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VOTERS EDSESSION

Posted on 2007.01.17 at 01:14
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UPCOMING SOCAW EVENTS

Posted on 2007.01.12 at 00:08
Jan.22 (Monday) - VOTERS EDUCATIONAL SESSION
SOM 210, 430-6 pm
with speakers from Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan

Feb. 2 (Friday)- SOCIAL TEACHINGS OF THE CHURCH EDUCATIONAL SESSION (in line with the National Catechetical Month of ACIL)
Venue, TBA, 430-6 pm
with speakers from the Theology Department

I. CHA-CHA -> to change the constitution through:

1. People's Initiative- signatures are (were) gathered, pushing for charter change: Supreme Court said it's illegal/unconstitutional. Therefore, it was not carried out!
2. Constitutional Assembly (Con-ass) - members of congress (House of Representatives+ Senate  but they are against Con-ass!) will assemble to change constitution: considered by many (including the church and most senators) as morally wrong (only for their own selfish interests, not the people's.)
3. Constitutional Convention (Con-con) - members are elected, in a convention to change the constitution.


II. Basic Points:

1. Pres. Gloria and administration congressmen (pro-Gloria) say cha-cha is needed to enhance policy making process and to make it easier to get budgets passed: less politics, less bickering!
2. She and the members of the congress want to change the bicameral form of government (Senate + House of Representatives) to a unicameral parliamentary form of government, wherein the people will vote for representatives in the parliament. These representatives, would, in turn, appoint a leader- Prime Minister, and there would be no Senate.
3. Senators, church people, citizens say cha-cha is only a thinly-disguised ploy of the Pres. and her allies to extend her term (and those with her allies in Congress/ beyond 2010: her opponents fear that she'll be able to rule even after 2010 when she becomes Prime Minister, in a unicameral parliamentary form of government!) .

EDUCATION SESSION

Posted on 2006.09.24 at 20:56

Another One of Those

Posted on 2006.07.31 at 03:27


by Pamela See, I-BFA ID

And so another SONA was held in the Batasan Pambansa Complex last July 24, 2006 by our very own El Presidente. Yes, that’s Madam Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for you, ladies and gentlemen. Did the moment the president stood to face the nation mean more empty promises, more fallacies and more misleading thoughts regarding the nation? Is that why I hear so many people groaning, snickering and regarding the whole SONA as “joke time”? Everyone is almost certainly thinking that it’s just another SONA, and that’s why most people are getting biased about it. Tsk-tsk, not everyone is a happy camper. Oh, boo.

Just like every year, the president delivers her speech— stating the country’s progress, development plans, problems to face and future goals to, hopefully, achieve. And just like what she mentioned in her speech, she claims that we have enough funds to “stamp out terrorism and lawless violence”, not to mention a handful of projects to complete and debts to pay. Yeah, right. Enough funds to complete all those things? Dream on, dude. What about the coming May elections next year? Fearfully enough, it is quite becoming an understatement that the nation’s treasury will be used for corruption purposes, briberies, jueteng scams and whatsoever. Projects will either be on hold or abolished altogether because of the lack of resources. No wonder, nothing is getting done in the Philippines. It is rather a displeasure that a country with very rich natural resources like ours is being exploited and used for the wrong and selfish reasons.

GMA said, “We need Constitutional change to bring our rules of investment into the new millennium”. Is that so? Or, is it just a more formal way of saying that she wants to extend her presidency? After all, she’s been getting a lot of attention from the local and international media. She’s pretty feisty for a small person. Oh, what a lady!

Moving on, here is an interesting outline of her ‘strategies’ of the Philippines to be world-class and be able to compete for global competition;

1. Make food plentiful and affordable to keep our labor cost globally competitive.

2. Reduce the cost of electricity to make our factories regionally competitive.

3. Modernize infrastructure at least cost to efficiently transport goods and people.

4. Mobilize, upgrade and disseminate knowledge and technologies for productivity.

5. Reduce red tape in all agencies to cut business costs.

As far as I can remember, isn’t that what she promised years ago? Well sure, there were some improvements in our country. Transportation was somewhat made easier for the public with the help of building the MRT and new highways. The establishment of the 12% VAT increased our country’s budget and some part of our educational and health sectors were enhanced. But those are not enough. It still doesn’t satisfy the majority of the needs of the Filipinos.

On the other hand, can we say that we can’t really blame GMA for her mistakes though? Sorry, tao lang po. Given the benefit of the doubt, what does a president have to do if she is not being supported by the public; moreover, by her own compatriots? Perhaps, it is not right to merely depend on her for everything and afterwards blame her when everything goes wrong. That would be really unfair for her part. Just like what she said in her final statement; “For those who want to pick up old fights, we're game but what a waste of time. Why not join hands instead? Join hands in the biggest challenge of all, where we all win or we all lose: the battle for the survival and progress of our one and only country.” Amen to that.

The president and the Philippines have been through a lot of triumphs and defeats. Nevertheless, both are still struggling to make the most out of what we have. GMA has mentioned a lot of projects and goals for our country, and hopefully, this is not JUST another one of her SONA’S. Because if it is, well, be very afraid.


