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Vol 40, No 10 • OCTOBER 2006 Php 70.

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Quote in the Act
IMPACT
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150 Brigade Rd., Bangalore - 56-0025 commending Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk’s winning the 2006
INDONESIA: 1. Y.S.T.M. Jl. Gunung Sahari III/7 Phone: 021-354700 Jakarta Nobel prize for Literature. Pamuk stood trial earlier this year for
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released 45-page U.N. study which revealed that, among
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2 IMPACT • October 2006

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IMPAC T October 2006 / Vol 40 • No 10

CONTENTS
EDITORIAL

Many Killings, No Killer ...................................... 25


THE first time—and the last, actually—we
COVER STORY
saw Bishop Alberto Ramento of the Philip-
pine Independent Church was during the rally
held at the Liwasang Bonifacio on the occa-
sion of the Philippine Independence Day cel-
ebration last June 12. In his talk, he bewailed
the murder of some 20 pastors in the country
since 2001, with 15 or so of them belonging to
his church where he was the former Obispo
Maximo. Little did he know that four months
later he would be counted among them.
In the early morning of October 3, 2006,
A Tale of Courage and Survival: The Indigenous Bishop Ramento was brutally murdered in his
Peoples' Journey Toward Self-Determination ... 16 own rectory. The police was quick to bran-
dish the motive of the killing: robbery. Being
ARTICLES a poor man, there was nothing of conse-
Will Filipinos People the Earth? ........................... 4 quence that was stolen from the bishop—
except his life.
Restorative Justice annd Indigenous Law ...........6 According to NGO statistics, (cf. http://
CBCP-Laiko's Advocacy for Good Governance ..8 www.cp-union.org/dots/ListVictims.php), a
How Catholic is Your School? The Ateneo de long list of 725 persons have been murdered
from January 2001 up to September 2006—
Manila University Experience ............................. 11 most of them belonging to cause oriented
The Rapu-rapu Case: A Perfect Model for an groups, militants, journalists and people criti-
cal of the government. Not one of these
Imperfect System ...................................................14 cases has been solved to date. And the
The Challenges of Indigenous System of government is neither alarmed nor concerned.
Education ............................................................... 18 A government that does not respect human
life, or human rights at the least, will never
Getting to Know our Indigenous Brothers and respect the common good, which is the core
Sisters ...................................................................... 21 value of governance. In such a case, the
The Lumad-Subanen: Re-strengthening the government ceases having its raison d’etre.
In his Laiko’s Advocacy for Good Gov-
Ancestry ................................................................... 22 ernance, Jose Lugay proposes strategies to
Prophet and Martyr ............................................... 23 arrest corruption in the government. But
corruption which has become both political
STATEMENTS and cultural in the Philippines may not be so
Boac Declaration 2006 ...........................................26 easy to neutralize like it isn’t in other Filipino
value system. But will the Filipinos populate
A Joint Appeal of the Bishop-Ulama Conference the earth?, Archbishop Lagdameo asks in his
to the GFP-MILF Negotiating Panels ..................27 article. Probably not. Because, with intra-
uterine killing of babies and extrajudicial mur-
DEPARTMENTS ders, one may not go too far.
Quote in the Act ...................................................... 2 Sister Pinky Barrientos, FSP writes our
cover story, A Tale of Courage and Sur-
Cinema Review ...................................................... 30 vival: The Indigenous Peoples’ Journey
Quotes in Quiz ....................................................... 30 Towards Self-determination. This age-old
issue of self-determination and survival is
From the Blogs ........................................................ 24 here to stay—not even the IPRA law could
From the Inbox ....................................................... 28 advance the cause of indigenous Filipinos.
Reviews ....................................................................29 Read on.
News Briefs ............................................................. 31

Volume 40 • Number 10 3

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T
he title of my talk is curious, interest-
ing and ambitious: Will Filipinos
people the earth? I was inspired to
ask this question because of a piece of

Will
information I gathered: that out of 224 UN-

Will
recognized countries, Filipinos are in 193
of them. And probably Filipinos are al-
ready in the remaining 31 countries and in

Filipinos
Filipinos
many others, but they are still arranging
their entry visas, or are about to submit
their documents.

People the
People the
It is amazing to know that 10% or more
than 8 million out of the 80 million Filipinos
are outside the country as residents or
overseas contract workers. Some are say-

Earth?
Earth?
ing that at the rate Filipinos are leaving the
country, for whatever reasons,—for ex-
ample, 85,000 yearly are migrating to the
United States alone, and many more to
countries like Italy, Canada, Hong Kong,
Middle East, Japan, etc.—it is possible
that time may come there will be more (This piece was delivered at the Congress of Human Life International–
Philippines held in Cebu City on Oct. 6, 2006—Ed)
senior citizens than young Filipinos in our
country. If that is the case, we ask again the
same question: will Filipinos people the
earth? By Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo
In the Philippines, there is the system-
atic assault on the population and the China to Germany to Mexico will soon at the International UN Conference on
family. The propaganda is disguised as have to worry about how to fill their facto- Ageing that indeed the world is ageing
attempts at “human development” and ries, care for their elderly and pay for their inexorably. He revealed that the popula-
“improvement of the quality of life.” What militaries. Will they be ready?” (p. 40). tion aged 60 and above has today reached
is the propaganda? In order to reduce Japan has already closed 2,000 10% of the world population; and by 2030,
world poverty, reduce the number of the schools, because there are very few school world population aged 45 and above will
poor. In order to improve the quality of life, children. In Germany, the net population be much larger than population 44 and
family must act “responsibly” and not drop of 120,000 in 2002, has increased with lower. There would be more senior citizens
have more than two children. a falloff of around 143,000 in 2003. With to take care of than young people to work
The World Situation domestic population declining immigra- and earn. In fact it is already happening in
tion advocates say that Germany will need European countries.
Such is the case with the worldwide to open its doors to foreigners. In Russia,
advocacy that there is an “exploding popu- population crisis is attributed to moral The Philippine Situation
lation growth rate” and nations are poor degradation. Russian President Vladimir
Putin maintains that population problem is While the whole world is suffering
because of their “uncontrolled birth rates.”
Yet, the UN Population Division headed chiefly an economic one, while Orthodox over the social, cultural, political and eco-
by Dr. Joseph Chamie, had already admit- Church Officials say “the main cause” of nomic impact of “demographic winter,” of
ted that “it was never about population the demographic crisis “is in the field of collapsing birth rates, the propaganda
explosion but population implosion!” In morals.” The Russian Orthodox Church about an exploding population in the Phil-
1999, Dr. Chamie already observed that in condemned abortion, contraception, and ippines keeps on coming up. For instance,
61 countries the birth rates had fallen so pre- and extra-marital sexual activity as our policy makers claim that there is an
low that it was nearly impossible for these reasons for the collapse of the Russian exploding population growth at 2.36%,
countries to replace their deaths with population.” Singapore in the late 60s and have thus been advocating the pro-
births. We have an aging world! A dying encouraged couples to have less children, posed 2-child policy. Our government
world! “Stop at two.” The success of the cam- policy makers (Congressmen, et al.) seem
“Newsweek” of September 2004 ex- paign became so worrisome as family size to be unaware that while they are insisting
pressed alarm over drop in fertility. “For dropped continuously, especially from on a population growth rate of 2.36%, both
more and more countries the problem isn’t educated Singaporeans. Over the last 20 the USAID and the UN—using the same
having too many people, but having too years its campaign of “More is better” has census data—have arrived at very much
few…Across the globe, while populations not succeeded. The mind and the attitude lower PGRs. In fact, as of December 2004,
are still growing, people are having fewer refuse to change. Has it reached a point of the National Statistics Office has projected
and fewer children. That means the world no return? a population growth rate of 1.99%. The
faces a threat for which it is woefully un- Kofi Anan, Secretary General of the Philippines is slowly joining the countries
prepared—depopulation. Countries from UN, stated in Madrid, Spain, in March 2004 mentioned earlier.

44 IMPACT •• October
IMPACT October 2006
2006

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A R T I C L E S

• HB 148 Prohibiting Human Cloning in The Position Paper of “Teodora” has


the Philippines. Principal Author: Rep. vigilantly and articulately opposed the
Constantino G. Jaraulla. lead HB 3773 and HB 5285 and other such
• HB 5327 The Pregnancy Care Centers bills as anti-family, anti-life, anti-poor, anti-
Act. Principal Author: Rep. Eduardo women, anti-children, even anti-faith, im-
C. Zialcita. moral and unconstitutional. Genuine “re-
• HB 4948 Anti-Divorce Bill. Principal sponsible parenthood” is being respon-
Author: Rep. Amelita C. Villaroza. sible first and foremost to truth and to God.
• HB 216 Mandatory Marriage Counsel- A law that violates the law and the rights
ing Act (Before Issuance of License) of God does not deserve to be passed and
• HB 1245 Limiting Marriage to Natural- observed. No government has a right to
Born Males and Natural-Born Females. dictate and enter into the sanctuary of a
Principal Author: Rep. Rozzano Rufino couple’s conscience.
Biazon. Our government has the money to
• HB 1718 Strengthening Family Bond- support our poor population. The problem
ing (More Opportunities for Togeth- is that money is either in the wrong hands
erness) Principal Author: Rep. Oscar or pockets because of graft and corruption,
G. Malapitan. or the money is used for wrong reasons.
Moreover, we must encourage and ensure
Anti-Life and Anti-Family Bills that our government devote its resources
on human development. Such endeavors
We must not, however, close our eyes, should include providing skills and liveli-
but instead vigilantly protect our country hood training. We must lobby that families
against Anti-Life and Anti-Family Bills in of OFWs be allowed to migrate so as to
Congress, such as: prevent the break-up of families. We must
• HB 3773 Proposes “2-child ideal” and also encourage more aggressive develop-
“free ligation,” use of abortifacient ment of the countryside so as to prevent the
contraceptives and devices, discrimi- influx of rural poor families in urban areas,
We have strong reasons to be alarmed. nation against large families, promo-
That instead of becoming “the last hope of thus increasing the squatters in the cities
tion of contraception education, and leaving the countryside underdevel-
a dying world,” we are joining the group of imprisonment or fine for those who
the dying world. Will Filipinos continue oped or almost vacant.
disagree with the HB and its premises. The Philippines is put in a dilemma.
peopling the earth? The Philippines is al- • HB 5285 (Substitute to HB 3766; related
ready experiencing a decline in the number of While our government insists that we cut
to HB 3773). “Reproductive rights” down our population growth, because of
births. Population is expanding but that ex- means that contraception and abor-
pansion is not caused by “uncontrolled a perceived population explosion, many
tion are framed as rights of women, western countries look to the Philippines
births” but rather by the elderly population resulting from the woman’s exclusive
living much longer years beyond the previ- for more workers, like nurses, care-givers,
decision to choose whether to have farmers, factory workers, other profession-
ous life expectancies. Also, as early as 1987, children or not. “While we are commit-
the improving health situation resulted in als, etc. We can imagine who will be left
ted to safeguarding the dignity of behind in not a few years from now. How
higher survival rates of newborns and rap- women, we oppose any suggestion
idly declining deaths of infants one year and can we solve the problem honestly and
that child-bearing is a form of discrimi- squarely?
older and almost zero maternal deaths. There nation or oppression, that is grouped
is population explosion only in the big cities, The Church’s advocacy for protect-
together with such problems as vio- ing the family and human life is not only
like Manila, because of the migration of lence against women, lack of represen-
people for economic opportunities in the from the moral standpoint, but also from
tation in political decision-making, or what we observe as the trend and lesson
cities, which are not evenly distributed. unemployment” (cf. ALFI, March 20, in world situation. We must not take si-
Pro-Life and Pro-Family Bills 2006). lence, even respectful silence, as an op-
• HB 634 Anti-Discrimination Act: Win- tion. To keep the Church silent on crucial
With our CBCP Commission on Fam- dow of Legalization of Same-Sex Union. issues, the Separation of Church and State,
ily and Life, let us proactively and vigi- (Same as HB 6416) or even the danger of destabilizing the
lantly support and advocate the Pro-Life • HB 4016 Introduces Divorce. status-quo, is sometimes invoked. But we
and Pro-Family Bills in Congress, such as, • HB 847 Allowing Annulment of Mar- must be vigilant for the sake of the Filipino
for example: riage and remarriage 5 years after legal community and our country. It is patriotic
• HB 5028 Rights of Conscience Act. Separation. to speak against laws that we believe vio-
Principal Author: Rep. Hermilando I • HB 261 Patients’ rights and obliga- late moral law and the common welfare of
Mandanas. tions. Possibility of assisted suicide our countrymen.
• HB 4643 Anti-Abortive Drugs and and Euthanasia. The Church appreciates the support
Devices Act. Principal Author: Rep. • HB 5012 Private Employers to provide of HUMAN LIFE INTERNATIONAL to
Rene M. Velarde. free annual seminars on “women and our efforts in advocating the integral de-
• HB 149 Defining the Beginning of Life gender education.” Related to HB 3773, velopment of families as the bastion of
and Recognizing Rights. etc. national stability. I

Volume 40
Volume 40 •• Number
Number 10
10 55

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A R T I C L E S

Restorative Justice and


Indigenous Law
By Rodolfo D. Diamante

T
o most of us, Restorative Justice neously—as modern-day biblical schol- Fernando Poe, Jr. seem to say that most
may be a new paradigm. This may be ars have warned—as an endorsement of Filipinos are retributive in their sense of
because apparently since time im- revenge. Yet the Bible has other stories justice. The typical FPJ hero leaves his
memorial, it is the retributive type of justice that seem to say otherwise. Take the community after a group of powerful in-
that we have known. Some say it is embed- parable of the Prodigal Son. And did not truders have plundered his village and
ded in our culture, our Filipino lowland Christ himself forgive the sinful woman massacred his family or loved ones, only
culture. This lowland culture, in turn, who was being stoned to death by an irate to come back after some time to annihilate
borrows much from the Judeo-Christian public? The latter stories, of course, are the enemies single-handedly to liberate
tradition that came to us via our Spanish found in the New Testament. Suffice it to his people.
colonizers. say that in many cultures, the tradition of Yet, amidst us in this postmodern
Even the Bible contains stories, espe- both the retributive as well as the restor- world, side by side with largely punitive
cially in the Old Testament, that seem to ative justice exists. criminal justice, juridical, and penal sys-
promote this kind of justice. The story of Our culture is no exception. If we are tems that tolerate incarceration as essen-
Judith and King Holofernes readily comes to believe that genre films are a site of a tially punishment and suffering for the
to mind. And of course, there is the biblical community’s ideology or dominant cul- offender and even promoted death sen-
passage “An eye for an eye and a tooth for tural values as some film scholars’ claim, tence, we have conflict and dispute inter-
a tooth,” which has been interpreted erro- then the films of the late mythic icon, vention processes at the barangay level,

