qualification and track record of each candidate to give us a reasonable idea that the person has what it takes to drive results. In HR, we have this tried and tested assessment technique. The record of personal accomplishments (or lack thereof) in the past is a reasonable indicator of the suitability of the candidate to fulfill future requirements. While I do not discount personal re-engineering, usually a duck does not turn into a lion overnight.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

San Rafael Village remembered

In the on-going word-war between Manny Villar and Noynoy Aquino, that special mention of San Rafael Village in Balut, Tondo brought back my childhood memories. I actually grew up in that place, from 1960 to1987. Our family eventually sold our modest 280 sqm property back in 1991.

No, the village is not the equivalent of PhilAm Homes in Quezon City, as Winnie Monsod suggests. I had childhood friends in PhilAm at the time and I could tell the difference, and in fact it was a far, far cry. San Rafael was not a gated subdivision as there was only a semblance of a marker at the village's entrance which was perpetually unmanned, not like the gates of FilAm where you have round-the-clock armed and uniformed guards. Only the main streets were paved then, from North Bay (now Honorio Lopez) Blvd, to the two main entrance roads of the village going to Taliba st where the church was located. Our house was parallel to the road of the church, and it was swirling dust in summer but muddy during rainy days. During particularly heavy rains spawned by the seasonal typhoons, our split level bungalow house would be submerged knee-deep in flood waters. We would then have our family meals in the dining table with our feet submerged, and it now reminds me of the fiesta dining in Villa Escudero, minus the resort atmosphere and buffet cuisine.

The nearby world-famous (infamous?) Smokey Mountain was always a sight to behold. Due to the perpetual methane gas deep in the bowels of the mountains of rubbish, it resembles some sort of Mt. Vesuvius where it always appears orange-reddish and smoking at the summit, seemingly set to explode at any moment raining tons of smoldering garbage on the entire village. From a distance, it appears picture-perfect outlined by the rays especially at sun-down. It is our main attraction, and the pervasive smell always reminds everyone of its daunting presence. Eventually, we residents got used the smoke and smells engulfing the entire village and its environs, yet the assault on the olfactory nerves was still persistently noticeable at times, especially after the rains. The onslaught was particularly assisted by the sea breeze, as the odorous mountain was just right beside North Bay.

I had a lot of playmates in the area. In my early childhood we would play piko, patintero, saranggola, siyatong, and the occasional fishing in the nearby North Bay breakwater. I wonder if the internet-savvy kids nowadays have any idea of what I am talking about. Anyway, it got more challenging as I approached my teen years. The main pastime in the environment turned to street basketball, drinking sessions till the wee hours, and there was the perpetual challenge in avoiding drugs, which was quite prevalent at the time and place. Also, there was the all too common street-gang warfare, and I remember some acquaintances actually losing their very young lives due to some petty street riots. I doubt if the PhilAm village culture was quite the same. Looking back, I guess it was just providential that I came out of that in one piece, though not entirely unscathed.

It was also good that my parents were very active in the nearby church, my late father in Knights of Columbus and my mother in Catholic Women's League. Many times I would hang out with the kids of their parish colleagues, and we would get involved in church activities as well, like forming a kid's choir and organizing junior Cursillos. Still, the peer pressure from the various negative influences in the area was greatly distracting, especially for a young, immature heart and mind.

Oh well, I could go on and on, but I guess one's past is part of a jigzaw puzzle and the total picture would always be under construction. Whatever other people say about one's past, it can't be changed, and eventually, one's future picture is purposely constructed personally, with God's grace. As for Villar and Noynoy, may their puzzle pieces fall into place, as their pictures could paint the face of an entire archipelago.

Villar vs Noynoy heats up

How Manny Villar lied and used the death of his brother Danny
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2010-03-28
Awesome (claims)
By Solita Collas-Monsod
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:18:00 03/27/2010
Noynoy doubts Villar's rags story
By Ces Oreña Drilon
03/30/2010 4:02 PM
And now here is Villar's rejoinder, going the rounds

DATING TINDERO vs. LUMANG ASENDERO - Iyan ang TOTOO! Direct from Manny Villar - Walang Spinner!

As told to Exequiel Villacorta:

Hindi daw siya magnanakaw. Pero bakit siya nagsisinungaling? Hindi ba’t kapatid ng magnanakaw ang sinungaling.

