Legge marziale estesa in Mindanao

Dopo oltre quattro ore di dibattito, il Congresso ha dato il via libera alla richiesta del presidente Rodrigo Duterte di estendere la legge marziale nell’intero Mindanao per un altro anno, dal 1 ° gennaio 2018 al 31 dicembre 2018.

Il Senato ha votato con 14 voti a favore contro 4 mentre la Camera dei rappresentanti ha votato 226 a favore contro 23 per l’estensione della legge marziale.

Lo scorso 23 maggio,  Duterte aveva imposto la legge marziale in Mindanao con il Proclama 216 dopo che il gruppo terrorista dei Maute ispirato dallo Stato islamico aveva attaccato la città di Marawi e tentato di stabilire un califfato nella stessa città. Quasi due mesi dopo, il Congresso aveva approvato la richiesta del presidente Duterte di estendere la legge marziale in Mindanao fino al 31 dicembre 2017. 20 giorni prima della scadenza Duterte ha nuovamente chiesto di estendere per un altro anno la legge marziale citando le persistenti minacce di terrorismo e ribellione nella regione.

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The path of active nonviolence

 | Dec 7, 2017 |  CBCPNews  

In these very violent times, even as we might sympathize with the victims who, out of desperation, are inclined resort to violent means of redress, knowing how cruelty breeds cruelty, how aggression provokes aggression, how violence begets violence, let us stand our ground and work consistently for truth, justice and human dignity–but always in nonviolent way.

Let us never allow ourselves to be motivated by anger or hatred, resentment, revenge, or the instinct to retaliate or return evil for evil. Let us believe in the innate nobility of the human spirit. Let us not give evil the pleasure of having the last say, by always putting on check our tendency to hit back when we are hurt. Let us not allow the enemy to mold us into his own image and likeness.

Let us never call any human being intrinsically evil even when they commit the most unspeakable forms of depravity. For to do so is to ascribe evil to the God who created them. Let us rather fight the evil that has the power to infiltrate what is by nature good in the human soul, especially when the soul is weak and prone to possession, as when a human body succumbs to a bacterial or a viral infection.

Let us arrest the disease right at its very onset, going out of our way to interrupt violence before it escalates and triggers an unstoppable avalanche. We can do it, by attending with care and compassion to the healing of the victims of violence, as well as the conversion of its perpetrators, including the seemingly uninvolved fencesitters.

We’ve had enough of bloodshed; we are sick and tired of violence and war. They profit nobody except the enterprising arms dealers whose marketing strategies include conflict-instigation and war-mongering.

Let us go for active nonviolence! Let us be ready to look at a violent person in the eye, always ready to reach out to the bruised and scared child underneath the armor and aggression of a stunted adolescent.

Let our only model be Jesus on the cross, who took the blows of his tormentors while praying to his Father to forgive them “for they know not what they do.” Let our only exemplar be the God-man who chose to suffer and die than wish the suffering and death of his persecutors. Let his resurrection be our weapon and shield, our guarantee of victory, our basis for faith in the God who alone can conquer evil with good. CBCPNews

Priest and pastor killed

Fr. Marcelito “Tito” Paez, 72, was killed in Jaen town on Monday night. He served the Diocese of San Jose, Nueva Ecija for 32 years. He had been at the forefront of campaigns against militarization in Nueva Ecija and Central Luzon, and was known to lead church service for communities and victims of human rights violations.

Fr. Marcelito was driving his vehicle through Sitio Sangalang at Barangay Lambakina a road in Jaen town, Nueva Ecija at 8 PM, Dec. 4, when he was ambushed and shot by four men riding two motorcycles. He was rushed to a hospital in San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija and he died there while he was being prepared for treatment. Earlier on Monday, Paez helped secure the release of political prisoner Rommel Tucay at the BJMP jail in Cabanatuan City. Tucay, 38, was an organizer of Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon in Nueva Ecija and was arrested last march by soldiers of the 56th Infantry Battalion, police and intelligence operatives in his house in Sitio Compra, General Luna village, Carranglan in Nueva Ecija province, and allegedly tortured under detention.

