Tag Archives: Fr. Shay Cullen

[People] Saving the Forests is Saving the Planet | by Fr. Shay Cullen

#HumanRights #Environment

Saving the Forests is Saving the Planet
Shay Cullen
21 March 2021

The International Day of Forest is today, 21 March. Forests are of vital importance to the well-being of all creatures, the natural world, and especially humankind. They absorb most of the damaging CO2 that causes climate change. Their protection and restoration should be of the highest national priority of each nation to hold back global warming from rising above 1.5 degrees celsius and avert the catastrophe that is to come.

Forests are vital for retaining and releasing water the whole year-round, preventing draught and providing clean water and protection from landslides and soil erosion in the typhoon season. In the Philippines and other nations that have suffered deforestation, there is severe low crop yield that causes food insecurity due to massive rains and typhoons because of soil erosion. In some provinces, 50 percent of the rich topsoil has been washed away and more to come. There are no more forests to hold the water back. The Philippines, once self-sufficient in rice, now imports most of its rice.

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[People] The Holocaust and Freedom from Racism -by Fr. Shay Cullen

#HumanRights #Racism

The Holocaust and Freedom from Racism
Shay Cullen
29 January 2021

Every year on 27 January, the most horrific crimes of genocide and mass murder on an industrial scale by the criminal Nazi regime in Germany are remembered. As Spanish philosopher George Santayana said, “They who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.” These crimes must never be allowed to be repeated although they have been. In a premeditated planned genocide, six million Jews and other minorities and political prisoners were exterminated by individual and mass shootings. Hundreds of thousands were worked to death, killed by starvation, and millions more gassed to death and burnt in the ovens of the infamous concentration and extermination camps that the Nazis built around Europe. This happened during their vicious and brutal conquest of Europe from 1939 to 1945.

I have been to visit the extermination camp at Buchenwald, near the City of Weimar. It was a terrible place of isolation, cruelty and mass murder. In the countryside, it was bitterly cold and forbidding. I saw a massive prison camp surrounded by an electrified fence. There was no escape for the hundreds of thousands of political prisoners, prisoners of war, Jewish people, Roma people, mixed race people and Afro-Germans. Anyone who disagreed with the Nazi regime was sent to the death camps where the SS death squads executed them.

I walked around the camp. The wooden huts where the prisoners slept were demolished. In a concrete building in the corner of the camp with a tall chimney, I saw the “murder room.” One by one, prisoners stood against the wall to have their height measured and they were shot dead through a hole in the wall. In the basement, there is a room with hooks fixed in the cement ceiling. The innocent prisoners with hands and legs tied and a wire around their necks were hung to slowly die by strangulation. Then, their bodies were placed in a large metal bin that was elevated to the extermination room where six large ovens were continually incinerating the bodies like rubbish. Outside, a greatly enlarged photograph showed a large pile of emaciated bodies of those who died of cruel starvation or firing squad waiting to be delivered to the ovens. Prisoners were forced to do the dirty work.

Memorials of these crimes are held every year by a repentant German people and a new generation all over Germany. Many monuments honouring and remembering the victims have been built so that every German and people everywhere will mourn, be informed, be aware and strengthened in their resolve that such crimes and neo-Nazi hateful ideology and racism in any form are resisted, opposed and countered by peace initiatives. There have been genocides since. In Rwanda, Bosnia, Darfur, Sudan, Iraq, Cambodia, Myanmar, the list goes on and on. The Jewish people were the main target of hatred and racism by the Nazis. The Nazis arrested and deported everyone to the death camps, to be systematically beaten and gassed to death, six million in all, one million were children

People everywhere have to take a stand against such arbitrary killings and atrocities and never standby in silence and allow it to happen without protest. Such silence is to approve and give consent by inaction and be an accomplice to the crime. To stand against such killings, people need a conscience formed by the Gospel values of human rights and dignity to repudiate and condemn such murders, war crimes and genocide. Here, we condemn as evil and wrong all such killings.

The Nazi regime was built on a political party of national socialism that was racist and politically extreme right wing. They believed themselves to be the white supremacists destined to conquer and rule by violence, if necessary. Adolf Hitler, an Austrian migrant, got German citizenship by astute political manipulation. The mainstream political parties compromised with his racist policies and ideology and paved his way to total power. He became chancellor and his cult-like fanatical followers started a fire in the parliament building, The Bundestag, and he blamed the communists and had them all arrested and thrown out of Parliament by presidential decree. Then, his Nazi party had a majority and he ruled Germany with an iron fist and worked to exterminate the Jews and the communists.

When we see the white supremacists and neo-Nazi extreme right-wing groups in Europe and in the United States marching with Nazi swastika flags and symbols, and a US President supporting them, we should think of Hitler and summon up the courage to stand and oppose by word and action this insidious racist political movement.

Everyone ought to support the freedoms and human dignity and freedom of true, fair democracy or for sure we will lose them. This white supremacist ideology has divided America, threatens parts of Europe as neo-Nazis proliferate once again, spreading hatred and violence against migrants.

Some member states of the EU have right wing populists in power and they pass odious oppressive laws. The police and armed forces of America and Europe are reportedly infiltrated by racist neo-Nazi sympathizers, it seems.

Witness the killing and harassment and abuse of so many immigrants, asylum seekers and people of colour in Europe and the United States. It is a poison affecting the police day by day, a dangerous trend of what has yet to come. The police brutality is inciting protests and demonstrations themselves. Witness the Black Lives Matter movement, demonstrations in Belarus, Lebanon, Tunisia and many more.

Complacency, ignorance, apathy, indifference and tolerance that give consent and support for such racism is participating in the politics of racism, hatred and violence. We should not be surprised that the US Capitol was attacked by these Neo-Nazi groups trying to overthrow the democratic process egged on by President Trump and blaming the progressive groups for its ransacking and desecration. It smacks of Hitler-like dirty tricks in burning the Bundestag.

The reluctance of the Republican members of the US Senate to convict Trump for this blatant attack on the Capitol, the heart of democratic processes, is shocking and disgusting. They are in effect condoning this criminal action by the Trump mob. The Trump followers have to throw off the mesmerisation and worship of the Trump cult and admit they have been duped and lied to and reject all that hatred and racism that Trumpism promotes and encourages. They must resist and break free from the manipulation by social media. Freedom from racism and hatred is the freedom to love our neighbour in peace and with understanding.


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[People] Can President Duterte Make the ISPs Obey the Law? -by Fr. Shay Cullen

#HumanRights #Children

Can President Duterte Make the ISPs Obey the Law?
Fr. Shay Cullen
15 January 2021

The massive increase in child sexual abuse videos and images transmitted online over the internet passing through the servers of the Internet service providers (ISPs)- Globe Telecom and PLDT /Smart- has increased from 19,000 in 2019 to 47,937 in 2020 as the result of the lockdown. This is according to the Philippine government Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles speaking for President Rodrigo Duterte.

The child pornography and on-line live streaming of sex acts on Filipino children are continuous horrific heinous crimes as some victims are as young as three years old, among the many thousands sexually abused.

The ISPs and telecommunication corporations have ignored the provision of the 2009 Anti-Child Pornography Law or Republic Act 7995, specifically Section 9 that this writer helped draft and lobbied for strict implementation ever since as published in The Manila Times (The Sunday Times) on many occasions.

No less than President Rodrigo Duterte and his cabinet, in a joint meeting, have issued an order to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to slap sanctions on the telecommunications corporations for non-compliance with the law. This writer has called for penalties against the ISPs and recommended one million pesos a day sanction on each ISP until they show proof that they are complying with the law. Presently, they allegedly escape compliance and agree to pay a small fine rather than obey the law and install blocking software to intercept the child pornography and report it to the authorities as the law demands.

These are the most powerful corporations in the Philippines, not only for financial power, but technological power. They can defy even the government of President Duterte as they are doing at present. In an instant, they can paralyze the nation by cutting off Internet connections and crippling the social media upon which millions depend including the government and the entire economy. We will now campaign through non-government organizations in other countries to pressure their telecommunication corporations to reconsider their partnership with Philippine ISPs Globe Telecom and PLDT/Smart that are non-compliant with Section 9 of RA 9775.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, speaking for President Rodrigo Duterte said as quoted in the media, “All ISPs should also install available technology, program or software to ensure that access to or transmittal of any form of child pornography will be blocked or filtered, according to the law.” That is a powerful order for them to comply. But will they do it?

Who is top dog in this stand-off, which is the most powerful, President Rodrigo Duterte or the presidents and board members of the telecommunications corporations? Will President Duterte and his cabinet really stand strong and compel the ISPs to comply and install and monitor the blocking software?

The ISPs don’t want to do this as they fear losing hundreds of thousands of customers. What kind of evil business is it that is making money by allowing child abusers here and abroad access child pornography and allow child sexual abuse to live-stream through their servers? The arrogance of power knows no limit and the corporations have this kind of power. The software is easily available. Microsoft is just one corporation that can do it effectively using PhotoDNA and VideoDNA technology.

There is a growing movement to repeal section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of the USA that allows the ISPs NOT to be held responsible for what is posted on their servers and networks. After the attack on the Capitol Building in Washington DC driven by social media, that will now change.

The Philippine ISPs are fighting back against Section 9 of RA 9775. They are trying to get an amendment to RA 9775 through the proposed bill of Rizal Second District Rep. Fidel Nograles to members of congress under the guise of strengthening the RA 9775. He is proposing that the most important provision that requires the ISPs to install the child pornography blocking software BE REPEALED! Nograles has filed last year House Bill (HB) 7633 that seeks to remove Section 9 of RA 9775. That is a wrong and immoral proposal. Section 9 is the strongest provision of the law that aims to protect children from child sexual abusers. We can only presume that the ISPs are behind this bill.

Now that President Rodrigo Duterte and his cabinet has correctly come out to support the thousands of Filipino children being sexually abused on-line and in child pornography, that obnoxious bill will die the death it deserves. President Duterte should end his war-on-drugs having done all he can and start a new “war” against child pornography and on-line streaming of child sexual abuse, a true and noble endeavour.

His biggest challengers are the telecommunication corporations. Will he and his government have the courage and power to rise up to meet the ISPs’ arrogant stand of non- compliance with section 9 of RA 9775? Will he reform the NTC and appoint child-friendly defenders?

The question is, “Are the present officials following the command of the ISPs or following President Duterte and his cabinet?” There must be reform of the NTC and imposition of fines of a million pesos a day until compliance is done. Also, a strong legal action by the Department of Justice is needed to enforce the law.

Child defenders can campaign and appeal to the global telecommunication corporations that are in partnership with the Philippine telecommunication corporations to require the Philippines ISPs to be more ethical and lawful. These global companies exercise more corporate responsibility and higher ethical standards. They could decide not to renew contracts with the Philippine ISPs.

Hundreds of thousands of children could be protected and saved from the horrific abuse that they suffer to satisfy the lust and sexual desires of paedophiles and the profit of their enablers. The children are the most important of all in society. The role of governments is to protect the citizens and children are the most vulnerable and need strong action to save and protect them.


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[People] Discovering Human Dignity -by Fr. Shay Cullen

#HumanRights #Children

Discovering Human Dignity
Shay Cullen
9 January 2021

When I see the newly arrived children- all victims of human right violations and sexual abuse- healing and recovering in our Preda Foundation home and striving to be “good,” to be a “better person”, somehow thinking they are “bad,” I and the Preda staff continuously tell them in Filipino that: “You are good children and youth. You have done no wrong, you are innocent victims of bad people who trafficked and abused you.”

It takes a long while for them to understand this. Then, the day arrives when they have had their fifth or sixth session of Emotional Release Therapy. That is where they dramatically confront their abusers in the padded therapy room and fight back at their rapist. They shout his name, cry and scream at him and pound the cushions as if beating him. They are tearing free from the fear and subjugation they endured. In time, they have a new self-understanding. It is an emotional resurrection, the greatest moment of liberation in their lifetime.

