CFC-FFL Position Against the Re-imposition of the Death Penalty

As of March 2017

In line with our vision and mission of renewing the family and defending life, we stand alongside with our Mother Church, in condemning the passage of House Bill 4727, the Death Penalty Law1, in the lower house of Congress.

As an evangelistic and missionary community, we are tasked with renewing the family and defending life. Enshrined in our identity is the primordial duty to defend life in all its forms2.  Further, to defend, preserve, strengthen, renew and celebrate faith, family and life. The imposition of the Death Penalty wreak havoc on our identity and mission. We point to the crucial need for evangelization and transformation in Christ, as the ultimate antidote to criminality.

It goes against our Core Value of Living a Preferential Option for the Poor3. Based on statistical evidence, the death penalty tilts more against the poor. There is real and apparent danger in convicting the innocent. Our imperfect criminal justice system can put to death innocent persons. It is cruel and inhuman. We intensify our work for helping uplift the lives of the poor through various moral and life-giving material interventions.

House Bill 4727, repeals the existing laws on Life Imprisonment or Reclusion Perpetua. Life Imprisonment renders the offender, the chance to renew his life in keeping with the teachings of the Catholic Church4 on the role of the State with regards to criminal offense vis-a-vis law and order, with a duty to redress the disorder due to the offense. Death Penalty nullifies any hope to renew the criminal’s life, more so for the State to redress the disorder in a humane way.

In conclusion, the passage of House Bill 4727, the Death Penalty Law, in the Lower House of Congress, defies who we are and what we do in CFC-FFL.  We pledge to a deeper commitment to work on renewing the family across all sectors of society and work for the defense of life, in all its stages and forms.

1 AN ACT IMPOSING THE DEATH PENALTY ON CERTAIN HEINOUS CRIMES, REPEALING FOR THE PURPOSE. REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9346, ENTITLED “AN ACT PROHIBITING THE IMPOSITION OF DEATH PENALTY IN THE PHILIPPINES”, AND FURTHER AMENDING ACT NO. 3815, AS AMENDED, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS “THE REVISED PENAL CODE”, AND REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9165, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE “COMPREHENSIVE DANGEROUS DRUGS ACT OF 2002”

2 We are called to defend life. The fight of this third millennium is all about the culture of death, which the anti-life, anti-family, radical homosexuals’ forces are imposing on society and the world. This is the final assault of the evil one, who wages all-out war on the Author of life. We have been thrust into this savage conflict, and we are to give our all in defending and promoting the culture of life. (CFC-FFL Document on Who We Are and What We Do)

3 We recognize Jesus’ mission to bring glad tidings to the poor (Lk 4:18). We look to both the spiritual and material upliftment of the least among our brethren. In doing so, we will be in solidarity with the poor by striving to live a simple lifestyle, to share our resources, and to fight for social justice in the world. (CFC-FFL Document on Core Values)

4 Catechism of the Catholic Church 2266 The State effort to contain the spread of behaviors injurious to human rights and the fundamental rules of civil coexistence corresponds to the requirement of watching over the common good. Legitimate public authority has the right and duty to inflict penalties commensurate with the gravity of the crime. The primary scope of the penalty is to redress the disorder caused by the offense. When his punishment is voluntarily accepted by the offender, it takes on the value of expiation. Moreover, punishment, in addition to preserving public order and the safety of persons, has a medicinal scope: as far as possible it should contribute to the correction of the offender.

Who allows cyber child porn in the Philippines?

Failure to implement laws is allowing crimes and abuses against children to thrive

 

Sweetie, a computer generated 10-year-old Filipino child who looked very real that as many as 20,000 pedophiles worldwide tried to contact her and made sexual overtones. (Photo courtesy of Terres de Hommes)

 

Father Shay Cullen, Manila  Philippines April 19, 2017

Hundreds of Filipino children are traumatized and abused by the fast money-making crime of cyber-sex.

This is the most obnoxious crime against helpless, vulnerable children. Filipino kids as young as 5 or 6 years old are abused over the internet.

It happens due to the failure of the Philippine government and internet service providers to implement laws.

The government’s social welfare secretary, Lorraine Badoy, recently posted a sarcastic comment on Facebook that Europeans should just watch porn and leave the country to run its business.

“Those in the EU just engage in online child pornography, because that’s what you are good at,” she wrote.

It was an ill-advised attempt to defend President Rodrigo Duterte from criticism by EU officials over the president’s deadly war on illegal drugs.

Badoy was being sarcastic and facetious in addressing the critics of the president. But many people view it as insensitive and inappropriate and trivializes the sexual abuse of children.

