We are sending wrong message to young people

Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas
Statement on the Supreme Court’s Decision on Marcos Burial

The Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas believes that the Supreme Court’s decision rejecting the petitions to stop the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng Mga Bayani is a barefaced disrespect to the victims of one of the darkest moment in the history of our people and our country in general. Burying Ferdinand E. Marcos alongside our nation’s heroes who fought for our freedom is a great insult to the thousands of victims of atrocities committed during his reign. Burying him at the Heroes’ Cemetery is a mocking act that will send a strong distorted message to our young people that in this country, dictators, plunderers and executioners are being rewarded.

The Supreme Court’s decision appears to have been anchored only on the legal provisions of the Philippine Constitution but with apparent complete disregard for moral issues that go along with it. Marcos may have been a President but he ended up a dictator; he may have been a soldier but his grave abuse of power and systemic violence undermines his well flaunted valor.

Marcos burial in Libingan ng mga Bayani will undoubtedly constitute a claim for recognition as a hero, absolutely setting aside the causes raised and won by the spirit of EDSA 1. It will degrade the Filipino’s integrity as a people and distort truths and realities of Philippine history as a nation. It will not bring healing as the Marcos family and their cronies continue to deny the injustices they have committed and the victims of Martial Law are not properly restituted. There can never be peace without truth and justice.

Foregoing considered, we call on all our concerned and patriotic legal luminaries and our legislators to make the proper motions or resolutions on the Supreme Court’s decision. We also appeal on our Cabinet members to act on our country’s behalf in influencing the heart and mind of our President on this very important matter.

For the Board of Directors of Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas,

National President

Noted by:

LAIKO National Director
Chairman, CBCP Episcopal Commission on the Laity

11 November 2016

We will continue to fight for the truth

Ateneo de Manila University President’s  memorandum to the university community on the Marcos burial issue



ABS CBN photo

9 November 2016

On 8 November 2016, the Supreme Court of the Republic of the Philippines decided to allow the burial of Dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the historic and symbolic Libingan ng mga Bayani. With no hesitation, the Ateneo de Manila University expresses its indignation over this decision, calling this an act of convenient equivocation and injustice on the part of the Supreme Court.

In its decision, the Supreme Court argued by saying: “While he was not all good, he was not pure evil either. Certainly, just a human who erred like us.” Such an argument amounts to a monumental denial of the suffering and murder of thousands of our people and the billions of public funds stolen during those tragic years of Martial Law. Ferdinand Marcos did not just err like us. Decisions that were made during his regime were marked by atrocity and impunity. People were imprisoned, tortured, and killed just for harboring different beliefs and convictions. Those years were deliberately disruptive of democracy and freedom. Martial Law wasn’t just a stumble in the dark. It was a careful orchestration of violence and power conducted in the name of order and an artificial peace.   Continue reading

Betrayal of the Filipino People

solidarity_bannerWe in Solidarity Philippines are dismayed over Supreme Court decision which ruled that President Duterte has the authority to order the burial of the remains of the Dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Jesus said “the truth will set you free” (John8:32). It was a moment when the Supreme Court should have upheld the truth of the Marcos dictatorship: that the Marcos government killed more than 3,000 political opponents and tortured tens of thousands; that members of the Marcos family and their associates plundered about $10 billion from the country while millions of Filipinos lived in dire poverty. Yet the majority of the justices preferred to hide behind untruths using very narrow legal reasoning. It would be laughable that justices would say that the cases against Marcos were only civil and not criminal if it were not for the fact that this is only the case because of the climate of impunity which continues to this day. And as Justice Leonen says “they, (the justices) encourage impunity, which is the result of rewarding the person who presided over human rights violations and who personally participated in the plunder of public treasury.”