They come to realize that they are good persons and have been exploited and abused. Sandra, a 13-year-old, who was repeatedly raped and beaten by her biological father, told how she felt in a group session after her therapy, “I feel free from them, I can live on my own, I see now what is true, I have my dignity”,

The children have broken free from the culture of servility and domination and being downtrodden, and discovered the most important of all. They discovered they have that vital and all-important inherent value of all humanity- human dignity. They have been brainwashed and told all their lives in the slums, living in poverty, without proper education, that they are of little worth, of no value and are better out earning money with their bodies. The younger ones are abused and threatened to tell no one of the sexual abuse. They are told that they did a bad thing and are made to feel guilty and dirty and are wrongly made ashamed of themselves. But from open emotional expression comes freedom and a sense of self-confidence and self-worth and empowerment from knowing that they have dignity and that their dignity has imbued them with inalienable rights.

Human dignity is the greatest value in the Judeo-Christian tradition. It was neglected, ignored and lost for thousands of years. In fact, the word itself was lost until recent history. The idea, concept or belief in human dignity as an ‘inherent or unearned worth of humans’ was not even used in any official or government document, researchers say, until it appeared by chance in the Mexican Constitution of 1917. Then, it was a vague reference to human value. The word only appeared in 1948 when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was ratified by the United Nations. In the introduction, the word is used twice to justify why humans have inalienable rights. That humans have these rights is an idea, a concept, based on the belief that the human species has an ‘inherent or unearned worth of humans’ above all other creatures and species on the planet.

Until the Universal Declaration of Human Rights came in to force in the membership nations that made up the United Nations, many countries without a fair and human rights-based legal system frequently treated people as disposable items by those in power and authority. That authority was absolute, unquestionable, and every person was at its mercy without respect or recourse.

The abominations, atrocities and genocide of World War II gave rise to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as humanity realized that without the recognition of the dignity of the human person, and their rights arising from it enforced in law and practice, they didn’t have a chance to survive the rise of fascist authoritarian regimes.

The principles and the rights laid out by the Declaration has been universally accepted and recognized by most nations, on paper at least. Many regimes ignore the rights and dignity of their citizens that must be treated with respect, equality, and human value as enshrined in the Declaration and to be enforced and implemented by Rule of Law.

There is international action, condemnation and protest when the violations of human rights and human dignity are violated. Protests, demonstrations, marches, social media campaigns raise their voice to denounce the violations although much more has to be done.

The imposition of UN sanctions and the deployment of peace-keeping troops and the indictments of the International Criminal Court of Justice are some ways the world community can bring an erring regime to accountability and yet the massacres, child sexual abuse, violations and trampling on human dignity and rights continue unabated. Just as corrupt politicians, criminal gangs, drug cartel leaders and mafia bosses are the killers and tramplers of human rights, so too are the many individuals who abuse children and their enablers and protectors. It is only in our generation in the last twenty years that there has been an outcry and movement to condemn child sexual abuse and human trafficking and enact strict laws to bring abusers to account and to jail.Tolerance, apathy, indifference, secret approval of child abuse was the custom and in many places it still is. In the Philippines, life sentences are frequently handed down to child sex abusers and human traffickers. The strict laws, driven through congress by civil society, are most important in doing justice for the victims of these heinous crimes against children.

Let us not forget where human dignity, respect for human rights of children and women, were first announced and taught. It was by that inspired man, the prophetic Jesus of Nazareth, who constantly championed the rights of children and declared the child as the most important in his planned society of justice, equality, dignity and peace. To accept and respect the child was to accept him. That is a strong endorsement of human dignity of the most vulnerable in society.


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[People] Christmas Newsletter for 2020 -by Fr. Shay Cullen

Christmas Newsletter for 2020
Shay Cullen
19 December 2020

We are sharing with you some of the highlights of the work of Preda Foundation in 2020. We at Preda wish you all a blessed Christmas.

Many children saved
As many as a hundred children have been saved and recovered at the five Preda homes for abused children in 2020, a happy record of healing and empowerment. One of the important highlights during 2020 is that all the children and the staff have thankfully remained free of Covid-19. The protective measure implemented and strictly maintained has made this possible. During the last year, we were able to receive in our homes 41 girls, rescued and saved from sex abusers, human traffickers, and sex slavery. At present, there are 43 children in the homes for girls. The youngest is three years old. They were welcomed, given affirmation, support, and all their personal needs as soon as they arrived. This year, several were reintegrated.

Healing and empowerment
Grace,13 years old, was raped by her biological father. Her mother held her down while she was raped. A horrific heinous crime. She was threatened not to tell. But she bravely told her sister who told a neighbour. It got to the police and she was rescued and referred to the Preda home. She is now safe and has begun to heal and recover from the trauma she experienced. With the other children, Grace joined many activities and volunteered to take Emotional Release Therapy. In the padded therapy room, she cried and shouted out her pain and anger at her abusive parents. The children slowly emerge from their fear and trauma, feeling free and begin to smile for the first time in years.

Many convictions of abusers in 2020
Legal action by the healing and empowered children in Preda homes has been very successful in 2020 despite the lockdown and closure of the courts for several months. In 2020 the children, assisted by Preda, succeeded in winning 16 convictions against their rapists and traffickers. In one major case, a young trafficker and pimp that sold two young girls to a foreign paedophile many times to be abused received two life sentences in Angeles City. The US national was able to escape. The family tried to abduct the child witness from Preda to stop the case but failed. In 2019, the children won 20 convictions and most of the convicted received life sentences so they will not be able to rape any more children. There are many more cases filed by Preda children pending to be resolved by the prosecutors and others are stuck up in the court judicial system waiting for a court hearing, some since 2014. For the first time in our history, the children participated in court hearings online, a more child-friendly way than appearing in the court room with the abuser present.

Saving boys from sub-human jails
The Preda Foundation has two homes for male children in conflict with the law (CICL), one in Zambales and one in Cebu. We rescue the boys from filthy, abusive, and sub-human government detention centers and jails. They are frequently subjected to abuse and even torture by older inmates and abusive guards. In 2020, Preda rescued more than 30 boys and brought them to start a new life in the Preda home for boys in conflict with the law in Zambales. In Cebu, we rescued 15 boys and they are recovering in the Preda New Dawn Home in Liloan.

Commission on Human Rights investigates
In Preda, the children, some as young as 10 years old, told their stories of torture and abuse in government detention jails. Preda reported it to the Philippine Commission on Human Rights and with help from international supporters, the Philippine CHR was encouraged to open an investigation. The investigators confirmed and verified the torture and they are taking measures to monitor and prevent more such torture.

Preda contributed to the drafting of a new anti-trafficking ordinance in Olongapo City and conducted the first rescue of 18 trafficked women, among them four minors, at a beach resort in Barangay Barretto. The minors were referred to Preda home for healing.

Preventing changes in law, releasing children
In 2020, Preda Foundation continued and increased its lobbying with other NGOs to stop the changing of the child protection law to reduce the age of criminal liability to 12 years old and succeeded to maintain it at 15 years of age. Then, we campaigned during the pandemic for the release of children from detention canters and as many as 350 children were released by the authorities to their parents. Some children were rescued by Preda social workers. However, many more minors with pending cases remain in jails.

Helping Indigenous Children and Families
On 4 December 2020, the Preda Foundation turned over six laptops and installed a full CCTV system in the St. Francis Learning Centre in Subic town for the use of indigenous Aeta children of Zambales.

The learning centre is an excellent boarding and day school exclusively for indigenous children run by the Franciscan Sisters that gives them a peaceful environment to learn together without the discrimination, bullying, racist remarks, teasing and exclusion that some lowland children inflict on the indigenous children. These drive them to drop out of other schools. The laptops were donated by Paul Gorrie of the The Navigator Network.

Buying Mangos and Sharing Relief Food
Preda has worked with 361 Aeta subsistence farmers in Zambales and provided them with relief food packages consisting of ten kilos of rice and mixed groceries, for four times in 2020. Also, similar food relief packages were distributed to 320 poor families and snacks, candies and toys for their children in Olongapo City area three times in 2020.

Preda bought at higher fair trade prices the internationally organic-certified Pico 21 tons and Indian mangos 35.50 tons from the 77 Aeta families out of 10 communities that have mango crops this year. Preda Fairtrade shared out bonus payments of Php140,000 to the Aeta families. The mangos are made into organically-certified mango puree.

Mango Sapling Distribution.
Also, with the help of the Columban Fathers and Merry Year Foundation in South Korea, we provided the Aeta with 2,000 mango saplings. The Aeta families planted them over the mountains of Zambales to help them reforest and strengthen their claim to their ancestral lands and preventing mining companies and grabbers stealing their lands. In Mindanao, the Preda bought 659 tones of Fair Trade mangos from the members of our small farmers Fair Trade association. The mangos are all for export as dried mangos and conventional purees to World Shops in Germany and the UK.

Preda accreditation and higher standards.
The Preda Foundation is a DSWD-licensed and accredited social welfare and development agency, founded in 1974. It is accredited by local government and it has now reached the highest status and standard of excellence. It has been accredited in 2020 by the Philippine Council for NGO Certification (PCNC) and as a result it has been certified by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) as a “Donee Institution” since 9 November,2020. Philippine donors are exempted from paying the 30 percent donor’s tax. All donations will go to the children, none to administration.

New Partnership with UN agencies
The United Nations Anti-trafficking and Anti-slavery agencies have recognized Preda as a high standard organization for helping trafficked, enslaved and abused children and has granted partial funding for 2020 and 2021.

Awards marked
In November, Preda marked the anniversary of the awarding of the prestigious International Martin Buber Plaque Prize for defending children’s rights. In January 2021 Preda will mark its fourth nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. Preda was nominated by the German Human Rights Commissioner Dr. Barbel Koefler. It was endorsed by several members of the German Parliament. That makes the total number of international awards for defending human rights 17. Despite the spread of the Covid-19, lockdowns, and economic downturn the work of the Foundation has succeeded and will continue in the years ahead with your support and help.

View the latest video at https://youtu.be/G0fFNmHSYic Contact Preda Foundation at predainfo@preda.org and http://www.preda.org

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[People] The Empowerment of Women- by Fr. Shay Cullen

#HumanRights #ViolenceAgainstWomen The Empowerment of Women
Shay Cullen
4 December 2020

The empowerment of women and girls is a most urgent need in today’s world where discrimination, violence and exploitation of women and girls, especially in the developing world, is tearing the heart out of society and family life causing human suffering, exclusion, sickness and death.

Education is the key to empowering women and girls and building equality in society by defeating the superior and dominant attitude of many men. Some wrongly believe they are entitled to treat women as inferior and unworthy of leadership roles in society, business and family.

At every level of social status, rich, middle class, poor, besides formal education, there has to be additional human rights training for boys and girls from the earliest age in human dignity and equality. Women have to be empowered economically by having skilled training and small business opportunities and thus take control over their lives. The economic power of women is essential for changing the inequality and the injustice in societies where women are treated unfairly and regulated to some lower status than males. Money talks and in community-based Grameen-loaning schemes, it is the women who are mostly given the loans. They are considered stronger, more reliable to pay back and wiser in using the loans and more caring of the needs of the children. Having money empowers the women and gives them status and respect in the community and in their families.

The education of boys and men in values to respect girls and women is vital. They must be taught that their own value and dignity as a human being and role in family and society is rooted in the respect for the dignity of females. The powerful machismo male, self-image that looks on females as objects of sexual gratification has to be replaced with one of respect, self-discipline and equal partnership, gender equality and complementary roles.