EU Ambassador to the Philippines Franz Jessen said the “issue of child pornography is extremely serious and a grave crime. It should be addressed in a serious and responsible manner.”

The incident has a good side. It has brought attention to the outrageous demand and supply of images of Filipino children being sexually abused.

The Philippine official is only too aware of the massive demand for live streaming of images of Filipino children being sexually abused online.

But the blame cannot be laid solely at the door of those demanding the crime be committed so they can view it but also on the child sex abusers, the suppliers, and the enablers back in the Philippines, including the pimps and cyber criminals and traffickers and the internet providers.

The government itself seems to be not enforcing the law. Telephone companies are violating the law by not having filters in place.

Duterte ought to investigate and threaten these violators. He ought to have a war against child porn and cyber-sex too.

The Philippine police are all too aware that Filipinos have hundreds if not thousands of small cyber-sex dens. They also know there are parents and relatives and neighbors exposing children, some as young as 5 years old, to pedophiles online.

It is a billion dollar global cyber-crime business.   Continue reading

An Advanced Leadership Course for Yielding Missionary Disciples

March 21,2017

Greetings in the Lord Jesus Christ!

We are pleased to inform you that the Ligaya ng Panginoon Community has launched The Harvest Institute (HARVEST), a ministry dedicated to “Yielding Empowered Leaders for Radical Discipleship and the New Evangelization.” This initiative is a response to the popular clamor echoed during the Harvest Conferences held successively in 2012-2014, and the National Catholic Charismatic Conference in 2015, to help equip the participants to actively bring back the fruits of the conferences to their respective communities and parishes.

For this purpose, the Institute will be conducting programs designed to equip participants in learning the deeper meaning of true discipleship and in responding to the call to evangelize. The first module will be held at the Ligaya ng Panginoon Formation Center in Brgy. Diego Silang, Taguig City on July 21-23. At the end of this three-day program, it is expected that the participants would be ready to commit to a life of discipleship and to further their readiness to become bold and radical evangelizers.

We invite you to apply to attend the program. You may access the Application Form at our website theharvestinstitute.net and submit your accomplished form not later than April 30, 2017. The Academic Board will subsequently advise you if a slot can be reserved for you in Module 1.

To help defray the cost of the program, there will be a fee of P9,800.00 per participant, which covers meals and snacks, participant’s kit, and all other handouts and program materials.

We look forward to having you with us.

Yours in Christ,

REYNALDO P. FERIA
Managing Director

Hiligaynon Version: Sulat Pastoral sa Death Penalty

Post-Permanent Council Meeting CBCP Pastoral Letter on the Death Penalty

Time photo

“Apang ginpakita sang Dios ang iya paghigugma sa aton sa sini: si Kristo napatay para sa aton sang makasasala pa kita.” -(Roma 5:8)

Sa sining ika-tatlo nga Domingo sang Kwaresma, ang Ebanghelyo suno kay Juan nagasalaysay sa aton kon paano ang babaye nga taga-Samaria – matapos niya mahibaluan nga yara kay Hesus ang ”tubig sang kabuhi’ nga iya ginakauhawan – nagbiya sang iya sulodlan sang tubig sa bubon (Juan 4:28). Katulad sining babaye, ang matig-a sing ulo nga mga Israelinhon sa nahauna nga balasahon, nga nagkalamatay sa kauhaw sa disyerto, gingiyahan padulomg sa isa ka bato (Exodo 17:6). Ayhan, aton maangot ining bato sa kay Kristo mismo, nga ginsakit kag nag-antus sa krus apang gikan sa iya naga-ilig ang tubig nga nagahatag sang kabuhi, kag nagapalig-on sa katawhan sang Dios agod makatabok sa mamala nga disyerto sang dumot, sala kag kamatayon padulong sa dutang ginsaad nga may kabug-osan sang kabuhi. Mga pinalangga namon nga kautoran kay Kristo – indi naton pag-itugot nga ang aton mga bubon mahiluan sang mapait nga tubig; aton itib-ong ang kasagrado sang kabuhi kag manindugan kita batok sa ”death penalty” o silot-kamatayon.

Indi kita bungol sa mga panghakroy sang mga biktima sang makangilidlis nga mga krimen. Ang mga biktima kag ang mga nagabiktima sa ila aton pareho nga mga kautoran. Ang biktima kag ang manugpigus pareho nga mga anak sang Dios. Sa nakahimo sang sala amon ginatanyag ang panghangkat sa paghinulsol kag pagkay-o sang kahalitan nga tuga sang ila mga sala. Sa mga biktima nga nagabakho, ginatanyag namon ang amon paghigugma, ang amon pagpakig- unong nga may pagkabalaka, ang amon paglaum.