Sa napakatagal na panahon ay nanahimik ako. Naniwala at patuloy akong naniniwalang may mas mahahalaga pang isyung dapat harapin sa halalang ito kaysa sa magbatuhan ng putik, lalo na kung ito’y pawang kasinungalingan lamang.

He claims he is the son of heroes. Heir to the legacy of his parents, their courage, and integrity. Ngunit bakit siya nagtatago sa likod ng black propaganda? Hindi ba’t utang din niya sa sambayanan ang ipaalam sa mamamayan
ang kanyang plataporma, kakayahan, at kapasidad na mamuno?

The issue in this election or any election is competence and track record. Why does he keep quiet on these issues?

Inapi raw sila. Ano naman ang natutunan niya sa karanasang ito?

Noong sinabi kong ako’y ipinanganak na mahirap, kaakibat nito ang leksiyong patuloy na mangarap sa kabila ng kahirapan. Nagsipag ako, nagtiyaga. Natuto akong makipagkapwa- tao sa mga tulad kong isinilang na salat sa oportunidad.

Bakit siya naman ngayon ang nang-aapi?

The issues he and his thousand advisers have hurled against me, have hurt not only me but my family and friends. Nasaktan na po ang aking pamilya, maybahay, mga anak, mga kapatid, at ang aking ina.

Paano mo sasabihin sa isang tindera ng hipon at isda na hindi talaga siya mahirap? Paano mo sasabihin sa aking mga kapatid na karangyaan pala ang magsiksikan sa isang banig at isang kulambo, gayung mas malaki pa ang
kulungan ng aso ng isang haciendero sa aming tahanan?

Panahon nang basagin ko ang kanilang mga kasinungalingan. Utang nating lahat na mga kumakandidato, Nacionalista man o Liberal, na ipaalam sa taumbayan ang katotohanan.

Anak ng Tondo

Kasinungalingan ang kanilang paratang na hindi ako kailanman ipinanganak na mahirap.

Katotohan. Ako si Manuel Bamba Villar, Jr., isinilang sa 500 Moriones St., Sta. Maria, Tondo Manila. Ang aking ama ay isang kawani ng pamahalaan, ang aking ina ay naglalako ng isda at hipon sa palengke. Siyam kaming magkakapatid. Nanirahan kami bilang mga squatters. Natutulog kaming siyam na magkakapatid sa isang makitid na banig sa isang maliit na kulambo.

Kapag umuulan tumutulo ang tubig-ulan mula sa butas-butas na bubong ng aming bahay. Kapag malakas ang ulan at bumabaha sa paligid ng aming tinitirhan, naglulutangan ang mga basura sa paligid. Wala kaming pakialam na naliligo sa ulan, lumalangoy sa baha.

Ganyan ang maging mahirap. Bata kami, walang mga ilog at beach sa kamaynilaan. Lalo namang walang swimming pool, jacuzzi, o bath tub sa aming lugar. Sabik kaming lumangoy kahit na sa dagat ng basura.

Hindi nila ito kainlanman mauunawaan.

Tindero sa Divisoria

Kasinungalingang mayaman daw kami kaya sa pribadong Catholic school ako nag-aral.

Katotohanan. Nag-grade 1 ako sa Isabelo de los Reyes elementary school. Kung mayaman kami, sana nag-nursery, kinder, at prep pa ako, pero hindi. Nag-drop out ako sa Isabelo de los Reyes, inaamin ko. Mas ginusto ko pang maglakwatsa t tumulong sa nanay kong magtinda sa Divisoria.

Ang sinasabi nilang Holy Child Catholic School ay dating maliit na paaralang itinayo ng mga pari para sa mga mahihirap. Malapit sa aming bahay, at walking distance lamang. Dun ako nag-aral. “Pribado” dahil hindi pinapatakbo ng pamahalaan pero hindi pribadong kagaya ng La Salle o Ateneo na alam natin ngayon.

Pag gabi, naglalakad kami ng nanay ko papuntang Divisoria. Bumibili kami ng ilang banyerang hipon para itinda sa palengke. Sa likod ng puwesto, sa isang makitid na bangko ako natutulog. Pag dating ng umaga, nagtitinda kami.

