Saturday, February 23, 2008

Mass & Prayer Rally for Truth and Accountability

Yesterday afternoon we held a mass and prayer rally at the Ateneo de Davao University and Freedom Park as a response to the call for a communal action for truth. Over a thousand students, religious and members of civil society groups turned up for this event. Fr. Antonio Samson, SJ, (president of the University) presided at the mass while Fr. Albert Alejo read the statement. There were 8 priests who concelebrated (2 Redemptorists and 6 Jesuits). After the mass, we gathered outside the university, in front of the Freedom Park for the candle-lighting and noise barrage.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Taking a stand against corruption and abuse of power

I just came from a meeting with some Jesuit priests and representatives from civil society groups in Davao. We discussed about the brewing political crisis sparked by the testimony of Jun Lozada about the involvement of the President and her husband in the ZTE-NBN corruption deal and the efforts to obstruct senate investigation. All of us are convinced that Lozada is telling the truth and the president must be held accountable.

We are aware that a lot of people have become apathetic and inflicted with "people power" fatigue. After ousting two corrupt presidents, many have become wary about going out to the streets to demand the resignation of another corrupt president.

Yet we cannot remain silent. We cannot allow this social evil that has permeated society to reign with impunity. So we have decided to respond to the CBCP call for communal action. We are organizing an interfaith rally this coming Friday, February 22 to express our outrage at the corruption and abuse of power.

It doesn't matter if the majority remain silent. We will continue to exercise our prophetic vocation.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Saying Goodbye to Fr. George and Sr.Yna

I just came back from Manila tonight after attending a meeting of the Baclaran commission the whole day today. The commission is made up of three Redemptorists from the Manila vice-province and four Redemptorists from the Cebu province. We talked about the collaboration between the two units of the Redemptorists in the Philippines in carrying out the mission apostolate in the Mother of Perpetual Help shrine in Baclaran.

Yesterday, the remains of Fr. George Tither arrived from Legazpi City and the coffin was placed at the Baclaran church where the wake will be held. I joined the Redemptorist community in a short ceremony of welcome. George will be buried this Friday. An Australian Redemptorist, George was assigned to the Philippines in 1947. He has been all over Luzon conducting missions and also as vocation director. I have known him since 1975, when I was a novice in Lipa. George is a source of inspiration for me and an example of missionary zeal and commitment. I hope that like him, I too will spend the rest of my life as a member of the congregation. Goodbye, George. St. Alphonsus and our departed confreres await you in heaven. Hope to see you again someday.

Late in the afternoon, I took the MRT to Cubao where I met my good friend, Yna. We had dinner at Gateway and then had capuccino. Yna is joining the Cenacle sisters and will be starting her novitiate this Feb. 17. I won't be seeing her again for the next two years. I promised her that I will attend her profession. I will miss her. Goodbye, Yna, see you two years from now.

I like the way the Italians say goodby: Arrividerdci! Until we see each other again.