Tag Archives: Muslim

[Statement] On police crackdown on transwomen and profiling of Muslim students -AIph

Amnesty International Philippines

Responding to the police crackdown on transwomen and profiling of Muslim students, Section Director Butch Olano said:

“Profiling entire communities solely on the basis of a single identity – whether based on gender, race or religion – supposedly in the name of curbing crime only fuels hate towards particular groups of people and intensifies fear of the police.

“The Makati police’s round-up operations targeting transwomen and the NCRPO’s profiling of Muslim students leave too many holes where peoples’ rights may be violated without sufficient accountability. It is imperative for the chief PNP to ensure that his officers are held to the highest human rights standards for law enforcement, and to look into police activities that are obviously discriminatory in nature and only serve to instigate transphobia and Islamophobia.

“What the police is doing in Metro Manila is a lazy way of preventing crime and discriminates entire communities by violating the constitutionally protected actions of individuals, solely on the basis of the criminal actions of a few.”

Read more @www.amnesty.org.ph

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[Statement] Why were these Abu Sayyaf bombers released from jail?

Why were these Abu Sayyaf bombers released from jail?

On behalf of the bereaved families and victims of bombings and kidnappings in Mindanao and in the interest truth and justice, the undersigned civil society organizations, human rights defenders and peace advocates strongly call for an immediate and impartial investigation over the suspicious release from detention of high-valued Abu Sayyaf inmates from the Special Intensive Care Area (SICA) of Bicutan Jail sometime in February 2013 through the alleged “facilitation” of a very powerful politician from Sulu.

While Mindanaoans are terrorized with the spate of bombings now rocking the fledgling peace in Mindanao, it is highly repulsive and mind-boggling why national agencies of government like the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), which is under the Office of the President, and the Task Force on Anti-Terrorism of the Department of Justice allowed the release of highly dangerous terrorists who made no qualms that they are involved in bombings and kidnappings.

On February 7, 2013, national print and online media outfits reported the order of the Department of Justice to release 18 suspected Abu Sayyaf men allegedly wrongfully accused of kidnapping as “There appears to be no proof of their participation in the kidnapping much less evidence of their purported membership in the Abu Sayyaf Group.” The 18 were charged for the kidnapping and beheading of Jehovah’s Witness/Almeda Group members in 2002. Because of the dropping of their criminal charges by the DOJ, these 18 walked to freedom on February 15, 2013.

What is shocking is that barely a month from their release from prison, four of these 18 suspects, namely Muhammad Sali Said, Robin Sahiyal, Julhamad Ahad and Mujibar Amon were presented before the Regional Trial Court of Manila-Branch 19 as witnesses of Governor Abdusakur Tan in criminal cases which he has filed against a known human rights defender from Sulu.

In open court, these men have admitted that they are bombers, kidnappers and proud active members of the Abu Sayyaf Group. Sali Said, the star witness produced by the Governor, admitted that he was released from prison through the help of the lawyer of the governor who offered to help him “process (his) papers for release” on the condition that his group will agree to stand as false witnesses for the governor.

Why these Abu Sayyaf inmates released from prison is the biggest question that up to now the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos and the Department of Justice refuse to answer. Who repackaged these highly dangerous terrorists to fall under the legal assistance program of the NCMF and made them appear as innocent Muslims wrongly arrested due to mistaken identity? While we are of course supportive of this type of programs as there are indeed hundreds of innocent detainees now languishing in jail, we strongly condemn the act of “inserting” into the list of innocent Muslims wrongly arrested due to mistaken identity—the names of at least four Abu Sayyaf bombers and kidnappers, namely Robin Sahiyal, Muhammad Sali Said and Julhamad Ahadi who walked to freedom last February 15, 2013.

While our young soldiers are risking their lives and limbs running after the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu, it is simply sickening to the senses and a complete mockery of justice to find our own national agencies like the NCMF and DOJ providing free legal assistance to high-valued terrorists, bombers and kidnappers? How can we ever reconcile the use of taxpayers’ money to set free the Abu Sayyaf Group? How can NCMF and DOJ ever miss the sea of difference between an innocent Muslim wrongly arrested due to mistaken identity and the solid intelligence dossier of these hard core terrorists?

Who placed the names of these terrorists into the list of innocent Muslims wrongly arrested due to mistaken identity? Who made the deal so that the four ASG witnesses of the Governor will be categorized as innocent Muslims? Who closed his eyes on the glaring fact that these four are Abu Sayyaf members? Who repackaged the four terrorists to become innocent, wrongly arrested Muslims so they can qualify into the NCMF legal assistance program?
These questions demand answers from NCMF, DOJ and the Provincial Government of Sulu whose appalling modus operandi has ostensibly exposed the civilian population into such extreme level of risks from these terrorists who are now freely roaming around public places and could now be plotting the next bomb to detonate and kill our own people.

We appeal to the Philippine Senate to immediately call for an inquiry so that the NCMF, DOJ and the Vice Governor of Sulu will be able to answer for all these issues.

In the name of the victims of bombings and other terroristic acts in Mindanao, we urge President Aquino to demonstrate the full force of the law by holding his very own agencies of government and political allies accountable to the “matuwid na daan” policy.

SIGNED:
PAT SARENAS REV. L. DANIEL PANTOJA
Chairperson President
Mindanao Coalition of Development NGOs Peacebuilders Community, Inc.
(MINCODE)

SISTER MARIA ARNOLD NOEL, SPPS PASTOR REU MONTECILLO
Convenor Presiding Chair
Mindanao Solidarity Network Mindanao Peoples Caucus

MAX DE MESA GUIAMEL ALIM
Chair Lead Convenor
Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates Mindanao Peace Weavers

ISMAEL MAULANA SALIC IBRAHIM
Secretary General Chairperson
Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society Reform the ARMM Now (RAN)