6 IMPACT • October 2006

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Restorative Justice and Indegenous Law
ease!
Rel
institutionalized as the Sanggunian ng
Bayan.
basically the intervention of their God in
the vindication of the innocent and the New
We wish to draw attention to our exposure and condemnation of wrong-
indigenous, pre-colonial culture, at this doing in the breach of peace, and the
point, specifically that one represented by purging of sin committed in the latter case
the highland tribes in the Cordilleras. A through repentance by prompt
specific feature of our tribal culture clearly acknowledgement of guilt, atonement
traces that, indeed, Restorative Justice through payment of stipulated reparation,
has deep cultural roots among us Filipi- and reconciliation with the aggrieved par-
nos. ties through healing rituals called “hidit”
Prof. Mary Constancy Barrameda, Other Restorative Justice advocates
formerly of the Anthropology Department and restorative-intervention-process prac-
at the University of the Philippines and titioners like Gabrielle Maxwell support
now resident anthropologist and research the contention that indeed indigenous

ovc.blogspot.com
fellow at the Cultural Research Center in culture is compatible with the principles
Tabuk, Kalinga wrote about it in her article and processes of Restorative Justice. In
“Tongtongan, Gaygayam, Bagbaga: The her report on family conferences as prac-
Indigenous Way of Achieving Justice, ticed in different parts pf the world, “Cross-
Peace and Harmony.” She wrote about ing Cultural Boundaries: The Experi-
Philippine indigenous law, in general, and ence of Family Group Conferences,” she
the bodong, in particular. The latter is an said: The results of the experiments in a
Ifugao dispute-settlement process char- variety of jurisdictions demonstrate that
acterized by a series of talks among mem- the family group conferences can be suc- For Orders Contact:
bers of the community of tribes in conflict. cessfully implemented in a variety of dif-
We quote extensively from her work: ferent countries, by a number of different
“Interestingly, in the inventory of cultural group and using an array of differ- National Matrimonial Tribunal
cases done by the Institute of Philippine ent processes. Office
Indigenous Law, U.P. College of Law, no A restorative option that was created Tel. No. (632) 5274160
death penalty is ever mentioned. There in New Zealand and was importantly influ-
may seem to be no justice in their society enced by New Zealand Maori has found a CBCPWorld Office
as all infraction is settled through all means place in cultures and societies that are Telefax (632) 4041612
except the meting out of death penalty. In different.
fact they have no term for justice in their In part, this may be because it evokes Other books by
language. They explained it thus: not just a past when the clan, the tribe, the village Abp. Oscar V. Cruz, JCD, DD
the litigating families are involved but the or the community gathered to resolve
entire community and the designated mun- among themselves the wrongs that could 1. Marriage Tribunal Ministry
2. Guide Documents on Parish, Vicariate and
alon (go-between) to commence settle- otherwise threaten their cohesion. It is a Diocesan Administrative/Pastoral Concerns
ment to forestall retaliation or feuding process that belongs to a time when the 3. Canon 290 CIC in the Service of Truth,
between litigants. The proceedings may alternative to finding a restorative process Justice and Charity
take days, weeks or months, but everyone was to face dissolution as a group that 4. Annotations on Rotal Jurisprudence on Canon
takes unto himself/herself the responsibil- could effectively protect its own members 1097, 1098, 1102
ity to restore peace and harmony with the from external threats. 5. Annotations on Rotal Jurisprudence on Canon
1103
aggrieved and the aggressor and to the Echoes of the same system are to be © Rowena Dalanon / IMPACT
6. Annotations on Rotal Jurisprudence on Canon
whole community. This to them is justice." found in the Polynesian cultures through- 1095
As Prof. MC Barrameda says: The out the Pacific, among the Aboriginal com- 7. Annotations on Rotal Jurisprudence on Canon
Ifugao system of justice, for instance, can munities of South Australia, the Inuit of 1101
be described as the process by which Northern Canada, the Ojibway of Central 8. Evidence in Marriage Nullity Cases
peace and harmony in the Ifugao commu- Canada, American Indian groups in the 9. Impediments to Canonical Marriage
10. Markers
nity could be preserved and maintained, United States, the Bantu peoples of South 11. Penal Process for Dismissal from the Clerical
through a peaceable resolution of a dis- Africa, and the Bedouin tribes of the Middle State
pute over a wrong or wrongs that threaten East. 12. Provincial Council, Diocesan Synod,
an eruption of conflict. This is based on Perhaps it is time to seriously con- Pastoral Assembly
public determination of the truth concern- sider the recommendation of some promi- 13. CBCP Guidelines on Sexual Abuse and
ing the alleged wrong or wrongs, partici- nent Filipino legal scholars and anthro- Misconduct: A Critique
14. Board of Conciliation and Arbitration
pated in by the community or its represen- pologists, exemplified by the Perfecto 15. Viewpoints at the Onset of the New
tatives, permitting a collective decision or Fernandez and E. Arsenio Manuel—that Millennium
judgment of guilt or innocence, with ap- of indigenizing the Philippine legal sys- 16. Media in our Midst
propriate sanctions, compliance of judg- tem, aware as they were during their life- 17. Administration of the Temporal Goods of the
ment, and rituals for healing and restora- time of the inhumanities committed in the Church
tion of social fabric. name of law. I 18. Curia Management
19. Clergy Compensation
Vital to this justice system is the Ifugao (Mr. Rodolfo Diamante is the Executive Secretary of 20. Call of the Laity
religion. It is their firm belief that justice is the Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care)

Volume 40 • Number 10 7

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CBCP - Laiko's Advocacy for Good Governance

Background the region with a vibrant private sector, ECLA’s Answer to a Call
lively civil society organizations and vig-

W
e should all know that the explo- orous media, Dr. Daboub concludes that Prior to the political upheaval result-
sive combination of politics and our country is a fertile ground for good ing from the exposé on election cheating
corruption in the Philippines has economic policies to flourish. However he highlighted by the Garci tapes and the
caused grinding poverty among our also noted the weakness in the operation President’s “I’m sorry” admission, the
people. The funds pocketed by corrupt of our public institutions that makes it Arroyo administration already initiated
officials resulted in the dearth of support difficult for potential investors to estab- moves to address the problem of graft and
services for health, education and the non- lish businesses here. Lastly he stressed corruption. An expert from Hong Kong
implementation of infrastructure needs of that the present state of governance was hired as a consultant to transfer the
the local communities. These are the much steeped in corruption has undermined a anti-corruption technology. It is claimed
needed funds for school buildings, farm- range of development objectives whose that within 7 years of implementation Hong
to-market roads, bridges, irrigation sys- implementation are placed in jeopardy. Kong got rid of graft and corruption in
tems, seaports and harbors, etc. government-business transactions.
Our bishops have been ex- Hoping this may apply successfully
pressing this concern repeatedly in to the Philippines, the President
their pastoral exhortations. In 1997, adopted this anti-graft and corrup-
they issued the Pastoral Exhorta-
tion on Politics which state that
“It is sinfulness that is tion measure. To support this drive,
the Presidential Anti-Graft Commis-
“Philippine politics has degener-
ated into an arena where the inter-
at the root of our socio- sion, (PAGC) was organized by
Malacañang. Its mandate was to
ests of the powerful and rich few,
are pitted against the weak and
economic and political establish improved systems of moni-
toring budgeted expenditures by
poor many….. The system is shot problems… Our way of introducing the new government
through and through with oppor- accounting system, (NGAS) and
tunities for corruption, influence life—our spirituality— setting up integrity circles. Together
peddling and the indiscriminate with the office of the Ombudsman,
use of public funds for partisan and for social PAGC initiated investigations of
personal purposes.” government personnel with unex-
This was said 9 years ago! transformation is plained accumulated wealth and
Have we improved since then? If we those found by COA of violating
have changed, it is change for the nothing more than a the provisions of the Government
worse. In a recent survey on cor-
ruption world-wide, the Philippines following of Jesus-in- Procurement Reform Act, (GPRA).
The Hong Kong Consultant esti-
ranked number 3 among the South-
east Asian Nations as the most mission. It is the mates that graft and corruption in
the Philippines will significantly be
corrupt—just a little above our two
neighbors, Indonesia and Vietnam.
spirituality of the reduced in three year’s time, given
the support of the private sector and
Yes, corruption is a global issue not
only with third world countries. In
community of civil society. Recent reports indi-
cate that cases have been filed, pre-
a recent World Bank meeting in
Singapore, the two issues, corrup-
disciples.” ventive suspensions issued and
violators brought to court.
tion and good governance were at With this as the background,
the top of the agenda. It was the the Bishop-Businessmen’s Confer-
observation that all over the devel- ence, (BBC) in its General Assembly
oping world, corruption is the direct cause While this assessment by visiting of July 8, 2004, invited Pres. Gloria
of poverty and weakened public institu- executives is based on comparative statis- Macapagal-Arroyo to their annual meet-
tions. It has deprived citizens of precious tical studies of countries in the developing ing. She addressed BBC members and bish-
resources not to mention the much needed world, we in the Philippines after hearing ops in particular, to help her administra-
money for payment of the nation’s long agonizing sermons of this nature have tion in the implementation of the new Gov-
term foreign debts. instilled in the minds of the laity a determi- ernment Procurement Reform Act also
Dr. Juan Jose Daboub, managing di- nation to change the present situation— known as Republic Act 9184. The law
rector of the World Bank, in his recent visit from a sense of hopelessness to a resolve required all Bids and Awards Committees
to the Philippines, invited all those in- to rise and fight for our people’s survival. of government institutions including
volved in anti-graft and corruption advo- We still believe that a small step can still barangays to invite two Observers, one
cacies to a lunch meeting last September ignite a spark among our concerned citi- representing a Non-government Organi-
12. He had observed the significant im- zens to champion advocacies for renewal zation (NGO) and another representing a
provement of our economy, due to the towards a better future. The laity, inspired Professional Organization in addition to
Administration’s fiscal management and by our bishops has made an initial move the presence of a representative from the
reforms. He also praised the capability of with the hope to catalyze a change to- Commission on Audit, (COA).
our people to excel in work and services. wards social transformation—the advo- Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas (LAIKO),
Having one of the most open societies in cacy for good governance. NASSA and Barug Pilipino of the Arch-

8 IMPACT • October 2006

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A R T I C L E S

diocese of Cebu qualify as NGO for this


purpose.
Bishop Gabriel V. Reyes, chairman of
the Episcopal Commission on Lay
Apostolate (ECLA) also National Director
of LAIKO, as member of BBC, committed
to assist the government in fielding trained
observers to the Bids & Awards Commit-
tees of government institutions who re-
quest for them. Thus was born LAIKO’s
Advocacy for Good Governance. The man-
date from CBCP to involve LAIKO in this
type of activity was not exactly new. CBCP
expressed this in their pastoral letter of
July 2003, entitled “Let Integrity Flow
Like a Stream”. We quote:
“We recognize the important steps
that government has been taking in
recent months. We challenge new
groups to organize themselves and
address this problem (of corruption)
in their respective sectors and locali-
ties. In particular we urge all our
Catholic Institutions, schools, par-
ishes, religious organizations and
movements and Basic Ecclesial Com-
munities to emphasize value forma-
CBCP-Laiko’s
Advocacy for Good
tion, especially in the family, and to
throw themselves vigorously in this
campaign.”
“As we bishops commit ourselves

Governance
to this cause, we assign NASSA, our
social action arm, and the Council of
the Laity of the Philippines to lead in
implementing Church initiatives
against graft and corruption.”
With this explicit mandate from CBCP, By Jose B. Lugay
LAIKO convened an Ad Hoc Committee
to spell out the strategies and action plans duties, business permits and licenses, etc. The scope of the activity for good gover-
to undertake such a huge undertaking. These are not covered in the much lauded nance is nationwide, hence the committee
The Committee deliberation focused on procurement reform law. saw this as necessarily linked with its 5-
identifying the problem of graft and cor- Obviously, LAIKO, representing year work on training of archdiocesan and
ruption in the context of a bigger picture— CBCP-ECLA while working in partnership diocesan lay leaders. The training module
the failure of governance by the country’s with government in the fight against cor- “Lay Leadership Training Towards Be-
administrators. Graft and corruption, the ruption must have the resolve to be vigi- coming a Community of Disciples” was
Committee concluded, is a result of a defi- lant and not become “deodorizers” of a imparted in 12 sessions for dioceses in
cient system of governance where there is defective law and its implementing rules Luzon and Visayas. There is no advocacy
lack of transparency and too much discre- and regulations. The Committee did not group of civil society that can match the
tion of underlings to charge penalties for lose sight of the fact that the root cause of reach of the Catholic Church to cover all
delayed payments to government. While graft and corruption lies in the person’s government institutions down to the
the new Government Procurement Reform moral and ethical values and as PCP II barangay level. In fact the Basic Ecclesial
Act addresses the bidding process to pre- says, “It is sinfulness that is at the root of Communities organized by parishes in all
vent corruption in procurement of goods our socio-economic and political prob- ecclesiastical provinces are ready spiritu-
and services, consultancy services and lems…. Our way of life—our spiritual- ally to embark on activities for social trans-
infrastructure, it does not address the ity—for social transformation is nothing formation, of course, only with the Bish-
corruption that happens afterwards—dur- more than a following of Jesus-in-mis- ops’ support, specially in the year 2006
ing implementation of the awarded con- sion. It is the spirituality of the community which is declared by CBCP as the Year of
tract like the delivery of purchased mate- of disciples.” Social Concern.
rials and goods; the quality of the infra- With these circumstances as the back- Composed of committed lay execu-
structure and its timely completion; etc. ground situation, the Ad Hoc Committee tives with corporate, political and advo-
Additionally, the corrupt practices per- organized the Archdiocesan/Diocesan cacy experience, the ADCGG set the fol-
vade in the collection of taxes, customs Councils for Good Governance, (ADCGG) lowing objectives:

Volume 40 • Number 10 9

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CBCP - Laiko's Advocay for Good Governance

Main Objective: BBC – LAIKO Team Up • DPWH National Capital Region


• DPWH Regional Office IV-A
To initiate the creation and develop- After two years of fielding observers to • DPWH Regional Office IV-B
ment of volunteer groups composed of requesting government institutions, lack of • DOTC – Main
Archdiocesan and Diocesan lay leaders support system for observers was one of the • Dept. of Agriculture
who commit to work for the prevention of complaints lodged by advocacy groups • Dept. of Tourism
corruption at the national and local lev- working in Manila and the provinces. This • Public Reclamation Authority (PRA,
els of government. was brought into focus during World Bank formerly Public Estate Authority)
sponsored meetings between the Govern- In the future when funds are available,
Specific Objectives: ment Procurement Policy Board, (GPPB) and the BBC-LAIKO team will undertake similar
the members of the Coalition Against Cor- training programs for observers not only in
• To train volunteers in the tasks as- ruption in meetings held in July, August and the dioceses but also2 including the BECs as
signed to them in improvement areas September this year. It was also during these needed. This joint undertaking is first of a
for good governance. meetings that confirmed the utter lack of series of programs being planned in coordi-
• To organize specific groups to deal trained observers for the BACs of local nation with members of a larger organiza-
with special projects that will be un- government units and even for key govern- tion—the Coalition Against Corruption.
dertaken by LAIKO in future programs ment institutions in Manila. It was clear Apropos to these activities of CBCP-
for good governance. during the discussions that the only organi- ECLA-LAIKO, Archbishop Angel N.
zation or institution that has the potential Lagdameo, President of CBCP in a published
Improvement Areas for Good source of manpower to be trained as ob- article at the Philippine Daily Inquirer, March
Governance server for deployment to the BACs of local 6, 2006, headlined, “CORRUPTION—
government units and barangays is the Catho- ROOT OF RP PROBLEMS” was quoted:
These were the first improvement ar- lic Church. These are the laity of the parishes
eas for good governance identified by the “The Crisis of Leadership is Just the
and the Basic Ecclesial Communities. Tip of the Iceberg”. The article concluded,
Committee where the laity could be in- Logistical support and acceptance of “According to Lagdameo, the country’s
volved in advocacy work: the dioceses to get involved in the advocacy institutions would be strong if they were
• As Observers of the Bids and Awards for good governance loom as the greatest anchored on ‘morals, ethics, social re-
Committees for Government Procure- barriers to hurdle. The team up between the sponsibility and good governance’. Such
ment in Infrastructure, Goods and Ser- Bishop-Businessmen’s Conference and strong institutions could then work to-
vices, and Consultancy Services; Council of the Laity of the Philippines gether to enhance the personal dignity of
• Monitoring Project Implementation; (LAIKO) with the blessing and active par- every individual as well as to promote the
• Monitoring the Delivery of Goods and ticipation of Bishop Gabriel Reyes in teach- common good of our country” He contin-
Services; ing the relevant social doctrines, the first ued, “This happens however, only if the
• Monitoring correct payment of taxes; joint training of observers to be fielded in the agents of change and the transmitters of
• Proper Issuance of Business Permits Bids and Awards Committees of govern- values in our society are empowered and
and Licenses; ment institutions in Manila was completed invested with a deep sense of responsible
• Reforms in the Government System: last September 20 and 21. citizenship.”
e.g., COA, Civil Service Commission, LAIKO’s observers are currently de- “A crucial first step would be to
etc. (As topics for Constitutional ployed in the following institutions: gather a critical mass of like minded and
Amendments) • Philippine Ports Authority-Main good willed nationalists with a passion
• Social Security System for good governance and prophetic
• Department of Budget & Management leadership from which a new breed of
• Central Bank Security Complex statespersons would be born.”
• Bureau of Treasury Lagdameo said.
• National Kidney & Transplant Inst. “This critical mass will be the train-
• Manila International Airport ing ground of other nationalists who will
• Light Rail Transit Authority lead our country with the values of hon-
• Dept. of Finance, Insurance Commission esty and justice, truth and integrity, cred-
• Duty Free Phils. Fiesta Malls ibility and accountability, transparency
• Philhealth (Stopped inviting assigned and stewardship” he said.
observers) The formula for good governance is
• DILG (Stopped inviting assigned ob- stated completely by Archbishop Lagdameo.
servers) CBCP-LAIKO initiatives for the advocacy
The new graduates of the last session for good governance is our pilot experiment.
will be deployed in the following institu- Now it is time to immerse into full scale
tions as agreed with the BBC in coordina- undertaking of the advocacy for good gov-
tion with LAIKO: ernance guided by our main and specific
• Department of National Defense- Main objectives and action plans and attain the
• Philippine Army critical mass, with the help and support of the
• Government Arsenal bishops of the Philippines.
• Philippine National Police – Main For more information please contact
• PNP Logistic Support Services Joseph Jesalva at 527 5388 or 527 3124 or
• DPWH – Main email joselugay@yahoo.com I

10 IMPACT • October 2006

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A R T I C L E S

How Catholic Is Your School?

The Ateneo de Manila University Experience


by Dr. Ma. Assunta C. Cuyegkeng

W
hen our alumni visit the univer- Institutional commitment to the service of gelization, and commitment to service.
sity after forty or fifty years, they the people of God and the human family in
often comment that things have their pilgrimage to the transcendent goal Establishing our Catholic
changed so much. Some lament that we which gives meaning to life. Identity: Key Elements of a
have lost some of our Catholic traditions, Fr. Daniel Patrick Huang, provincial of Catholic School
like the intense devotion to Mary and the the Philippine province of the Society of
carrying of rosaries in our pockets. Given Jesus, also sees the mission of a Catholic Even as it was founded in 1859, the
these expectations and the changing cul- university as evangelization. He quotes Ateneo Municipal de Manila was clearly a
ture of our youth, the question is precisely from the Society of Jesus General Congre- Catholic school run by the Jesuits for the
what makes us a Catholic institution. gation, Doc 2, No 3 as follows: “The Church, City of Manila. Today, the vision of Ateneo
Pope John Paul II, in his August 1990 whose mission we share, exists not for de Manila University is seen in its motto,
apostolic exhortation (Ex Corde Ecclesiae, itself but for humanity, bearing the procla- Lux in Domino, which takes inspiration
13) challenges Catholic universities to mation of God’s love and casting light on from the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians
have four essential characteristics: (1) a the inner gift of that love. Its aim is the (5:8). It captures the aspiration of the uni-
Christian inspiration not only of individu- realization of the Kingdom of God in the versity to emerge from darkness to make
als but of the University community as whole human society, not only in the life God the center of a person’s life, to find
such; (2) continuing reflection in the light to come but also in this life.” ways to reflect this in one’s life, and in
of the Catholic faith upon the growing Thus, how Catholic we are can be doing so, illuminate a world that seeks
treasury of human knowledge, to which it seen in the institution’s inspiration and meaning and purpose.
seeks to contribute by its own research; scholarly work in the light of Catholic faith, Thus, the challenge is to understand
(3) fidelity to the Christian message as it fidelity to the Christian message in the Christ’s mission in terms of what the univer-
comes to us through the Church; (4) an context of the Church’s mission of evan- sity can do to form persons who would

Volume 40 • Number 10 11

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A R T I C L E S

At the level of the administration, cas-


cading the vision-mission begins with the
strategic directions. During strategic plan-
ning, the administrators are asked to reflect
on institutional advocacy and service that
reflects its commitment to the vision-mis-
sion. This translates to institutionalizing
programs such as faculty and student for-
mation, policy making, research agenda
covering poverty alleviation and gover-
nance, and civic work in education (Aeneo
Center for Educational Development, Path-
ways), health (Leaders for Health) and hous-
ing (Gawad Kalinga). The administrators
are asked to reflect on how best we can
implement these programs, maximizing the
impact on society.
At the level of the University commu-
nity, various programs are in place. For the
proclaim God’s love and realize this in its academic aspect, the Ateneo college has a
The Ateneo de Manila University
context. For the Ateneo de Manila Univer- core curriculum that aims to form students
seeks all these purposes and aims as
sity, this context is being a Catholic, Fili- by giving them the tools to communicate
an academic community, through the
pino, and Jesuit university: well, to appreciate the world and engage
exercise of the functions proper to a
As a University, the Ateneo de their culture, and to develop their critical
university; that is, through teaching,
manila seeks to preserve, to extend, thinking and moral compass. The major
research, and community service.
and to communicate truth and to ap- curricula develop the skills and competen-
Clearly, the institution, inspired by
ply it to the development of persons cies in the practice of profession. The
Christ, hopes to inspire its community to
and the preservation of the environ- curricula tie up with the Integrated Non-
participate in Christ’s mission through 1)
ment. Academic Formation program (INAF),
the formation of students and community
As a Catholic University, the where the vision-mission is strongly em-
members, 2) reflection of Catholic tradition
Ateneo de Manila seeks to form per- phasized in services and extension pro-
and Catholic ethical concerns, and as Fr.
sons who, following the teachings and grams. The INAF begins with the Introduc-
Huang notes, 3) “institutional advocacy
example of Christ, will devote their tion to Ateneo culture and Traditions
and service that reflects its commitment to
lives to the service of their fellowmen (InTACT), which develops in every fresh-
the Catholic ethical tradition”.
and through the promotion of justice, man tools to deal with academic life at the
serve especially those who are most in Ateneo, including the experience of prayer
Cascading the Vision-Mission: and reflection.
need of help— the poor and the pow- Good Practices
erless. Loyal to the teachings of the The National Service Training program
Catholic Church, the University seeks The Christian inspiration is reflected in brings to the students’ consciousness the
to serve the Faith and to interpret its our institutional vision to be Lux in domino needs of the less fortunate members of our
teachings for modern Filipino soci- and the shared mission of service. These society, while tapping their skills to help the
ety. are often referred to by the catch phrase communities in the Literacy and Civic Wel-
As a Filipino University, the used by Fr. Pedro Arrupe in the seventies: fare programs. The experience of the stu-
Ateneo de Manila seeks to identify men and women for others. There are many dents is processed through reflection,
and enrich Philippine culture and to challenges in promoting this kind of culture prayer, and recollection. Many philosophy
make it its own. Through the educa- at the present time, but let us first discuss classes have the juniors go through the
tion of the whole person and through what steps we have taken as a university to Ateneo Labor Trials program (ALTP), where
the formation of needed professionals try to achieve our goals. students experience the life of the labor
and technologists and through vari- Cascading the vision-mission happens force. Seniors participate in the immersion
ous corporate activities, the Univer- at different levels. The first is at the level of programs under the classes in Theology
sity aims to contribute to the develop- the Board of Trustees. A key move was the and Economics. In addition, the Praxis
ment goals of the nation. creation of the Office of Mission, Identity, program encourages the seniors to look for
As a Jesuit University, the Ateneo and Organizational Development (OMIOD), researches and topics that will have social
de Manila seeks the goals of modern which takes care of promoting the mission of impact on Philippine society.
Jesuit liberal education through the the university and its Catholic and Jesuit The Grade School and High School
harmonious development of moral and identity, through efforts like the Ignatian units also actively pursue the cascading of
intellectual virtues. Imbued with the Spirituality in Education workshops (ISEW). vision-mission in their communities. The
Ignatian spirit, the University aims to In addition, the Board also supported the High School, through the Christian Service
lead its students to see God in all creation of the Catholic Identity Discussion and Involvement Program (CSIP), develops
things and to strive for the greater Group which discussed challenges in today’s the spirituality and social involvement of its
glory of God and the greater service of context and gave suggestions on how the students at every year level. They also
mankind. university’s efforts could be improved. have annual recollections and retreats for

12 IMPACT • October 2006

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© Denz Dayao / IMPACT

How Catholic is Your School?