Sa adlaw nga ang kasuguan nga nagamando sang silot sang kamatayon (death penalty) gindula sang Kongreso sang Pilipinas sang Hunyo 24, 2006, ang mga suga sa colosseum sa Roma ginpasiga. Ang aton maragtas nagasaysqy kon pila ka tawo – lakip na ang madamo nga mga martir nga Kristiyano – ang ginpamatay sa atubang sang madamo nga mga tumalan-aw sa sadto nga bantog-sa-kalainan nga arena o tilipunan. Ayhan sa pagpanas sang kadulom nga tuga sining indi tawhanon nga mga buhat kag nagpabantog sining colosseum, ang pumuluyo sang Roma sugod sadto ginapasanag ini nga duog tagsa ka may pungsod nga magdesisyon sa pagdula sang ila kasuguan nga nagasilot sang kamatayon o death penalty. Ang tagsa ka pagpasanag sang colosseum nagapabutyag sang kahulugan nga naga-uswag kita sa tawhanon nga pagkahamtong bilang sosyedad (advancement in human civilization). Bawion naman bala naton ang kauswagan sa tawhanon nga kahamtungan nga aton na naagum paagi sa pagpabalik sang silot- kamatayon o death penalty sa Pilipinas?

Adlaw sang Miyerkules Badlis sadto sang ang mga katapo sang kongreso, sa ikaduha nga pagbasa sang death penalty bill, naglutos sang mga nagapamatok sini nga bill paagi sa ila lamang sini nga pagsinggit sang ila pag-ugyon. Maathag nga nakuha sang kamera sang telebisyon nga ang mga kongresista nga nagasinggit pabor sa death penalty may mga marka sang krus nga abo sa ila mga agtang. Nalimtan ayhan nila kon ano ang kahulugan sang krus sa ila agtang sang sila nagpabadlis? Wala bala nila makita ang wala pagsinanto o pagsumpakilay sang ila boto kag ang mga marka sang krus sa ila agtang, nga amo tani ang isa ka mabaskog nga pagpahayag sang pagtuo sa Dios nga, tungod sa paghigugma sa aton, nagpasulabi sa paghalad sang iya kaugalingon nga kabuhi para sa aton kaluwasan, sang sa makita niya kita nga madula o mapatay (Juan 3:16)?

Wala duha-duha, ang silot sang kamatayon (death penalty) nagaluntad na sadto pa sa madamo nga mga pungsod sa bug-os nga kalibutan. Ginapakamatarong ini sa masami paagi sa prinsipyo sang katarungan nga nasandig sa pagbalosay (retribution) – “mata sa mata, ngipon sa ngipon” (Mateo 5:3), nga ginhangkat kag ginbayluhan na ini ni Hesus sang mas mataas nga prinsipyo sang indi pagbalos sang kalainan sa ano man nga buhat sang kalainan kundi ang pagbalos sining kalainan paagi sa katarungan nga nasandig sa kaluoy (Lukas 6:36). Natun-an naton sa aton maragtas kon paano ang silot-kamatayon (death penalty) sa masami ginagamit sang mga mapanghingabot nga pagdumalahan agod mapunggan ang mga pagpamatok ukon agod dulaon ang ginakabig nga mahimo mag-agaw sang ila gahum politikal. Binagbinaga, halimbawa, kon ngaa si Herod Antipas nagpugot sang ulo ni Juan Bautista, ukon ngaa si Pilato nagmando nga ilansang sa krus si Hesus. Pamalandungi kon ngaa linibo-libo ka mga martir nga Kristiyano ang ginpamatay tungod lang sang daku nga dumot sa aton pagtuo.

Sa mga tawo nga nagagamit sang Bibliya agod dampigan ang death penalty, kinahanglan pa bala namon isa-isahon ipakita kon pila pa gid ka mga krimen batok sa katawhan ang ginpakamatarong, paagi sa paggamit sang amo man nga Bibliya? Mapainubuson kami nga nagapangabay sa ila sa pagpaathag sang Balaan nga Kasulatan sang nagakaigo, sa pagbasa kag paghangop sini bilang amat-amat kag padayon nga pagpahayag sang Dios sang iya kabubut-on sa katawhan, tubtob sa iya kabug-osan nga katumanan sini sa kay Hesu-Kristo, ang maathag nga Pulong sang Dios para sa kalibutan. Siya nagkari “indi sa pagsikway sang Kasugoan kundi sa paghatag sang katumanan” (Mateo 5:17). Si Hesus wala gid nagduso sang kon ano man nga dagway o porma sang “legal killing” o pagpatay sa legal nga pamaagi. Siya nagdampig sang babaye nga nadakpan nga nagapanginlalaki batok sa mga luyag magpatay sa iya kag naghangkat sa bisan kay sin-o man sa ila nga wala sang sala nga amo ang mag- una sa paghaboy sang bato sa iya (Juan 8:7).