Bongbong Marcos is quoted as saying “It is our sincerest hope that this will lead the nation towards healing: I think this will be the beginning of bringing the country together.” The truth is the opposite will happen. Rewriting history does not lead to healing. Ignoring the pain still felt by those who were tortured and of the families whose loved ones were killed and disappeared does not lead to healing. Only justice leads to healing: justice for all the victims of the Marcos dictatorship; justice for those looking to have the coco levy returned; justice for the Filipino people who continue to shoulder the burden of unjust loans pocketed by the Marcos family. Without this, the country will never be united.

We commend those justices who issued dissenting opinions, for their ability to look to the truth of the Marcos dictatorship and to oppose the burial of the Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. We join with all those who refuse to let history be rewritten and join them in their demand that the truth of the Marcos dictatorship be acknowledged and justice be given to the Filipino people and particularly to those victims of human rights violations. Only by speaking this truth will the nation be healed and be able to move on as President Duterte claims he desires.

Sr. Pat Fox, nds
Solidarity Philippines
Email: patfoxph@yahoo.com

Pahayag ng Pagkakaisa at Pagatatalaga ng Sarili Para sa Pangangalaga ng Bulubundukin ng Sierra Madre


HiPinoy photo

KAMI ay mga kinatawan ng iba’t ibang katutubong komunidad, People’s Organizations (POs), Academe, Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), Religious groups at mga ahensya ng pamahalaan na kumikilos sa Region 4A na bahagi ng Bulubundukin ng Sierra Madre, na nagkakaisa at naninindigan na dapat alagaan at proteksyunan ang bulubundukin ng Sierra Madre at sa pamamagitan ng ugnayan ng DENR at Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) na nagtipon mula Nobyembre 3-4, 2016 sa Pranjetto Hills Hotel and Convention Center, Brgy. Sampaloc, Tanay, Rizal at nagpapahayag ng pagkakaisa sa mga sumusunod na usapin:

YAYAMANG, Ang bulubundukin ng Sierra Madre ay kinikilalang “Gulugod (Backbone) ng Luzon” na nagbibigay buhay sa amin at may pinakamahabang bulubundukin sa Pilipinas. Ito ay may tinatayang sukat na 1.8 milyong ektarya sa sumasaklaw sa 10 probinsya (Laguna, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Nueva Ecija, Aurora, Bulacan, Rizal, and Quezon) sa Administrative Regions 2, 3, and 4.

YAYAMANG ang bulubundukin ng Sierra Madre ay mayroong pinakamalaking bilang ng protected areas ng buong bansa—68 national parks, watershed forest reserves., natural monuments, marine reserves, protected landsccapes at seascapes at lahat ng CADT. Ang kapal ng gubat ang pinakamalawak na sa Pilipinas—tinatayang 1.4 million ektarya, o 25% ng yamang gubat ng bansa, at kasama ang mataas pa sa 40% ng natitirang old growth forests. Maraming samu’t saring buhay na tulad ng Haring ibon na matatagpuan sa loob ng Sierra Madre. Sa buong mundo ang Sierra Madre ang pinakasiksik sa samut saring buhay.

YAYAMANG, ang bulubundukin ng Sierra Madre ay tirahan at pinangangalagaan ng iba-ibang katutubong komunidad. Ito ay ang mga katutubong kultural/katutubong pamayanan ng Agta, Dumagat/Remontado, Isneg, Ibanag, Ikalahan, Gaddang, Ilonggot, Kabihog at ng Bungkalot. Ang bulubundukin ay pinangangalagaan ng mga katutubong pamayanan dahil matatagpuan sa loob nito ang mahahalagang sagradong lugar na pinagdadausan ng mga ritwal, at painagkukunan ng pagkain, halamang gamot at iba pang produktong gubat;   Continue reading

National Youth Day Formation Program

The National Youth Day Formation Program 2015 to 2016 will close on November 20, 2016.  We share the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth year- long program, with the introductory message of Bishop Leopoldo C. Jaucian, SVD, DD.

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines


My dear young people!

It is with great joy that I, together with my brother Bishops in the Episcopal Commission on Youth, greet you all a happy and blessed National Youth Day!