the students. The Grade School also begins Ateneo Catechetical Instruction League they learn, especially in moral norms and
to expose its older students to recollections (ACIL). Many other student activities and ethics, such as the acceptability of cheat-
and special programs, like Bigay-Puso, en- organization promote faith and justice rooted ing, and pervasive sexual permissiveness
courage social engagement. in spirituality in different spheres of soci- and materialism in modern society. There is
One of the major programs of OMIOD ety, such as terminally-ill children, street also the challenge to understand faith and
for the community is the Ignatian spiritual- children, urban poor, GK villages, prison- justice in the light of what an individual can
ity in Education Workshops (ISEW) for all ers, public schools, and indigenous peoples. do within one’s professional career. Fi-
new faculty members of the university, at all nally, being a Catholic community means
levels from the Grade School to High School Promoting a Catholic Culture: having shared experiences, images or sym-
to the Loyola Schools and the Professional Challenges bols, stories, and rituals, just as the Jewish
Schools. The staff, coaches, and profes- and first Christian communities once had.
sionals each have their own versions of the However, despite all these efforts, we This means looking for activities beyond
ISEW. This workshop introduces the life realize that we face some challenges. In one individual discernment toward more com-
and mission of St. Ignatius of Loyola, ex- of the discussions with the Ateneo’s Catho- munity-oriented, scripture-based practice.
poses them to different modes of prayer, lic Identity discussion Group, Fr. As a Catholic university with a desire
and asks them to reflect on their role in the Bienvenido F. Nebres, SJ, presented as- to get best students from a diversity of
realization of the vision-mission of the pects of being a Catholic university, includ- backgrounds, we have to deal with a plural-
Ateneo de Manila. Other OMIOD efforts ing the intellectual aspect; students’ lives ity of cultures resulting from the exposure
include the publication of the talks and and practice vs. morality and ethics; faith of our students and their parents to the
reflections in workshops (Revisiting Our and justice; spirituality, prayer, and sacra- Internet, cable TV, economic pressures,
Roots, Facing Our Future), the publication mental life; community culture and ritual. international cultures, and changing value
of interviews documenting the generosity Some highlights of his discussion are out- systems. There is also the need to pursue
and involvement of icons in the university lined below. ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue, if
(University Traditions), and promotion of At their developmental stage, students we are to truly understand how different
prayer and devotion through its University question their faith especially in relation to cultures are part of the graces and love of
at Prayer service. what they learn in the natural and social the same God.
The Colloquium on the Ministry of sciences, e.g., the rationality of their be- In the end, perhaps our success in pro-
Teaching began decades ago to introduce liefs; the Church’s stand on population, moting Catholic culture and cascading our
conversations among different generations birth control, and matters of sexuality. There vision-mission could be measured only many
of teachers and to focus on the vocation is a need for more integration or dialogue years later, when we see what our students
and ministry of teaching. Because of the between faith and other disciplines like have made of their lives, what our faculty do
ISEW, the Colloquium was modified to serve science, business, economics, and politics. with their gifts, and how our community pro-
as a follow-up to the ISEW, to serve as a At this stage, there is a tendency to “fall off ceeds in its life in the Spirit. I
venue for conversations between veteran sacramental practice” and, thus, a need to
(Dr. Ma. Assunta Cuyegkeng is currently the Vice
faculty members and the next generation of give students the tools or processes that President for Loyola Schools of the Ateneo de Manila
would-be leaders of the community. they can use when they come out of this University, Quezon City. The foregoing article is her
paper presentation during the 65th national convention
Because of the thrust of the ISEW, all period of their life. There is the tension of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines
departments and offices promote the between what students experience and what held last September 13-15 at the Manila Hotel – Ed.)
university’s vision-mission in different
ways. The Catholic identity, however, is
promoted especially by the Campus Minis-
try Office through daily masses and confes-
sions, recollections, retreats, spiritual di-
rection, and regular liturgical celebrations
like the Mass of the Holy Spirit, Feast of St.
Ignatius, Feast of the Immaculate Concep-
tion, Christmas Mass, and Ash Wednes-
day. There is also a special recollection
program for students in collaboration with
the Theology Department.
Aside from formation programs, role
models among faculty and students are
encouraged. Awards are given annually for
leadership and service, and these highlight
the generosity of the students and the
social impact their efforts contribute. Other
organizations also actively promote Catho-
lic culture in the community; among these
are Ateneo Campus Ministry Group
(ACMG), Ateneo Student Catholic Action
(AtSCA), Ateneo Christian Life Commu-
nity (ACLC, formerly the Sodality), and the

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A R T I C L E S

T
he Philippines being one of the most
mineralized countries in the world The Rapu-rapu Case:
would naturally need laws to regu-

A Perfect Model for


late the extraction and utilization of its
mineral resources. The Philippine Mining
Act of 1995, authored by President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo, then senator, was

an Imperfect System
unanimously passed by 215 members of
the House of Representatives during the
9th congress and consequently approved
by the senate with 19 out of 21, one ab-
staining and one opposing.
The act declares mineral resources as
being owned by the state and their explora- By Joyce Palacol
tion, development, utilization, processing
and conservation being under its full con-
trol and supervision. It empowers the gov-
ernment to directly undertake these activi-
ties, grant mining permits, or enter into
mineral agreements with private entities.
Consistent with the 1987 Constitu-
tion, it provides for a new mode of mining
rights in the form of Exploration Permit
(EP), Mineral Production Sharing Agree-
ment (MPSA) and Financial and Technical
Assistance Agreement (FTAA).
In addition to the mining act itself,
there are pertinent laws relevant to the
implementation of said act such as the
Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) of
1997 which provides for the Free and Prior
Informed Consent (FPIC) of the Indig-
enous Cultural Communities prior to imple-
mentation of any projects within the an-
cestral domain; the National Integrated
Protected Areas System (NIPAS) of 1992
which provides for forest occupants sur-
vey, an ethnographic study and protected
area resource profile; and Presidential
Decree 1586 or an Act Establishing an
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
System which provides for a system of
acquiring social acceptability.
Rapu-Rapu is an island municipality opment project sites. sectors particularly the host community.
spinned off from the municipality of Prieto LPI submitted the required documents Working ahead of its approved Explo-
Diaz in the province of Sorsogon when it to and approved by Mines and Geo- ration Work Program (EWP) and Environ-
was declared separate and independent sciences Bureau (MGB) and Environmen- mental Work Program (EnWP), the com-
by Governor Arlington Betts in 1901. In tal Management Bureau (EMB) both of pany started its operation in the island of
those days, it was a haven for flora and which are under the Department of Envi- Rapu-rapu, Albay in 1998 and struck its
fauna that had a thick forest and vegeta- ronment and Natural Resources (DENR), first gold July of last year.
tion. Early settlers came mostly from nearby for the application of Exploration Permit Amidst heavy downpour in October
island of Catanduanes and in later years, (EP), Mineral Production Sharing Agree- 11 last year, the discharge pump malfunc-
from Sto. Domingo, Bacacay and Tabacco. ment (MPSA) and Environmental Compli- tioned which resulted to an overflow of
As far back as residents can remem- ance Certificate (ECC). A scrutiny of the cyanide laden tailings that found its way
ber, gold mining has been practiced in this approved documents revealed that while to the gold processing area into the
island by small scale miners. When PGMA the presence of the indigenous people Pagcolbon and Alma creeks. On the after-
initiated the revitalization of mining indus- “Taboi” was noted in the EIA report, there noon of the same day, various species of
try with the issuance of Executive Order was no record of FPIC obtained from the fishes, crustaceans and mollusk were
270 and 270-A, Rapu-Rapu Polymetallic said tribe. Moreover, the scoping report found dead at the mouth of Alma creek.
Project of Lafayette Philippines Incorpo- submitted to, accepted and approved by The company voluntarily stopped its op-
rated (LPI) was chosen with other twenty EMB-R5 lacks social acceptability because eration to give way to clean up and repair
three (23) others as priority mining devel- it encountered opposition from various of its malfunctioned discharge pump. On

14 IMPACT • October 2006

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The Rapu-rapu Case

31 October, 13 days after resumption of The dermatology experts from UP PGH tal Impact Assessment particularly the
LPI’s operations, the company deliber- who conducted a study on skin disorders scoping process and standards on sedi-
ately released cyanide laden tailings. It suffered by a number of residents con- ment, water and air.
was to prevent the containment wall from cluded that the cause of said disorders Modification of the Mine Rehabilita-
bursting because of excessive rainwater were fungal and bacterial in nature. tion Fund (MRF) which should
brought by heavy rainfall. The discharge It is interesting to note that from the becommensurate with the commercial or
was channeled to Hollowstone and very start, LPI had not denied responsibil- market value of the minerals processed.
Malobago creek causing another fish kill ity and expressed willingness to help and .Strengthen governance and sanc-
the morning after. payback the damages created by the spills. tion government units, local and national
Various organizations and institutions They have openly admitted certain viola- that may have violated pertinent laws.
including Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic tions that led to the incidents. Notably, Inclusion of trust fund for areas with
Resources (BFAR), University of the Phil- violations of the ECC conditionalities as IP group, recognized or unrecognized, for
ippines-Marine Science Institute (MSI), specified by EMB were publicly admitted social, cultural and educational develop-
NSRI and INECAR conducted tests on by an authorized representative of project ment purposes. Failure of IPs to apply for
water, sediment and fish samples to deter- proponent. This would have been a suffi- the rights mandated by IPRA law should
mine the real cause of the fish kills, to cient ground for the cancellation of its ECC not deter them from enjoying or benefiting
determine the extent of contamination and which was not done by Environmental from the proceeds of mining activities.
to establish culpability. Tests however Management Bureau as provided for by Revision of incentives granted to
were not conclusive and some were even the mining act. mining companies such as tax holiday.
conflicting. With the question of suitabil- For non inclusion of Taboi tribe in the An administrative investigation on
ity for human consumption all public officers involved in
of catch from the affected the licensing, monitoring,
waters, the fishing industry "It is our duty as a people to management and regulation
of the residents was ad-
versely affected so much so safeguard, conserve and utilize of LPI operations is highly
recommended.
that some fishermen migrated
to other places for lack of
wisely these resources not just It is recommended that
government officials and em-
food and livelihood.
With the growing con-
for ourselves but for the future ployees who failed to perform
his/her mandate through will-
cern and the broiling issues generations. " ful negligence shall be
of adverse effects of mining stripped of all benefits which
operation in the country, includes retirement, social se-
PGMA formulated and issued Administra- scoping process, the required Free and curity and others and be disbarred from
tive Order (AO) 145 on 11 March 2006, a Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) which is of holding any public office.
day after the “Dialogue with the Presi- prime importance proved to be inadequate In summary, the issue of account-
dent” organized by CBCP-NASSA in com- and the EIA report commission by the ability remains in question whether the
memoration of the 11th year anniversary of company failed to obtain social accept- proponent and/or the EIA preparer com-
the passage of the Philippine Mining Act ability from the stakeholders during series missioned by the company should take
of 1995. Said Administrative Order created of consultations and scoping process. It is full responsibility in case of incidents.
the Rapu-Rapu Fact Finding Commission a question of why the Environmental Would putting criminal liability to the
(RRFFC) tasked to investigate the effects Management Bureau granted the Environ- EIA preparer and the project proponent
on people’s health and environment im- mental Compliance Certificate inspite of effectuate a more ecologically responsible
pact of the reported cyanide spillage. The lack of representation from stakeholders. extraction of mineral resources? Would
cyanide spill, which resulted to fish kills, For working ahead of the approved putting administrative liability to gov-
was said to be attributed to the mining Work Program, LPI was not able to com- ernment officials and officers effectuate a
operation of Lafayette (LPI). plete the mitigating measures as required more effective performance and discharge
The two months investigation was in the conditionalities of the ECC which of duty by the same officials?
done thru a series of public hearings, ocu- triggered the emergency that resulted in All extractive activities depletes re-
lar inspections, interviews and analysis of the spills. Although such violations merit sources, irreversible and to a certain extent
subpoenaed documents. From the forego- cancellation of ECC, LPI did not render any destructive. While the Philippines is one
ing, it was established: penalty due to non-monitoring of the of the more blessed country in terms of
That the fish kill was a direct company’s operation by MGB and EMB. mineral resources, such endowment will
consequence of the cyanide spill; This clearly shows the inability of the run out in time. It is our duty as a people to
That both cyanide spills were due government agencies concerned to imple- safeguard, conserve and utilize wisely
to insufficient mitigating measure ment and impose penalty on violations these resources not just for ourselves but
placed by the project proponent; committed by LPI. for the future generations. If God cared for
That there was no conclusive evi- In the light of the ineffectiveness of our land, we, His people should also have
dence to correlate the skin diseases the implementation of the law and the this sense of ecological responsibility. I
and other ailments to the cyanide spill loopholes of the law itself, it is perceived (Joyce Palacol is the project coordinator of Indigenous
nor the mining operation of LPI, Rapu- that the following revisions be made: People (IP) and Ecology Protection and Promotion of
rapu Minerals Inc. (RRMI) and Rapu- Revisions of Department Administra- the Integrity of Creation programs of the National
Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace of the
rapu Processing Inc. (RRPI). tive Order implementing the Environmen- CBCP.)

Volume 40 • Number 10 15

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C O V E R S T O R Y

T
he Aetas of Botolan, Zambales at in having produced seven college gradu- sardines in exchange for vegetables and
the foot of Mt. Pinatubo is a commu- ates who are currently working with non- fruits they brought to the market to sell.
nity of 150 families, numbering about government organizations; while others However, a whiff of change came in
700. The leader of the group, 50 year-old are still in college and the rest in secondary 1982 when the Franciscan Sisters (FMM)
Carling Dumulot did not have a formal and elementary school. came to live among them. The Sisters orga-
education, nonetheless, he is literate and But such was not always the case. As nized the community and taught them how
a very articulate person. In fact, he has a matter of fact, the community’s liberation to read, write and count.
been invited abroad to speak on diverse from the bondage of illiteracy and exploi- Literacy not only provided them with
issues that affect the lives of indigenous tation was an arduous journey character- skills how to be self sufficient but also
communities in the country. As a leader of ized by hard work, commitment and trust. brought them a sense of freedom from
LAKAS (Lubos Alyansa ng Katutubong Carling painfully remembers how cun- politicians and people of their kind who
Aeta ng Zambales), an organization of ning lowlanders exploited their commu- come around every election time to court
Aetas in Zambales, he is frequently asked nity because nobody among them knew their votes.
to speak in various seminar-workshops how to read, write and count. The wisdom “Ang isa pa naming problema, kasi
for indigenous people in different parts of of their elders did not offset their lack of pagdating ng eleksiyon, iyong gusto
the country. His present community, al- literacy. Carling tells of their experience of naming iboto, ipapasulat namin,
though not yet high in literacy, takes pride sometimes being paid only with a can of pagdating naman doon ang isinusulat

A TALE OF COURAGE AND SURVIVAL:

The Indigenous Peoples’