Tulang Sona by Bienvenido Lumbrera

Posted on 2006.07.30 at 18:36
BABALA SA TUKO

Bienvenido Lumbera
(Binasa sa rally sa SONA, July 24, 2006)

Noon nabosesan ka na namin.
Ngayon narito ka na naman para magsinungaling.
Binulgar ng Garci Tape ang iyong krimen --
Batas ng Diyos, batas ng tao dadapurakin,
Taong-gobyerno gagamitin,
Pondo ng bayan lulustayin,
Boto ni FPJ dadambungin,
Basta pagka-Pangulo tuloy-tuloy maangkin.

Dahil nabulgar na, ikaw mismo ang umamin,
Sa TV, nag-astang biktima, nagsori ang salarin.
Ay! pabalat-bungang paumanhin,
Binola-bolang pagsisinungaling,
Panis na pisbol kung baga ang hain
Sa bayang akala mo'y madaling linlangin.

Hanggang ngayon pinekeng totoo,
Inilalako pa rin, pero
Hindi mo na mabibilog ang aming ulo.
Pondo sa abono, pondo ng OFW,
Kurakot sa jueteng, pagbusal sa testigo,
Suhol sa konggresista, pati na sa obispo,
Pagkulong, pagpaslang sa tapat na tao,
Nakatalang lahat ang mga krimen mo.

Hayan, kinalawang tuloy ang bakal na sikmura mo,
Ang pagsisinungaling kasi may bagsik ng asido,
Kinakain ang bituka ng Pangulong
Pumipeke sa totoo.

Sa plasa, sa mall, sa mga barangay at baryo,
Pinagbabaga ang bayan ng mga kasinungalingan mo.
Isang araw, kasabay ng dilim at bagyo,
Sasabog na bulkan ang poot ng tao,
Kumukulong apoy at putik lalamon sa trono
Ng nagsasatukong pekeng Pangulo.

How a Faithful Interprets the Statements of the Bishops on Our Political Situation

Posted on 2006.07.12 at 21:18
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
The following article will be published in the July issue of The Guidon's Crossfire Section. Please watch out for it.

How a Faithful Interprets the Statements of the Bishops on Our Political Situation
by Katrina Tan, III-AB COMM

In the midst of a political crisis that has polarized our people, the Filipino Catholic is trapped in a quicksand of chaos. Confused, he finds himself in a deep predicament and becomes ripe for the picking by groups eager to manipulate him and take advantage of his weaknesses. He is a sheep that is seemingly lost, who looks for its shepherd to protect and direct him. In this situation, he turns to the Catholic bishops for leadership.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has issued Pastoral Letters and Statements to advise and guide us on these critical matters of national importance, expounding on these issues based on Church teachings. In one such pastoral letter, however, the bishops clarify that they are not politicians who can give us a political blueprint to solve political problems—perhaps, in contrast to Niccolo Machiavelli who, in his book, The Prince, offers such a program of action. They explain that, rather, they are bishops chosen by God to shepherd the faithful in the light of faith, adding, as Pope Benedict XVI espouses, that although they do not believe in the “intrusion into politics on the part of the hierarchy”, they have to make a stand on political issues because these affect the people’s spiritual and moral life. Specifically, the CBCP stresses, they are there “…to interpret human activities such as economics and politics from…the point of view of the Gospel of Jesus...Not to do this would be an abdication of our duty.”

In its pastoral statement last January 29, 2006, the CBCP, increasingly sensitive to the voice of the faithful, points out that “what clearly emerges is the continued and urgent need for renewal in the public life of our country.” They realize that there is now a failure in the political sphere, bringing about apathy and cynicism among Filipinos. Further, they say that the root cause of our present political situation is the erosion of our moral values, “a crisis of truth and justice, of unity and solidarity for the sake of the common good and genuine peace”, found in almost all levels of government. It is important to see this moral decay in the light of the poverty of our people, rising crimes of unsolved killings of journalists and labor leaders, rapes, robberies, and others. Hence, to correct this, the CBCP recommends that there be a rebirth of the “social order and public life through the teaching and inculcation of the values of the Gospel.” By this, the bishops probably mean that we must pursue the truth intensely through the different institutions and processes allowed by the law and, maybe, make the needed political reforms. This requires the participation of all citizens. As Ateneans, we can do our share, and we must. Perhaps, joining orgs with social awareness is one way, and, writing letters of appeal to our politicians is another. Nothing is small if done with passion, vision, and commitment.

Because of the moral and religious dimensions of our political and economic life, the bishops insist that it is the mission of the Church to say something about “…human situations, individual and communal, national and international” (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, No. 521). In view of this, we need to see our problems with a sense of faith and hope, not doubts and despair. The bishops make their statements with clarity and purpose, not vagueness and ambivalence, while giving space for careful interpretation and further reflection of the faithful. Those who may still find this somehow vague can learn from the bishops themselves, by using discernment in the light of the Gospel in realizing the truth, and in grasping and comprehending what is obscure. Through these, we hope to be able to perceive what Immanuel Kant calls the noumenon—that which can be known to exist but cannot be experienced, can be only conceived—and not merely the phenomenon—that which is an observable fact or event, known through the senses, can be experienced—of what we face today.