In my welcome message to Pope Francis last January 18, when he met with you, young people, at the University of Santo Tomas, I said, “We thank you, Holy Father, for believing in [the youths’] energy and eagerness, their honesty and hope! They are gifts of the Church and treasures of the world. Some of them experience different forms of poverty: the lack of basic needs, food, shelter and clothing, becoming victims of abuse, calamities and conflicts. They see in you as their Father, who listens to their crises, their hopes and their dreams… Amidst the different crosses they bear, they remain religious, faithful and loving sons and daughters of Holy Mother the Church.”

With the same sentiment, I welcomed everyone who came to our national celebration of the National Youth Day 2015, generously hosted by the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao! Let me take this opportunity to express again my heartfelt gratitude to the whole NYD2015 Organization! I salute Most Rev. SERGIO L. UTLEG, DD, Archbishop of Tuguegarao, and his auxiliary Most Rev. RICARDO L. BACCAY, DD for their generous hosting, along with the People of God in the whole host-archdiocese, especially the youth ministers! I thank my brother Bishops for their prayers, presence and support in my first national NYD celebration as Chairman of our Episcopal Commission on Youth!

As we prepare to celebrate the NYD2015 in our own communities, i.e. dioceses, parishes, BEC’s and other settings, I echo Pope Francis’—and Mother Church’s—confidence in you!

I affirm you as gifts and treasures: sometimes unappreciated, or perhaps even wrongly or inadequately valued. But still precious and loved, despite difficulties and evils which undermine or even attack your dignity.

And like Pope Francis, whose message for the World Youth Day 2015 we are taking as our guiding light for the NYD2015, I wish to be father, a shepherd, a youth minister to you, ready to listen to your voices and to rekindle your hope. This same wish is shared by the rest of the Church; that is why we have the National Youth Day!

Even in these local celebrations, let us come together—your Bishops, your priests and religious brothers and sisters, your lay elders, with you, our dear youth—to ponder on the joy of being blessed, to pause in our faith adventure in order to resume it with greater passion, and to pray to become more and more pure, seeking God alone.

I recognize with joy that each one of us has the desire for happiness. In your local celebration, I pray that God may shower His abundant grace upon us to be able to see Him in everyone, in every activity. Let us open our hearts in order to come into a personal encounter with Jesus, who alone makes our hearts burn with mercy and compassion, purifying it, enabling us to gaze at the Divine: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

Happy NYD2015! May the spirit of Advent help us live our theme in a most special way, making our Christmas celebration within the extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy and our own Year of the Family and the Eucharist more meaningful.

Bishop, Diocese of Bangued
Chairman, CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Youth

Download the National Youth Day 2015 Formation Program

Download the National Youth Day 2015 Formation Program Report-Form

Marcos Not A Hero – Labor NGO says

EILER Press Statement
9 November 2016


ABC Australia photo

A labor nongovernment organization is saddened by decision of the Supreme Court on November 8, allowing the hero’s burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in Libingan ng mga Bayani.

The Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research, Inc. (EILER) expresses its dissent over the high court’s ruling, citing countless cases of human rights violations, including abduction of numerous labor rights activists, and passing of questionable labor laws.

During martial law, strikes were specifically forbidden and thousands of Filipino workers were denied fundamental rights. Systematic trade union repression, labor rights violations, the killings of unionists and the culture of impunity were institutionalized under the Marcos dictatorship. The impact of the fascist state on Philippine society goes beyond many generations of Filipino workers.

The Libingan ng mga Bayani was established in 1947 as final resting place to national heroes, national artists and scientists, and Philippine military and presidents. The decision yesterday was not only a disservice to the nation, but a deliberate push towards revision of historical facts: that Marcos is no hero and he and his family ruled a regime of violence. He was corrupt, a tyrant, and his ill-gotten worldwide wealth, estimated at least $10 billion, ran the Philippines to the ground.