Journey Toward Self-
Determination
By Pinky Barrientos, FSP

16 IMPACT • October 2006

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© Denz Daya

Volume 40 • Number 10 17

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The Indigenous Peoples' Journey

nila ay iyong gusto nilang tao,” Carling Struggle to live in peace and While others were assimilated into the
says. (Election time also creates another harmony mainstream society, there were also those
problem for us since we cannot write down who did not submit to the colonizers’ evan-
the names of those we want to vote for. Down through the centuries, the story gelizing activities and opted to move fur-
Those who write for us usually put the of indigenous people (IP) was one of ther away from other communities thus
names of their candidates.) struggle, a struggle to live in peace in their preserving their culture, traditions and
Inevitably, the nightly literacy ses- own land and in harmony with their fellow rituals in the process.
sions, and effective community organiz- humans. The earth is an integral part of the However, the promise of economic
ing conducted by the Sisters paid off. In indigenous people’s existence. They are growth brought by industrialization dur-
due time the community found their voice born to it, nurtured by it, and returned to ing the time of Marcos led to the displace-
and their strength as a group. Accord- it. It is a God-given gift. So much so, that ment of indigenous peoples from their
ingly, it was also unavoidable to escape its purity is akin to the sacredness of ancestral lands. As multinational corpora-
the scrutiny of the military. human life. The intrinsic relationship that tions encroached on ancestral domains,
“Sabi nila sa amin ay lalaban kami exists between indigenous peoples and the IP’s moved further away into hinter-
sa gobyerno, dahil tinuturuan kami ng the earth is so sacred that they regard it as lands, uprooted from their land and source
mga madre. Iyon ang akusasyon sa amin. a desecration when they are displaced of livelihood. Their inability to read and
Dinadala pa nga kami sa headquarters.” from their lands due to development ag- write, and to understand the Filipino lan-
(They accused us of plotting against the gression and other factors. guage led others to take advantage of
government, because the Sisters are teach- By and large, indigenous peoples, them.
ing us. They even brought us to headquar- whether home or abroad, are unjustly clas- In order to bring into the national
ters for questioning.) sified as backward by most people despite consciousness the predicament of the in-
Carling credited it to the efficient or- the rich cultural heritage they possess and digenous peoples, the Catholic Bishops
ganization learned from the Sisters that their innate wisdom nurtured by their natu- Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in
their community is still intact even as other ral affinity with the earth. Their colorful 1978, proclaimed the second Sunday of
Aeta communities were dispersed due to costumes and traditional practices and October as Indigenous Peoples Sunday.
the eruption of Mount Pinatubo. rituals provoked endless curiosity among Hence, the annual celebration has opened
“Siguro kung hindi kami nabigyan people who have little knowledge and the eyes of millions of Filipinos and brought
ng seminar at hindi nag organisa, maaari understanding of their culture. awareness on the plight of indigenous
sabog kami.” (Perhaps, we would have The coming of the Spanish and Ameri- peoples and the reality of neglect, preju-
been dispersed, had not the Sisters given cans had marginalized and divided the dice, exploitation and land grabbing they
us seminars and taught us how to organize.) indigenous communities in the country. suffered from the hands of their exploiters.

“Do not retreat, confront them for as long as the sun rises…”
The Challenges of
S
uch were the words of Tao-buhid* ancestors to the younger
Indigenous System of generations of Mangyans, in the face of crisis after crisis
that was afflicting their community. Today’s parents and
grandparents of the Tao-buhid live this admonition and continue
Education the struggle their ancestors started. With cultural erosion fast
disintegrating indigenous communities, the Tao-buhid, together
with other indigenous cultural communities (ICCs) in the country
By Lourie Victor do not only persevere in asserting their rights over their ancestral
domains. They have decided to take on a struggle that involves
the minds, hearts and souls especially of the younger genera-
tions: they are now struggling for an educational system they can
call their own.
Education has always been viewed as a fundamental strat-
egy in social transformation and has been popularized as the key
to a better life. No doubt, it has the capacity to mold hearts, minds
and souls of the youth. For this reason, education has been used
to attract indigenous peoples into the fold of mainstream society.
The country’s ICCs have experienced what entering the
mainstream educational system can do in reality. While success
stories of individuals coming from the very small percentage of
indigenous peoples (IPs) who have finished high school or
college have been cited—increased literacy and numeracy, plus
graduates who have become recognized in their fields of en-
deavor like IP lawyers, politicians, doctors, educators, religious—
the damage, while unpublicized, has been devastating at the

18 IMPACT • October 2006

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urney Toward Self-Determination

The Church, through the CBCP’s areas that generally


Episcopal Commission on Indigenous belong to indig-
Peoples (ECIP) and the indigenous peoples enous cultural com-
apostolate (IPA) of various dioceses, has munities/indig-
been at the forefront in calling attention to enous peoples
the situation of the IP’s. There are more (ICC/IP). These
than 10 million IPs to date, according to comprise lands, in-
ECIP-IPA handbook, whose continuous land waters, coastal
struggle for respect and survival chal- areas, and natural
lenge us, their Christian brothers and sis- resources which
ters, to reach and help them out of the the ICC/IP occupied
quandary they are currently stuck in. or possessed or had
a claim of owner-
R.A. 8371. A landmark legislation ship, by themselves
or through their an-
The enactment of Republic Act 8371 cestors.
or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act The concept of © ECIP/CBCP
(IPRA) in 1997 was hailed as a landmark ownership among
legislation both at the home front and indigenous peoples holds the view that Implementation is altogether another mat-
abroad inasmuch as it was seen as the key ancestral domains are the ICCs “private ter.
to resolve the ongoing encroachment on but community property which belongs to Ten years after IPRA’s promulgation,
ancestral domains and massive land grab- all generations and therefore cannot be the law proves not to be a clear-cut solu-
bing of ancestral lands. sold, disposed or destroyed.” tion to the problems of encroachment and
In general, the IPRA law “seeks to The enactment into law of the IPRA unjust treatment the indigenous commu-
recognize, promote and protect the rights has put to rest the lingering doubts that nities live through. Private individuals and
of the IPs. These include the Right to the indigenous communities in the coun- multinational corporations still can find a
Ancestral Domain and Lands; Right to try are not given priority by the govern- way to trespass on ancestral domains
Self-Governance and Empowerment; So- ment in terms of improving their quality of through manipulation and deception.
cial Justice and Human Rights; and the life and recognizing their basic rights as Undeniably, IPRA opened a flood-
Right to Cultural Integrity.” citizens. gate of hope for indigenous communities
IPRA defines ancestral domains as Nevertheless, enactment is one thing. to reclaim their ancestral lands. In fact, not

community level. tral domains? What will happen to the rich and millennia-
In exchange of individual success stories is community old culture of the tribes? And yet, education as a process is
disintegration in many ICCs across the nation, and with this necessary to navigate in today’s world and in the ongoing
follows continued exploitation and oppression, and the demise movement to defend, protect and nurture the ancestral
of one tribe after another. domains and IP culture…
It has been noted that the kind of education IP’s received led This thought-provoking analysis on the effect of main-
to break-up of intergenerational relationships, identity crisis, stream educational system on the cultural values of IPs, prompted
abandonment of communities and betrayal of communities’ several ICCs in the country to take a radical yet necessary step
interests and concerns. Accordingly, younger generations view to address the problem. They decided to set up their own schools/
their elders and parents’ opinions as backward and insignificant. education programs that provide an education which is culture-
There is also a sense of loss since connectedness to the ancestral based and oriented towards forwarding the self-determination of
domain, the values of the community, the indigenous knowledge IPs.
systems formed through the centuries, and the spirituality that Currently, this initiative has various faces across the Philip-
gave life to them are devalued and cast away. pines. Some efforts focus on basic literacy-numeracy whose
The elders in ICCs who have analyzed this situation do not content are culture-based and non-formal in method, while others
blame the education process per se. What they identify as the add a subject on culture aside from the usual subjects from the
culprit is the kind of education that the younger generations Department of Education (DepEd) which are modified according
receive which in general, is discriminatory of IP culture and to the ICC’s context. Some have schools equivalent to elementary
heritage (espousing the idea that IPs and IP culture in general is and/or high school that follow the DepEd curriculum but subjects
backward, etc). Mainstream education also introduces a value are taught in the context of the ICC’s culture and context. Other
system and way of life which focuses on a non-IP context (usually schools have attempted to come up with their own curriculum
the urban industrial setting), hence, contradicts IP values and based on discussions within the ICC on what they believe should
way of living. Another factor is its insensitivity to the community be taught.
realities and concerns of ICCs, particularly the relational dynam- Similarly, other indigenous groups in different parts of the
ics of IPs. world are likewise responding to the same situation analyzed by
Asked the elders, with this kind of education, how can our ICC elders. Indeed, the basic right to an indigenous education
the IP youth become defenders and caretakers of the ances- is even enshrined in the Indigenous People’s Earth Charter

Volume 40 • Number 10 19

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C O V E R S T O R Y

long after IPRA took into effect a certifi- encroaching on ancestral domains is an- in the bosom of the IP’s ancestral waters
cate of ancestral domain title (CADT) was other problem that many indigenous com- in Bugsuk island in the southernmost tip
awarded to Bakun Indigenous Tribes Or- munities have to contend with. The of Palawan. Jewelmer cordoned the pearl
ganization (BITO), composed of the Pala’wan (Palawan IPs), for instance, is farm area thus preventing the IP’s to fish
Kankanaey and Bago peoples of the one particular group that is currently fight- and pass through it. SAMBILOG
Benguet province. In 2002, the National ing a lonely battle against what can be (Samahan ng mga Katutubo sa Dulo ng
Council for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), considered an environmental plague. In Timog Palawan) asserted its claim to the
the government agency responsible for its issue of March-April 2005, the ECIP’s ancestral domain by applying for a Certifi-
the formulation and implementation of all newsletter Tribal Forum reported the claim cate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT)
programs concerning the rights and well- of the Pala’wan that the mining activities with NCIP. On its part, the company peti-
being of ICCs/IPs; handed the group with of Rio Tuba Mining Nickel Corporation tioned the court to indefinitely ban any-
a CADT covering 29,444.34 hectares. The (RTNMC) which had been in operation one from entering the pearl farm. Jewelmer
breakthrough was achieved through the since 1977, caused environmental degra- argues the farm is a conservation area, as
technical support of the International La- dation and health problems among resi- agreed upon in a contract with the munici-
bor Organization (ILO) and funding from dents, both IPs and non-IPs alike. Atty. pality of Balabac, hence the company has
the Cordillera Highland Agricultural Re- Jose Florante, legal counsel to the IPs, told a right to protect it.
sources Management Project. Impact magazine that the mining opera- Like the puny David fighting the giant
Just recently, NCIP released a report tions are done in the center of the forest Goliath, the IP of Palawan fights an uncer-
stating that there are 46 CADTs that have which leads to ecological waste of trees tain battle. Notwithstanding, Church-
been approved nationally, covering and other vegetative species. Despite the based groups, NGOs and human rights
890,891.02 hectares. Expectedly, the ap- existence of the law that safeguards core groups throw their support to Palawan
proval of these CADTs generates opti- zone areas to be protected from any human IP’s in their continuous struggle to reclaim
mism in the hearts of the indigenous disruption and consumptive activities, still, their ancestral domain.
peoples. However, the process of getting “all mining applications are located within
these CADTs into the hands of the indig- core zones,” Florante pointed out. Divide and rule
enous communities will surely take time On top of mining in a restricted forest
considering the many requirements to be zone, is yet another activity that deprives “Ang mining ay isang malaking
met and battles to be won. the IP’s access to traditional fishing problema para mawatak ang kultura ng
grounds which they believe to be part of isang tribo” (Mining is a grave problem
Mining on Ancestral Domains their ancestral domain. In 1982, Manuel since it destroys the culture of the indig-
Cojuangco and Frenchman Jacques enous peoples), says Armando Quezon, a
The presence of mining companies Branellec set up Jewelmer Pearl Farm right Pala’wan from the municipality of Bataraza.

formulated in 1993, asserting that: opportunities to the ICCs/IPs through the educational
Indigenous peoples should have the right to their own system, public or private cultural entities, scholarships,
knowledge, languages and culturally appropriate educa- grants, and other incentives without prejudice to their right
tion, including bicultural and bilingual education. Indig- to establish and control their educational systems and
enous peoples must have the necessary resources and institutions by providing education in their own language,
control over their own education systems. Elders must be in a manner appropriate to their cultural methods of teach-
recognized and respected as teachers of the young people. ing and learning (Section 30).
Indigenous wisdom must be recognized and encouraged. Even before IPRA, various Indigenous Peoples Apostolate
In the Philippines, the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act (IPAs) and religious congregations involved in IP work have
(IPRA) recognizes the efforts of communities to formulate their been responding to this need. In its November 2005 National
own educational system: Convention, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines
The state shall provide equal access to various cultural Episcopal Commission on Indigenous Peoples (CBCP-ECIP) has
finally decided to make IP education a focal concern of the
Commission by making it a national project, the first step being
the consolidation of efforts being done by the IPAs and congre-
gations. For the past year and a half, several activities have been
done to this end: regional consultations on IP education in South-
Central Luzon and Mindanao, trainings for facilitators, and
workshops on cultural process research. It is hoped that through
these activities, a deeper understanding and articulation of what
it means and what it takes to establish an IP educational system
will be achieved.
It is a pioneering path with no immediate answers, needing
constant dialogue and reflection, and the patience of a farmer
© Dean Conger/CORBIS

nurturing seedlings. Nevertheless, it is a path the ICCs have


decided to take for the sake of future generations of IPs, for as
long as the sun rises. I
* Tao-buhid – one of the seven tribes of Mangyans in Mindoro island

20 IMPACT • October 2006

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O R Y
Getting to Know
Armando speaks here of Rio Tuba
Mining. He accuses company man-
other troubles that hound the IP
communities. Undoubtedly, the ex-
our Indigenous
agement of conspiring with local
government officials, and to cer-
perience of being taken advantaged
of by individuals and corporations
Brothers and
tain extent, using even their tribal alike has opened the eyes of the IPs Sisters
leaders against them, thus dividing on the importance of education.
the community. However, education for the