Buong buhay ng ina ko, nagtinda siya ng hipon. Bulag na siya ngayon, ngunit patuloy na naluluha sa tuwing maririnig niya ang mga kasinungalingang ipinapakalat ng mga taong kainlanman ay hindi mauunawaan kung paano maging mahirap.

Napakarami nilang nahagilap na dokumento, bakit hindi sila pumunta sa Divisoria at ipagtanong sa mga matatanda doon si Coring na tindera ng hipon, si Nanay Coring na ina ko? Bakit hindi nila puntahan ang mga batang kasama
kong nag-swimming sa dagat ng basura o ang mga nakakita sa aking matulog sa gitna ng lansangan?

Katotohan ba talaga o paninirang puri ang motibasyon sa likod ng kanilang pag-iimbestiga?

Ang aking kapatid

Kasinungalingan at kalapastanganang kwestiyunin nila na kahirapan nga ang dahilan ng pagkamatay ng aking kapatid.

Katotohanan. Oo, naospital siya sa FEU. Oo, Funeraria Paz ang nag-asikaso sa pag-eembalsamo sa kanya. Alin diyan ang patunay na kailanman ay hindi kami naging mahirap?

Idinala siya sa FEU dahil may kamag-anak kami roon na maaaring tumulong upang mapadali ang pag-admit sa kanya. Dahil ba sa mahirap kami ay hindi na namin nanaising makatanggap ng magandang serbisyo ang miyembro ng pamilyang may sakit? Bakit hindi nila sinabing sa charity ward siya tinanggap?

Namatay siya sa Leukemia, sakit ng lahi namin. Nang mga panahong iyon, hindi namin lubusang nauunawaan ang ibig sabihin ng Leukemia. Lumalaki ang tiyan niya, at wala kaming sapat na perang pambili ng gamot. Ganunpaman, sa panahong kailangan na siyang itakbo sa ospital, iisipin pa ba naman namin na wala kaming pambayad? Iisipin pa ba naman namin na wala pang teknolohiya para sa bone marrow transplant gaya ng sabi ni Esposo?

Sa mahirap, ang cancer ay cancer. Sa mahirap, ang pamilya ay pamilya. Anuman ang sabihin nila, igagapang, ipagpapalimos, ipagmamakaawa ang isang kamag-anak na may sakit. Nang mamatay siya, at nag-iiyakan kami, iisipin pa ba naman namin kung pang-mayaman o pang-mahirap ang funeraria na mag-eembalsamo sa namatay?
Tatanguan nalang namin ang unang ahenteng lalapit, pipirmahan nalang ang unang dokumentong iaabot para lang maisaayos ang bangkay.

Sa bahay siya ibinurol, kasama ng kanyang mga pangarap dahil maaga siyang binawian ng buhay.

Kami na lamang ang nangarap para sa kanya. Ipinagpapatuloy naming ang pangarap na ito hanggang sa ngayon.

Binanggit ko ang kanyang kuwento sa aking commercial upang magbigay-inspirasyo n sa kapwa naming mahihirap.

They violated the memory of my brother by putting spins on our life and his death. This is what Noynoy Aquino and the Liberal Party call principled campaign. Cheap politics. Cheap politicians!

Hindi sila mga Diyos para magsabing bawal mangarap ang mahihirap!

Lupa sa Navotas

Natatakot kayong maniwala ang mga mamamayan sa aking kuwento dahil natatakot kayong maglakas-loob ang mga magsasaka’t mga kasama na pangaraping balang araw ay ariin ang inyong mga hacienda, ang lupang kanilangang binubungukal at pinagyayaman.

Minamana ninyo ang inyong mga lupain at ari-arian. Dangal lamang ang maipapamana ng mahihirap sa kanilang mga anak.

Nangarap ang aking pamilya, nagsipag at nagtiyaga. Ipinangutang sa gobyerno ang lupa at tahanang nilipatan.

Hindi ito kagaya ng San Raphael Village na binabanggit ni Winnie Monsod. Hindi ito exclusive subdivision noon, walang gate, walang guwardiya. Hindi sementado, hindi aspaltado. Isang kapirasong lupa sa Navotas, malapit sa
Smokey Mountain, lubog sa baha tuwing umuulan.