“We demand President Rodrigo Duterte to reconsider his statement on allowing the former dictator to be given a hero’s burial. This act will not result in building unity and healing among the people. The systemic violation of the Marcos dictatorship against the Filipino people will never be forgotten and not looted as political concessions among ruling elites” said Executive Director Anna Leah Colina. “We also express our sincerest support to the various groups filing a motion for reconsideration to reverse the high court’s decision.”

The high court reasoned that Marcos is “not convicted” of any crimes, among others. Marcos was not convicted of any crimes because he left the country at a time when he was being pursued by the justice system and came back a corpse years later. The technical nature of the events should not diminish the nation’s collective memory that during Marcos’ regime, freedom was curtailed and those who resisted were tortured and killed.

Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research, Inc. (EILER)

Makabuluhang tulong ng Simbahan, 3 taon matapos ang Bagyong Yolanda


Veritas846 photo

Makahulugan para sa iba’t ibang lalawigan ang ikatlong taong paggunita sa pananalasa ng bagyong Yolanda sa Pilipinas.

Sa Archdiocese of Cebu, sinabi ni Social Action Director Rev. Fr. Socrates Saldua na bagamat malawak at labis ang naging pinsala ng Bagyo sa buhay ng maraming mamamayan ay naging daan naman ito upang kanilang maramdaman ang biyaya at pag-ibig ng Diyos sa pamamagitan ng tulong na kanilang natanggap mula sa iba’t-ibang grupo o indibidwal.

Naniniwala si Fr. Saldua na sa loob ng tatlong taon ay patuloy na naging aktibo ang Simbahan upang maabot ang mga nangangailangan at ito ay isang patotoo na sa kabila ng kalamidad ay nariyan ang biyaya ng Panginoon para sa pagbangon.

“We are so grateful of the generosity of God . We are the witnesses of that blessings, we were able to reach out the victims in building houses, providing scholarship for the yolanda victims, organizing families for economic upliftment programs and others,” mensahe ni Fr. Saldua sa panayam ng Radio Veritas.

Naniniwala naman si Fr. Guillermo Alorro, Social Action Director ng Diocese of Calbayog na dapat panatilihin ng mga survivors ng bagyong Yolanda ang kanilang matatag na pananampalataya.

Dagdag pa ni Alorro, kanilang ipagpapatuloy ang paggawa ng pagtulong sa mga naapektuhan ng kalamidad kahit sa mga maliliit ngunit makabuluhan pamamaraan.

“Always must have a strong connection with God through prayers -and acts of charity in very small and meaningful ways to help our brethren especially those who are poorest of the poor,” ayon pa sa pari.

Magugunitang siyam na Diyosesis sa Pilipinas ang labis na napinsala ng bagyong Yolanda kung saan tinutukan ng Simbahang Katolika ang pagsasagawa ng mga programa para maibangon ang mga naapektuhan ng nasabing kalamidad.

Sa datos ng NASSA/Caritas Philippines taong 2015, aabot sa mahigit P3 bilyong halaga ng mga proyekto na kanilang ibinuhos sa mga lugar na naapektuhan ng bagyo kung saan mahigit sa 20 porsyento ng kabuuang bilang ng mga nasalanta ang kanila ng natulungan.

Veritas846/Rowel Garcia

Scholarships for Haiyan victims bear fruit

Inter-aksyon photo

Salesian program has helped hundreds struggling to rebuild lives following devastating typhoon

Marivic Fulminar, a 60-year old widow, could hardly contain her feelings when asked how she was three years after Super Typhoon Haiyan literally blew her home away in the central Philippine city of Tacloban.

“How can I thank God,” said Marivic. “I cannot ask for more,” added the teary-eyed mother of six who is one of the hundreds of beneficiaries of a church-run project for typhoon victims.

Marivic’s fourth child, Romnick, is already training as an automotive mechanic in Manila with the help of a scholarship program provided by the Salesians of Don Bosco congregation.

“The church project is a great help for us,” said Marivic.

Felixander Sudario, a 22-her old technician, also finished his education through the help of the Salesian-run Don Bosco Technical School in the capital Manila.

“They taught me new knowledge and skills,” said Felixander.