On the same day a Christian Pastor Lovelito Quiñones, 57, was shot dead in Sitio Bait, Panaytayan town, in Oriental Mindoro. Quiñones of the Kings Glory Ministry was on his motorcycle in Sitio Anapla, Barangay Don Pedro, on his way home when he passed by the area near an alleged encounter site of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the communist New People’s Army (NPA). The military claimed that Quiñones was a member of the NPA. He was in the company of seven motorcycle-ridings traversing the national highway of Panaytayan town when they were met by soldiers in combat patrol at about 2 p.m. According to the military, an exchange of gunfire started between the group of Quinones and the troops, killing the pastor on the spot while his companions escaped.

So far,  an intensified military operations against the NPAs in two weeks of fighting across the country resulted in 25 rebels dead and dozens of wounded after Duterte terminated peace talks with the communist party and started a crackdown of  its organization particularly its legal fronts.

On a statement in May 24 2017 the Bishops of the Philippines said: “We trust that our negotiators — on both sides — will be anointed by God’s Spirit so that His sons and daughters in this land that has already been drenched by so much blood may at last walk the ways of peace.”

””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””’

Padre Marcelito “Tito” Paez, 72 anni, è stato ucciso nella città di Jaen lunedì notte. Sacerdote da 32 anni della diocesi di San Jose, Nueva Ecija, situata al centro dell’isola di Luzon. Era conosciuto per essere stato un esponente di prima linea nelle campagne contro la militarizzazione in Nueva Ecija, e per le sue veglie di preghiera per le comunità e le vittime delle violazioni dei diritti umani.

Fr. Marcelito stava guidando il suo veicolo attraverso Sitio Sangalang a Barangay Lambakina, una strada nella città di Jaen, Nueva Ecija alle 8 di sera, il 4 dicembre, quando gli è stata tesa un’imboscata da quattro uomini in sella a due motociclette che poi gli hanno sparato. È stato portato di corsa all’ospedale di San Leonardo, a Nueva Ecija, dove tuttavia è morto prima di entrare in sala operatoria. Lunedì scorso, Paez si era adoperato per il rilascio del prigioniero politico Rommel Tucay dal carcere del BJMP nella città di Cabanatuan. Tucay, 38 anni, era stato un organizzatore di Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon a Nueva Ecija ed era stato arrestato lo scorso marzo dai soldati del 56 ° battaglione di fanteria, agenti della polizia e dell’intelligence nella sua casa a Sitio Compra, villaggio General Luna, Carranglan, Nueva Ecija e presumibilmente torturato mentre era in stato detenzione.

Nello stesso giorno un pastore protestante Lovelito Quiñones, 57 anni, è stato ucciso a colpi di arma da fuoco in Sitio Bait, nella città di Panaytayan, Mindoro Orientale. Quiñones, pastore del Kings Glory Ministry, stava rientrando a casa sulla sua moto a Sitio Anapla, Barangay Don Pedro, quando è passato vicino ad una zona dove era in atto un presunto incontro tra le Forze Armate delle Filippine (AFP) e l’Esercito comunista del Nuovo Popolo ( NPA). I militari hanno affermato che Quiñones era un membro degli NPA. Era in compagnia di altri sette motociclisti che stavano attraversando la strada nazionale nella città di Panaytayan quando sono stati visti dai soldati in pattuglia di combattimento alle due del pomeriggio. Secondo le forze armate, uno scambio di armi da fuoco è iniziato tra loro e il gruppo di Quiñones, uccidendo subito il pastore mentre i suoi compagni sono riusciti a fuggire.

Finora, una intensa operazione militare contro gli NPAs in due settimane di combattimenti in tutto il paese ha provocato la morte di 25 persone e decine di feriti, questo dopo che il presidente Duterte ha deciso di interrompere i colloqui di pace con il partito comunista e reprimere più duramente questa organizzazione, in particolare le sue rappresentanze legali.

Vaccino pericoloso

Le Filippine si stanno preparando per affrontare una possibile tragedia nazionale dopo la notizia che un vaccino contro la febbre malarica dengue potrebbe, invece di debellarla, facilitare i sintomi della stessa malattia. Il gigante farmaceutico francese Sanofi Pasteur ha ammesso che dati clinici hanno mostrato che Dengvaxia – il primo vaccino contro la dengue – potrebbe favorire l’insorgenza della stessa dengue  in persone mai precedentemente infettate dal virus. Il governo filippino ha così sospeso il programma di immunizzazione tra gli studenti delle scuole in seguito alle rivelazioni dalla Francia, rivelazioni che tuttavia sono arrivate solo dopo che più di 733.000 bambini erano stati immunizzati. La Sanofi Pasteur  ha poi precisato che la Dengvaxia fornisce un persistente beneficio protettivo in coloro che hanno avuto precedentemente la dengue.