A
“There is really an outright ICCs meant much more than just s of current estimate, there are about
disinformation going on,” confirms mastering numbers or learning how 12 million indigenous peoples (IPs)
Florante. He explained that the lack to read or write. For them it is para- in the Philippines which consist roughly of
of opposition from some IPs might mount that education should be 16% of the country’s population. The IP’s comprise
have stemmed from their sense of based and rooted in indigenous about 110 major ethnic tribes that are scattered all
gratitude to the company for what culture and traditions, or else, their over the country’s 7 major ethnographic regions.
it had provided the community, such identity as a people is lost forever.
as hospital building and scholar- Carling and the community of Cordillera & Region I Dumagat
ship fund for deserving students. Aetas he belonged to recognize Remontado
Bontoc, Balangao Bugkalot, Cimaron
Quezon contends that Rio the importance of education in up- Isneg, Tinggian
Tuba’s 30 years of operation did lifting the community’s living stan- Kabihug, Pullon
Kankanaey Tabangnon
not improve at all the community’s dards and in achieving self-deter- Kalanguya
standard of living. There was an mination. Obviously, he does not Abiyan (Aeta)
Karao, Ibaloi Isarog, Itom
outbreak of skin lesions last year see any incompatibility in preserv- Ayangan
among residents in the mining com- ing one’s cultural identity even if Ifugao
munity which was attributed to leak- one is living in mainstream society. Eastern & Southern
Kalinga, Apayao Mindanao
age of sulfuric acid from the hydro- However, he ruefully admits that
Bago, Gaddang
metallurgical processing plant of media have also somehow influ- Manobo, Mandaya
Rio Tuba. However, the company enced them, especially in wearing Island Groups Mansaka, Dibabawon
denied it, and washed its hands of clothes that lowlanders wear. Banwaon, Bagobo
responsibility claiming, that, “it Carling’s community pro- Agutaynon Ubo Manobo,
(skin lesions) was merely caused motes their culture to mainstream Tagbanua Tagakaolo
by the unhygienic practices of the society through street theater. This Dagayanen Talaingod, Langilan
people,” according to Florante. activity also serves as an identity Tao’t Bato, Batak Mamanwa, Higaonon
booster to their youth. Referring to
To call attention to their plight, Palawanon B’laan, T’boli
the Palawan IP’s organized the big- their students off in college, Carling Molbog
says, “Iyon ay di dapat kalimutan. Kalagan, Tagabawa
gest mobilization in their history as Iraya Mangyan Manobo B’lit,
a community, when they marched Dapat balik tanaw sila doon,” Hanunuo Mangyan
(They should not forget who they Matigsalog
from Bugsuk to Puerto Princesa in Alangan Mangyan Tigwahanon, Sangil
protest of the encroachment of mul- are. They should always take pride Buhid Mangyan
tinational corporations on ances- of their culture.) Tadyawan Mangyan Central Mindanao
tral domains and degradation of The students are required to Batangan Mangyan
environment caused by unabated go back home on week ends to Gubatnon Mangyan Aromanon, Tiruray
mining activities. work in the farm. Back in the com- Ratagnon Mangyan Bagobo, Ubo
munity, they shed off their city Ati, Cuyunon Manobo
Low literacy clothes and don their g-string. The Sulod/Bukidnon Higaonon, Subanen
wages they earned working in the Magahat, Korolanos Maguindanao
Low literacy rate is yet one big farm are spent for their educational Ata, Bukidnon Maranao, Iranon
problem that goes to the roots of expenses. I Escaya, Badjao Karintik, B’laan
Lambangian,
Region 2 Dulangan
Ivatan, Agta Northern & Western
--- ERRATUM --- Kalanguya
Bugkalot
Mindanao
Gaddang Talaandig, Higaonon
Aggay, Tsina Matigsalog,
The title of Prof. Emma R. Roxas' article (IMPACT, Dumagat Umayamnon
September 2006 issue, p.9) should be read as "The Ibanag, Itawis Manobo, Kamigin
International Debt Problem...", not as "The Internal Yakan, Sama
Debt Problem..." Our apologies for the error -- Rest of Luzon Badjao/Sama Laut
Editor Kalibugan, Jama
Aeta, Negrito Mapon
Baluga, Pugot
Abelling, Agta Source: CIPRAD-PANLIPI

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A R T I C L E S

THE LUMAD-SUBANEN:

Re-strengthening the Ancestry


By the Indigenous Peoples Apostolate of the Prelature of Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay

T
he Lumads are known to be the of new farming technology have caused the peace and moral upliftment that
original settlers in various parts dislocation of Subanen and pushed them strengthens political, social, spiritual,
of Mindanao. The varied exist- away from their ancestral home. This con- and economic stability geared towards
ence of native communities in the coun- dition has posed a serious concern among progress and sustainable development.
try had created a diverse cultural heri- the tribal leaders in the province. To ad- Towards this end, the PGS conducts
tage. The Subanen indigenous people dress the problem, the prelature of Ipil ini- intensive and scientific research and
are the first inhabitants in Zamboanga tiated the establishment of Phesalabuhan documentation regarding customary
Peninsula covering the provinces of Guhom Sibugay or PGS (Council of Elders laws, tradition and practices of the IP-
Misamis Occidental, Zamboanga del Sur, of Sibugay), through its Indigenous Peoples Subanen; facilitates trainings and
Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga City, Apostolate (IPA) Ministry. Added to the awareness seminars that strengthen the
part of Basilan, and Zamboanga Sibugay. significance in the formation of PGS is the values, skills and capability of the tribal
Subanen are known to be peace loving approval of R.A. 8371 or the Indigenous leaders; assists Subanen in all transac-
people, and the caretaker of natural Peoples’ Rights Act of 1997 which gives tions related to the government pro-
world. Their community illustrates an recognition, protection and promotion of grams and privileges granted to them;
environment of dynamism, cooperation, the rights of indigenous cultural communi- and consolidates the Indigenous
and harmonious co-existence. ties. The PGS covers seventeen municipali- Knowledge Practice System (IKPS),
Like the rest of IP communities in ties: Tungawan, R.T. Lim, Ipil, Titay, Naga, towards their own aspirations and con-
Mindanao, the culture and identity of Kabasalan, siay, Imelda, Payao, Alicia, cept of sustainable development.
the Subanen tribe in Zamboanga Sibugay Diplahan, Malangas, Mabuhay, and Buug Since its creation in 2003, the PGS
are at risk of being lost due to the inter- in the province of Zamboanga Sibugay; has engaged in massive advocacy for
vention of the foreign colonial powers and Bayog, Kumalarang and Lakewood in the implementation of the IPRA and
from the Spanish period in the 15th cen- Zamboanga del Sur. mobilized IP-Subanen communities in
tury, American in the 19th century until The PGS envisions building a harmo- the struggle for ancestral domain claims
the installation of the Philippine Repub- nious interaction among the Guhom for a as well as in the fight against large-
lic in 1946. Such aggression continues better understanding, cooperation and scale mining operations. The PGS has
up to the present in the form of “devel- unity in order to render effective, system- and is still working towards building a
opment.” The entry of big logging and atic and appropriate services for the IP- culture of peace among the tribal people
mining companies, and the introduction Subanen communities. It also fosters in the province. I

22 IMPACT • October 2006

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A R T I C L E S

D
uring the Philippine Revolution
against Spain, a few Filipino Catho-
lic priests played crucial roles which,
of course, were conveniently condemned as
political and revolutionary because of their
dual consequence for both Church and
State. The Spanish Crown exercised both
Prophet and
political and ecclesiastical powers in all her
colonies. Both civil and ecclesiastical offi-
cials recognized the Spanish King as ulti-
mate authority, perhaps more than the Pope.
Thus, whatever excesses were committed by
Martyr
the Spanish civilian authorities, were tacitly
and naturally condoned by their religious
counterparts, the Spanish friars. At best, the
friars had to learn how to best reconcile their
ambivalent roles of Catholic missionaries and
colonial functionaries.
At some point, the Spanish ecclesiasti-
cal authorities decided to develop the indig-
enous clergy. When local priests were finally
ordained, they were however treated as sec-
ond class to indefinitely serve as vicars or
mere assistants to Spanish friars who en-
Fr. Roberto P. Reyes
joyed the exclusive right to be parish priests.
In time, the local clergy developed and pro- movement. Aglipay and de los Reyes began have become the doorway from which
duced holy and intelligent men who began the reform of the Philippine Clergy within Bishop Ramento’s valiant spirit has been
to challenge the racist and political handi- their newly established church (1902) along poured out and shared to many.” (cf. State-
cap imposed on them. Foremost of these was clearly articulated nationalist lines. Aglipay ment of Philippine Independent Church,
Fr. Jose Burgos who became more and more ceased to recognize the spiritual authority signed October 4, 2006 by Godofredo J.
vocal in his criticism of the discriminatory of the Pope (Leo XIII) and allowed his priests David, 11th Obispo Maximo.)
attitudes and policies of both ecclesiastical to marry. The newly created church enjoyed In life, Bishop Ramento faithfully lived
and civil authorities towards the local clergy. numerous recruits especially in the North out his prophetic vocation received by all
Fr. Jose Burgos had two other priests com- because of its explicit nationalist orientation, Christians at baptism. Recall how all Chris-
panions, Frs. Mariano Gomez and Jacinto which endures up to the present time. tians have been baptized in the Father, Son
Zamora. The three became prominent lead- Last October 3, 2006 in the wee hours and Spirit and received the holy anointing
ers in the budding Filipinization or of the morning, former Obispo Maximo (Su- of the spirit of Jesus, priest, prophet and
Indigenization of the Clergy. The leadership preme Bishop) Alberto Ramento was king. Sadly, many Christians exchange the
and prophetic witnessing of these Filipino stabbed to death in his house in Tarlac. Mo- fullness of life offered by the triple gift and
clerics did not fail to catch the attention of tives for the murder are highly suspicious mandate of Jesus with the petty and pass-
the increasingly suspicious and insecure belying reports that robbery was the sole ing conveniences and the passing joys of
Civilian and Ecclesiastical authorities. Thus, motive. Bishop Ramento has consistently the world. Instead of priests, we have man-
when a rebellion erupted in Cavite, a town fought for rights of farmers and workers, agers. Instead of wise and compassionate
south of Manila, the three priests were im- which earned him their love and respect. kings we have rapacious and arrogant dicta-
mediately implicated, tried, condemned and Recently, he has been in the forefront of the tors. Instead of prophets, we have charla-
put to death by strangulation (garrote). move asking President Arroyo to resign in tans parroting the official line of institutions,
Their execution, which took place on the light of the 2004 election scam. The state- governments and global conglomerates.
February 17, 1972, became a watershed in ment of the Aglipayan Church about the Holiness of life is overshadowed by the bril-
the history of the Philippine Revolution. The murder of Bishop Ramento underscores the liance of worldly success. Just and honest
young Rizal wrote how the execution of the value of his prophetic life and martyrdom: governance is replaced by the blind wor-
three innocent Filipino priests opened his “The people behind his death might ship of power and dominance. Either the irri-
eyes and changed him forever. It was no ac- think they have silenced him and maimed tating static or hypnotic drone of politically
cident that Rizal dedicated his first novel, the prophetic voice of the Church. They or commercially controlled electronic media
Noli Me Tangere to the memory of the three are mistaken. His death has become a drowns the firm and clear voice of truth.
martyr priests (GOMBURZA) whose pro- candle in a burning incense, sparking more Suddenly, there is attentive stillness
phetic lives fueled the flames of revolution- fire, enflaming the hearts of the clergy and in the spilling of the innocent blood of a
ary fervor. A few decades later, shortly after the faithful of the Iglesia Filipina man of God. By his death, we can see more
liberation from Spain and during the initial Independiente to remain faithful to her pro- clearly, hear more distinctly and follow more
years of the vigorous take over of the Ameri- people and pro-labor heritage. Indeed, we courageously Jesus, our Priest, Prophet
cans, another nationalist priest, Fr. Gregorio grieved over his death, but we celebrate his and King.
Aglipay together with Isabelo de los Reyes life. They may have taken his life by open- Bishop Alberto Ramento, true and faith-
became a prominent figure in the Nationalist ing his body with wounds, but these wounds ful Christian, prophet and martyr thank you! I

Volume 40 • Number 10 23

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F R O M T H E B L O G S

U
nconscionable—this is sumption that the government
the only right word to
use in looking at the
Unconscionable would shoulder the expenses
which are even tax payer’s
Malacañang decision ordering money.
the retake of the nursing licen- It is only in downright con-
sure examinations for all the 2006 spiracy that the crime of one is
graduates. There were but a the crime of all. It is elementary
handful who authored the leak- that only those proven guilty of
age of some test questions. misdeed are penalized. But to
There were but some who ben- punish even those precisely
efited from the shameful mis- presumed innocent is the height
deed. Yet all the examinees with- of injustice and the utter lost of
out exception are unjustly pe- the sense of basic equity.
nalized for the dishonesty of It is a given that the real and
but certain individuals. These biggest commerce of this coun-
were bluntly told to have a “re- try is exporting people—from
take”. There is neither rhyme ordinary to super-maids and
nor reason to this Malacañang other service professionals. For
intervention—even in the as- the present administration,
there is no business like people
business. In fact when the na-
just and unacceptable when tional leadership goes abroad,
Integrity the cheater has advanced
education, wields power and
it is people who are offered for
export—among some little local
influence. The cheater then products.