Kasinungalingang sabihing patunay ito na hindi kami naghirap.

Ang katotohanan ay patunay itong unti-unti man ay nakaangat din kami at maaaring makaahon ang sinumang matapang na haharapin ang mga hamon ng buhay.

Sino ang tuta ni Arroyo?

Ang katotohana’y naninira sila upang pagtakpan ang kahinaan ng kanilang kandidato. Ang katotohanang sa loob ng tatlong termino sa mababang kapulungan at kalahating termino sa senado ay walang naipasa ni isang batas
si Noynoy Aquino.

‘Yan naman ang kanilang sagutin. Hindi ba’t trabaho ng isang mambabatas ang magpasa ng batas? Hindi ba’t nangako at nanumpa siyang gagampanan ang responsibilidad na ito, sa mamamayan, sa Diyos, at sa Konstitusyon ng Pilipinas?

Walang-bahala, iresponsable, at tamad, ipagkakatiwala ba natin sa kanya ang kinabukasan ng ating bayan?

Nasaan si Aquino nang iniimbestigahan ang Hello Garci? Hindi ba’t hinarangan niya ang pagpapatugtog ng Hello Garci tapes upang protektahan ang kanyang kaalyadong si Gloria Arroyo?

Mula sa fertilizer scam, Hello Garci, NBN-ZTE broadband, north at south rails, inimbestigahan ang mga ‘yan sa ilalim ng aking pamumuno bilang Senate President. Pinangunahan ng partido Nacionalista ang pag-iimbestiga. Nasaan sila noon?

Sa halip na tumulong ay nakiisa sila sa Administrasyong Arroyo upang palitan ako bilang Senate President. Opo, nakiisa si Noynoy Aquino at Mar Roxas upang tanggalin ako sa puwesto. At nang sila na ang nakaupo, inimbestigahan ba nilang muli si Arroyo? Hindi.

Ako daw ang sikretong kandidato ni Gloria, ngunit kaninong mga kamag-anak ang kasama ng mga Arroyo sa poder maging hanggang sa kasalukuyan? Hindi ba’t ang mga Cojuangco at mga Aquino?

Ilan sa mga dating miyembro ng gabinete ni Arroyo ang nasa grupo ngayon ni Aquino? Dapat bang paniwalaan na nanatili silang malinis sa kabila ng ilang taong paninilbihan sa isang tiwaling pamahalaan?

Ang C5 Road Extension

Mga hipokrito’t mapagpanggap, ako ang inimbestigahan nila sa halip na ang administrasyong kanilang kunwari’y pinupulaan.

Kung totoong may kinalaman ako sa diumano’y kontrobersiya sa C5 Road Extension, di sana’y sa husgado nila ako kinasuhan. Wala akong immunity kagaya ng isang Pangulo Gloria Arroyo. Madali akong maisasakdal kung talaga mayroon silang ebidensiya.

Sa halip ay pinulitika nila ang Senado. Ang mga taong nagtanggal sa akin bilang Senate President ay siya ring nagsabing may kinalaman ako sa C5.

In truth, like the Cojuangco-Aquinos, Araneta-Roxases, and Madrigals, these are the old-rich in Philippine society who cannot and will not accept that someone who comes from the ranks of the poor may just one day lead this nation.

Hindi kayang tanggapin ng mga naghaharing- uring mga ito na isang katulad kong dating mahirap ang mamumuno sa ating bansa. At upang huwag suportahan ng ating mga kababayan ang kagaya nilang hindi haciendero o nagmula sa angkan ng mga pulitiko, sari-saring dumi at baho ang kanilang iimbentuhin upang mapanatili ang kanilang mga pamilya sa kapangyarihan.

Babawiing gastos sa kampanya?

Napakalaki na raw ng ginastos ko sa kampanya. Babawiin ko raw ito kung sakaling umupo ako sa Malacanang.

Nangarap po akong maging Speaker of the House of Representatives, natupad ko na ito. Nangarap po akong maging Senate President, natupad ko na rin ito. Ang pagiging Pangulo na marahil ang pinakamatayog sa aking mga pangarap.