Without empowered, self-reliant and resilient women there is a greater danger of violence against women and children. The 2017 National Demographic and Health Survey conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority says that one in every four Filipino women and children age 15-49 has experienced physical, emotional or sexual violence by their abusers or husband or partner. Female victims of child sexual abuse left untreated leaves the child traumatized, to grow up in fear of rape and sexual abuse. They can get help and fight back but some may be rendered fearful and submissive to the violence of the abusive male in later life. That is why intervention, protection, healing and empowerment therapy is so important. The UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women says it is “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public and private life. Gender-based violence is any violence inflicted on women because of their sex.”

Domestic violence against women is predominantly linked to failed intimate relationships. In many cases, these are shallow and short-lived, most are based on sexual encounters and most are loveless relationships. The woman is treated, not as a loving friend and equal partner and respected mother of the children, but as an object of sexual gratification and a servant housekeeper and cook. The dominated woman is dependent on the man as the provider for her and the children. Many beaten women endure physical abuse because of fear and dependency.

The children in a family are greatly affected by the violent rages of the man against their mother. They, too, can grow up with the notion that violence is a normal part of relationships and be violent themselves. Children can suffer violent sexual assault by the mother’s partner. Sometimes the overpowered mother will allow the man to do it as a way to sexually satisfy him and calm his violent behavior against her. About 80 percent or 32 million children suffer from violence. Seven million of these children are between the ages of 10 to 18 and are sexually abused every year.Twenty percent or 1.4 million are under six years old.

Domestic violence is physical and sometimes psychological. Arguments and verbal abuse break out constantly, leading to a broken home and child abuse. One of many examples is the family of five-year old Vangie and eight-year old Maria (not real names). Their parents had severe disagreements and violence occurred. Their mother left the children with their paternal grandmother and the father. She found another partner. After only a few months, the two small girls were set upon by the biological father and he constantly sexually abused them and raped them both. They were rescued by the Preda Foundation senior staff and social worker and are recovering in the Preda home. He will stand trial. The children will testify.

Human trafficking is another form of violence against women. Young women and minors are “captured” by false promises, lured to fake employment and end up in brothels as sex slaves to powerful men. Many endure physical and psychological violence and “rough sex.” They are victims of “debt bondage” threatened by pimps and traffickers to pay their debts to them or they will be jailed.

That is the case of some of the 18 young girls, four of them minors, that were lured and pressured to join a party where they were to be sexually sold to foreign sex tourists in a hotel in Baloy Beach, Olongapo City, last November 2020. But the plan leaked, and they were all rescued by the National Bureau of Investigation and city social workers and Preda Foundation social workers. The minors are recovering at the Preda home. The adult women are being helped by the government social workers.

There has to be a major change in the culture of male abuse and violence against women and an end to the political tolerance that allows it. The rule of law must prevail, respect for the well-being of every woman and child has to be upheld and we are challenged to stand with them for their rights and dignity.

View New Life at Preda: Resilience and Hope at https://youtu.be/G0fFNmHSYic


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[People] Human Trafficking: A Scourge on Humanity -by Shay Cullen

#HumanRights Human Trafficking: A Scourge on Humanity
Shay Cullen

20 November 2020

Human trafficking and child sexual abuse is still alive and thriving in the Philippines. Online sexual abuse of children is everywhere, it seems, and more has to be done by the telecommunication corporations to stop it. That’s why this heinous crime against small children to satisfy the sexual lust of foreign pedophiles is so abhorrent. Shame on all who allow it to happen with impunity. The Philippines has become the hub for such crimes. The National Bureau of Investigations (NBI) in Olongapo and from Manila has rescued 18 women and children and arrested three human traffickers recently.

In Angeles City this week, two children were rescued and two pimps, both minors, were arrested and turned over to the social workers of Angeles City. A US national, Nicholas Pyant, was arrested by the Philippine National Police in a room with children and should be charged with sexual assault and rape of young children. Pyrant was under surveillance for weeks and is allegedly a known child predator.

In Barrio Baretto, Olongapo City minors are brought to sex hotels to be sold as sex slaves to customers. They are a hub for spreading the coronavirus and human trafficking. The sex industry exists for the sexual gratification of foreign sex tourists and rich locals and earns huge profits for the foreign and local owners of the sex bars and hotels.

The social workers of the Preda Foundation are very active in intelligence gathering and provided vital information and assisted in the recent rescue of the trafficked women and minors in the Barretto night club district. The four minors were referred to the Preda Home for Girls where they are safe from the sex mafia and the families of the human traffickers. At the Preda home, they receive full support, affirmation, counselling, emotional release therapy and education and value formation to prepare them to have a normal, happy life. You can view life in the Preda Homes on Preda Foundation Youtube channel https://youtu.be/G0fFNmHSYic

The Preda home will assist the minors in bringing charges against their abusers and traffickers. Together, we win several convictions of traffickers and child rapists every year. In 2018, we had 18 convictions. In 2019 we helped the children win 20 convictions leading to life sentences. This year 2020, 13 convictions have been won so far. There would be more but due to the pandemic the courts were closed.

Fighting for justice is a very important healing therapy for the children to get justice and to testify in court what the abusers did to them. Most victims/survivors are teenagers. Some are only three years old and six-year-old. They can then have a happy, secure life knowing that their traffickers and rapists are behind bars and can abuse no more children. Some of the teenage children victims of human trafficking also want to be advocates for children’s rights and to speak out as is their right of free expression. They volunteer and sign on to be child rights advocates, a brave and courageous action to take. While we adults do everything to protect their identity, we cannot stop them from exercising their human and civil rights to speak out against human trafficking and advocate children’s rights.The #MeToo movement is a way for women and children to experience freedom from abuse and to fight for justice and many young survivors want to be part of it.

It is adults that allow the sexual exploitation of children in the first place.The horrific child sex abuse business that is a scourge today in the Philippines is due to the former presence of the US Naval Base at Subic Bay, Olongapo City. Thousands of women and children were exploited and abused in hundreds of sex bars catering to the US Navy personnel. It was a wonderland of sex fantasy and abuse. Pedophiles flocked there and the sex mafia systematically and efficiently allowed them to sexually exploit, rape and abuse children. The government allowed and promoted it and the rich made millions of dollars.

In 1983, I discovered a child sex abuse syndicate selling children as young as nine years old to US sailors. I broke that story in the media and instead of being recognized for taking a stand for justice and truth and child protection, I was vilified by local government officials at the time and I was brought to trial at the Bureau of Immigration to be deported. The charge was that my child protection work and writing was bringing Olongapo City and its officials into disrepute. They felt I was blaming them for the child sex industry. They denied all responsibility despite a high profile military court case in Guam that brought a US officer to trial for child sexual abuse in Olongapo City. A sad state of affairs indeed.

That’s how journalists and child rights campaigners fighting for the dignity of the Filipinos were dealt with. However, I won my case, was found innocent and continued my work protecting human rights from my base in the Preda Foundation. When the city officials said they would close the Preda home for children, I said it would be better to close the US Naval Base. An idea was born and I started a “Life after the Bases” campaign to close the US military bases and convert them to civilian economic zones. It was amazing then how many people, in the Catholic Philippines, were hostile and negative to that vision of hope and help.

However, against all opposition, I promoted that idea and it caught on and a coalition of civil society members was formed that eventually persuaded the Philippine Senate to vote against the continuation of the US military bases. The conversion plan I formulated was eventually implemented and Subic Bay is now a thriving industrial area giving jobs with dignity to thousands of Filipinos. Human trafficking never really ceased and years later it began to make a comeback as tourism was promoted. So, today we are still fighting this scourge against humanity and protecting Filipino children.


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[People] Speech to the Ministers of the Council of Europe -by Fr. Shay Cullen

#HumanRights #ChildrensMonth Speech to the Ministers of the Council of Europe

This is Children’s Month and I share with you my speech to the Ministers of the Council of Europe made last Thursday 10th November 2020.

Madam Secretary General of the Council of Europe

Dear Chairman, Dear Ministers’ Deputies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for welcoming me to your meeting and the encouragement and inspiration of her Excellency Ambassador Sylvie Bollini in bringing me here virtually, to share some information and concerns about the condition of children today and the danger and violence they suffer from child sex abusers through on-line sex shows and child pornography.

The same dark forces of evil that have trafficked and lured as many as 100,000 or more children into sex slavery and commercial sexual exploitation in the Philippines, as Unicef estimates, the same criminals are also at work in Europe and all over the world. The Internet with all its good benefits has become the international highway for child abuse.

The horrific condition of sexually abused children online in the Philippines makes it the international hub of on-line child sexual abuse, according to both UNICEF and EUROPOL. The majority of the customers that arrange and pay people, many are relatives of the victims, to sexually abuse children are from developed nations. The global connection by on-line communication makes online sexual exploitation of children a concern for every nation.

There is no nation without its paedophiles and most of them are using the internet and worldwide web to collect and view child pornography and pay for on-line sexual abuse. Many can do it with impunity because the Internet Service Providers and the Telecommunication Corporations are mostly unregulated. Anyone can post almost anything there and the corporations are not held responsible.

The Philippines have such a law which we at the Preda Foundation helped draft, Republic Act RA 9775, otherwise known as the Anti-Child Abuse Law. It demands that the ISPs install blocking software to block child pornography and on-line sexual abuse shows. However, the Philippine telecommunication corporations are too powerful and can ignore the law with impunity.

The national laws of European countries forbid such posting and sharing of child pornography and on-line sexual abuse but nevertheless, the laws are flouted and abuse is widespread and the telecommunication corporations ought to be more active in blocking it and be held responsible for not doing so.

The attitudes still persist from the past that paedophilia is not a serious problem and that attitude may persist as child pornography and on-line sexual abuse persist and continue to spread and grow especially in this time of lock-down and Covid-19 pandemic. There are 73 million Filipinos using the internet. Twenty-five million are children and 70 percent of these children are on-line without supervision.

Online child abuse has increased by 264 percent during the COVID pandemic, according to the Philippine National Police. Online customers for child sex abuse are mostly from developed countries, including member and observer States of your organization. Victims are as young as three years old. Relatives are the abusers and paid by courier.

As the headline this year says, “Germany investigates 30,000 suspects as online paedophilia probe widens.” (France24) Then we read, “France appeals for witnesses and victims abused by paedophile writer Matzneff.” He was a well-respected writer and television talk-show personality, a writer that, like other intellectuals and artists, glorified his exploits in child abuse and for years his admissions of sexually abusing children went without comment or action. He is now in hiding. These are good signals that things are moving on and awareness-raising is improving.

There has been indifference and apathy in the past to crimes of child abuse. More resources have to be devoted to detecting and apprehending child abusers and increasing the penalties for crimes against children. Billions are being spent on anti-terrorism prevention and apprehension. The greatest and most prolific of terrorists are those within society. They rape, abuse, physically and sexually assault children. They do it undetected and it happens in secret behind closed doors and not on the streets that’s why there is less response and action to end it and they do it around the world through live child sexual abuse shows on the Internet.

The numbers in the Philippines are truly shocking. About 80 percent or 32 million children suffer from violence at some time in their lives. Seven million of these children between the ages of 10 to 18 are sexually abused every year and 20 percent or 1.4 million are under 6 years old.

You have seen from the Preda Foundation video the hurt and pain that the sexual violence against children causes. We can safely assume the sexual abuse suffered in childhood damages millions of children in Europe and the Philippines and around the world. The anger and hatred we see being released in therapy shows the devastating effects of sexual violence on children. The many millions of children abused never report it out of fear or shame as most of it is done by biological fathers, stepfathers or live-in partners and paedophiles.

Few victims are able to speak out or get therapy or help. They grow up carrying the pain and hurt and anger within them. Should we be surprised if this anger at the world is expressed in acts of anti-social, political violence and crime or even acts of terrorism? Everything has its cause and psychologists will testify that childhood violence has life-long consequences.

Lastly, a thought for consideration. On this planet Earth, humans can achieve many amazing inventions and achievements, but as yet have failed to deal with that psychological and emotional condition in some humans whereby they sexually and physically attack children and those children have to live with the consequence with little or no help.