Il sig. Tayag del Dipartimento della Salute ha dichiarato che il vaccino è stato somministrato solo a bambini di età pari o superiore a nove anni e che il regime di vaccinazione è stato iniziato solo in aree in cui la dengue era già diffusa. Coloro che sono stati vaccinati vengono ora seguiti per eventuali e futuri effetti negativi. La Sanofi ha comunque fatto capire che potrebbero volerci circa cinque anni perché si manifestino i casi di dengue gravi prodotti dal vaccino tra i vaccinati. Su oltre 211.000 casi sospetti di febbre dengue nelle Filippine l’anno scorso, sono decedute circa 1.000 persone.

Pockets of Grace

 

Struggling with prayer? Want to talk to God but don’t know how? Buy the book Pockets of Grace: An Ignatian prayer guide, which introduces the reader to how prayer can be “exciting, consoling and enlightening,” will be both spiritually and socially uplifting, as proceeds from the book will help fund the construction of a school library for an IP school for Subanon children in Monte Central, Brgy. Patalon, Zamboanga City.

“I might be selling books, but I am not. What I am selling is a worthy cause for the benefit of the Subanon students…,” said the book’s author, Fr. Wilfredo M. Samson, SJ in an interview. While the first batch of Subanon children graduated from the said Mission School for Indigenous People last year, the school still needs a decent school library “to study, read and re-create,” said the priest.

The Ateneo de Zamboanga University (AdZU) community started building a mission grade school for the Subanon children of Patalon in 2011. “The idea came after realizing … the need to build one IP school in the mountain, so that their children will no longer need to walk for hours just to go to school,” shared Samson, who is also the AdZU vice president for formation.

According to Samson, the book, which is “not a typical religious book,” will deepen one’s prayer life. “Many of us wanted to pray, but we don’t know how. How do we listen to the voice of God? How do we dispose ourselves to silence and prayer? The book is a prayer guide and it will help anyone to pray the easy way,” he said. “It’s interactive, dynamic and exciting. But we need your desire and good disposition to really meet and commune with God. After all, a good open heart is needed to hear God’s voice.”

Resolve Maguindanao massacre case in 4 years

SunStarManila

Protesters held placards showing images of Maguindanao Massacre victims during a protest near Malacanang Palace in Manila on November 23, 2015, condemning the slow-paced trial of those accused in the massacre, to mark the 6th anniversary of the worst political massacre of the country. Now, on its 8th year, justice is still elusive for the families of the 58 victims. (AFP) EIGHT years after the gruesome 2009 Maguindanao massacre, the government made a pledge to resolve the case in another four years to attain justice for the families of the 58 victims. Undersecretary Joel Egco, executive director of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS), said Wednesday that the Duterte government would keep an eye on the developments concerning the ghastly deaths of the 58 individuals, including 32 journalists, in Maguindanao. Egco said they received assurance from the Department of Justice, particularly from Justice Assistant Secretary Juvy Manwong, that justice will be served under the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte because the proceedings against the accused are “moving.” “The PTFoMS will keep a close watch and strictly monitor the progress of the judicial process regarding the Maguindanao massacre,” he said. “Manwong estimated that at the rate the trial is moving, the case may be resolved in four years, or well within the term of President Rodrigo Duterte, based on the assumption that the defense will present an equal number of witnesses as that of the prosecution,” Egco added. The country on Thursday, November 23, commemorated the Maguindanao massacre, which claimed the lives of 32 media practitioners, the wife of Maguindanao Governor Esmael Mangudadatu, and 25 others. The victims were in a convoy towards Shariff Aguak town in Maguindanao, where Mangudadatu was to file his certificate of candidacy for the 2010 elections. Nearly 200 people, including 15 surnamed Ampatuan, were implicated in the massacre. Of the total, 115 individuals have been arrested while 81 are still at large. Of the 115, three became state witnesses making the actual number of the accused, arrested and arraigned, 112. Four have since died in prison while two are out on bail. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, who joined Egoc at the press conference, said the executive department was optimistic that the judiciary would live up to its vow to work for a speedy resolution. “We’re hoping that earlier than the four years mentioned by the Undersecretary (Egco), there could be at least one or two accused who will have the promulgation of judgment,” Roque, who served as the lawyer of relatives of the slain journalists, said. “The President remains committed to accord justice to the victims of the Ampatuan massacre and to all victims of illegal drugs in our country,” he added. Lawyer Nena Santos, who represents relatives of the victims, earlier said they were looking at partial conviction next year. Egco said the PTFoMS has requested Philippine National Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa and National Bureau of Investigation director Dante Gierran to intensify manhunt operations against those still at large. Egco said they have been seeking “an end to impunity, speedier trial, partial judgment, and intensified manhunt for those suspects still at large.” “The good news is after a long and tedious search for justice, we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. That long period of uncertainties is finally over. Hoping against hope, we expect justice to be completely served for the victims and families of this most gruesome crime,” he said. (SunStar Philippines)