H
onesty or upright gruous to call a thief honest or
ness as a personal to consider the same as upright. better knows the evil of It is also given that it is in the
completeness or to- In the same way, when one who cheating and becomes commercialization of people that
tal reality—this is the stan- cheats, the person remains a thereby more accountable. this government makes the most
dard concept or total reality— cheater. It is contrary to elemen- When a child cheats, there money in terms of big and regu-
this is the standard concept tary logic and fundamental eth- is still cheating though less lar dollar remittances by thou-
and common understanding ics for a cheat to claim honesty responsible and punishable. sands of OFWs—who are even
of integrity. It is a wholeness and uprightness. When an educated adult daily increasing in number. This
that accepts no breakage One who steals and man- cheats, this is more despi- is why the country is said to
such that it is whole or bro- aged to keep what the same stole, cable and abominable. have but a service economy such
ken—never both. Thus: wa- remains thief. The fact that was A cheat in the elections as demonstrated by the many
ter is either clean of dirty. is stolen remains kept—little remains a cheater even if the big call centers in the country—
When water is a little dirty, though this is— in no way can- he or she cheated but a little with others still in the offing.
dirty it remains as it is not cels the fact of thievery. In the and thereby announced as It is wherefore also a given
clean. In the same way, a plate same way, someone who cheats the winner. This event could that this administration wants to
is either whole or cracked. remains a cheater no matter how be understandable if there is have quality people exports. This
Once its but a little cracked, it little is cheated. Even if the an election law that allows is the ultimate rationale behind
is not whole anymore, no mat- cheater is not caught cheating. candidates to cheat a little. the “retake” of all 2006 nursing
ter what one thinks and says. No one is allowed to steal a little. The fact remains that to cheat graduates. This iniquitous move
Someone who steals no In the same way no one is either little or much in elections is is to assure that there would be
matter how little is a thief. The permitted to cheat a little. unethical, and wherefore un- no doubt about their export qual-
person who steals is dishon- Cheating becomes more acceptable among decent ity as a whole. Never mind who
est and crooked. It is incon- serious and culpable, more un- and civilized electorate. honestly passed the licensure
Even if everybody is said exams, who but doubtfully
to cheat in elections, this in passed them, and who down-
no way makes cheating right. right cheated to pass them. If the
A winning cheater has no government cannot even make
moral claim to a public office. such a distinction among the
In the same way, a cheat win- examinees, what is it doing with
ning an election in no way its multi-billion intelligence fund,
makes the same worthy of its multi-branched intelligence
public trust. The mixing of agencies?
cheated and non-cheated There is something funda-
votes comes up with a mentally wrong with an adminis-
cheated count. This is the tration that does not even know
only conclusion by applying the elementary dictates of jus-
the principle of integrity. tice, the basic norms of prudence.
www.ovc.blogspot.com www.ovc.blogspot.com

24 IMPACT • October 2006

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E D I T O R I A L

Many Killings, No Killer


T
here are many “only in the Philippines” amusing They all abhor social injustice in the country, they distrust
realities. In the same context, there is one now the administration and become critical about it. The
standing fact in the country that is definitely not unofficial but real response to people’s distrust and
funny but downright fearful and detestable. Many politi- criticism is sweep and final: kill them!
cal killings wantonly go on while not a single killer has All these are presumed guilty: critical farmers and
been known and brought to justice. Only in the Philip- workers, cause oriented individuals and media persons,
pines is the listing of those killed becomes longer yet the protesting professionals and pastors—some priests and
list of those who murder them in cold blood remains bishops are already in the order of battle. All these
strangely empty. wherefore should be eliminated one at a time, slowly but
It can be rightfully said that in this country and under surely. And those in position of power and influence with
this present administration, crime pays. There is much this twisted mentation even dare say that ours is a full
rhetoric about government inquiries and intelligence democratic government and an entirely free media!
gathering, inclusive of a commission specifically estab- No wonder then that many foreign governments and
lished to look into the summary executions. But the world agencies openly say something is basically wrong
killers remain unknown and those killed keep piling up. in this country. More than rampant government graft and
Mostly talk and posturing, but no facts to show, no corruption, poor education, exploitation of women and
accomplishment to present. children and other social maladies, they say through
And why? Were those killed convicted assassins, formal statements and official releases that there are too
wanted criminals, known terrorists? Only those from many unexplained and unresolved killings in the country.
another planet do not know the answer. Only the killers What is frustrating and even disgusting is that the
themselves and their masters forward futile answers to killings go on and the killers remain at large. It is both
the same question. Even fools know that all those amusing and disgusting that in this country, there are many
killed—everyone of them—have one common attribute. crimes but no criminal. This is the summit of all riddles!

Volume 40 • Number 10 25

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S T A T E M E N T

Philippine Misereor Partnership


SOUTHERNTAGALOGCLUSTER

W
e, participants of the Mining
Study Conference from the Phil- Mining Study Conference
ippine Misereor Partnership October 3-5, 2006
Sacred Heart Pastoral Centre
Southern Tagalog Cluster, representing the Boac, Marinduque 4900 Philippines
communities directly affected by mining,
various Peoples Organizations (POs), So-
cial Action Centres (SACs) of affected dio-
ceses, Non Government Organizations
(NGOs,) Local Government and Church
Leaders headed by His Excellency, Most
BOAC DECLARATION 2006
Rev. Reynaldo G. Evangelista, D.D. Bishop
of Boac, together with His Excellency Most
Rev. Edgardo S. Juanich, D.D.,Vicar Apos-
tolic of Taytay, priests and representatives
who care for and defend the environment
and our national patrimony, gathered to-
gether from 3-5 of October at the Sacred
Heart Pastoral Centre, Boac, Marinduque,
hereby declare the following:
The Present Situation Under The Min-
eral Policy Revitalization Programme of The
Government
We witness the continuous displace-
ment of our Indigenous Peoples (IPs) in
many parts of the country and the serious
disregard of their human rights and disre-
spect concerning their rights over their
Ancestral Lands and right to self-determi- struction of the environment, as well as Programme of the Government, in spite of
nation non-existent justice for victims underlined the serious opposition from the people
We witness the continuous destruc- by what is happening in Aurora and other and the Government’s supposed commit-
tion of natural water bodies that are sources Southern Tagalog Provinces. ment to revise these anti-people and anti-
of livelihood for many of our fishermen due Filipino policies. Moreover, such entities
to the toxic mine waste (tailings) that have Unified Assessment of Our are pushing for changes to the Constitu-
been dumped in water bodies like Calancan Situation tion which will only profit and further serve
Bay and municipal waters in the municipali- the interests of Mining Transnational
ties of Sta. Cruz , Boac and Mogpog in Our joint study, sharing and assess- Corporations (MTNCs), foreign investors
Marinduque. ment of our situation revealed that our and a few local corporations favoured by
We witness the dislocation of our farm- experiences are not different or isolated the government.
ers and the effects on their lives of the from those of our brothers and sisters in We also witness how the Government
destruction of their farmlands caused by many other parts of the archipelago. Min- has become continuously insensitive and
siltation and mine waste. ing in the Philippines is neither motivated deaf to the appeal of ordinary people such as
We witness the evil effects of mining by the need to improve the country’s farm workers, fisher folk, indigenous peoples,
on the health of our people that have con- economy or a genuine desire to improve other workers and sectors of society.
tinued to claim lives as evidenced by the the distressing plight of the Filipino people,
victims of heavy metal contamination in who are living in extreme poverty. Instead, Our Unified Demands and
Sta. Cruz and the sustained threat to people the interests of the large foreign corpora- Challenge
in Boac and Mogpog in Marinduque and tions, in their constant quest for profit, are
the health victims in Bataraza, Palawan. always the focal point of mining in the The people of Marinduque, led by the
We witness the massive destruction Philippines. We have observed many of Diocese of Boac, in the spirit and inspiration
to many of our forests, water sheds, moun- the resulting tragic experiences of our of this “Year of Social Concerns” and the
tains, fields, seas and natural sources of people due to the mining operations car- sustained and fearless struggles of the
life and habitat of our people, flora and ried out by Marcopper-Placer Dome in peoples of Mindoro, Aurora and Palawan,
fauna, many of which are endemic to sev- Marinduque and Lafayette Mining Lim- continue to challenge us to strengthen and
eral of our towns and provinces, including ited in Rapu-Rapu, Albay. broaden our alliance and agreement to stop
Palawan, the remaining frontier in the coun- In these cases, we witnessed how the the greedy, anti-people and destructive
try. national and local government, the na- programmes, policies and mining operations
We witness serious human rights vio- tional police and military, judges and leg- in the country, particularly in the Southern
lations, prevalent cases of kidnapping and islators have all served the interests of Tagalog Region and Aurora province.
summary executions of environmental ac- foreign corporations. These groups des- We strongly face the new challenges
tivists and people who directly oppose perately pursue the Mining Act of 1995 of the present situation with renewed
mining operations and the wanton de- and implement the Mining Revitalization strength and creativity, to pursue the fol-

26 IMPACT • October 2006

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S T A T E M E N T

lowing demands:
1. Exclude from the Arroyo administra-
tion list of priority mining areas, the BISHOPS -ULAMA CONFERENCE
provinces of Marinduque and 6th Floor, Elena Tower Inn, Tibanga, P.O. Box 43836, 9200 Iligan City
Mindoro and commence the long de- Tel.: (063) 223-2928 / Telfax: (063) 223-8120
layed search for justice for due com- e-mail: bucsecretariat@yahoo.com
pensation for all the affected popula-
tion in the province of Marinduque
with the needed environmental reha-
bilitation;
2. Make the Mining Transnational Cor-
A JOINT APPEAL OF THE
porations (MTNCs) accountable and
cancel the mining permits and con- BISHOPS-ULAMA CONFERENCE
tracts of foreign and local mining cor-
porations that violate the rights of the TO THE GRP-MILF NEGOTIATING
people and give rise to massive de-
struction of the environment, seriously PANELS
affecting the lives of our people;
3. Condemn and address corruption and
make concerned government officials
particularly of the Department of Envi-

W
e are the 23 Catholic bishops, impasse, from the moral and spiritual
ronment and Natural Resources, Mines 18 Protestant bishops and point of view, the peace negotiators may
and Geosciences Bureau (DENR-MGB) pastors, and 24 Muslim Ulama find a breakthrough towards a mutually
accountable for negligence and/or members of the ten-year old Bishops- agreed solution. We know that such
connivance with erring Mining TNCs. Ulama Conference. moral and spiritual insight is found some-
4. Pursue proper investigations and bring All the Christians, Muslims and where in the collective and religious
to book concerned erring National Indigenous Peoples of Mindanao are consciousness of our tri-people in
Commission for Indigenous People constituencies of the Moro Islamic Lib- Mindanao who are believers in the Al-
(NCIP) officials and employees for their eration Front and of the Government of mighty who guides our destiny. In the
granting of falsified Certificates of Pre- the Republic of the Philippines respec- search for that wisdom and insight we
Condition; tively. They are also our own constitu- wish to offer our services.
5. Implement a Moratorium in granting encies including the members of both In this humble offer we are moti-
mining permits and ban large-scale negotiating panels. vated by the words of the Holy Bible:
mining operations and other mining We and our people have waited “Therefore, everyone who listens to
activities that cause destruction to the with interest the results of the peace those words of mine and acts on them
environment; negotiations since they started. We are will be like a sensible man who built
6. Enact and implement an alternative dismayed and concerned that they have his house on rock.” (Matthew 7:24) and
pro-people and pro-environment min- been discontinued due to an impasse or the Holy Qur’an: “Which then is the
ing/mineral policies; an unresolved bone of contention. best?—he that layeth his foundation
7. Scrap the Mining Act of 1995 and Stop Urged by the urgent needs of our re- on piety to God and His good plea-
the present Charter Change initiative. spective constituencies, we respectfully sure?—or he that layeth his founda-
appeal to both peace panels to return as tion on an undermined sand-cliff ready
Signed this 5th day of October 2006. soon as possible to the negotiating to crumble to pieces? And it doth
table and resume talks through peaceful crumble to pieces with him, into the
Signed by: and respectful dialogue. fire of Hell. And God guideth not people
It is our firm belief that dialogue that do wrong.” (Surah 9:109) which
His Excellency however long and tedious is the only compare a strong society to a building
MOST REV. REYNALDO G. human and humane way of resolving built on the moral law.
EVANGELISTA, D.D. human issues and problems. We also
Bishop of Boac believe that these matters can be re- FERNANDO R. CAPALLA
Bishop’s Residence solved within the moral and spiritual Archbishop of Davao
Boac, 4900 Marinduque framework— not just within the legal Co-Convenor, BUC
one. For the urgent needs of our people,
His Excellency including those of the peace negotia- DR. MAHID N. MUTILAN, PhD
MOSTREV.EDGARDOS.JUANICH,D.D. tors, whether social, economic, political President, Ulama League of the
Vicar Apostolic of Taytay and cultural, are underpinned by moral Philippines, Co-Convenor, BUC
Bishop’s Residence and spiritual values.
Sta. Monica, Taytay 5312 Palawan While we do not claim exclusive HILARIO M. GOMEZ, PhD
monopoly of moral and spiritual wisdom, Bishop Emeritus, United Church of
55 other Participants we believe that looking again at the bone Christ in the Philippines
From Southern Tagalog Cluster of contention, that is, the reasons for the Co-Convenor, BUC
Philippine Misereor Partnership

Volume 40 • Number 10 27

vol40_no010.pmd 27 10/20/2006, 9:54 PM


F R O M T H E I N B O X

I ICE
sn't it true that we all carry

The Frog Story


our mobile phones with
hundreds of names/num-
bers stored in its memory but
yet nobody, other than our-
selves, know which of these

O
nce upon a time there But one continued higher numbers belong to our near and
was a bunch of tiny and higher and higher. This dear ones?
frogs who arranged a one wouldn’t give up! At the Let us for a moment create
running competition. The goal end everyone else had given a scenario wherein (God forbid)
was to reach the top of a very up climbing the tower. Except We are involved in an ac-
high tower. A big crowd had for the one tiny frog that, after cident or had a heart attack and
gathered around the tower to a big effort, was the only the people attending us get
see the race and cheer on one who reached the hold of our mobile phone but
the contestants. top! don’t’ know which number to
The race began. Then all of the call to inform our family mem-
No one in crowd re- other tiny frogs bers. Yes, there are hundreds
ally believed that naturally of numbers stored but which
the tiny frogs wanted to one is the contact person in
would reach the know how this case of an emergency? was a nationally recognized
top of the tower. one frog managed For this reason, we must name for this purpose.
One would to do it. A contestant have one or more telephone Following a disaster in
hear statements asked the tiny frog numbers stored under the name London , the East Anglican
such as: how he had found the ICE (In case of Emergency) in Ambulance Service has
“Oh, way strength to succeed our mobile phones. launched a national “In case of
too difficult!” and reach the goal. As cell phones are carried Emergency (ICE)” campaign.
“They will It turned out that by majority of the population, In an emergency situation,
never make it to the winner was all you need to do is store the Emergency Service personnel
the top.” Or DEAF! number of a contact person or and hospital staff would then
“Not a chance that The wis- person who should be con- be able to quickly contact your
they will succeed. The dom of this story tacted at during emergency as next of kin, by simply dialing
tower is too high!” is: Never listen to other people’s “ICE” (meaning: In Case of the number stored as “ICE”
The tiny frogs began col- tendencies to be negative or Emergency). For more than one contact
lapsing one by one, except for pessimistic, because they take The idea was thought up name simply enter ICE1, ICE2
those, who in a fresh tempo, your most wonderful dreams by a paramedic who found that and ICE3 etc. This is a good
were climbing higher and and wishes away from you— when they went to the scenes idea that will make a difference!
higher. the ones you have in your heart! of accidents, there were always Let’s spread the concept
The crowd continued to Always think of the power mobile phones with patients, of ICE by storing an ICE num-
yell, “It is too difficult!!! No words have. Because every- but they didn’t know which ber in our mobile phones to-
one will make it!” thing you hear and read will number to call. day! Please forward to your
More tiny frogs got tired affect your actions! He therefore thought that all nearest and dearest.
and gave up. rowena.dalanon@cbcpworld.net it would be a good idea if there rowena.dalanon@cbcpworld.net