Nang mga panahong pinagsasaluhan ng aking pamilya ang kakarampot na pagkain sa mesa, nang mga panahong kailangan kong magbanat ng buto para makapag-aral, nang mga panahong may magkakasakit sa pamilya at wala kaming mahugot na pambili ng gamot --- nang mga panahon ding iyon ay pinangarap kong sana’y magkaroon tayo ng Pangulong kayang tumulong upang wakasan ang ating kahirapan.

Isinilang ang pangarap na iyon sa aking kamusmusan. Ngayong ako’y may sapat nang kakayahan upang tuparin iyon, bakit ko tatalikuran ang pagkakataong makapagsilbi sa mga taong katulad ko’y nangarap ng isang mas magandang bukas?

Hindi ako isinilang na anak ng isang pangulo’t isang bayani, ngunit sa aking mga mata’y wala nang hihigit pa sa kadakilaan at kabayanihan ng aking mga magulang.

If an haciendero can claim to never besmirch the legacy of his parents, why can’t a Tondo boy say the same?

Bakit ko rin yuyurakan ang ala-ala ng aking ama? Bakit ko rin sisirain ang pangalan ng aking inang bagama’t bulag ay makikita pa rin kung ako ay naging mabuti o masamang pangulo?

Hindi ba’t sa isang anak ay magkasing-halaga ang sakripisyo ng isang Cory na pangulo ng Pilipinas at isang Coring na tindera sa Divisoria?

Gumastos ako upang magpakilala. Ginastos ko ang salaping aking pinaghirapan mula pa pagkabata.

Hindi ako nangungutahang- loob sa mga campaign contributors. Wala akong kailangang pagbayaran sakaling maging pangulo. Ilang mga pulitiko, mayayamang pamilya, at mga kamag-anak ang kailangang pagbayarang- utang ng isang Noynoy Aquino?

Kung may pinagkakautangang- loob man ako, ito ay ang mga kasama kong lumaki sa Tondo at kasamang nagtingda sa Divisoria na nagsilbing inspirasyon sa aking kinatatayuan sa kasalukuyan.

Hindi gaya ni Noynoy, mayroon akong mga anak. Dangal at magandang pangalan ang gusto kong ipamana sa kanila.

Hindi ako magnanakaw!

Hindi magnanakaw

Sabi niya sa kanya ang mga linyang ito?

Nagnakaw na po siya simula nang naging maging bahagi at nakinabang siya sa isang pamilyang nagkait sa mga magsasaka ng Luisita sa lupang sila dapat ang nagmamay-ari.

He was a Congressman, he is a Senator. Why didn’t he do anything?

Dapat bang paniwalaan ang pangako niya ngayong tumatakbo siyang pangulo gayung naging bulag, bingi, at tamad siya sa lumipas na napakaraming mga taon?

Ang mambabatas na walang ipinasang batas ay pangulong hindi kayang panguluhan ang bansa.

The Luisita farmers shall have their land not under another Aquino regime. They shall have it under my presidency!

Ang isyu

‘Yan po ang isyu sa eleksiyong ito at hindi ang paninirang-puring patuloy na pinagkukublihan ng salat sa kakayahan.

Kasinungalingan ang sabihing may sinseridad mamuno ang isang kandidatong hindi namuno at nanilbihan ng tapat sa mga posisyong kanya nang nahawakan.

Kasinungalingang sabihing mamumuno ng mahusay ang taong walang track record.

An incompetent cannot run a government. His advisers will do that for him. Ang isang mangmang ay paiikut-ikotin lamang ng mga buwitreng nakapaligid sa kanya.

A vote for Manny Villar is a vote for Manny Villar. A vote for Noynoy Aquino, is a vote for his thousand advisers.

Laban ito ng isang Tondo boy sa isang haciendero sampu ng kanyang mga kamag-anak, alipores, at tagapagpayo, .

Sa tulong at tiwala ninyo, hindi ko sila uurungan.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Odds and Ends 4/6/10

Noynoy's campaign blues
How NOT to campaign:

“It will be theirs clear and free,” Noynoy Aquino said in an interview in Manila.

However, cousin Fernando Cojuangco, CEO of Hacienda Luisita: No, we’re not going to [give up the land]”

And Kris Aquino: “Please Tito Noy, never get married.”