1. Agong Network
2. AKBAYAN
3. Al-Ihsan Foundation
4. Alliance of Progressive Labor
5. Alternate Forum for Research in Mindanao
6. Alyansa ng mga Nagkakaisang Kabataang Manggagawa(AKMA)
7. Apo Agbibilin, Inc.
8. Archdiocese Center for Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue
9. Balay Rehabilitation Center
10. Bangsamoro Center for Just Peace
11. Bangsamoro Initiatives for Services and Consultancy, Inc.
12. Bangsamoro Women Initiatives for Development, Inc.
13. Bangsamoro Youth Leaders Forum
14. Bantay Ceasefire
15. Bawgbug, Inc.
16. Bong D. Fabe, Freelance Journalist; ACCESS-ACDO
17. Building Alternative Rural Resource Institutions and Organizing Services(BARRIOS)
18. Center for Peoples Self-Determination
19. Civil Society Forum for Peace and Development
20. Claimants 1081
21. Concerned Citizens of Sulu
22. Cotabato Council of Elders
23. ECOWEB, Inc.
24. Fatima Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (FATODA)
25. Federation of Matigsalug Tribal Councils
26. Foundation for Integral and Holistic Community Development
27. Freedom from Debt Coalition
28. Hugpong Alang sa Yanong Mamumuo sa Gensan (HAYAG)National Confederation Of Transportworkers Union(NCTU)
29. International Solidarity Conference on Mindanao
30. ITTIHADUN NISA FOUNDATION (INFO), Inc.
31. Kahugpungan sa Mindanao
32. Kapisanan ng Maralitang Obrero (KAMAO)
33. Kaumpiya sa Mindanao, Inc.
34. Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya
35. Landcare Foundation of the Philippines
36. Local Initiatives for Peace and Development in Mindanao (LIPAD MINDANAO), Inc.
37. LUNA, Inc.
38. Mahad Multipurpose Cooperative
39. Maligaya Community Workers Association(MACOWA)
40. Manobo Lumandong Panaghiusa
41. Maranao Peoples Development Center
42. Medical Action Group
43. Mindanao Alliance for Peace
44. Mindanao Alliance for Peace and Development (MAPAD)
45. Mindanao Congress of Development NGOs and NGIs (MINCON)
46. Mindanao Farmers Development Center
47. Mindanao Legal Assistance Center, Inc.
48. Mindanao Migrants Center for Empowering Actions
49. Mindanao Peace Movement
50. Mindanao Peace Partners
51. Mindanao Peoples Caucus SOCSKSARGEN Workers Network for Grassroots Advocacy (SWN)
52. Mindanao Solidarity Network
53. MNLF Arakan Cooperative
54. Moro Women Development and Cultural Center (MWDECC), Inc.
55. Moro-IP Kinship Council
56. MY PEACE
57. National Ulama Conference of the Philippines (NUCP)- Maguindanao Provincial Chapter
58. Neo Iranun Multi Sectoral Association (NIMSA), Inc.
59. NOORUS SALAM, Central Mindanao
60. One People Mindanao
61. Organization of Teduray and Lambangian Conference
62. Pagungayan Ami so mga Kagnudaan Antapan ko Kamapiyaan ago Kadtatabanga (PAKAT), Inc.
63. Panagtagbo-Mindanao
64. PATHJ-Mindanao
65. Peksalabukan Bangsa Subanen
66. Peoples Center for Community Development
67. Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)
68. Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches
69. Philippine Human Rights Information Center (PHILRIGHTS)
70. Radyo Natin Club – Lanao del Norte
71. San Jose Integrated Social Forestry Farmers Association(SJISFFA)
72. San Juan Workers and Community Association (SANJUWOCA)
73. SELDA Greater Davao
74. SIMMCARRD
75. Social Workers Coordinating Council (SWCC)
76. Suara Kalilintad
77. Sulu Ulama Council for Peace and Development
78. Tabang Ako Siyap Ko Bangsa Iranun Saya Ko Kalilintad Ago
79. Task Force Detainees of the Philippines
80. Task Force Kalilintad
81. Task Force Ugalingan Limbalod
82. Technical Assistance Center for Development of Rural and Urban Poor
83. Tripeople Concern for Peace and Development
84. Tripeople for Peace and Development
85. Tulung Lupah Sug
86. United Youth for Peace and Development (UNYPAD)
87. United Youth Philippines
88. Women’s Initiative for Social Empowerment(WISE)
89. Yumang-LlidoMisa Mini Tricycle operators and Drivers Association(YULLIMMTODA)

FOR INQUIRIES, please contact:

Rose Trajano: 0906-553-1792 and (02)436-26-33
Jun Aparece: 09177015058

MEDIA STATEMENT
August 12, 2013

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

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[Blog] Self-Autonomy: The Question of Beauty, Discretion and Self-Independence by Jose Mario De Vega

Self-Autonomy: The Question of Beauty, Discretion and Self-Independence

Mario De Vega

I know that the topic that I am going to write today will not be greeted by approval and mass agreement. I am also fully aware that perhaps a couple of my friends and colleagues will condemn me and my thoughts.

I also expect that some will try to mock my thoughts and paint my words as offensive and demeaning, yet nonetheless, as a philosopher and a social critic, I am not writing to please people or to make the whole public agrees with my principles and views.

The duty of the social critic and revolutionary intellectual is to tell/speak the truth, no matter how inconvenient it is and expose the perversion of the social milieu, no matter how uncomfortable it is; regardless of whether this abnormal world will agree or not and irrespective of the preposterous opinions and utterly stupid viewpoints of the undeniably idiotic, herd crowd and the powers that be!

Today, with the indulgence of the readers, I would like to talk about Ms. Sara Amelia Bernard’s “My thoughts on being disqualified from Miss Malaysia World because I am Muslim”, MSN, July 22nd in relation to the decision of the Jawi Director Datuk Che Mat Che Ali that informed Miss Malaysia World organiser Datuk Anna Lim that Muslim girls will not be allowed to take part in beauty pageants following a review of the fatwa ruling. (See, “Non-participation of Muslims in Miss Malaysia World confirmed”, The Star, July 29, 2013)

As Ms. Bernard’s herself had stated:

“I’ve always wanted to join Miss Malaysia, and was so excited to receive news that Muslim girls would be able to participate in Miss Malaysia World this year. It was finally an opportunity to show the world what true Malaysian beauty is. A beauty queen is not merely a pretty face but is intelligent, cultured, well-spoken, kind hearted, warm and friendly. She uses her title to help others and participates in various charities worldwide. The idea of working with underprivileged children and the less fortunate motivated me deeply.

“I went for the auditions where I first met the pageant organiser, Miss Malaysia Universe 1990, Datin Anna Lim. She’s the type of lady who has a smile that can light up an entire room, a real beauty queen who radiates happiness and warmth wherever she goes. I was told that as a Muslim participant, I would not wear a bikini in the swimsuit round and instead be required to wear something more modest- either a swimsuit with pants or sports attire. I was also informed there that the international grand finals would be held in our Muslim neighbouring country, Indonesia.”