http://www.sunstar.com.ph/manila/local-news/2017/11/23/government-vows-resolve-maguindanao-massacre-case-4-years-576306

Chapel attacked in Maguindanao

CBCP News

Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato strongly condemned another attack, on November 10, of the Catholic chapel in Barangay Labu-Labu, Shariff Aguak, in Maguindanao. In a statement Tuesday, the cardinal lamented how unidenfitied men set ablaze the chapel and “maliciously” destroyed religious statues.

“This criminal act is an abhorrent desecration of a place of Catholic worship,” Quevedo said.

Investigations are ongoing into the religious vandalism of an old chapel that took place on the evening of November 9. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack on the chapel located along the national highway. The cardinal said the destruction of the statues is “gravely disrespectful” of Catholic beliefs.

“Such a crime is most disturbing and provocative,” Quevedo said, as he expressed hope that the incident won’t affect the “harmonious” relationship between Muslims and Christians in the area.

He urged the public, government officials, and the archdiocese’s partners in the Bangsamoro peace process to help the security forces in bringing the perpetrators to justice. Last June 23, suspected members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) attacked a chapel in Pigcawayan town, North Cotabato, and destroyed not only religious icons but also desecrated the Sacred Hosts. The church leader also called on religious leaders to condemn such abuses and “prevent religious bigotry, hostility and conflict”. The cardinal then enjoined the clergy, the religious, and the lay faithful “to be always alert to the ongoing threats of violent extremism”.

“Be calm. Despite provocation, follow the Lord’s injunction of peace and not revenge,” he said. CBCPNews

Un presidente da brividi

Un normale filippino che si trova di fronte a questa terrificante maglietta cosa può provare se non sensi di colpa? Rodrigo Duterte, Il Castigatore, la vera Aquila di Davao è in realtà il Presidente delle Filippine un paese di 105 milioni di abitanti, mica una comunità di poche centinaia di persone.

Ma chi soffre sensi di colpa? Non certo i trafficanti di armi, i terroristi o gli spacciatori di droga che per certo acquisteranno decine di queste magliette per nascondere meglio i loro loschi affari. Sono soprattutto i poveri e le persone depresse nelle quali facilmente l’ansia per le cose negative che si succedono regolarmente si legano al timore di diventare oggetti di repressione anche senza aver fatto nulla di grave.

Probabilmente questa maglietta da Halloween esposta recentemente all’Aeroporto di Davao, non ha molti acquirenti, fa troppo paura. Chi la fotografa trema. Nondimeno, se fosse indossata da milioni di filippini, potrebbe produrre una pressione sociale rilevante, tipo lavaggio del cervello, dove chi l’osserva si sentirebbe rimproverato di non fare abbastanza, se non addirittura di sbagliare troppo. In sostanza chiaro il messaggio: “Sentiti colpevole e mortificati”, e di conseguenza “Stasera dormirai in pace se hai seguito i consigli del tuo Presidente che, dall’alto come un Aquila Superman, fa fatto il suo dovere come lo devi fare tu”  Non importa se è un volatile che sbrana la preda per dare cibo ai ‘suoi’ piccoli.

Nelle Filippine, da tempo, c’è un grosso problema di potere che in qualche misura assomiglia a quello all’interno di molte sette religiose e fondamentaliste, in cui l’autorità religiosa resta, per così dire, esterna all’individuo e decide quali sensi di colpa costui deve provare. Anzi a volte li aumenta o li diminuisce a seconda dell’andamento sociale e politico. Autorità che può assolvere o punire.