In Europe more educational campaigns should be promoted for children to be encouraged to complain and report when they have been abused and get immediate help. Much more help for child victims here in the developing world and Europe has to be provided.

We humans talking about human and children’s rights and dignity must together seriously dedicate ourselves all the more to continue the on-going work of eradicating, as much as possible, this evil scourge of child sexual abuse. Strictly regulate the Internet and the many platforms of social media, the most important place to continue this work.

Thank you.

Shay Cullen

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[People]Journalism: Most Dangerous Job in the Philippines – by Fr. Shay Cullen

#HumanRights #PressFreedom Journalism: Most Dangerous Job in the Philippines
Shay Cullen
30 October 2020

If you are a truthful, honest journalist in the Philippines that writes and speaks the truth about injustice, political intrigues, and wrong-doing, you could be killed any day and any time by motorcycle-riding assassins. Last 14 September 2020, Jobert Bercasio was riding home on his motorcycle when assailants ambushed him and shot him five times, a hundred meters from the police station. He died on the spot.

Jobert was a reporter and commentator at the privately-run internet broadcaster Balangibog, in Sorsogon City, in the central Philippines. He commented and reported on local political, economic, and social issues and one hour before his murder he had posted a report on his Facebook page about illegal quarrying.

This 2 November, the UN International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists has one more slain journalist to add to its growing list. In the Philippines, impunity still reigns supreme as few suspects are caught and held accountable for numerous murders of journalists and human rights and land rights advocates. The suspects have been promised impunity.

Between the years 1991 and 2020, 85 journalists have been killed in the Philippines, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Impunity is common, few police or military are ever held accountable. It is almost impossible to identify the masterminds and the suspected godfathers behind the death squads. The dead journalists were mostly reporting on corruption, election-cheating, and human rights violations. Some were killed in combat zones, according to the CPJ.

The Philippines also suffered the world’s largest mass murder of journalists. The 2009 Maguindanao massacre of 32 journalists and 23 civilians took 10 years of a court battle to be resolved. They were ambushed, rounded up and machine-gunned to death, and buried in a mass grave. The Ampatuan clan was found responsible and after ten years, the leaders that were still alive in 2019 were sentenced to life in prison. This was a rare occurrence.

The survival of journalists and their families nowadays means writers and reporters have to be very circumspect in their reporting. While being truthful in their reports, they must not offend, harshly criticize, satirize offensively and never insult or accuse anybody in power. Death squads for hire are available and they will kill anybody for a few hundred dollars.

The team of two assassins gets a text with the name and photo of a person to be killed and they agree to be paid by courier. The mastermind is never known. They pull on extra-large face masks against coronavirus, wear dark sunglasses and baseball caps. They jump on their stolen motorcycle and riding-in-tandem, they go looking for their victim. They corner their prey and the assassin on the back shoots the person dead in broad daylight and they speed away. Very few are ever caught, some of the shooters are suspected to be former or present off-duty policemen or military.

The greatest caution is exercised by journalists since the grim warning given by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016, “Just because you’re a journalist, you are not exempted from assassination, if you’re a son of a bitch. Freedom of expression cannot help you if you have done something wrong.”

A chilling warning indeed. What wrong a journalist would do to deserve being assassinated has never been explained. The most dangerous thing a journalist could do is to write or broadcast insulting or provocative comments. Even mild criticism of a powerful politician or business tycoon could call out the death squad and your days are numbered.

The freedom of speech to publish and satirize provocatively like the cartoonist in France would be impossible here if you were to live another day. The retaliation would be swift, immediate and fatal. Tolerance and restraint by journalists is best to avoid assassinations and bystanders getting killed. The freedom of speech is not absolute.

Strict libel laws in the Philippines make it almost impossible to criticize anyone. The latest anti-terrorist law makes the spreading of “Fake News” a serious crime. However, there are other ways for journalists to write, speak and publish the truth by research and stating the facts in a non-sensational, non-belligerent and accusatory way. They conduct challenging but polite interviews. But even the facts, presented in a factual balanced and respectful way, causes reaction. The truth hurts, they say, so authorities and tycoons warn journalists to keep a lid on it. Some do, many don’t. The well-known and awarded journalist Maria Ressa and the news website Rappler was heavily criticized by government officials and charges were brought against her and Rappler for displeasing the powers that be. Even ABS-CBN, a leading TV network, had its franchise chopped by Congress for similar reasons and the politicians said it was justified. ABS-CBS has devised a work around with another broadcasting company, ZOE Broadcasting Network, and is back on air.

Human rights and earth advocates and defenders have been killed in large numbers. According to research, there were 116 killings of human rights activists on Negros Island from July 1, 2016 to August 27, 2019. Most of the victims were farmers and leaders of farmers groups struggling to defend their land against land-grabbers and mining corporations. Last July 2020, 14 rights workers were assassinated in one week alone.

I share with you a poem in solidarity with all journalists that have suffered injustice and oppression.

The Truth Will Set You Free

“The truth will set you free,”
the great man said.
Who will tell it as it is, those who hide and cower?
Or the journalists brave and strong that risk the consequence of talking truth to power?
They bring upon themselves the anger and the story of the dead,
The jackboot on the door, the beating on the head,
The sudden death by assassins highly paid
by officials whose corruption is their evil stock and trade.
What journalist brave and true can endure the fear and pain,
of knowing that their life’s work could be useless and in vain?
We stand with all those, whose voices have been silenced, barred and blocked,
Innocent journalists, jailed and tortured and who suffer electric shock.
Let all who in safety and in true freedom live,
And have the power to tell the truth and can give
true testimony against evil and terrible wrong,
and with justice and the power of truth overcome the strong.


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[People] Can Humanity Ever Be United in Doing Good? -by Fr. Shay Cullen

#HumanRights [People] Can Humanity Ever Be United in Doing Good?
Fr. Shay Cullen

The latest letter of Pope Francis, his Encyclical, Fratelli Tuttii “Brothers and Sisters All,” is one that should touch every heart, stimulate our minds, awaken our conscience, warm our emotions and motivate us to do good and make this a happier, just and better world. Can we humans ever unite as one humanity to change the world and together reach out to the downtrodden and the poor? Can we work together to lift from suffering the wounded, the excluded, the marginalized and unwanted, rejected, poor people in our neighborhood, community, town, and city? That is the challenge posed by the letter of Pope Francis.

His letter is one of enlightenment, encouragement, hope, and love. It is a mighty challenge for us to be true believers and followers of Jesus of Nazareth. It brings us back to the human and Christian values that established the dignity of humankind. It is a call for us to embrace and live out daily the values and principles that Jesus taught and lived and died for. This is the heart of Christian faith, a personal relationship with Jesus of Nazareth, and a shared fraternity with each other as brothers and sisters in one family of humanity.

As members of this universal family, we will embrace unselfish concern, love, and service for each other. Jesus gave himself no titles, others did that. They called him Rabbi, Teacher, Master, and Son of God. What Jesus called himself was “a member of humanity,” a “Son of Mankind,” as every one of us are members of the human family.

In this, Jesus was revolutionary and Pope Francis is repeating what Jesus taught: that we must love all others irrespective of whether they are one of our special groups. All persons are to be our neighbors. He called us to put aside group loyalty, leave elite fraternities, cast away membership in sects, clubs, and dynasties, upper and lower classes, tribal bonds, nationality, social status, and prestige. We are to abandon all the biases and prejudices that go with such select, exclusive closed groups that exclude and fear outsiders. The select group tends to exclude others and confront, despise, and disrespect those on the outside. We must leave our group and join all others in a single-family based on equality, justice, truth, and doing good for others.

If personal family ties would cause us to reject, exclude, or oppress others and separate us from the values of Jesus, we must cut the family ties. A shocking challenge for anyone who would be his true disciple even to the point where we must love even our enemy. “Do good to those who hate you,” he said. It seems impossible yet that is the ideal that Jesus taught, that we are all one humanity in one world, and he lived and died for all of us.

As members of God’s single-family, we share a common humanity, dignity, rights, and respect. This is what Pope Francis is reminding us, that as human beings we must be caring and responsible for each other irrespective of skin color, citizenship, religion, gender, status, or situation in life. We must also be caring for the planet, the environment, and protect all living creatures. The universality of the loving fraternity that Jesus taught is one that demands we love one another and we do to others as we would want them to do to us. This is the heart of what Jesus taught.

The world today, as Pope Francis said, with its many problems, injustice, racism, inequality, crime, and corruption, is a world under the darkness of evil. Yet the hope and love that Jesus of Nazareth shared with us can save humanity from self-destruction, hatred, violence, and nuclear war and even save us from extinction. It is by sharing life in a universal community and working together helping the poor and the oppressed that change will come. By standing and speaking out against violence, killings, child abuse, and evil, we will make Jesus and his spirit present again and change the world. We just need to persuade enough people to choose to do it.

In his Encyclical, Pope Francis takes the story that Jesus told to illustrate the welcome and acceptance and the help we should have for the outsider, for the stranger, the migrant, the excluded. These are the people who are treated with rejection, apathy, and indifference by the elite institutionalized clergy and the uncaring politicians.

As Pope Francis interprets it in today’s world, the suffering humanity has been beaten and robbed by the uncaring powerful robbers and left to die on the roadside. The victim was a stranger, an unknown. A member of the clergy and then a member of the ruling elite walk by on the other side of the road. They ignore the wounded, dying person. Then there comes a man, likely a trader, with a donkey. He is different, he is like an untouchable, an unclean, rejected person coming from Samaria. He doesn’t walk past, he is moved with compassion and concern. Immediately, he hurries to help the victim and cleans and treats the wounds, dresses them, and takes the victim on his donkey to the nearest inn. There, a humble, kind innkeeper, likely a poor man, accepts to care for the victim and the trader pays him and promises to return and pay more as needed.

“Who among the three was a true neighbor to the dying man and saved him”? Jesus asked. “The one who helped him,” the man in the audience answered. “You are correct, go and do likewise,” Jesus said. (Luke 10:25-37) The message is clear. When asked to state the way to eternal life, the man in the audience answered: “Love the Lord your God with your whole heart, soul, life, strength and your mind and love your neighbor as you love yourself.” That story, as repeated by Pope Francis in his letter, explains that we are challenged to share and help, without discrimination, everyone, strangers, migrants, refugees, the poor, hungry, wounded, people of any skin color, and all suffering humanity.


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[People]The Explosion of Child Abuse Online -by Fr. Shay Cullen

The Explosion of Child Abuse Online
Fr. Shay Cullen

02 October 2010

The Covid-19 pandemic is on everybody’s mind, weighs on the spirit and invades the body, paralyzes social life, and cripples the world economy. Yet, people are adapting, surviving, recovering, and are resilient. They, but a few, are coping with the new normal, a reality that the virus is here to stay for a while longer and we have to live and survive it.

The best of human nature is seen in the dedicated service of health care workers. The risk, they sacrifice, they serve. Many tragically die helping others live. What an inspiration they are as they are saving lives and giving back health to the patients with Covid-19.

It is a privilege to help the poor, the sick and the abused children. They are emotionally, physically, and psychologically damaged by the brutal abuse of criminal adults. The dark side of human nature is always with us but now child abuse is expanding like another pandemic due to lock down.

The live streaming of child sexual abuse and the proliferation of pornography that lead to rape has grown. It is the secret crime, done alone to weak vulnerable children that are threatened and terrified to tell of their suffering and ordeal.