Comment:

I join her in her excitement and happiness to receive the prospective good news that Muslim girls may be allow to participate (though she and all of us knows that this may be improbable or worst, impossible) in Miss Malaysia World this year.

I applaud her noble intention in grabbing finally the elusive opportunity to show to the whole world what true beauty is (Malaysian beauty that is)!

I overwhelmingly concur with her view that: A beauty queen is not merely a pretty face but is intelligent, cultured, well-spoken, kind hearted, warm and friendly. She uses her title to help others and participates in various charities worldwide. The idea of working with underprivileged children and the less fortunate motivated me deeply.

I cannot see why anyone would contest such a noble goal, which in my view is so humanitarian and indeed a work of universal philanthrophy.

But enough of this talk; let’s go direct to the point which is the bone of contention. That is the issue of so-called inappropriate dress code and showing one’s curves to the public.

I cannot see any problem what so ever and what the hell is all the brouhaha with regard to this whole fiasco. What are all the fuzz and the buzz and all the nonsense!

As Ms. Bernard clearly stated:

I was told that as a Muslim participant, I would not wear a bikini in the swimsuit round and instead be required to wear something more modest- either a swimsuit with pants or sports attire.

Comment:

There you have it! So now, what the hell is all the fuzz with regard to this issue?

Questions:

1. Are the Muslim participants forced not to participant to the said event because of the “dress code”, the nudity”, showing of their bodies and curves”?

2. Are the Muslim participants were forced not to participate to the said event because of they are Muslims?

3. Are the Muslim participants forced not to participate to the said event because of the fatwa?
Comment:

Question one is already answered squarely by Ms. Bernard and so as the organizers of the said event: they will not be wearing bikini, but a modest dress. Is that not enough? Is wearing a modest dress still tantamount to being nude?

I am having a problem of how I will construe the ruling laid down by the powers that be.

Assuming for the sake of the ‘argument’ that nudity is forbidden; then is the act of wearing a decent and modest dress not enough in order not to violate the “law”?

On question two, are Muslim women absolutely forbidden to participate to events like these? Then, how about Indonesia? Last time I check, they still have the largest Muslim population in the entire world. Why is it that Indonesia allowed the said event and even agreed to hold the same at their country?

Are they being less Muslim, in doing so?

I do not think so!

What is wrong for a Muslim woman to participate to an event such as this?

That is the central point! I heavily doubt the persuasiveness and propriety of the answer given by the powers that be to convince a reasonable mind to agree with regard to their decision. Said decision in my view is not only unjust, but indisputably oppressive and discriminatory!

It is on this reason that I condemned their unwise and utterly preposterous decision!

On question three, what are the power of those people who ordered this so-called fatwa over the freedom and the autonomy of the individuals concerned?

I agree with a certain Ms. Celine (check her commentaries on the said MSN article) in defending Ms. Bernard’s courage to write her side of the story and her fortitude in speaking her mind with regard to the whole matter.

“To those ripping Sara apart by calling her names, I don’t think it is fair and I don’t think anyone should be able to judge her and point a finger without the other fingers pointing back at themselves as judging without knowledge. I am sure there is something in the Quran regarding unknowingly judging others without a clear understanding of your own ‘clean soul’.

“Aurat. As far as I know, the aurat is all intimate parts of a man and woman. Scientifically speaking, it is not every single part of your body except the slits of your eyes. To a comment below that mentioned Sara will be in outfits that will show her aurat, that isn’t really true, because beauty pageants are not a live porn show. She won’t be nude. She will be showing off her curves, her WOMANLY BEAUTY, but also her MIND and her intelligence.

“For the men who will perve at beauty pageants, is that the fault of the participants? And I am pretty sure that these men will be a mixture of many different men, from Muslims to atheists to Catholics, etc. What does it matter? No matter what religion, every teenage boy has watched porn, or fantasised, or woken up from a wet dream. What can you say about that? Castrate them? Imprison them? You can bind someone physically but you can never bind someone’s mind and soul that will always wander. And who are you to so boldly judge Sara and say ‘You are causing men to be perverts’? This sounds strongly like that insane lady who created the wives’ club and saying ‘If your husband cheats, it is your fault.’

“Maybe Sara wants to join a beauty pageant to prove all this wrong. To show that a woman can do what she wants to do without giving a flying fart what men or society thinks of her. She states that as a beauty queen, she can be given a role to help the community and give light to those in need. This, to me, does not sound like a disrespectful, dumb, idiotic woman.

“It is up to individuals what they deem as right and wrong, and their relationship with the supernatural forces, or God, or whatever the people believe in, is personal to them and them alone. No one else has the right to tell them they are wrong because they are not on the same path as the ‘do-gooders’. And there are so much BIGGER problems out there that everyone should be working to fix, not a girl trying to get into a beauty pageant.”

Comment:

I totally concur that “it is up to individuals what they deem as right and wrong”.

No one has the right to act as if they are the “chosen one” or they are the “paragon of morality”.

In school, I was taught that no person or institution has the monopoly of knowledge; the same is true in the same vein that there is no such thing as moral cartel.

The unpardonable and disgusting act of those so-called “moral police” and “moral idiots” commanding and telling the rest of the world that a Muslim girl cannot participate to the said beauty contest because it is against religion and that a lot of men will commit sins by staring at them — should consider going to the nearest psychiatrist or better yet consult a nearby psychologist.

The preposterous act of the powers that be to forbid Muslim women to participate to the said beauty contest is a form of moral discrimination and a grave violation of those women’s constitutional rights to decide how will they going to live their lives.

It is a form of moral discrimination by virtue of the fact that it implies that those who will abide by this imposition are the only morally pure people in this society and the other individuals who will defy or not believe or conform or subscribe to their views are immoral and impure. This is logically untenable and morally impertinent.

Though, they did not categorically say so, only a moron by nature or worst, an idiot of the highest order will fail to observe the underlying implication of the said order.

Go and check all of the negative accusations, slanderous remarks and utterly below the belt comments received by Ms. Bernard on her Face book account and various social networking sites!

Due to all of these bad words, she decided to deactivate her FB account! Yet in my view, the damage has been done! This is a shame!