Bisan pa nga may mga pinakamaayo kita nga katuyuan, ang pinakamabug-at nga silot o capital punishment / death penalty wala gid mapamatud-an nga nangin epektibo sa pagtapna kag pagpugong sang krimen. Maathag nga mas mahapos nga pamatyon na lang ang mga kriminal sang sa pagsumpong sang mga ginahalinan nga ugat sang kriminalidad sa sosyedad. Ang pinakamabug-at nga silot paagi sa kamatayon (capital punishment o death penalty) kon updan sang sistema sang kasuguan nga may mga kakulangan o indi makatarunganon magadala gid sang tuman nga kalainan, bisan pa sang kamatayon.  Continue reading

Duterte, De Lima and Lascañas: Not a love triangle

Rappler photo

The Supreme Court will see clearly that Duterte, De Lima, and Lascañas do not love each other, but surely love for this country and for the rule of law will make the Court decide the case in the right way

Tony La Viña
Published 11:07 AM, March 07, 2017
Updated 4:44 PM, March 20, 2017

There are two sides to the story behind the filing of criminal charges against Senator Leila de Lima for alleged trading in illegal drugs. The government version is probably the more publicized between these two sides.

This version paints De Lima as the mother of all drug lords who is responsible for the surge in the illegal drug trade in the entire country.

If President Duterte is to be believed, De Lima’s entire government career has been dedicated to nothing but making sure that illegal drugs lord it all over the entire country and that every Filipino citizen is turned into a drug pusher or addict. Unfortunately for De Lima, this version peddled by the President, his men, and social media operations has gained ground in the consciousness of the Filipinos until it took hold of public opinion and became, for all intents and purposes, the truth on the matter.

The other side, of course, is the story as it was documented by mainstream media all throughout the senator’s years in public service since 2008 when she was appointed as the Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights. The facts of this story are straightforward and can be Google-searched by anyone.

The bare facts of this story can be summarized in 3 basic major events.

The first major event is the 2009 CHR investigation on the Davao Death Squad, when De Lima as CHR chairperson held a series of hearings in Davao City and publicly berated then Davao mayor Rodrigo Duterte for his failure to put an end to the daily extrajudicial killings of suspected criminals in his city.

After becoming president, Duterte minced no words in proclaiming to the media that he was never able to forget this incident, where a woman lawyer from imperial Manila came all the way down to his kingdom in the South to raise her voice and point a finger at him in front of his loyal subjects of barangay officials, police officers, community leaders, and local media.

The President would not have any of that without his vengeance, and promised to have De Lima eat the compact disc of the recording of the 2009 CHR proceedings where he was publicly scolded by De Lima. But we all know now that, that was not to be the limit of Duterte’s revenge, given that the senator is now in prison.

The second major event is the December 15, 2014 Bilibid raid led by De Lima as DOJ Secretary, together with elements from the BuCor, NBI, PDEA, PNP-SAF, PNP-NCRPO, PNP-Muntinlupa, and the PAOCC.

This raid, which resulted in the dismantling of the luxurious living quarters of the so-called Bilibid drug lords and the isolation of 19 of these drug lords from the rest of the prison population, was the subject of every major news service in the country at that time, until it was overshadowed by the tragedy of the Mamasapano encounter on January 24, 2015.

For almost 3 weeks the Filipino people were exposed to broadcast videos of a grim and determined De Lima raiding the Bilibid kubols with fully armed NBI agents backed up by PNP-SAF snipers. All of these of course were to be forgotten in the Filipinos’ short memory, which only extends as far as the previous celebrated news event, which at that time was to be the last major crisis of the Aquino government, the debacle of Mamasapano.

The third major event is the launching of the Senate investigation on President Duterte’s war on drugs and the consequent extrajudicial killings committed by law enforcers and vigilante death squads.

The hearing was led by De Lima, then a newly-elected senator, as chairperson of the Senate committee on justice and human rights. De Lima had one star witness, self-confessed Davao Death Squad hitman Edgar Matobato, who also claimed to be the right-hand of Mayor Duterte’s right-hand man in the death squad, SPO3 Arturo Lascañas.

During the hearing, the entire Davao Death Squad as named by Matobato was called to the Senate. They were led by SPO3 Lascañas who expertly sparred with De Lima and parried her blows on his personal relationship with Matobato. Lascañas denied everything about the DDS, saying it was merely a media creation.