For many, it is the perfect crime but brave and courageous children and child defenders and advocates are fighting back. Wherever there are children, there will be abusers. The only gadget needed today to have online live streaming of child abuse is a low-cost smartphone and an internet connection. The internet service providers of the big telecommunication corporations like PLDT/Smart and Globe Telecoms and soon Dito Telecommunity make it all possible. They should have a greater corporate responsibility to block the abusive images and video passing through their servers. If they obey the law Republic Act 9775, they would install blocking software to prevent child sexual abuse. Solutions are available. Microsoft PhotoDNA and video DNA can filter and block the abusive images but the ISPs allegedly prefer to pay a small fine rather than protect the children. Senator Imee Marcos has filed a Senate resolution No.487 calling for an investigation into the dismal failures of the telecommunications corporations and their ISPs to block child pornography and live to a stream of child abuse under the law.

Jasmin is an 11-year-old child (not her real name) when she was groomed on-line and persuaded by her fake friend to send nude photos of herself and her private parts in return for money. Foolishly, she did it and too late she realized she had been fooled and her pictures appeared as child pornography online via Facebook and likely sold around the world to paedophiles. She is in shock and screams in anger and frustration in the therapy room at the Preda home where she sought help.

Many other children and adults are victims of similar sextortion scams and are being extorted for huge amounts of money by the scammers who lure them into exposing themselves foolishly online. The extortionists are threatening to send the photos to their friends, classmates, parents, and teachers. Suicides are common.

The pedophiles, many unable to travel and abuse children themselves, pay adults to perform sexual acts to children while live over the Internet for money. This is despicable, depraved, and deserving of life in prison. They are like blood-sucking bats that take the lifeblood from their victims.

Even Jesus of Nazareth told us the child is the most important in the world and abusers ought to have a millstone tied around their necks and he be thrown into the depth of the sea (Matthew 18:1-7) That’s tough talk indeed. We have to work for justice for the victims.
Child abuse is with us that long and the world religions, the self-appointed guardians of human morality that claim to be the protectors of children, have betrayed the trust given to them. Many clergies have abused children and it is covered up. It was treated lightly, not the heinous crime it truly is for which abusers must be challenged and held accountable.

Non-government organizations, children’s charities, and government agencies are fighting human trafficking and child abuse. In 2018, Preda children fought back against their rapists and won 18 convictions. In 2019, they won 20 convictions. Almost all got life sentences in jail. Hopefully, more convictions will follow in on-going cases being fought by Preda.

The spreading of child pornography on the Internet to mobile phones incite child rapists to abuse. A child recently rescued by Preda Foundation social workers was Rebecca (not her real name), 14. She was living in a small town in Zambales in dire poverty with her mother. They lived in a small, one-room shack made of bamboo slats and a tin roof. Rebecca is mentally challenged, and her adult male neighbors preyed upon her and raped her many times. They threatened her with a knife if she called out. It happened when she was left alone in the shack and the abuse continued until she became pregnant. Rebecca is now safe in the protection and care of the Preda Foundation home for abused children. The Preda Center will heal and help the child pursue justice against her rapists and have them convicted.

Even children view child pornography and are aroused and as reported here previously three boys in Subic town, Zambales, the youngest 10, gang-raped a six-year-old. In Sta. Cruz, Zambales, a 13-year old boy sexually assaulted a six-year-old girl. The abusers in both these cases were not even reprimanded. In the Subic case, the local authorities allowed the boys to go to relatives in another town instead of getting them counseling and rehabilitation. In the Sta. Cruz case. The boy is still in the community instead of being brought to an Intensive Juvenile Intervention and Support Center. They will likely become adult rapists without help.

This is what is going on daily all over the country. Unless there is less talk and empty promises and more direct positive action to curb online sexual abuse of children, it will only continue to get worse. All who want to help, write your concern to Congresswoman Yeda Marie Romualdez, chairperson of the Committee on the Welfare of Children (https://www.facebook.com/YeddaRomualdez) and Senator Risa Hontiveros, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Women, Children and Family Relations (risahq@gmail.com), for them to investigate and challenge the ISPs and bring strict control to the spread of child abuse on the Internet and protect the rights of the children.


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[People] Corruption and Spread of Covid-19 -by Fr. Shay Cullen

Corruption and Spread of Covid-19
Fr. Shay Cullen
24 September 2020

There are many global threats facing the world today. The most serious in everybody’s mind is the Coronavirus pandemic with 200,000 dead in the USA alone and spreading. It is a cause of shock and realization that we humans for all our economic, military and medical power is very weak and vulnerable to the invisible virus that has invaded our world, our communities, families and our bodies. Some nations have had success in controlling it; others have failed through incompetence and corruption.

Martha has a cheerful, happy-go-lucky personality, a healthy mother of four. On a recent Saturday evening, she forgot herself and went to a house party with friends to celebrate a birthday. She ignored precautions as did others and wrongly believed it wouldn’t touch her. But it did. By Friday, she was having strong coughing and fever symptoms and reactions and was rushed to the overcrowded hospital. There is painful convulsions, Martha struggled and gasped for breath, isolated from family, only the nurse, dressed in blue plastic, went to help her. It was no use, Martha quickly fell silent and died. It was her weak lungs, they said. Some underlying health condition said another. No one really knows why she died so quickly. There was no time for an autopsy, not even a proper funeral. She was brought straight to the crematorium, leaving behind a weeping crying, traumatized family.

There are hundreds of thousands of people like Martha and more of them every day. A mistake took away her precious, beautiful, happy life and that of her family. But it is also the many mistakes of the politicians that have failed to act decisively in time to lead and instruct the people that Covid-19 is a dangerous deadly virus with the power to kill and maim. They fail to insist that everyone must wear masks, avoid contact with others, disinfect, wash their hands frequently since anyone may have the deadly killer virus. It is spreading because many people ignore these precautions and corrupt, inadept and stupid failed leaders do not order and impose protective measures to save the vulnerable people and issue strong, consistent health warnings. They have failed to implement and insist on a national response to test and trace the infected people and isolate them. How else can this vicious virus that spreads like venom be contained? Those strong, respected leaders who did respond to the attack of Covid-19 in a wiser, more scientific and disciplined and educated manner saved hundreds of thousands of their citizens, which is their sworn duty.

In the nations with the highest death rates, it seems they have restricted the showing of videos of mass burials, lines of waiting coffins, full crematoriums, overcrowded hospitals, dying people and sick doctors and nurses. It is too shocking. Is it for some an effort to deny and cover up the real extent of their incompetence, criminal behaviour and lack of moral conscience all for the sake of retaining political power? Covid-19 is spreading and causing more sickness and death because of some selfish, pleasure-seeking and irresponsible people who flout precautions and care for no one other than themselves. In their ignorance, they demonstrate against the safety precautions no less.

It is our fervent hope and belief that the majority of humans are good, law-abiding people that care for others, protect them from Covid-19 and care for the public health and environment. They choose the good over evil. They act in a responsible way of saving their own lives, their families and neighbours. The people who do believe and choose to do the good and practice the values of love of the stranger, of neighbour and work for justice, have a responsibility to share those values so that equality, peace and harmony can be a reality in society. We should actively persuade and convince others to do likewise. Inactivity in the face of wrong is to allow it to grow and prosper.

It may seem like mission impossible to persuade the virus deniers and the climate sceptics of the truth of a pandemic and global warming. We have to challenge and call out the oppressors, corrupt leaders and politicians to do justice, respect the rights of all, to care and protect the public health and to serve humbly. To convince these people who live in darkness that it is a better life to be in the light and to bring happiness to people, not terror, oppression, pain, suffering, rights violations and death. It is a mission to persuade ordinary people to always choose the good over evil. It is a challenge for all to teach by a good example, taking action for justice and accepting and living the truth that justice and goodness is the path to happiness for all. It is a great shining ideal, but will it ever come to be?

This is the goal we must work for. There is so much evil in the world that allows the virus to spread uncontrolled in many countries, mostly among the poor. We see much irresponsible selfish behaviour by some national leaders, bankers, industrialists, military, police and criminals. We know that abuse and evil persist because they with the power choose the evil and reject the good as they exercise their free will corruptly. The evil comes from making the wrong choice to crush and hurt others to retain political and economic power and to plunder the nation. For them, the health and well-being of others is just a matter of lip-service, words without meaning, action without purpose, hypocrisy and skulduggery for selfish personal gain. The great hope is that a society, a nation, will evolve with the beautiful values, principles, and compassion that motivate overwhelming good that is the paramount driving force that brings happiness to all.


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[People] Just Judges Implement the Law for Abused Children -by Fr. Shay Cullen

Just Judges Implement the Law for Abused Children
Fr. Shay Cullen

Justice has been done and seen to be done by Judge Maria Angelica T. Paras-Quiambao of the Regional Trial Court Branch 59 in Angeles City, Pampanga lasts 11 June 2020. In an 81-page decision, she found Christina Limpin Mendoza, 22, guilty beyond reasonable doubt of five counts of human trafficking for sexual exploitation by foreign pedophiles of two small children nine and 11 over a three year period.
The trafficker was sentenced to several life terms of imprisonment. This is a powerful message that child abusers and human traffickers will bear the full weight of the law. The Preda Foundation was supporting the children all the way in this significant case.

In another case, Judge Gemma Theresa B. Hilario-Logronio of the Regional Trial Court Branch12-FC in Olongapo City found Johnny Torres Medina guilty in a landmark decision dated 14 May 2020. He was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of child sexual abuse of two 11-year old children. The sentence strictly followed the law and sentenced him to many years in jail. The decision has been praised by many and has given much-needed justice to the child victims and encouragement to the child protectors and advocates.

Judge Maria Cristina J. Mendoza-Pizzaro has also given justice to many child victims of rape and abuse. While there is a massive failure of law enforcement to protect children from traffickers and abuse, the courts are ruling strongly in favor of child victims and survivors. Last 10 June 2020 the sixth division of the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of upholding the conviction of a child rapist who was convicted on 15 November 2018 of qualified rape of a seven-year-old child. The original judgment and conviction was made by Judge Maria Cristina J.Mendoza-Pizzaro who has a long significant history of a no-nonsense application of the law with many just convictions of child sexual rapists and traffickers. They will never abuse or rape children again.

The Preda home for children protected the child victims for years and supported the legal action to the conclusion. In 2019, the Preda child protection foundation helped children win twenty convictions including cases against foreigners. In 2018, the Preda children won 18 convictions against their abusers and rapists and traffickers and many every year previously. This is a strong meaningful intervention in the fight for justice for children.

Preda Foundation has successfully assisted international police agencies with their enquires. In 2019, the convicted notorious pedophile, Douglas Slade, was jailed for 24 years in Bristol, the UK with the help of the Preda Foundation. The civil case brought against him in the London High Court by Preda for compensation for his five Filipino victims was successful. Huge awards were won but the lawyer was only able to collect from Slade a small amount.

Convictions send a strong message to pedophiles that they could spend most of their lives in the harsh, unforgiving conditions of jails where they will be unable to rape or abuse more children.

The most vulnerable is society are the children and teenagers that are at great risk of sexual abuse in their own home and in the street and trafficked into brothels or sold as sex slaves to pedophiles.

Angelica, an eight-year-old child (not her real name) was admitted to the Preda home for girls recently. She was sexually tied up by her biological father and sexually assaulted and beaten repeatedly on the head leaving cuts and bruises. The father had abducted her from her mother and he hid away in a remote place where he repeatedly sexually abused her. Her brother Peter, 11, (not his real name) saw the abuse. He too was tied, assaulted, and beaten by the father and is traumatized.

Angelica and Peter got free and ran away and were found by authorities who brought them to the Preda homes for abused traumatized children- the only place that can provide adequate therapy, healing, and legal assistance to them. Angelica is severely traumatized and is receiving affirmation, care, therapy, and counseling. She is just one of the thousands of children sexually assaulted and abused.

In Cabugao, Ilocos Sur, a 15-year old girl, and her18-year old cousin were going home late after a party and were picked up by two police who sexually assaulted them. The 15-year-old escaped and went to the police in another town to report the crime and file a complaint and asked for protection that was denied. While on her way home, a death squad appeared. Two men riding on a motorcycle shot her repeatedly. She was raped and then murdered for filing a complaint against the police. It is outrageous and is the new low level where the value of life had sunk into oblivion in our society.