What is the authority of these creatures to tell the people how are they going to conduct themselves and how would they going to live their lives?

I also concur with the views stated by a certain person by the name of Kenneth in his commentaries at the said MSN article concerning this issue:

“I must admit that I have not been keeping up with Malaysian headlines as I found myself reading a lot of statements made incoherently and without forethought by a lot of the speakers. When I came across this article on the banning of Muslim women from participating, I wondered:

1. Are the men of Malaysia, myself included, so uncultured, uneducated and so without morals, that the mere sight of a woman on stage, and at one point in the competition, in a swimsuit, would send us into a tizzy? And the four ladies have already agreed to dress modestly (although, honestly, in today’s Malaysia, a Muslim woman would probably have to be dressed in a full-on Hijab to be considered modest) …so really? What’s the deal?

2. Is this just another misguided attempt at controlling everything that happens by using the religion card and branding these women as infidels if they don’t comply? What’s next? Stoning? Honour killing?

“What has Malaysia come to?

“I’m terribly disappointed that instead of looking at the many plus points, these gentlemen in suits and ties and skull caps sit down in some office or mosque and single-handedly bring us back to the Stone Ages. There’s so much good that can come from this and yet, all they focus on is ‘their’ version of their religion.”

“Disappointed, but not surprised.”

Intention

I have not written this article to disparage or discredit my Muslim friends, brothers and sisters but to condemn the decision of the powers that be which in my view is anti-Islam, intolerant and discriminative in its core.

I have written this article not simply to defend Ms. Bernard and other Muslim girls like her, but also to highlight the undeniable arbitrary powers of the powers that be in deciding cases and issues that infringed, obstruct and violate the rights of the people.

As I’ve stated then in an article, “Its about cherishing love”, The New Straits Times, February 16, 2011 and “A reminder to value and cherish all those who love us”, The Star, February 18, 2011:

“Human beings will do good and evil acts not because of the month or the time of year, but rather based on their moral code and ethical standards.

“Sex and morality can never be validly imposed or forcefully legislated.

“To do so would amount to oppression and that would pave the way to a return to the Dark Ages, which is antithetical to modern civilisation.

“Humans must do the right thing, the good thing and the ethical thing because it is the right thing to do, because of the nobility of our spirit, the genuineness of our love and the pureness of our hearts.”

Who determines society’s morals?

Is it the individuals who comprises the said society or is it the state through its government that determines what is the suitable moral social codes from its people?

My firm thesis is that it is precisely man himself that should legislate and must craft his own values, morality and virtues to the complete exclusion of the state and/or the government.

We are who we are. Ethics and morality can never ever be enacted as laws and enforced as statutes that will regulate how people and the citizens will live their lives.

If that will be the case, then it would undeniably diminished man’s humanity and autonomy. That is besides the fact that it will incontestably violates man’s right as a member of the political community.

The state has no right whatsoever to pass moral laws that impliedly telling the people how the people would live their lives.

In the lucid words of Professor Kristine Korsgaard:

“We are masters of our own self-mastery, in control of our self-control. Being human is not sapping our strength, for we still know when to fight…”

No one has the right to impose their concept of morality and sense of righteousness to another. That is a clear case of moral cartel. To each it’s own! Your morality is yours; while my ethics is mine.

It is my firm view, no matter how controversial it is to the majority that morality and ethics are beyond religion, customs and beliefs…

People who are just and fair will do acts of fairness and justice not because of their religious beliefs or theological upbringing but because it is the right thing to do!

Humans are inherently beautiful within because Mother Nature herself is beautiful, not because those individuals are Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, agnostics, atheists or whatever they are!

Their beauty has nothing to do with their religious beliefs; because in the final analysis, they are truly beautiful, if indeed, they are beautiful within — their very souls!

That is the central substantive point in all these issues!

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Philosophy lecturer
Polytechnic University of the Philippines

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[In the news] Metro Cebu Muslims, advocates hail pact -Cebu Daily News

Metro Cebu Muslims, advocates hail pact
Cebu Daily News
October 15, 2012

International peace advocates and Muslim community leaders in Cebu hailed this afternoon’s signing of the preliminary framework agreement between the national government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

A member of the International Contact Group assisting the peace process between the government and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) said today’s signing of the framework agreement on peace as a historic day of celebration.

“The Philippines is following a global trend of increased decentralization in response to the diverse and multiple identity of its people,” Emma Leslie, an Australian member of the International Contact Group (ICG) said.

“October 15th is a historic day for celebration, but just one milestone in the long journey for peace between the Moro and Filipino peoples,” said Leslie, also a director of the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies and founder of the Action Asia Peacebuilders.

Read full article @ cebudailynews.wordpress.com

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[Appeal] Letter of appeal in behalf of the hijab-wearing Muslim enrolled in Pilar College -National Commission on Muslim Filipinos

August 2, 2012

S. Maria Nina C. Balbas, RVM
President
Pilar College
Zamboanga City

Dear Sister Balbas:

Greetings of peace!

I am writing, not only as the Secretary of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos with the mandate to look after the welfare of the Filipino Muslims, but also as a resident of Zamboanga City who graduated from the Ateneo de Zamboanga in 1972, and had friends from your College, including a nun we fondly called Sister Linda (Sr. Erlinda Macatol).

I am writing, not to argue, but to enlighten; and not to object, but to appeal for your kind reconsideration and compromise, in behalf of the hijab-wearing Muslimah enrolled in Pilar College.

I have premised my letter in this manner to show you and the esteemed RVM sisters of Pilar College that I have long interacted with Christians and Catholics, including the Jesuits of the Ateneo, in a spirit of deep respect and understanding, which I discovered, has always been reciprocated in kind.