As of this writing, however, Lascañas is testifying once again in the Senate, this time corroborating every material statement that Matobato has made, viz., that the DDS is real, that it was organized, led, and financed by Mayor Duterte, and that it was responsible for the summary execution of suspected criminals, and eventually the political opponents, critics, and personal enemies of the Dutertes of Davao City.

Lascañas is still currently spilling the beans on the DDS and President Duterte, proving that De Lima’s once lonely crusade against the President, the DDS, and the present nationwide EJKs in urban poor communities, masquerading as a war on drugs, was not launched by the senator and former CHR chairperson in vain.

Upon questioning by Senator Grace Poe on further corroborative testimonies, Senator Trillanes answered for Lascañas, saying that there are other witnesses who are approaching certain priests for purposes of making their testimonies on the DDS public, with FLAG lawyer Arno Sanidad eagerly nodding in the background.

War vs De Lima

It is therefore safe to assume that more DDS members are expected to follow the example of Matobato and Lascañas, and therefore present us with more clear and convincing evidence regarding the operations of the DDS, and the President’s role as the mastermind of the longest-running vigilante death squad in Philippine history. This comes almost 8 years to the day when De Lima first confronted Mayor Duterte at the start of the CHR investigations on the DDS inside a conference hall of the Royal Mandaya Hotel one cloudy day in March 2009.

As soon as De Lima delivered her privilege speech on August 9, 2016 calling for the EJK investigations, Duterte and his men, in turn, launched their own war against De Lima, which invariably swung from salacious misogyny to outright McCarthyist witch-hunting.

The President’s war against De Lima eventually devoured every accomplishment of the former CHR chairperson and DOJ secretary, from her courageous initiative as the first public official to investigate the Davao killings and the untouchable Davao mayor, to her PDAF investigations that led to the arrest of 3 senators, and most prominently her own war on the illegal drug trade inside Bilibid which resulted in the first-ever major raid of the national prison by any public official.

Duterte’s war on De Lima was formally launched in the House of Representatives’ justice committee hearings on the Bilibid drug trade.

The present criminal cases against De Lima originated from the same House hearing which purportedly dealt on the Bilibid drug trade during De Lima’s term as secretary of justice, but which instead focused on the senator’s personal sex life with her driver-bodyguard and alleged sexual proclivities, interspersed with the accusations thrown in by the same criminal convicts whose network and ultimate power base of underground businesses were completely turned upside down by De Lima and her December 14, 2015 Bilibid raid.

During the said House hearings, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II presented a total of 22 witnesses, most of whom are high-level convicts at the Bilibid, and granted immunity by Speaker Alvarez. Five (5) of these convicts have pending requests for clemency.

Instead of being recognized for her decisive action against the drug trade in Bilibid, De Lima was painted in the House inquiry as the Bilibid drug queen, using the very same convicted criminals who had every reason to take any opportunity for payback against her by fabricating fantastic stories of corruption in exchange for whatever was dangled before them by Secretary Aguirre.

These include immunity from prosecution, the restoration of prison privileges and non-regulation amenities, and most importantly, the assurance that they won’t be stabbed to death in staged prison riots.

To add insult to injury, President Duterte took credit for the December 15, 2014 Bilibid raid, when he claimed that De Lima executed the raid only after he revealed to her the rampant drug-trading within the walls of the Bilibid. De Lima denied this, saying she had no communication whatsoever with the then Davao City mayor since that CHR public hearing in Davao City in March of 2009.

Prejudged by Duterte, Aguirre

From hereon, what were accepted facts as broadcast by media were projected as De Lima’s own propaganda, and that the truth is that she actually undertook the Bilibid raid to prop up her own control over the Bilibid drug trade.

The actual facts of De Lima’s accomplishments as Secretary of Justice as reported by media in the past were substituted with the fantastic stories of drug convicts, individuals who by law are not even qualified to turn state witness for having committed crimes involving moral turpitude, and who could not even be accepted into the government’s witness protection program for the same reason.

This is the story of the erstwhile heroine turned heel, all by a stroke of misfortune, when the mayor the heroine hounded for the DDS killings was elected to the presidency. Now as senator, De Lima still dared to take the President to task for his policy on the extrajudicial killing of suspected drug pushers and users.

President Duterte would have none of that. De Lima was arrested last February 24 for trading in illegal drugs, while the same criminal convicts who stood witness against her were cleared from inclusion in the criminal information on the ground that they have been granted immunity during the House hearing, and despite the fact that their testimonies are worthless since they could not even qualify as state witnesses.  Continue reading