Over TV Patrol, Kris told baby James "say hello to everybody", whereupon
2 year-old Baby James says: "Hello...Villar !!"

Kris: "Noo..."
Pangilinan quits Ateneo amid flap over `borrowed’ grad speech

MANILA, Philippines--Manuel V. Pangilinan on Saturday quit as chairman of the board of the Ateneo de Manila University after it was revealed that sections of the speech he made during the school's graduation rites last week were from speeches made by TV personality Oprah Winfrey and author J.K. Rowling in past years.

At UP we used to say jokingly that if you copy from one source, it's plagiarism, but when you copy from multiple sources, it's research. At least when you don't get caught. Tsk-tsk.

However, I agree with the Inquirer editorial when it says: "In the case of Pangilinan, the fault was that of his assistants, but he gallantly took full and sole responsibility for the 'borrowed' parts of his speech. Taken as a whole, as he said, the body and substance of his speech represented his own story and his thoughts."
Milwaukee church judge clarifies case of abusive priest Father Murphy

"To provide context to this article, I was the Judicial Vicar for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee from 1995-2003. During those years, I presided over four canonical criminal cases, one of which involved Father Lawrence Murphy...."

"As I have found that the reporting on this issue has been inaccurate and poor in terms of the facts, I am also writing out of a sense of duty to the truth. The fact that I presided over this trial and have never once been contacted by any news organization for comment speaks for itself..."

Read the rest here.

Jimmy Akin says: "So let’s look at the facts of the case in light of the documents..."

Read it here.

Fr. Longenecker has More on the Murphy Case, wherein he cites the Smoking Gun Memo.

Father L. says:

"The simple version according to the New York Times is that Murphy was let off the hook and Cardinal Ratzinger (as Pope Benedict then was) was responsible. The NY Times didn't even bother to get a proper translation of the document in question. Instead they got busy spreading innuendo, half truths and lies."

"Turns out the Murphy case was mishandled by Archbishop Weakland and his predecessor, but by the time it got to Rome the very complicated case (from the canon law point of view) was not actually mishandled, and more to the point, Cardinal Ratzinger had nothing to do with the case."
NYT has done it again.

Oh, and Inquirer's de Quiros too.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Seven Last Words 2010

"Today you shall be with me in Paradise"
(Bro Lito Estrella)

"Woman behold thy Son..."
(Bro Ernie Balarbar)

CFC Holy Family Parish Choir

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Maundy Thursday 2010

"If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.” (John 13:14-15)

"The Church and the world have a great need of eucharistic worship. Jesus waits for us in this sacrament of love. Let us be generous with our time in going to meet Him in adoration and in contemplation that is full of faith and ready to make reparation for the great faults and crimes of the world. May our adoration never cease"
(Pope John Paul II, On the Mystery and Worship of the Eucharist, 3)

Chrism Mass 2010 - Diocese of Cubao

The Chrism Mass comes once a year to the cathedral in every diocese, and is one of the most solemn and significant liturgies of our church. Todays Chrism Mass takes on an added significance in this Year of the Priests. In this year's Triduum, the Pope highlighted the Chrism Mass as he invites the faithful to "Live intensely this Holy Triduum", and reiterates the call to all the Priests: "Be Heralds of Hope".
"The Holy Chrism Mass, morning prelude of Holy Thursday, will find gathered together..the presbyters with their respective bishops. During a significant Eucharistic celebration, which customarily takes place in the diocesan cathedrals, the oil of the sick, of the catechumens and the chrism will be blessed. Moreover, the bishop and the presbyters will renew their priestly promises pronounced on the day of ordination." ...

"I would like to repeat to all priests the exhortation that I formulated as a conclusion of the letter of convocation: 'In the footsteps of the Curé d'Ars, let yourselves be enthralled by him. In this way you too will be, for the world in our time, heralds of hope, reconciliation and peace!'"

The Bishop of Rome invited the faithful to "dispose ourselves to live intensely this Holy Triduum now imminent, to be ever more profoundly inserted in the Mystery of Christ, dead and resurrected for us."

"May the Most Holy Virgin accompany us in this spiritual itinerary," he prayed. "May she, who followed Jesus in his passion and was present beneath the cross, introduce us into the Paschal Mystery, so that we will be able to experience the joy and peace of the Risen One."