On July 28, 2012, I was furnished a copy of your letter to the good Mayor of Zamboanga City, the Hon. Celso L. Lobregat, responding to Resolution No. 552 (June 27, 2012) of the City Council of Zamboanga. The letter justified the non-wearing of hijab as your school policy which you say is “explained to them” (the Muslims), so that “in this way, we are giving freedom to students to choose a school which best fits them.” You add that “because they (the Muslims) have been informed that the hijab is not allowed inside the school, they are duty bound to follow the same,” and “they are deemed to have agreed to the rule if after having been informed of the restriction, they still chose to enroll.” Your letter justified this on the basis of “institutional Academic Freedom” which allows “a private school community” to be “organized according to the tenets of freedom of association” and hence, “it may freely adopt its own policies, standards, regulations and set forth its conditions for those wishing to join this community as student.” According to your letter, “this is part of academic freedom in connection with which the school has the right to choose whom to teach.” [citing Ulpiano Sarmiento in Education, Law and the Private School, 2009]

The foregoing discourse of Atty. Sarmiento dwell on the general and must give way to particular provisions of the law, and issuances of concerned government institutions. The Magna Carta of Women (R.A. No. 9710) for instance, provides for the protection and promotion of the rights of women in general, and Muslim/Moro/Indigenous women in particular. Sec. 32 (e) of the said law is more in point when it says: “Sensitivity of regular schools to particular Moro and indigenous practices, such as fasting in the month of Ramadan, choice of clothing (including the wearing of hijab)and availability of halal food shall be ensured…”

Then also, the Department of Education in its Order No. 53, series of 2001 decreed the the protection of religious rights of students by providing as follows:

x x x

“4. In the specific cases of Muslim students, the following policies shall be adopted:

Female Muslim schoolchildren should be allowed to use their veil or headdress inside the school campus.
In Physical Education (PE) classes, Muslim girls shall not be required to wear shorts; they shall be allowed to wear appropriate clothing in accordance with their religious beliefs.
Muslim students shall not be required to participate in non-Muslim religious rites.”

x x x

I hope that Pilar College can reconsider its policy in view of these very clear legal mandates and institutional policy of the Department of Education. Pilar College should realize that while educational institutions can formulate their own policies, the same should not run counter to existing laws and state policies. While Pilar College claims the exercise of academic freedom, such freedom must conform to law and the basic indices of justice and fair play, as well as the corresponding exercise by students of their equally constitutionally-enshrined right to religious freedom.

Your policy appears to be premised on the fact that Pilar College being a Catholic institution, “the core of the curriculum … is Christian living, the reason why all of our schools have Christian Living/Theology/Religious Studies subjects”. You say that “our academic instruction, no matter how excellent they may be, can never be fully accomplished if we do not teach and guide our students the way to God”.

I admire your College for the noble purpose of its educational endeavors. And perhaps, a number of Muslim families in Zamboanga City harbor the same admiration, which is why they have sent their daughters to enroll in your College. In this context, I do not see how allowing your Muslim students to wear a hijab (that may be regulated and agreed upon) will prevent your College from teaching and guiding your students the way to God”, because the wearing of the hijab is by itself, a Muslim’s way to God, as the practice is part of religious studies which your College teaches.

As a matter of fact, the wearing of the hijab is akin to the wearing of the veil which is practiced by your religious orders and which has a long history of Christian usage to indicate modesty and dedication to God. It is mentioned in the Holy Bible, particularly in 1 Corinthians 11:3-10, which says, “For if a woman is not covered, let her be shaven. But if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head.”

In the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia, it says that “the taking of the veil suggested an obligation of constancy, which forbade, first, illicit sexual intercourse, and afterwards marriage itself. Virgins took this veil themselves, or received it from the hands of their parents. It was worn also by widows, who made a profession of continence, and was called velum, velamen, maforte, flammeus (flammeum), flammeus virginalis, flammeus Christi (Wilpert, “Die gottgeweihten Jungfrauen in den ersten Jahrhunderten der Kirche”, p. 17). [Quoted from http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15321c.htm%5D

More so, until the 1960s it was obligatory for Catholic women to wear a veil when going to church. The foregoing shows that Pilar College can adhere to its avowed Christian educational policy even and in fact, especially, if it allows its Muslim female students to wear their veil or hijab, becausethe wearing of the veil is as much Christian as it is Islamic.

As a final note, I hope to disabuse your position that this is a mere issue of choosing schools according to one’s community because this position is fraught with perilous implications. If we are to abide by this position and apply this indiscriminately, then we shall have schools banning students because they do not belong to their community. We shall have education apportioned to people of the same class and intolerant of others who do not belong to their class. We shall then be damaging the very ramparts of freedom and democracy upon which this nation was built.

Instead, we should look at this issue as one of policy which may be altered, or moderated, to use a more proper word. Because if policy were to be unchangeable even if it is discriminative, then Rosa Parks of the Civil Rights Era in the United States would have always been obligated to give up her seat for white passengers because it was the policy and tradition then.

The oppressive tradition of the time of Rosa Parks has changed, resulting in the election of the first black President almost four years ago. That change did not destroy America. In the same manner, allowing the hijab prohibition and regulating it in Pilar College, will not destroy the College and its noble educational goals. Nor will it impair its right to academic freedom, because in spite the hijab, Pilar College can determine its academic system of accepting students, its method of teaching and giving grades, its mode of student discipline, and the intellectual and spiritual well-being of its students as a whole.

As the wearing of the hijab or the veil is a sign of modesty and obedience to God, it can never denigrate or damage educational institutions. Instead, it can uplift the institution’s sense of modesty and morality without distinction as to religion.

Given the foregoing, I hope Pilar College can revisit its anti-hijab policy for the good of all its students, Christians and Muslims alike. We shall be happy to sit and dialogue with you, if you feel that the NCMF can contribute to the resolution of this issue.

Warm regards,

Very truly yours,

[Signed]
MEHOL K. SADAIN
Secretary/CEO

National Commission on Muslim Filipinos

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[In the news] Protecting human rights -INQUIRER.net

Protecting human rights.

By Ustadz Magadapa
Cebu Daily News
April 22, 2012

Islam provides many human rights for the individual. The following are some of these human rights that Islam protects.

The life and property of all citizens in an Islamic state are considered sacred, whether a person is Muslim or not. Islam also protects honor. So, in Islam, insulting others or making fun of them is not allowed. The Prophet Muhammad said: Truly your blood, your property, and your honor are inviolable.

Racism is not allowed in Islam, for the Qur’an speaks of human equality in the following terms Allah  said:

Islam does not reject certain individuals or nations being favored because of their wealth, power or race. God created human beings as equals who are to be distinguished from each other only on the basis of their faith and piety. The Prophet Muhammad  said: “O people! Your God is one and your forefather (Adam) is one. An Arab is not better than a non-Arab and a non-Arab is not better than an Arab, and a red (i.e., white tinged with red) person is not better than a black person and a black person is not better than a red person, except in piety”.