A A
person requirements,
please.” “Oh, good
looking, polite, humor-
perfect match can only be
found between a blind wife and
a deaf husband, because the

Perfect
ous, sporty, knowledgeable, blind wife cannot see the faults
good in singing and dancing. of the husband and the deaf
Willing to accompany me the husband cannot hear the nag-

Match
whole day at home during my ging of the wife. Many couples
leisure hour, if I don’t go out. are blind and deaf at the court-
Telling me interesting stories ing stage and dream of per-
when I need companion for petual perfect relationship.
conversation and be silent Unfortunately, when the excite-
when I want to rest.” The ment of love wears off, they
matchmaker listened carefully wake up and discover that mar-
and replied, “I understand you riage is not a bed of roses. The
need television.” nightmare begins.
There is a saying that a rowena.dalanon@cbcpworld.net

28
28 IMPACT •• October
IMPACT October 2006
2006

vol40_no010.pmd 28 10/20/2006, 9:54 PM


R E V I E W S

the Philippines, later as a contrac-


tor working for reforms in the HANDBOOK ON THE MINISTRY
construction industry vis-à-vis
different government agencies,
TO MIGRANTS AND THEIR
and eventually, as one of the con-
troversial leaders of civil society
FAMILIES
that initiated the ouster of Erap
and first exposed the corruption Espicopal Commission for the
of Gloria and Mike Arroyo. The Pastoral Care of Migrants and
author’s priority for moral values Itinerant People (ECMI) of the
and her Catholic standpoint are Catholic Bishops’ Conference
seen in the more controversial of the Philippines and Scalabrini
parts of the book—the many men Center for People on the Move
of Gloria Arroyo and her “dance (SCPM)
with the devil” as an illegitimate
president turned dictator, a de- encing crisis in many aspects. No
tailed recital of the treachery of arguing, the experiences of OFWs
all our presidents from Aguinaldo and their families are full of “lights
to Arroyo, how the United States and shadows, successes as
veered away from the original in- well as failures”. Similarly, no de-
tent of their Founding Fathers in nying too, the history of the spiri-
A NATION dealing with the Philippines and
the call to the conscience of the
tual, pastoral and social care of
migrants and their families is full
UNBORN American people to undertake
voluntary rectification in our coun-
of “lights and shadows, suc-
cesses as well as failures”. The
try if it is to save America. The Handbook on the Ministry to Mi-
Maria Linda Olaguer Montayre book, Montayre pre-notes, is grants and their Families is su-
more than just her own personal With the unabated trend of labor perbly an attempt to address the
Neither cloying nor condescend- story—it is also your story, the migration and countless hordes many challenges of
ing, A Nation Unborn candidly account of every Filipino who of Overseas Filipino Workers shepherding—spiritual, pastoral,
unravels the author’s quest for cares for his country. It echoes (OFWs) unflinchingly trek to for- social—the needs of migrants and
ultimate meaning in life. It is a spiri- as well the tale of all peoples in eign lands for a living, the world their families. Lights or shadows?
tual journey spanning almost four the underdeveloped countries, all has indeed become a small vil- Either way, the handbook is un-
decades. Her initial desire—to preys and victims of the power- lage—but which is now experi- mistakably a perfect companion.
serve God and country—found ful governments and huge cor-
expression first as a Good Shep- porations, and who, like the Phil-
herd nun, then as an underground ippines, are also “a nation un-
cadre of the Communist Party of born”.
GAMBLING IN THE REPUBLIC
WHEN THERE IS LOVE, THERE IS Abp. Oscar V. Cruz, JCD, DD
LIFE: Economic and Sociological This book is another
Arguments versus Population bold take by the
country’s foremost
Control anti-gambling cru-
sader and consum-
mate canon lawyer,
Amparo Pamela H. Fabe Archbishop Oscar
V. Cruz (“OVC” to
The seemingly interminable de- his confreres), on
bate on the population issue has the evil scourge of
largely been one-sided. What gambling in the
with simplistic Malthusian argu- country. OVC
ments have been rendered feeble doesn’t sugarcoat
and low birth-rates and graying anything, but he
populations in many industrialized makes his ostensi-
nations pose a threat to their in- bly gloomy subject
tegral process, the propaganda stunningly reveal-
for population control continues ing—detailing his
without let-up. In When There Is progressive per-
Love, There Is Life, Fabe—who, sonal knowledge on
quite stunningly, earned her un- the nature and impli-
dergraduate and graduate de- cations of gambling,
grees in Economics and Sociol- its extent and inten-
ogy respectively from the Univer- sity, and the
sity of the Philippines in Diliman— wrenching prob-
impressively enumerates the Malthusians assume and requires lems it brings to indi-
twelve economic and sociologi- a careful consideration of the viduals, to families,
cal arguments versus population nature of the human person and to communities. “It is
control. She carefully argues the dynamics that govern human meant to be an eye opener for those who still want to see what
what has always been the society…Ms. Fabe’s work repre- gambling really is, a wakeup call to those enslaved by it but still willing
Church’s position on population sents a silver lining in the long to listen and accept the adversities gambling has brought them into.
control using sociological and dark night of sustained promotion Above all, it is an open appeal addressed to those who are prepared
economic data. “If anything, de- of birth-control,” forewords Cebu to act against the proliferation of gambling in the country as men and
mographic balance is a far more Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal women of goodwill,” forewords OVC. No denying, the book is sur-
complex reality than what the Vidal. prisingly wise and enlightening.

Volume 40
Volume 40 •• Number
Number 10
10 29
29

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CATHOLIC INITIATIVE FOR ENLIGHTENED MOVIE APPRECIATION

G angster Frank Costello (Jack


Nicholson) lords it over Boston 's
Irish American community, out-
doing all other mobsters in drug dealing CINEMA
Title: THE DEPARTED
Running Time: 190 mins
Lead Cast: Leonardo Di Carpio, Matt
Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark
and other crimes related to it. In the same
community, William Costigan (Leonardo
DiCaprio) and Colin Sullivan (Matt
REVIEW Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray
Winstone, Vera Farmiga, Alec
Baldwin
Damon) grow up along rough parallel paths Director: Martin Scorsese
which diverge when they reach adoles- Producers: Roy Lee, Doug Davison,
cence. Costigan aspires to become a state
trooper and enrolls in the police academy; Gianni Nunnari, G. MacBrown,
Sullivan becomes Costello's right-hand Kristin Hahn
man and joins the police force as the Screenwriter: William Monahan
gangster's mole. They are cops in the same Music: Howard Shore
community but neither is aware of it: only Editor: Thelma Schoonmaker
Captain Queenan (Martin Sheen) and Sgt. Genre: Suspense/Drama
Dignam (Mark Wahlberg) know, as they Cinematography: Michael Ballhaus
have handpicked Costigan to do under- Distributor: Warner Bros.
cover work?infiltrating Costello's inner Location: U.S.A.
circle. Intrigues and tensions rise in the Technical Assessment: ½
cat-and-mouse game as Costigan feeds the Moral Assessment: zz
p o l i c e i n f o r m a t i o n a bo u t C os t e l l o ' s
schemes and whereabouts while Sullivan CINEMA Rating: For mature viewers 18
leaks to Costello police plans to ensnare and above
the hoodlum. Both Sullivan and Costigan
take their jobs dead seriously, knowing
there are leaks, but the truth about the
other's position in the force is hidden to Damon plays his character like the The amount of profanity in the movie
both of them. Soon Capt. Queenan and topnotch betrayer it is meant to be. A may offend the auditory nerves of viewers
Sgt. Dignam appoints Sullivan as head of mature DiCaprio delivers a riveting per- accustomed to polite conversations, but
the team assigned to discover who's formance that could be the best in his just like the blood and the violence, four
Costello's mole among the cops. Costello entire career. Wahlberg playing the foul- letter words are endemic in a cops-and-
smells a rat in his team but hardly suspects mouthed cop at times even threatens to goons environment, in the same way that
Costigan. overshadow DiCaprio. And no one is a story on priests or nuns and other con-
The Departed is a remake of Infernal better at being bad than Nicholson whose secrated persons would be incomplete
Affairs, a second-rate crime movie from sinister snicker can render the script su- without "otherworldly" talk or dialogue
Hong Kong , but under the direction of perfluous. Vera Farmiga as Madeleine, that shines with virtue. The Departed
Martin Scorsese it turns out far superior the psychiatrist caught in a triangle be- offers a window through which its audi-
to its original version. Credit it to the tween Costigan and Sullivan, executes her ence may view family, loyalty, betrayal,
acting of the stellar cast led by the four role with just the right blend of vulnerabil- and the fate that results from the choices
men (DiCaprio, Nicholson, Damon and ity and sensuality. The scrupulously and one makes in life. Due to its topic--the
Wahlberg) who even physically look like cleverly edited The Departed scores high dark secrets residing in the bowels of
they've come out of the same cast: gritty, in keeping the viewer at the edge of his seat organized crime-- The Departed is better
hard-boiled, self-contained, human islands. with its clear plot and story development. confined to adult viewership.

ANSWER TO LAST ISSUE: KEEP ON ADDING, KEEP ON WALKING, KEEP ON PROGRESSING: DO NOT DELAY ON THE ROAD, DO NOT GO BACK,
DO NOT DEVIATE. -- ST. AUGUSTINE (Qoutes in Quiz book and booklets available at National Book Store and Booksale outlets.

30 IMPACT • October 2006

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N E W S B R I E F S

AFGHANISTAN INDIA MALAYSIA THAILAND


UN Expressed Alarm on 600,000 Children Back Anti-illegal Drugs Rights Group Urges
Growing Instability to School Campaign thru Mu- Military to Restore Fun-
The United Nations A statewide enrolment sic
damental Rights
High Commission for drive has reportedly in- The well-known Zouk The newly appointed
Refugee has expressed creased sending more interim prime minister of
dance club in Kuala
alarm about the mounting than 600,000 boys and Thailand must immedi-
number of displaced fami- Lumpur and UNICEF
girls in school this school have launched a cam- ately restore fundamen-
lies caused by the ongoing year in Gujarat, India tal rights as the first step
hostilities between the paign designed to edu-
wherein nearly half of cate young people toward a return to de-
government forces, these new students are mocracy, Human Rights
NATO and insurgents, against “feel-good” ille-
girls. Gujarat, though one Watch (HRW) said.
Fides Service said. gal drugs like “Ecstasy”.
of the most economically At press time, the coup
The source said that developed state in India, The “Keep the Music
Clean” drive takes anti- plotters established an
since July, around 15,000 has ranked low in female interim government but
families have been dis- literacy with a rate of drug messages to the they’ll remain in power
placed in the southern only 58.6 percent in physical and virtual until a new constitution is
provinces of Kandahar, 2001. spaces frequently vis- drafted and national elec-
Uruzgan and Helmand The government edu- ited by young people tions are held late next
fuelling more problem to a cation initiative known as such as clubs, radio and year. HRW voiced con-
population already host- “Shala Pravesh Utsav” the Internet in order to cern that the interim con-
ing 116,400 people earlier (School Entrance Festi- create safe environ- stitution does nothing to
uprooted by conflict and val) started three years ments in which they can address institutional
drought. “Afghanistan has ago. Since then, girl’s enjoy good music and weaknesses in Thailand’s
one of highest refugee enrollment improved government structure.
quality DJ’ing without
populations in the world.” showing a sharp reduc- the harm caused by drug
tion in overall dropout abuse.
rates down to 11.8 per- PHILIPPINES
Hong Kong
cent in 2006. Bishops-Ulama Body
Belgian Missionary Dies SINGAPORE
Urges Resumption of
at 106 JAPAN Singapore Scores Peace Talks
Sr. Marie Williemsen, BirdLife Asia Launches Highest Employment The influential Bish-
a Belgian missionary Sis-
ter who spent 20 years on Vulture Conservation Rate in 15 Years ops-Ulama Conference
mission in Mongolia and Drive has called for the resump-
Singapore has re- tion of peace talks be-
26 years in Hong Kong, corded its highest em-
has died in her home coun- BirdLife, a Tokyo- tween the government
based international orga- ployment rate in 15 years and the Moro-Islamic Lib-
try on September 6 at the with improvements, par-
age of 106. She has been nization promoting bird eration Front (MILF) as
recorded as the longest- conservation, launched a ticularly, in the hiring of soon as possible.
lived citizen of Leuven. campaign for the protec- older workers. The Man- “We and our people
Williemsen, a member tion of vultures in South power Ministry’s Re- have waited with interest
of the Congregation of Asia whose population search and Statistics the results of the peace
the Immaculate Heart of plunged by 97 percent Department says in June negotiations since they
Mary, was sent in 1923 over the past 15 years. this year, 76 percent of started,” the BUC said.
on mission to Mongolia The campaign will in- its resident population, “It is our firm belief that
where she stayed for over volve the protection and aged 25 to 64, were em- dialogue however long and
20 years. When she was monitoring of the small ployed. This was up tedious is the only humane
expelled from China in remaining vulture colo- from 73 percent last way of resolving human
1949, her superiors sent nies, establishing vulture issues and problems.” The
year and 72 percent in recent meeting of both
her to the Philippines. In rescue centers in North 2004. The improvement
1954, she was sent to India and West Bengal panels in Malaysia has
Hong Kong to help refu- and provide economic as- is most pronounced for been in deadlock because
gees from China and sistance to support these the older population, they failed to resolve the
sharing the Good News. actions. aged 55 to 64. impasse over territory.

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