The world has become a permissive society that turns a blind eye to the extensive abuse in the home and in brothels and through on-line child sexual abuse. The Internet Server Providers (ISPs) violate the law by not installing AI-operated blocking software to filter out child pornography and online abuse and identify the child abusers. Their violation of the law RA 9775 brands them as enablers of child abuse online and child pornography. Let their board members answer to the law and history for that.

Many children are exploited in the sex industry that thrives in sex bars operating with mayor’s permits and police protection. The local government’s approval and support of the sex industry are destroying Filipino family values. It attracts local men and foreigners and destroys families, causes broken homes, abandoned children, and victims of child abuse. It is a corrupting influence and thrives, with sex bars reopening despite the dangers of HIV-AIDS and Coronavirus spreading into the community from the personal person-to-person contact in sexual encounters.

There is a great culture of silence that is condoning the sexual violence and abuse of children. Even the churches and denominations are, with a few exceptions, silent and complicit.

There has to be wide community repentance and conversion of the silent, inactive, do-nothing, say-nothing, think-nothing, feel-nothing clergy and civic leaders that live for their personal ambition and comfort blissfully living fake lives for pleasure in total contradiction of the compassion, justice and truth taught by Jesus of Nazareth and his gospel values.



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[People] History is Made as Social Issues Challenge Politics -by Fr. Shay Cullen

History is Made as Social Issues Challenge Politics
Fr.Shay Cullen

Something has happened that is really changing the world besides the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic is changing our lifestyles, our economy, and medical practices. But a greater social movement is underway as seen in numerous demonstrations by many thousands of protesters around the world. It is a protest against the dominating force of the small elite of ruling oligarchies that dominate a country’s economy and political system that oppresses and kills its citizens with impunity.

It is not the politicians who are now setting the agenda but the masses of protesting people as in the United States who have a democratic space to do so. Although the rulers try to squash, limit, and eradicate people power by force and erase that democratic right and space in some places, it breaks out anew elsewhere. In Hong Kong, we witness the freedom to protest eradicated as the Chinese draconian National Security Law, rushed through by the Communist Party, is implemented as an anti-terrorism law to crush free speech and give life-sentences to protestors.

This is the end of Hong Kong as it has been since British rule when there were greater freedom and democratic space until now. The One Country, Two Systems arrangement has been shattered. Taiwan is taking note for sure. Despite lifting almost a billon Chinese people from dire poverty through a capitalist-communism system and becoming almost the number one world economic power in only fifty years, the Chinese historical opportunity to be a truly great nation in world history is long gone, too. China’s amazing economic achievement is a tainted and diminished reality in world history by violations of human and political rights and island grabbing in the South China Sea. The Communist Party has, instead of winning glory, earned the ire of nations and less respect and prestige. Today while one social movement in Hong Kong is squashed, other social movements in the United States and other countries are gathering pace and becoming changers of history.

The “Black Lives Matter” movement is challenging police brutality and indiscriminate killing of African- Americans. They are demanding the equality and respect that is owed and rightfully belongs to all people and especially to people of color. Even there, the ruling elite of the right led by Donald Trump is trying to squash the democratic space for many years. In Washington, Trump used tear gas, flash bombs, and police force to disperse peaceful demonstrators in front of the White House, clearing a way for him to walk to a church and hold up a Bible for a photo opportunity. In Ferguson, Mississippi on 13 August 2014, police shot dead Michael Brown and there was an uprising by African-Americans. Their demonstration released a flood of anger and repressed feelings at the police oppression and deprivation of social justice. The police, predominantly white, were militarized and national guards with armored cars turned their machine guns on the people in a show of intimidation and force. The blatant public killing of unarmed African-American man George Floyd, 46, in Minneapolis, Minnesota last 25 May 2020 showed that racist oppression and repressed anger were still there. Three police officers came to arrest George Floyd for allegedly passing a counterfeit 20-dollar bill. One of the police, Derek Chauvin, cruelly pressed his knee into the neck of George Floyd while he cried, “I can’t breathe” for almost nine minutes. The murder was captured on cell phone video and the victim died soon after. The video went viral and ignited again a repeat of the Ferguson uprising but this time it spread to almost 100 cities across the United States denouncing institutionalized racism and police brutality. The “Black Lives Matter” protest is still ongoing and has spread around the world as oppressed and exploited indigenous people and people of color join the global protest and demand social justice and human rights.

President Donald Trump has been heavily criticized for twitting a video in support of a white supremacist shouting “White power!” from a golf cart. The movement, consisting of black and white protesters, can be summed up as a mass protest against that one phase, “white power.” It is now international, native Americans, African- Americans, indigenous people and people of color in Canada, Brazil, France, the UK, and many other countries are marching.

There is an outrage and a mighty force of people power rising up to challenge the status quo and the oppressive dominant attitudes of the white supremacist and the hatred and racism expressed on social media such as Facebook. Facebook is now challenged by the business community that is withholding advertising from Facebook until it changes its support for hate speech. It is doing so.

What we have to understand is that racism is not just a few white supremacist people lording it over the African-American or brown or Asian people and considering them as inferior. It is a “political and social power” issue. South Africa was ruled by white supremacist leaders for a century until Nelson Mandela came to lead a national protest. The US Congress and Senate are a majority of white politicians.

The American white supremacist ruling elites were shocked and deeply angered by the election of Barack Obama, the first African-American to be president of the United States. Then, in retaliation it seemed, they got Trump elected. Trump, a white supremacist, and racist himself did everything to destroy the Obama legacy and achievements and criminalize the protesters today.

The Movement began more than 300 years ago when Africans were enslaved and shipped to the Americas. At its very worse, racism is the mentality of powerful people in a nation that consider the poor, those of different skin color and the indigenous peoples to be almost sub-human and that killing them is a public service as some police and military around the world do like in the United States, France, Syria, Brazil and elsewhere. The police killers in the United States and military who kill with impunity have no empathy, compassion, and respect for others. They have animal-like “killer instinct.” They act on emotion, not reason. So it is they that are less fully human than their victims.

Removing statues that glorify the racists and slavers, banning the confederate flag, changing the name on racist skin bleaching creams, boycotting Facebook, bringing in new laws on policing are just symbols of change. While social justice, equality, and respect for all people has to be an immediate goal, long term change to eradicate racism has to be in the hearts and minds of the people. It starts in the classroom, where education is the key, and a next-generation needs to know, practice, and live by the values of community equality and mutual respect, true social and civil justice, and love of neighbor.


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[People] US and China Spar over the Philippines -by Fr. Shay Cullen

US and China Spar over the Philippines
Fr. Shay Cullen
27 June 2019

The fishermen of Masinloc and Sta. Cruz, Zambales had fished the Scarborough Shoal for generations. In the past several years, the Filipino fishing boats have been harassed and prevented from fishing near the fish-rich shoal by the incursion of Chinese fishing and militia boats.

In June 2019, a Chinese militia ship sank a Filipino boat in the West Philippine Sea in an act of aggression that left the Philippines looking weak and powerless. The Chinese Navy has boldly sailed its aircraft carrier and escort ships through the Philippine Sibutu Passage without prior permission, violating Philippine sovereignty. China is claiming exclusively almost all of the territory of the South China Sea that includes the West Philippine Sea within a nine-point -dash line that it has drawn around the edge of the South China Sea.

The Scarborough shoal, the Spratlys and Pag-asa groups of islands and other islands are well within the Philippines 12-nautical mile territorial sea and the 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone. In the face of Chinese claims, this right has been upheld by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. In a historic decision, the court declared “there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the ‘nine-dash line.” “Having found that none of the features claimed by China was capable of generating an exclusive economic zone, the Tribunal found that it could — without delimiting a boundary — declare that certain sea areas are within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines because those areas are not overlapped by any possible entitlement of China,”

China does not recognize the international arbitration decision and did not attend the hearings. Instead, it continued to build up its military power in several Islands claimed by the Philippines, installing long-range surface to air missiles and building structures and aircraft runways. In a belated response, the Philippines has begun in 2020 to build up infrastructure in Pagasa Island, one of its biggest inhabited islands in the Spratly Islands.

Despite Chinese objections, after two years of delay, it has built a landing ramp and a wharf for small ships to dock and land equipment to pave the existing 1.2-kilometer dirt runway. Pagasa Island is just twenty-six kilometers northeast of the Subi Reef which is now a large Chinese military installation(one of several) on a man-made island and armed to the teeth but is within Philippines territorial waters.

The Chinese send their warships through the Philippines ‘ territorial waters as if they own them. In 2018, 35 Chinese naval ships traversed Philippine territorial waters without prior permission which is a violation of Philippine sovereignty. The Philippine defense department said that in 2018 as many as 434 Chinese ships traversed Philippines waters without prior notice and in 2019 the number was 389 ships. For sure, the source of this information is from the US Navy which keeps a close watch on all ship movements in the region.

The US has sent its warships passed the islands claimed by the Chinese to establish that they are in international waters and they have the “Freedom of Navigation.” They are challenging the naval might of the Chinese navy that cannot thwart them without starting World War III.

The Chinese taunting of the Philippines and probing of the US response is a very serious problem for the Philippines. They are caught in the middle of a global power struggle. The Chinese claim the area by “power of possession.” It is adverse and illegal possession by international law, which they ignore. The Philippines is powerless to stop them and the US will not intervene. It is as if China is annexing Philippine territory. The Chinese will benefit by drilling for oil and mining minerals in the ocean’s depths and the Philippines will lose their rightful natural resources. So it is not just the hundreds of tons of fish that the Chinese are taking every day from Philippine waters but soon they will be exploiting the rest of the Philippine natural resources. In 2016, the Philippine government put aside these concerns and entered into a new relationship of friendship with China and took out huge loans from the Chinese government, creating a debt-bondage relationship.

The only check on the powerful Chinese Navy is the United States. It was the ruler of the waves in the Asian region for decades and is still a force to be reckoned with. The United States lost access to its huge military bases in the Philippines in 1992. This was due to the Mount Pinatubo volcanic eruption, diplomatic blunders, and a strong social and human rights campaign by NGOs. Started and led by Preda Foundation, they campaigned successfully to convert the bases to Filipino civilian use because of the sexual exploitation of women and children in the huge military-driven sex industry.

On May 27, 1999, the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) came into force. This allows the US access to Philippine airfields and navy ships to dock in Philippine ports. There are three presently at Subic Bay. However, on 11 February 2020, the Philippine government suddenly announced the termination of the VFA causing consternation in Washington because of the denial of a US visa to a political ally of President Rodrigo Duterte. The termination was due to take effect on 11 August 2020. The Chinese were delighted, always seeking ways to lure allies away from the US and weaken the US military presence in the Asian-Pacific region. However, Filipinos with millions of relatives in the United States and thousands planning to join them much prefer the pact with the US than a deal with the Chinese Liberation Army.

So on 3 June 2020, Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin announced that the Philippine government would extend the VFA at least until the end of the year. This may be to counter the dominating Chinese presence or a negotiating tactic to wring more concessions from the United States. Only time will tell.


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[People] When the Light Shines Again -by Fr. Shay Cullen

When the Light Shines Again
Fr. Shay Cullen
19 June 2020

It was a happy day for Joshua. He graduated from the Preda vocational training program and proudly held a student’s driver’s license and his graduation certificate while the camera clicked to record the moment and everyone there applauded. It was his day when the light shone for him.

He had completed and passed his driving test at the Preda Home for Boys and completed a course in shielded metal arc welding. He can apply for a job as a basic welder or driver when he gets his license. He was only seven months in the Preda program and his life had dramatically changed at that time.

Joshua was once a child prisoner, locked in a small bare prison cell with graffiti on the walls, a hole in the floor for a toilet, and what a dark dangerous smelly place it was. The dark dungeons of Dicken’s novels were the only comparison.