Read full article @ newsinfo.inquirer.net

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[In the news] PHL peace talks with MILF enters key phase on Jan. 9 – www.gmanetwork.com

PHL peace talks with MILF enters key phase on Jan. 9
Agence France Presse, www.gmanetwork.com
January 8, 2012

 The “substantive” phase of peace talks with Muslim rebels aimed at ending a long-running insurgency in the country’s troubled south.is set to begin on Monday in Kuala Lumpur, according to Secretary Teresita Deles, the presidential adviser on the peace process.

“The peace panel is currently preparing for the next round of formal talks with the MILF,” Deles said in a statement.

“As both parties are expected to delve into the substantive aspects of the negotiations, I continue to positively hope that the panels complete their tasks and come up with a framework for a political settlement in the soonest possible time,” she said.

She did not say how long the next round of talks would last, but previous closed-door negotiations typically lasted three days.

The 12,000-strong MILF has waged a rebellion since the the 1970s, and the conflict has claimed up to 150,000 lives.

Peace talks have been going on for about a decade, but have been frequently bogged down by deadly clashes with both sides accusing each other of violating a ceasefire.

Read full article @ www.gmanetwork.com

[In the news] Philippine massacre victims to file case vs Arroyo – ph.news.yahoo.com

Philippine massacre victims to file case vs Arroyo
By HRVOJE HRANJSKI | AP

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Relatives of 57 people massacred in 2009 in the southern Philippines are suing former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo over the killings, which they claim she could have prevented, a lawyer said Tuesday.

At least two Arroyo allies, including a former governor of an autonomous Muslim region, are among about 100 suspects being tried on murder charges in the country’s worst politically motivated bloodbath, which occurred two years ago Wednesday. The dead included 32 media workers, making it the worst single killing of journalists in the world.

Arroyo was arrested last week on charges that she ordered the former governor, Andal Ampatuan Sr., and another official to commit election fraud two years before the massacre. Arroyo has condemned and denied any knowledge of the killings, but lawyer Harry Roque said she should have known that Ampatuan and his son were a danger.

Roque said would file the lawsuit Tuesday, seeking 15 million pesos ($346,000) in damages.

Read full article @ ph.news.yahoo.com

[In the news] MindaNews » Villagers flee as military operation in Sibugay intensifies

MindaNews » Villagers flee as military operation in Sibugay intensifies.

By Antonio M. Manaytay

IPIL, Zamboanga Sibugay (MindaNews/25 October) – The number of families displaced by the ongoing military operation in Payao, Zamboanga Sibugay against “lawless elements” has reached 2,368 families as of Monday, records at the provincial office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development showed.

Payao Mayor Jeomar Mendoza said Monday that 917 families went to their relatives living in safer areas of the municipality. The others fled to the neighboring towns of Alicia (1,237 families) and Talusan in Olutanga Island (214 families).

Mendoza said the evacuees came from Barangay Labatan and nearby barangays.

He disclosed that he instructed the displaced families to stay with their relatives in safe areas and not to troop to the town hall since there is reportedly a threat to attack the town proper.

As part of the precautionary measures, the mayor said he ordered businesses to close by 5 p.m. daily and the municipal hospital to close at night. Those who need medical treatment at night would be referred to other hospitals in the province, he added.

Mendoza also ordered the suspension of classes in elementary and secondary schools.

Flordeliza Alar, provincial coordinator of the government’s Pantawid ng Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), said some of the displaced persons are living in makeshift tents.

“Some of these IDPs (internally displaced persons) are in government centers while most of them are living precariously with their relatives,” she added.

Alar revealed that around 350 families in Barangay Labatan were trapped by the intense firefights that erupted Monday between government troops and suspected lawless elements.

Payao municipal welfare officer Belen Clavejo Diaz, however, assured that the local government was “doing its best to respond to the needs of the IDPs.”

Diaz said relief goods have been delivered to the IDPs, although she acknowledged difficulty in locating them since most of them are staying with their relatives.

Mendoza said they have extended relief goods to some 700 families.

OV-10 bombers did two rounds in sitio Taib, Barangay Labatan at noon Monday, and a third at around 4:30 p.m. on the same day. The explosions could be heard as far as Ipil, some 60 kilometers west of the site of encounter.

Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, Western Mindanao Command spokesperson, said four Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels were killed in the renewed assault on a suspected lair of “lawless elements” in Labatan. Two soldiers were killed and four others were injured.

He clarified the assault was aimed at dismantling a criminal group under Juaning Abdusalam in line with President Aquino’s directive for the military and police to go after lawless elements.

Abdusallam reportedly leads a lawless group with alleged links to the MILF. His men were the suspects of the Oct. 8 kidnapping of Monalisa Capa in Pitogo town, Zamboanga del Sur.

Wesmincom chief Lt. Gen. Raymundo Ferrer said the joint law enforcement operations against the group of Abdulsalam will continue.

“He should be brought to justice for all the past kidnappings and extortions done by him and his group.” Ferrer said.

Read full article @ www.mindanews.com

[Press Release] War Spills Into the Internet, Blogger and Peace Advocate Calls for Ceasefire – www.krislibrary.com

War has appeared to have spilled into the social networking sites in the Internet and a journalist-turned-peace advocate and blogger has called on Filipino Netizens to keep their emotions in check as real people are dying, wounding and evacuating from conflict areas in Mindanao.

Smiling Children in Time of Uncertainty. Christian and Muslim students of the Claret Kindergarten School of Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugaysing after receiving 8 boxes of books, school supplies and snacks brought to them by the Kris Peace Library recently. The donations came from the Kaisa Para Sa Kaunlaran Foundation and the Kapatiran Inyong Dapat Suportation of actor-businessman Diether Ocampo. The school is located near an MILF stronghold in Zamboanga Sibugay.

“Real people are dying from real bullets in Mindanao. The killings are turning real people into widows, real children into orphans; and real parents seeing children dying ahead of them. The least we can do as we sit before our computers and detached from this bloody environment is to keep the level of hate and passion low,” said Armand Nocum, a former reporter of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Now a blogger (Dean’s Office) at his Kristiyano-Islam (Kris) Peace Library (www.krislibrary.com) web site, Nocum had noticed that news or personal posting regarding the rise in the number of Philippine soldiers and policemen who die in the series of skirmishes with the Abu Sayyaf and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have elicited online reaction that borders on racial and religious discrimination.

