Monday, November 30, 2009

Cory Aquino, nun, 4 activists join Bantayog heroes

Philippine Daily Inquirer/News
FORMER PRESIDENT Corazon C. Aquino leads this year’s batch of heroes and martyrs whose names will be inscribed on the Wall of Remembrance of the Bantayog ng mga Bayani (Monument of Heroes).

Besides Aquino, the latest additions to the roster are Sr. Asuncion Martinez, ICM, and activists Antonio G. Ariado, Melito T. Glor, Alfredo L. Malicay and Ronald Jan F. Quimpo.

The yearly Bantayog rites are held either on Nov. 30, Bonifacio Day, or Dec. 10, Human Rights Day.

Both Aquino and Martinez have been classified as heroes. They died of natural causes at a late age—Aquino at 76 on Aug. 1 and Martinez at 84 in 1994. The four young men, who all died in their 20s in the 1970s, are considered martyrs.

This year’s honorees bring to 179 the number of names etched on the black granite Wall of Remembrance near the 45-foot bronze monument by renowned sculptor Eduardo Castrillo that depicts a defiant mother holding a fallen son.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mangyans, mining and betrayal

Philippine Daily Inquirer/Opinion/by Ma. Ceres P. Doyo
COURAGE, HUMILITY AND COMPASSION. These, Bishop Broderick Pabillo prayed, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Lito Atienza would have so that he would correct his mistake.

Pabillo is chair of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ Commission on Social Action, Justice and Peace and auxiliary bishop of Manila. He was one of the hunger strikers who joined the Mangyans and priests of Mindoro to oppose large-scale mining in watershed and ancestral domain areas.
Two days into the hunger strike, the anti-mining protestors thought they had triumphed. They had earlier met with Atienza to urge him to cancel the environmental compliance certificate (ECC) that his office had issued to Intex Resources, a Norwegian mining company, last Oct. 14 despite strong and valid opposition from the community, the local government and the Catholic Church.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Pope at the hunger summit

Philippine Daily Inquirer/Opinion/by Ma. Ceres P. Doyo
AROUND 1.02 BILLION people are suffering chronic hunger today, said a report released last week by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme. This sharp rise in hunger triggered by the global economic crisis has hit the poorest people in developing countries hardest, revealing a fragile world food system in urgent need of reform, the report added.

FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf warned: “The silent hunger crisis affecting one-sixth of all humanity poses a serious risk for world peace and security.” He called the 1.02 billion “our tragic achievement in these modern days.” Watch Diouf’s shocking six-second video message in www.1billionhungry.org.
Before I say more, let me say that the Philippines is among the 31 countries listed as suffering from “severe localized food insecurity.”

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Remembering Berlin

Philippine Daily Inquirer/Opinion/by Ma. Ceres P. Doyo
I OWN A PIECE or pieces of the Berlin Wall. A friend who went to Berlin shortly after the fall of the wall in 1989 brought home a piece for me.

Two years later, in 1991, I and several journalists were in Germany for a two-week cross-country tour—courtesy of a German press association, Germany’s department of tourism and Lufthansa. This was my second time in Germany. Berlin was one of the places we visited. We were there for the first anniversary of the reunification of West and East Germany which happened on Oct. 3, 1990.

Of course, I got pieces of the wall, but that time they came as part of a brooch which young artists made and sold near the wall area. I bought a beautiful molded face of a woman with one cheek covered with tiny pieces of the wall. I still have it and wear it now and then.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Reflections on kidnappings past and present

Philippine Daily Inquirer/Opinion/by Ma. Ceres P.Doyo
AS IRISH COLUMBAN missionary Fr. Michael Sinnott enters his 24th day of captivity, people from all walks of life continue to pray that his kidnappers would have compassion and free him soon. That is, without ransom being paid. His kidnappers have asked for a $2-million ransom.

Fr. Pat O’Donoghue, regional director of the Missionary Society of St. Columban, has insisted again and again that Sinnott would not want that money be the reason for his release. The no-ransom policy stands.
As O’Donoghue stressed, paying ransom would “just add to everyone else’s vulnerability.” They are missionaries, “not commodities,” he added. For more than two decades these bandits/terrorists have been treating the religious as commodities.