He became a fighter, a rebellious child prisoner. He opposed all authority, even the cell boss-man couldn’t control him so they beat and kicked him. The world for Joshua was a mean and dangerous place where his survival was threatened every day. They fought over the small food allowance of rice and expired cans of fish. He fought off the bigger youths that tried to rape him. He kicked and gouged and defended himself.

The day came when he was saved from this hell-hole of misery. He was released from the unjust and unnecessary detention. His only so-called crime was he was homeless and broke curfew. His father died when he was ten years old and his stepfather beat him and cursed him. He ran away and took to the streets; there was no home, no acceptance just rejection. The local officials locked him in the youth detention center where the Preda social workers found him bruised, angry, and rebellious.

With the release order signed by the judge, he came to the Preda home for boys in the countryside without fences, no cells just freedom and friendship. It was not an easy transition. His old survivalist ways dominated. He bullied others and fought for dominance as he believed that was what he was supposed to do in this world. He had learned on the streets and the jail cells that no one cares, no one helps, no one loves him.

That changed day by day as he realized that he was cared for, that he was respected, no one bullied him, he joined values formation sessions, education classes and slowly he realized he had landed in a family that cared.

He was respected for the first time in his life and was free to choose to stay and to change and learn. He had emotional release therapy and screamed out his buried pain and hatred for the abuse he suffered. He joined the sports, outings, games, and picnics. Soon, he was taking vocational training. He was transforming. He tamed himself.

He is now a happy, intelligent mature youth together with twenty classmates who are also growing and changing at the Preda home. Most of them are also taking the vocational training course as part of their diversion program under the Philippine Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act (JJWA) or Republic Act 9344 that promotes restorative justice rather than harsh punishment. His graduation day and chance to be reintegrated into his sister’s family were when the light shone for him. It was a new day, a bright shining moment when he knew that he was truly accepted respected as a person of value and had true friends and would be helped to succeed in life.

Benjie, only 16, has completed many hours of electrical repair training and driving which will be a good chance for him to get a job when he leaves the Preda home and becomes of legal age. He has completed his Alternative Learning System (ALS) education which is a substitute for the years he missed for high school after he was arrested for making and possessing illegal drugs. He discovered his true self, has human value and dignity at Preda home for boys. Thousands have been helped since 1974 to find recovery, peace, and success in life. The light has shone for many like Benjie. His life story is a sad one as he tells it.

“My parents are separated; I was left with my grandmother in the slums when I was 10. Lola (grandmother) became old and sickly because we had no money and I begged for food. When I was 14 years old I tried to support her by selling vegetables from the open market but it was wasn’t enough for survival. We ate the rotten ones and bought pag-pag (uneaten leftovers from restaurants). Then a drug dealer recruited me, offered me cash and food, and then drugs. I got hooked myself and I owed him money and worked for him. I was controlled by this gangster drug dealer, there was no way out. He threatened me and would kill Lola if I ran away and refused to deliver his dirty drugs. I was set for a life as a criminal and would likely be dead because of the war against drugs. If I was not saved by Preda and that lawyer from the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), I would have been killed for sure.”

When Preda social workers intervened and the judge agreed to send Benjie to Preda, that was when the light shone for him. He graduated and has a bright future ahead of him. He can make his way in life and will succeed and his children will learn the values of respect and love and dignity.

As many as 1,230 children are confined today in youth detention centers as far as we know. There could be more that we don’t know. They are deprived of liberty and behind bars or in cages around the Philippines. The Preda Foundation has campaigned for the release of the children and as of today the number released is 323 children so far. There is hope and we must continue to advocate for the release of the unjustly jailed children.


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[People] Are PLDT and Globe Enabling the Transmission of Online Sexual Exploitation of Children? -Fr. Shay Cullen

Are PLDT and Globe Enabling the Transmission of Online Sexual Exploitation of Children?
Fr. Shay Cullen
11 June 2020

The Internet Server Providers (ISP’s) such as PLDT and Globe in the Philippines and thousands around the world must be challenged and held accountable for allegedly failing to block effectively, with the latest AI-enabled software, the transmission of child pornography and the heinous crime of online sexual exploitation of children live-streamed to paying pedophiles around the world. Child abuse and pornography is an international crime and needs a local and international response. Globe is planning to expand into Europe, but we will campaign against it if there is no change.

The Philippines has been named as the world hot spot for child pornography and online sexual exploitation of children. Only a few weeks ago 13 children more were rescued from cyber-crime dens in Biliran. Home for under investigation clerical sexual abuse, where a US priest, Kenneth Pius Hendricks and others sexually abused children for decades.

The ISP’s must be held accountable for failing to obey and fully respect the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009 otherwise known as the Republic Act 9775 by installing up-to-date effective blocking software in their servers. This is the only effective answer to the rampant widespread child pornography “pandemic” sweeping the Philippines and the world.

Globe informed me that after eleven years of failing to comply with the law they installed in 2017 DNS software to block websites that they know or contain child porn and said they depend on the Department of Justice to inform them of such websites. This is most likely a category based and very simple and cheap software. It is most likely to be very ineffective since there are daily streams of child porn passing through Globe servers and those of PLDT. The illegal and horrific images of little children being sexually abused live on the internet is capable of reaching the computers, tablets, and smartphones of Filipinos and pedophiles abroad as detected by law international enforcement.

As Globe tells me there is a new child porn website to quickly replace the old. That’s because they have outdated ineffective cheap DNS software. What they should have, and they know it is Real-time; Artificial Intelligence (AI) based software. This continues to crawl the worldwide internet for signals and sites promoting child porn and live streaming. It detects instantly and continues to update in real-time by machine learning using Artificial Intelligence (AI). No human employees needed, it is strong, and lives forever once installed as a High-Tech expert from Zyalin Software Company informed me since they design such effective software.

Pldt/Smart responds and informs me that to meet their requirements under the RA 9775, 2009 law where they are required to install software to block child pornography but have not done so for eleven years, said they are proposing a solution to Government to act, not them. “We have been suggesting that the government consider the use of a technology solution developed by Microsoft for this purpose”. Also, they said in a letter to me: “For example, at this point, it is not possible for ISPs to selectively block bad content being live-streamed via global internet platforms. If Philippine ISPs attempt to do this, the entire global internet platform will be blocked”. This is totally wrong as companies with powerful AI blocking software can do it.

PLDT/Smart and Globe can stop the horrible sex crimes against children and prevent them from happening. They must obey the law and install the latest effective blocking filters. However, why do they not have the latest most effective child porn blocking software? Because it will slow down their Network, that’s why. Because customers will have to wait a few seconds longer to connect and might switch to a rival ISP. Really it is about greed and money not about children being raped and abused over the ISPs servers. Perhaps, they have some sweetheart deal with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to ignore the law and pay a small fine for not complying.

If President Rodrigo Duterte is the strong-minded, iron-fisted champion of law and order and child protection, to save the nation he will act bravely and decisively order the ISP’s like PLDT/Smart and Globe to obey RA 9775 the Anti-Child Pornography Law of 2009. I believe that he is already planning to do this.

Republic Act 9557, under Section 9, says: “The duties of Internet Server Providers (ISP) to monitor the content passing through their servers notify the police of illegal content and provide the authorities the particulars of users who gained or attempted to gain access to an Internet address which contains any form of child pornography. All ISP’s shall install available technology, program, or software to ensure access to or transmittal of any form of child pornography will be blocked or filtered.”

The Cyber-crime Prevention Act of 2012 otherwise known as the Republic Act 10175 also bans cybersex and child pornography, among other things. President Rodrigo Duterte can increase his huge popularity, now at 72 percent, if he will recommend a swift amendment to the law that will increase the penalty to the ISP’s for non-compliance to ten million pesos a day until they fully comply with the law and install the most effective efficient child porn AI-based blocking software. The fines paid can be for the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to help child victims. The law can back-fine the ISP’s for violating the law for 11 years, at a million a day.

As you read this, thousands of young Filipinos are exposed to viewing, damaging, disturbing, and psychologically hurtful content passed through the ISP servers on the Internet. These are illegal graphic images on home-made videos of young children- girls and boys- being sexually raped and abused. Your child could be viewing these terrible videos and pictures without your knowledge. You can be sure they won’t tell you and you will never know but might notice disturbing changes in their personality and character.

You might think it is due to drugs but now think- child pornography. Their teenage peers download them and share them through the Internet-enabled by the ISP’s. Some teenagers also make child pornography videos of their own sexual abuse of young girls and boys and share them with classmates or gang-mates or upload them on YouTube. They extort sexual favors and money from underage victims by threatening to post the videos. A young uncle of two small children abused them and uploaded the child sexual abuse on Youtube possibly through Globe or PLDT or their subsidiary. He is now charged with child abuse and cybersex abuse of children. Hundreds of children are sexually abused daily and The ISP’s go free, for now.

This online sexual exploitation of children through the ISPs must change. Globe and PLDT/Smart must obey the RA 9775 law. Every day, more children are sexually abused and damaged and it could be your child. It is time to act and hold the ISPs accountable for eleven years of disobeying the law and allowing thousands of acts of abuse over their servers.


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[People] The Racism that Surrounds Us -by Fr. Shay Cullen

The Racism that Surrounds Us
Fr. Shay Cullen
4 June 2020

The world is seeing once again the upsurge of a vicious “virus” that has spread to every corner of the world. This time, the “virus” is that of social, cultural, economic, political, institutional, legal, and religious discrimination against people of different skin color, social status, and historical origins. Racism is everywhere and people around the world are on the streets once again protesting against this insidious discrimination following the latest documented murder of George Floyd by four United States police and systematic police brutality.

His cruel death is one of many in recent years where police and killers have seldom been held accountable. Three of the officers involved in the murder of George Floyd are walking free. A culture of invincibility and impunity pervades some police forces that are predominantly composed of white officers. This is common in many countries where the police and military are above the law and abuse authority and kill citizens as they please. It makes a sham of democracy and the judiciary.

People of color in Europe are also discriminated against by racist people who wrongly believe that these “other” humans are inferior to them and who declare themselves to be superior human beings, in a more exalted, dominating status with a desire to trample on others. These racist attitudes that wrongly brand others as having criminal minds have led to the greatest crime against humanity- genocide. The Holocaust, the Rwandan massacres, the Armenian genocide, and many more in history happened because of racists attitudes with other causes.

Migrants and refugees seeking shelter from the Syrian massacres and other social evils meet a wall of racial indifference fueled by systematic racism in some European countries and the present administration of the United States. What the white-skinned racist person or government officials and racist police lack most of all is empathy, compassion, and respect for other human beings. The racists are supremely arrogant, dominating, oppressive, and selfish. They are greatly diminished as persons and have excluded themselves from the community of the good and caring people of the world who love their neighbors.

The roots of racism run deep in history but in modern times ideologies like Nazism and forms of nationalism gave rise to it in Europe and growing racist attitudes are present in European countries today and the United States. Under President Trump, “Make America Great Again” means “Make America White Again.” Racism is not only about skin colour but it is also about power, control, exclusion, and domination. However, the slogan “White is Might and Right” and promoting white people like celebrities and movie stars reinforces racism. The higher social status demanded by some white people can create self-loathing, lack of self-esteem, and an inferiority complex among people of color. Some are persuaded to buy skin bleaching and whitening creams to try and lighten the color of their skin for greater acceptability. The racists have successfully planted their insidious racist ideology and unthinking people have fallen for it. Commercial corporations manufacture racist creams and profit greatly without shame.

More than 13 million Africans- men, women, and children- were captured, enslaved, and transported, chained in horrendous ships, it went on for 400 years in atrocious conditions. An estimated 1.2 million died at sea. Many were thrown overboard in a storm. The movie Amistad released in 1997 tells it well. They were auctioned as slave labor for the cotton and sugar cane fields, coffee and tobacco plantations, gold and silver mining, and then for the industries of the new capitalist America in the making. Besides the Spanish and Portuguese, the British, French, Dutch, Belgian and Danish empire builders all participated in the slave trade.