Poi, senza volerlo, chi ha stampato la maglietta fa emergere anche dei problemi particolari, come, per esempio, quello di eliminare ogni traccia di debolezza, di flaccidità in chi governa e quindi per forza mostrare il macho, l’uomo virile. Nella maggior parte dei casi stereotipo di un uomo che si nasconde dietro occhiali neri e giubbotti militari. E questo è un problema. Non è che per caso abbiamo autorità altissime obbligate a gestire buona parte della loro identità perché vissuta come debolezza e colpe interiori? Da brividi! Meglio riderci sopra.

Government militia killed fr. Tentorio

SUNSTAR MANILA — Philippine government militiamen gunned down an Italian Catholic missionary in a 2011 attack, which state prosecutors said may have been carried out with the knowledge of two army commanders in the country’s south, a justice official said Friday. A Justice Department panel led by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong recommended murder complaints to be filed against a dozen suspects, including the militiamen and two army commanders, for the October 2011 killing of Reverend Fausto Tentorio, a popular anti-mining advocate in Arakan town in North Cotabato province. The investigation report, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, overturns an earlier finding by authorities that blamed two civilians for the brazen killing, which was condemned by the Italian government and environmental activists. “He was perceived to be a sympathizer of the NPA,” Ong said of Tentorio, referring to the rebel New People’s Army, which has been waging a decades-long communist insurgency in the Philippines. “But that’s not a reason for him to be killed.” Military spokesman Major General Restituto Padilla said the military has not received a copy of the findings but stressed that it does not condone such killings or any illegal action by combat forces. He said that troops have shown their professionalism including in the enforcement of martial law in the south. “We appeal to the public not to judge our personnel until they’re proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt,” Padilla said.

The bespectacled Tentorio, who led a campaign against mining operations, which environmental activists feared could displace impoverished villagers and tribal communities, was shot several times with a pistol as he walked to his car in a church compound in Arakan, officials said. Hundreds of Arakan residents and enviromental activists showed up for his burial. The investigation cited several witnesses, including students and teachers attending a morning flag ceremony at a nearby Arakan school, who heard gunshots then later saw the suspected gunman walking away from the church compound, where Tentorio was found sprawled beside his car. The gunman fled with companions on board two motorcycles. A key witness, Danilo Bayawan, was cited in the investigation as saying that he attended a meeting called by Jan Corbala, a local leader of a militia force who discussed the planned killing of Tentorio about a week before the attack. Corbala allegedly stated that he was ordered by military officials to kill Tentorio and was given money and a motorcycle to carry out the attack, the report said, adding that Bayawan backed out of the plot and later decided to tell authorities what he knew. The killing reflected the danger foreign and local Catholic missionaries face in the volatile south, where other priests have been killed, kidnapped and wounded in attacks, including by Muslim militant groups. (AP)

Negoziati di pace

 

L’arcivescovo di Davao Romulo Valles ha rivelato lo scorso 20 ottobre, alla fine del raduno della chiesa di Mindanao, MSPC XVI (un raduno di 249 rappresentanti provenienti dalle diocesi di Mindanao e dalle Isole Sulu) che parteciperà il prossimo 24 ottobre per organizzar l’incontro tra rappresentanti del New People Army (NPA) e il Comitato creato dal sindaco i Davao Sara Duterte. Gli NPA sono il braccio armato del Fronte Democratico Nazionale (NDF) di ideologia comunista che combatte una propria guerriglia armata contro il governo filippino dal 1968. Una ulteriore messa a punto del possibile dialogo si terrà il 17 Novembre sempre a Davao City.

Quelli della montagna e quelli dell pianura sono anche figli e figlie di Dio, ha detto Valles che ha poi chiarito che la Chiesa non ha una agenda nascosta o un interesse particolare in questi negoziati tranne un interesse per la pace, per lo sviluppo e il benessere di ogni persona. Negoziare è un modo positivo per portare la pace piuttosto che spararsi e uccidersi a vicenda.

In una dichiarazione rilasciata il 26 febbraio, il portavoce di NPA-Southern Mindanao Rigoberto F. Sanchez aveva dichiarato di essere aperto a discutere con il sindaco Duterte, dopo una serie di scontri tra i ribelli comunisti e le truppe governative a Paquibato e nei Distretti di Calin all’inizio di quest’anno.

Dal 1 dicembre al 30 novembre 2019 mons. Valles sarà il presidente della Conferenza Episcopale delle Filippine (CBCP) che si compone di 29 commissioni tra le quali anche la Commissione Pace e Giustizia.