Jed Adol, who also trained as an automotive mechanic, is now employed by a big car manufacturing company in Manila.

The scholarship program is a “baby project” of Msgr. Ramon Aguilos of Palo Archdiocese who said he never planned it.

“It just came in, I would say, in God’s own time,” the priest told ucanews.com. 

He said the program is part of the Salesian congregation’s contribution to rehabilitation efforts in areas devastated by Haiyan, which hit the central Philippines on Nov. 8, 2013.

Msgr. Aguilos said the scholarship program will sponsor a new batch of students who will be sent to Manila for their studies next year.

The priest said he has been receiving good feedback from the recent batch of beneficiaries.  Continue reading

Philippine Catholic Church adopts official theme and logo for 2017 “Year of the Parish”

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines Committee on Basic Ecclesial Communities released today the official theme and logo of the 2017 Year of the Parish as Communion of Communities.


The logo: The circles of people whose hands are intertwined symbolize the communion within the BECs. These communities are linked together and make up the parish as communion of communities. It also includes other faith communities and organizations that are in the parish that – although trans-parochial in nature – are called to actively take part in the life of the parish and BECs. The outline of the cross symbolize the vertical and horizontal dimension of communion – communion with the Triune God and with each other. The bread and chalice at the center symbolize the Eucharist which is the sacrament and celebration of this communion. The bible which is also at the center symbolizes the Word of God that is shared and proclaimed which is the source of faith and basis of communion and which nourishes and build up communion. The sun rays symbolize the light of Christ that shines in the life of the members of parish and these communities.

The theme: “Forming BECs as agents of communion, participation and communion” is a call to action for all the members of the parish, the BECs and the trans-parochial faith communities and organizations to work together to build up the BECs where communion is experienced and that actively participate in the prophetic mission of evangelization, in sanctification and liturgical celebration, and in the mission of social transformation and making the kingdom of God – a kingdom of justice, peace, harmony and freedom – a reality.

The logo for 2017 Year of the Parish as Communion of Communities. was created by Fr Cecil Lobrigas (Sisiw Lobrigas).

Human Dignity is the Right of All


We are bombarded daily by the news and images of violence and mayhem. The bombing of Yemen and Aleppo, the horrific war in Iraq and Syria, conflicts in Sudan in Africa and with the deaths and suffering of migrants and refugees fleeing violence and war. It gives us urgent reason to feel the human suffering and to think and act about our humanity. What are we as a species that we do violence to each other? 

As a species, are we more animal than human, more violent than peaceful? Has our intelligence brought greater, more efficient means of killing and exterminating others than building equality and peace, ending hunger and poverty of hundreds of millions of people? It seems we, humans with the big brains and intelligence, are damaging ourselves and our planet beyond repair and recovery. 

Are we not like a shipload of humans fighting among ourselves and causing the ship to sink? The aggressors tend to demonize their opponents, to take away their self-worth and self-respect and deprive them of their dignity. They do so to exert superiority over them. Racial hatred is the result and it is on the rise in the world today. 

The human has evolved as the most aggressive and destructive species on the planet to the extent of one more powerful group in a community or country striving hell-bent on dominating or even exterminating others they dislike and whom they consider to be inferior, different or dangerous to them. When two or more groups feel threatened by others, they arm themselves and are ready for aggression or self-defense, violence, war and retaliation.   

Doing nothing is to forfeit our rights and dignity. We are in this planet together and we must work together to live in peace and harmony with equality and justice. Dialogue, discussion, talking over differences, getting to know and understand those who are different from us in race, religion and economic status can bridge the gap. It is when we engage and look each other face to face and listen to each other that there is a chance for peaceful negotiation and understanding can be reached. 

Troops and weapons are being sent to Eastern European countries by North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to counter the threat of Russia to wage war by proxy as it did in Crimea and Ukraine. The Russian leadership feels threatened by the increasing number of states joining the NATO and intends to assert itself. Diplomacy and persuasion is the road to peace. 

Continue reading