Racism and outright hatred and human rights violations were part of everyday life for the slaves. Today after 400 years of oppression and suffering and no restitution, naturally, a just anger, hunger for justice, and equality is in their genes. African-Americans are still considered by many Americans as repulsive and racially inferior. In the past, many were murdered and lynched by mobs on false charges. Recently, a woman called police in Central Park to falsely accuse a black passerby of assaulting her because he asked her to put her dog on a leash. She went berserk. He videotaped it. It went viral and she was fired from her job for her lies and a racist attitude. Had police come, he could have been killed, too, like George Floyd. The civil rights movement in the 1960s brought in new anti-discrimination laws but they did not change ingrained racist attitudes against black people. They continued to be discriminated against and many were killed by police.

The ruling elite billionaire capitalists of America are unaware that American wealth and prosperity began with the sweat and blood of the black slaves from Africa. Their racist beliefs in white superiority cannot fully accept that the US Constitution grants all citizens equal rights. No matter how gifted and educated, many of these citizens are excluded from a life of dignity. The election and re-election of Barack Obama as president of the United States angered many racists. Their greatest nightmare was having a highly educated African-American and his intelligent lawyer wife, a descendent of slaves, occupy the White House for eight years.

The White Supremacists believe that his (or her) white skin colour confers on him (or her) superiority over the African-Americans or persons of color. The racists are convinced that the descendants of the black slaves must be continually branded inferior and to be denied an equal respectful place in society. Perhaps racist Americans suffer historical guilt for their cruel legacy of slavery. Every harsh, unjust police act of discrimination, violence, or killing that spreads on social media is remembered by the black community and builds to a boiling point. This is the root of the anger seen today: injustice, lack of respect, dignity, and equality. It is seen and heard in the shouts for justice from the thousands of black and non-racist white protesters on the streets in 57 cities across the USA.

The violence and chaos caused by the extreme left and right factions are criminal and to be abhorred but it is the price that America pays for its historical racism, slavery, and sins of oppression. When there is true repentance, penance, and restitution- true equality and justice for all- across racist America, only then will there be reconciliation and peace.


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[People] Child Abuse over the Internet -by Fr. Shay Cullen

Child Abuse over the Internet
Fr. Shay Cullen
28 May 2020

They are the two latest arrivals at the Preda Foundation’s beautiful home for exploited children set in the countryside surrounded by wooded hills beside a small stream. The children are Pedro, 12, and Angelica, 7, victims of online sexual abuse perpetrated by the uncle with the knowledge of their parents. They are now rescued and are happily playing with toys and recovering from the abuse.

They were rescued from an abusive uncle who sexually abused them. He made a video whereby he put his cell phone into his briefs and blindfolded the children and told them to look for it. He videotaped the sexual abuse that followed and uploaded it on YouTube. He was detected and the Philippine National Police Women and Children Protection Center (PNP-WCPC) of Region 4A tracked him down and arrested him.

A week previously, three more child victims of cyber sexual abuse were rescued also through the intervention of the International Justice Mission (IJM) together with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the PNP-WCPC. The children were brought by government social workers to the Preda home. The government has no more capacity for the victims and has no commitment to financially support them at the Preda home. They had been sexually abused by their own step-mother in online exposure to Australian pedophiles over the Philippine internet service providers either PLDT/Smart or Globe when arrested. These companies are violating Philippine law by not blocking child pornography and allowing live streaming of child sexual abuse. Soon, there may be international sanctions against them if they don’t obey the Philippine and international laws to protect children online.

The Philippines is a global hot spot of child sexual abuse online. It is growing more severe with the Coronavirus lock-down and restricted international travel. Many more foreign pedophiles are seeking sexual gratification by having children abused live online while they watch. Parents and relatives are the perpetrators and the ISPs that enable it.

The frequency and number of reported incidents of online sexual child abuse have exploded. The US-based National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), which operates the Cyber Tipline Report (CTR), has a hotline for cases of online exploitation of children and has recorded 279,166 reports from March 1 to May 24, 2020, according to the Philippine Department of Justice. The number is greater by 264.63 percent or by 202,605 incidents in comparison to the figures recorded at this time last 2019. Then there were 76,561 reports of on-line sexual abuse of small children. This a shocking and disgusting figure of this heinous crime. The NCMEC is a US private non-government agency funded by the US government.

Another study led by the International Justice Mission (IJM) shows that Philippine internet-based child sexual abuse had tripled in the past three years. The study showed that the number of Philippine IP accounts that were used for child sexual exploitation online increased from about 23,333 in 2014 to the whopping total of 81,723 by 2017. So over a three year period, the increase in the number of Internet IP addresses used that shared images and acts of sexual abuse of children increased from 43 per 10,000 IP addresses to 149 per 10,000 IP addresses- a massive and shocking increase in the child sexual abuse of Filipino children.

This evil inclination of the pedophiles and their enablers that are damaging thousands of children shows a serious failure of irresponsible government officials to implement existing laws to protect the nation’s children. The enablers that make it possible are the internet server providers such as PLDT/Smart and Globe Telecommunications. Soon, a new player DITO Telecommunity will be a provider of access to the internet.

The ever vigilant and straight-talking man of action, President Rodrigo Duterte, intolerant of child sexual abuse, must use all his presidential power to protect the children and get the National Telecommunication Commission, headed by Commissioner Gamaliel A. Cordoba and Deputy Commissioner Delilah F. Delesto to explain why the Electronic and Internet Service Providers such as PLDT/Smart and Globe have not installed detection software to block the uploading and downloading of child pornography and online live-streaming of the sexual abuse of children as provided by law.

The NTC was so quick to issue a “Cease and Desist Order” against ABS-CBN for no fault other than the non-renewal of its franchise but how much more important is the protection of little children, some three-year-olds from online sexual abuse about which the NTC appears to do nothing, favoring PLDT and Globe? These powerful Internet Servers PLDT headed by Manuel V. Pangilinan and Globe headed by Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala must answer for the child abuse that is happening over their internet servers. Have they “captured” the regulators at the NTC and have an arrangement NOT to implement the clear provisions of the law? Would they lose the revenue of more than 82,000 or even 100,000 paying customers perhaps?

Republic Act 9557, under Section 9, says: “The duties of Internet Server Providers (ISP) to monitor the content passing through their servers notify the police of illegal content and provide the authorities the particulars of users who gained or attempted to gain access to an Internet address which contains any form of child pornography. All ISPs shall install available technology, program, or software to ensure access to or transmittal of any form of child pornography will be blocked or filtered.” (See the complete law at http://www.preda.org). The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, Republic Act No. 10175 bans cybersex and child pornography, among other things.

What appears to be a collusion between government agencies and the telecommunications companies enables 24/7 access to horrific images of children being tortured, raped, and abused. The pernicious and evil abuse of online streaming of children being sexually abused must be stopped by the NTC and the ISPs. Can President Duterte be the one man that can do it? Who are the worst criminals? They who do it? They who order and pay for it? Or those in the NTC and ISPs who enable it to happen? All three must be held to account and face the sanctions of the just laws.


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[People] Without a Mother’s Love -Fr. Shay Cullen

Without a Mother’s Love
Fr. Shay Cullen
15 May 2020

In many places, people are enjoying the freedom of release from lock-down and so they should in safety and with great care so that they do not infect anyone else if they are asymptomatic. Our lives are changed and our lifestyle has to adapt, adjust, and all in the name of staying healthy and virus-free and they need to survive. With the number of infections going down in some places and going up in others, we can never be too careful as we all want to survive.

On Mother’s Day, we celebrated the love of our good loving mothers. But some children forget the love their mother had for them and I share with you a poem below. The audio of it can be found on http://www.preda.org by this link https://www.preda.org/2020/the-prayer-of-the-prodigal/

The Prayer of the Prodigal
She bore me in her womb, a mother as good as gold
She nurtured me with mother’s milk as I grew so big and strong
And then the years were passing and she was growing weak and old,
I forgot her love and care and I know I was truly wrong

I lost my way and traveled far and still I see her hair
Once a shiny brown that had slowly turned to gray,
I saw her wrinkled features and there was nothing I could say
But to mourn her sudden passing and wish I had been there.

Mother, listen to me cry, my voice is in this song
The corona came and took you and we knew it was so wrong
They didn’t have the things you need, and you were lost to me and all.
The medics tried to save you and risked their very lives
The corona got them too and still the virus spreads and thrives.

I felt so helpless and so alone and wished there was more I could have done,
but all I had was pain and there was nowhere I could run.
Now I see the value of living, good and true,
I promise now to change my ways and take your good advice
Lord, hear me too and forgive me not only once but thrice.

The days have passed me by and peace I now have found.
I kneel and pray and kiss your grave and bless the Holy ground.
Together we will overcome the suffering and the fear
May life return to normal and may your presence be close and near.

Such is the great value of life and yet through neglect and wanton incompetence so many good beautiful people have died because of Coronavirus. They could indeed have been saved but government officials were to slow to respond and react to order immediate lock-downs and provide testing kits and protective gear for the medics. Their first duty is to protect the people. Hundreds of doctors and nurses have given their lives to help and protect the sick and heal them but fell victims of the deadly virus.

Many families have lost their loving parents and to be young and alone without parents is a traumatic experience. The thousands or so children locked inside the Philippines’ children’s jails and youth detention centers, called Bahay Pagasa (House of Hope) have no hope for freedom or a better life. They are arrested and jailed without evidence, trial or hearing for no crime but for breaking curfew or taking food because they were hungry. They suffer imprisonment and physical and sexual abuse in filthy disease-ridden cells behind bars. Now the threat of Coronavirus is waiting on the doorstep and there will be no escape from it. These are the children that we are campaigning for to be released to the parents if they have any alive or to the NGOs that care for such abandoned children.

Added to this long-term, hopeless lock-down is the misery of not seeing their parents. Without a mother’s love children are distraught, lonely, and damaged for life. These children long for their mother’s care, support and embrace. Some are as young as 10 to 15 and are victims of abuse inside the jail cells.

Recently, we were able to coordinate with Fresh Start Media in the UK in the making of a FYI report for Skynews children’s channel on the situation of the Filipino children in jails. The impact of the report is that it is presented by children for children. The TV report will surely awaken and release all the more the goodness and compassion that we believe lies buried in the hearts of the Philippine politicians responsible for the children. They will see the truth and reality for the first time when they view this story. We can all help to bring this truth to their attention by sending the link to the Mayors of Metro Manila: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_96Du7MWaE

And you can send this video message to the Mayors also https://drive.google.com/open?id=1vjHr1lrOAUpxPDUi1GYzVoKT0I3KUQU0.

People ask what can I do to help? Here is a draft letter of appeal that any reader can copy and reword and send in an email to the officials. “Dear. . . There are hundreds of children in jail cells behind bars in overcrowded Bahay Pagasa and Youth Detention Centres suffering hardship and deprivation and in danger of the Coronavirus. We appeal to you to instruct your local social worker to release those children 15 years and younger to the custody of their parents or competent NGOs that will care for them in safety. Please view the video report at this link that shows the situation in some government facilities. Urgent action is needed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_96Du7MWaE

Send your letter to any of the good active mayors:
Caloocan City Mayor Oscar Malapitan, sectothemayor.caloocancity@yahoo.com

Paranaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez, elo_official@yahoo.com

Marikina City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro, mayorsofficemarikina@yahoo.com

Pasig City Mayor Victor Ma. Reghis Sotto, vicosotto@outlook.com and ewinabeto@gmail.com

They are surely good people and strong leaders willing and able to help the children. They need your support and concern to do good. You can do your share to help the children by joining the campaign “Free the Children Now.”


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