Posts Tagged ‘church’

Lagdameo: Search now for 2010 candidates

December 6, 2008

By Nestor P. Burgos Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:03:00 12/06/2008

ILOILO CITY – Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), has called on Filipinos to start looking for honest leaders whom they would support in the 2010 elections as a way to fight graft and corruption.

“We are facing so many problems coming from corruption in governance and therefore I am calling on all to be united in fighting this evil so that we may able to give our country the kind of service that [it] deserves,” Lagdameo said in an interview at the sidelines of a forum on corruption and governance here on Tuesday.

In a speech at the forum, Lagdameo said the search for honest leaders for the 2010 elections should start now so that the people can choose whom to support in the elections.

“One year may not be too long to look for [honest leaders],” the prelate said.

He stressed that honesty is the most important trait that the people should look for in leaders.

“This is the message that leaders should take to heart, for those aspiring for positions. At least [be] honest [and] not [be] a liar,” Lagdameo said.

He said leaders should also provide a sense of direction and future for the people and be “enthusiastic, energetic and positive of the future.”

The country also needs leaders who are “inspiring, a cheerleader not only in the campaign period but as a matter of fact,” Lagdameo told forum participants.

Lagdameo made the call amid the ongoing Senate investigation on the alleged P728-million fertilizer fund scam that has implicated former Agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn Bolante. Bolante is suspected of diverting the fund to President Macapagal-Arroyo’s presidential campaign in 2004.

The scam and other controversial projects, including the $329-million ZTE-National Broadband Network project have cost the country trillions of pesos and has contributed to the worsening of poverty, said the forum’s main speaker Bobby Tuazon, director for policy study and political analyst of the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (Cenpeg).

Citing a 2000 World Bank report, Tuazon said around $48 billion (P2 trillion) was lost to corruption from 1977-1997.

He also cited the 2004 report of the United Nations Development Program that about 13 percent, or P100 billion of the national budget for 2001, was lost to corrupt officials.

Corruption has been a major governance issue since the administration of President Manuel Roxas in 1947 until today, Tuazon said.

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Church teams with gov’t to protect women, children

December 6, 2008

By Leilanie G. Adriano

Staff Reporters

ABUSED women and children in this province found new comfort outside their homes as the Commission on Social Action of the Diocese of Laoag, in cooperation with concerned government authorities, including the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Justice, the Philippine National Police and barangay officials here are set to work hand-in-hand to ensure the safety and welfare of women and children in Ilocos Norte.

In a one-day seminar attended by women and youth parishioners from the 28 parishes of the Laoag diocese at the St. Arnold Janssen Pastoral Hall, Batac City prosecutor Myra Shiela M. Nalupta-Barba gave a lecture on the laws affecting women and their children, while provincial social welfare officer Lilian Rin gave an overview on the status of women and children being exposed to domestic violence, sexual harassment, rape, premarital sex and drug addiction.

Though the reported cases of affected women and children in the province is low and not considered “alarming”, Rin told The Ilocos Times that a massive information and education campaign still needs to be conducted “continuously”, especially in the grassroots level to let women and children know about their rights and thus be empowered.

SAC Director Fr. Leonardo Ruiz said the church concern is more on the “spiritual” and “moral” aspect of these women and children, hence the seminar was conducted to revive a women’s desk in every parish to assist the government in dealing with cases affecting women and children.

Ruiz added that the proposed women’s desk will also work to increase parishioners’ awareness of domestic violence and the impact of migration. They will also work to identify other issues concerning women and children and how communities can address these.

The priest further stated that parish leaders should engage community members in drafting a practical action plan.

Currently, Ruiz pointed out that “There is no basis for any action” on abuse or violence if it’s not reported due to a cultural taboo or other reasons. Sometimes, people helping women and children focus on legal aid, he noted.

He also mentioned that parish desks could educate families to prevent problems and help resolve them before they are elevated to courts. (IlocosTimes)

Church spearheads ecology advocacy in the southern Philippines

December 6, 2008

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, December 5, 2008—Malaybalay Bishop Honesto Pacana said the fight of the Mamamayan Ayaw sa Aerial Spraying (Maas) against aerial spraying in banana plantations in Davao City is a moral fight for people who have “less in life and, unfortunately, less in law.”

“This is about human dignity. This is about human rights and justice for the common good. This is a moral issue because anything that degrades the dignity of people is a moral issue,” Pacana said.

Maas members and supporters have been camping out near the local Court of Appeals (CA) building here to press the justices to resolve the case that banana growers in Davao City filed against an ordinance banning aerial spraying there.

The ban against aerial spraying in Davao City was the second of such action against the use of chemicals, said to be a health risk for people living close to agricultural plantations. Bukidnon was the first to prohibit the use of aerial crop dusters in plantations there.

Maas members said the CA should already decide on the case filed by the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) against the Davao anti-aerial spraying ordinance as its nonresolution continues to put the health of those living near plantations at risk.

As a sign of frustration for the slow resolution of the PBGEA case, members of Maas and their supporters from Jesuit-run Ateneo de Cagayan University (Xavier University) and from the Sumilao Farmers Association recently shaved their heads.

“We have sacrificed so much and we are willing to sacrifice more until the hearts of the justices of the Court of Appeals will be touched. We are appealing for their compassion, that they listen to us…we do not want anything but justice. We only want to claim the basic right for our health to be protected and live in a poison-free environment,” Baby Adlawan, a farmer from Sirib, Davao City, said.

She said a visit to communities near banana plantations in Davao City might be needed so that CA justices would be convinced to act fast.

“The greed of these banana companies is what makes our lives difficult and is slowly killing us. And the same greed appears to be being protected by the decisions of the Court of Appeals when the justices issued the temporary restraining order and later the writ of preliminary injuction (against the ban) and now the snail-paced resolution of the constitutionality of the ordinance,” Rosita Bacalso, a senior member of Maas, said.

On the other hand, Puerto Princesa (Palawan) Bishop Pedro D. Arigo said he has not stopped issuing pastoral statements and leading the people in rallies opposing mining operations in the area.

The Bishop said the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development plans to declare a 25-year moratorium on small-scale mining but the provincial government under Governor Joel Reyes has not passed the required ordinance.

“The governor has reacted to our pastoral letter which was very critical of the provincial government on the anomalies involved in the issuance of mining permits,” he said.

Arigo said while they continue to oppose mining operations, they have learned to “tolerate” the existence of the Tuba Nickel mining. “We said let’s not have additional mining companies as we called for strict monitoring of its mine tailings.”

The prelate said he was surprised to learn more than 300 new mining applications have been filed.

Before the year ends, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) may issue another pastoral letter on environment. (Santosh Digal)