“We must remember that our soldiers are fighting rebel and terrorist groups – both soldiers and rebel fighters are combatants and casualties happen on both sides. Let us not bring innocent Muslim civilians in the equation because they are victims like all of us,” said Nocum, who is married to a Muslim.

The Nocums and Christian and Muslim friends and relatives have started the peace and literacy advocacy to bring better understanding and unity among cultures by building Kris Peace Libraries in areas populated by Christians and Muslims.

Two of the five libraries set up by Kris are located in Zamboanga Sibugay where fresh fighting have erupted among military and police forces and armed men believed to belong to the MILF.

Other Kris Libraries where poor Christians and Muslims come together to do research, study and have free use of computers are located in Zamboanga City, Rodriguez, Rizal; and Quezon City. About half of the 102 scholars of Kris have graduated valedictorians and salutatorians; and with-honors.

Nocum noted that most of the acerbic comments are those calling for a declaration of a total war in Mindanao and criticizing the AquinoAdministration for being too weak to go after the rebels. The nasty ones describe Muslims as people who cannot be trusted.

“All the emotionally-charged and general attacks between and among all Filipinos only paint a picture of us in the global community as a country and people at war with itself. We must all work for peace both in and out of cyberspace,” said Nocum, who was born in Zamboanga City.

A Manila-based public relations executive, Nocum called on Filipino Netizens to instead project the good things that bring unity and understanding between civilian Christians and Muslims in the country.

An avid user of the social networking sites to include Facebook, Nocum said Kris Library managed to set up five libraries, received books, computer and cash donations through Netizens here and abroad.

“About 90 percent of the people who donated to us after learning about our literacy cause from media and the Internet are the people who have yet to formally meet us in person,” he said.

(30)

Reference:
Arizza Nocum, Kris Library Administrator
09995609435 / 3522313
krispeacelibrary@gmail.com

[In the news] New history aims to aid peace efforts – www.cathnewsphil.com

New history aims to aid peace efforts

CATHOLIC educators meeting in Davao City, southern Philippines, announced yesterday they aim to correct historical biases and inaccuracies about Mindanao and its inhabitants, especially the Muslims and indigenous people, in elementary and high school textbooks.

Members of the Catholic Education Association of the Philippines (CEAP), meeting for a three-day national convention that began yesterday, agreed to rewrite history textbooks that religious leaders say “shore up biases against the Muslim and indigenous culture.”

Read full article @ www.cathnewsphil.com

[In the news] Muslim youth fight 9/11 biases with ‘jihad by heart’ – GMAnews.tv

Muslim youth fight 9/11 biases with ‘jihad by heart’
PATERNO ESMAQUEL II, GMA News

A decade after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States by Islamic extremists, young Muslim Filipinos are coping with the backlash against their religion by promoting peace instead of waging war on other faiths.

“Kumbaga una mong kakalabanin ‘yung sarili mo na hindi ka gagawa ng mali,” said Shahanee Lao Balindong, who is taking up a master’s degree course in Islamic Studies at the University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman.

She explained that jihad, the Islamic concept that extremists used to justify the 9/11 attacks, can be understood on three levels – “by heart, by tongue, and by the sword.” Jihad by the heart, which involves an internal struggle to live by Islamic teachings, is the “greater” type of jihad compared to jihad by the sword, which involves the use of brute force, she added.

Balindong is a member of the UP Muslim Students’ Association (UP-MSA), which was established in the 1960s and whose younger generation is more focused on academics and socio-cultural activities in an effort to erase negative perceptions about Islam.

GMA News Online interviewed some UP-MSA members a few days before the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that killed 3,000 people, triggering reprisals by Western allies against various targets in the Islamic community. The threats against the west have continued despite the assassination of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden this year.

At the UP-MSA tambayan, which also serves as their prayer room in the secular state university of mostly non-Muslims, the students said jihad is not equivalent to the violent “holy war” that terrorists waged against America. Rather, it is more appropriate to understand jihad as a struggle to remain faithful to Islam.

Read full article @ www.gmanews.tv

[Press Release] First Filipina-Muslim Zonta International Awardee To Donate Part of Her US $4,000 Prize Money to Empower Muslim Women and Children

YOUNG FILIPINA RECOGNIZED INTERNATIONALLY FOR PUBLIC SERVICE. Arizza Ann S. Nocum (3rd from right) was awarded as one of Zonta International’s Young Women for Public Affairs last Saturday at a ceremony held at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza. She is the first Filipina with this distinction. Personally giving out her certificates and prize are District 17 Governor Georgitta Pimentel-Puyat (2nd from right) and Zonta International President Dianne K. Curtis (4th from left). Nocum plans to donate part of her $4,000 prize money to her Muslim-Christian advocacy, the Kristiyano-Islam Peace Library, in the spirit of Eid’l Fitr.

The first Filipina Muslim to win the prestigious Zonta International Young Women for Public Affairs (YWPA) Award is donating part of her US $4,000 prize money to uplift through education the lives of poor Muslim women and children in Mindanao.

“Amid the celebration of the Eid’l Fitr, I lament and continue to be disturbed by the problems affecting the Muslim society in the Philippines, especially the sad plight of Muslim women and children. I am donating part of the US $4,000 prize from Zonta Foundation — which was given to me for my educational advancement — to the Kristiyano-Islam Peace Library (KRIS) to finance its literacy programs,” Arriza Ann Sahi Nocum said.

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[In the news] Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines urges government to pursue peace talks | Sun.Star

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines urges government to pursue peace talks | Sun.Star.

AS THE Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rejected the government’s proposal to grant its autonomy, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has urged the government to pursue the peace talks in Mindanao.

Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, chairperson of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Inter-religious Dialogue, said there is nothing wrong if the government decides to bring the peace negotiations beyond the representatives of the MILF.

“I think, maraming (many) Christians and Muslim communities that are also aspiring for a lasting peace process,” Archbishop Ledesma said.

On Tuesday, the MILF rejected the government’s proposal for autonomy in Mindanao but said it will continue the peace talks.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

[In the news] MILF rejects autonomy offer; Leonen, Deles see opening – GMAnews.tv

MILF rejects autonomy offer; Leonen, Deles see opening
AMITA LEGASPI, GMA News

Malacañang revealed Tuesday that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) initially rejected the autonomy framework proposed to them to get the exploratory talks started, but chief government negotiator Marvic Leonen said the current divide allows for ample room for agreement on issues as the talks progress.

Leonen cautioned against quick judgment on government’s sincerity based on comparisons between its autonomy offer and the overtly declared sub-state aspirations of the MILF.

MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal said their chairman, Al Haj Murad explained their sub-state proposal when they met in Tokyo last August 4.

“Basically, the sub-state is still under the Philippines and it has layers of power and authority reserved for the central government, which are foreign relations, national defense, currency and postal services and there is residual power for the sub-state,” Iqbal said a few days after the Tokyo meeting.

Read full article @ www.gmanews.tv

[Press Release] Filipino-Chinese Community Donates Books and School Supplies To Mindanao Amid Peace Problem There

Kaisa Helping Poor Kids Amid Fresh Violence in Mindanao. Sitti B. Azib (center), an outstanding scholar of the Kristiyano-Islam Peace Library (Kris), receives school supplies during a recent gift-giving activity at the Kris Peace Library in Manicahan, Zamboanga City. Armand Nocum (right) and Flor Nocum (beside Nocum), Kris founder and donor, respectively, will open the 4th library in Tungawan, Zamboanga del Sur and distribute books and school supplies to poor children who swim to school in Layag Layag, Zamboanga City. The Kaisa Para sa Kaunlaran Inc (Kaisa), one of the country’s leading Filipino-Chinese organizations, have donated school supplies to poor Christian and Muslim children in Tungawan and Layag Layag. Photo by KRIS

Kaisa Helping Poor Kids Amid Fresh Violence in Mindanao. Sitti B. Azib (center), an outstanding scholar of the Kristiyano-Islam Peace Library (Kris), receives school supplies during a recent gift-giving activity at the Kris Peace Library in Manicahan, Zamboanga City. Armand Nocum (right) and Flor Nocum (beside Nocum), Kris founder and donor, respectively, will open the 4th library in Tungawan, Zamboanga del Sur and distribute books and school supplies to poor children who swim to school in Layag Layag, Zamboanga City. The Kaisa Para sa Kaunlaran Inc (Kaisa), one of the country’s leading Filipino-Chinese organizations, have donated school supplies to poor Christian and Muslim children in Tungawan and Layag Layag. Photo by KRIS

Amid renewed clashes between the military and terrorist groups in Mindanao, the Filipino-Chinese community has stepped up its support for the cause of educating poor kids who swim their way to school in Western Mindanao as a long-lasting solution to the peace and order problem there.
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[Press Release] KRIS Library to Give Books and School Supplies to Kids Who Swim to Schools in Zamboanga Peninsula

Poor Muslim children try their hands at one of the eight computers free for their use at the Kristiyano-Islam (Kris) Peace Library in Manicahan, Zamboanga City. Kris will soon be giving books and school supplies to equally poor Christian and Muslim children who swim or wade to school and libraries every day in the Zamboanga Peninsula. Caption and Photo by KRIS

By Arizza Sahi Nocum

KRIS Volunteer

Four scholars at the 5,000-book-collection-full Kristiano-Islam Peace Library are deep in thought as they do their “group assignment” at the two-story Kris Library in Barangay Manicahan, Zamboanga City. The Kaisa Heritage Foundation and the actor Diether Ocampo’s Kabataan Inyong Dapat Suportahan (KIDS) Foundation are helping Kris build and refurbish ill-equipped libraries in remote areas in the Philippines.

The Kristiyano-Islam Peace Library (Kris) will give books and school supplies to poor Muslim children who swim at sea or wade through turbulent river waters to reach their schools in two remote villages in Zamboanga City and Zamboanga de Sur.

Kris has partnered with the Kaisa Heritage Foundation and actor-businessman Diether “Diet” Ocampo’s Kabataan Inyong Dapat Supportahan (KIDS) Foundation to also help refurbish book-deprived libraries used by kids in Layag Layag and Tungawan in Zamboanga City and Zamboanga del Sur, respectively.

“Parents and public school officials in Manila panic about suspending classes during heavy rains. In the communities we are helping, swimming and wading to school through turbulent seas and rivers with rampaging waters is a most natural thing kids do to get to school,’’ said Armand Dean Nocum, founder of Kris, a non-government organization engaged in the building of libraries, refurbishing of incomplete libraries and the distribution of books to poor and remote communities.

In Zamboanga City, Kris will help fill up with books the Talon-Talon Elementary School library which is used by Muslim kids coming the from the Layag-Layag mangrove community—kids who wade or swim to school through the open sea for two hours every day.

“We’ll also give the Layag-Layag kids textbooks from Kaisa Foundation under Ms. Teresita Ang See so they will no longer risk their lives or get wet swimming ashore just to copy from or borrow textbooks from their classmates,” Nocum said.
In Tungawan, Sibugay, Zamboanga del Sur, Kris will help fill up the library of the Claret Mission Center of Claretian priest Fr. Larry Lorenzo so kids there will no longer have to walk hours over a combination of muddy, stony mountain terrain; and flood-prone rivers to reach the town’s public library.

Ocampo’s KIDS Foundation will also help Kris complete its second library in an informal settler community in Barangay Holy Spirit, Quezon City. Kris built its first two-story library in Manicahan, Zamboanga City where kids now do  research and gain free access to its eight donated computers.

Kris is among the beneficiaries of the2nd Diether Ocampo Celebrity Charity Golf Cup in Tagaytay Highlands on July 21, 2011.

“We hope people will support this charity golf cup to help raise funds for many of our literacy advocacy projects,” said Nocum.

Those interested to join the 2nd Diether Ocampo Cup, which will see the gathering of many showbiz personalities may call Ms. Peach or Marose at 09228734183, 09195897879, 352-2313 or contact Kris at http://www.krislibrary.com for tickets.

People can also help by donating books, school supplies and old computers by bringing them at the Kris drop-off points at Kris Library, No. 9, Dona Isidora Street, Don Antonio Heights, Diliman Quezon City or at Dean & Kings Legal PR and Communications Marketing firm located at Suite 300, Kimvi Realty & Dev’t Bldg, 1191 Maria Orosa St., Ermita, Manila (please check Pls call me there at Tel 3393732/Cel. 09228169510. Pls look for Jess/Rose. Tnx.http://www.krislibrary.com/contact-us.html for map and direction).

Reference:
Arizza Nocum
09995609435
352 2313 / 571 8997
arizza.nocum@gmail.com