Tag Archives: religious

[Statement] Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines on the enactment of the Anti-Terrorism Law

AMRSP Statement on the enactment of the Anti-Terrorism Law

The Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines is deeply saddened by the signing of the Anti-Terror Law which takes effect 15 days from now.

In a previous statement, we have joined the voices of concern and opposition to this draconian measure that we firmly believe will stifle basic rights and freedoms.

In light of faith, we cannot in conscience accede to a law that may assault human dignity and human rights. At a time that our people are battling the effects of Covid19, we find no reason to pass a law that does not serve to alleviate their miserable plight. Unemployment, the closure of businesses, the continuing spread of the virus, and the lack of relief for our people are the most pressing concerns at this time.

We welcome the move of lawyers, religious and other civic leaders in filing an urgent petition in the Supreme Court.

We pray that the Supreme Court grants the petition for a Temporary Restraining Order. We trust that the good women and men of the highest court of the land will be guided by the common good of all and by the Philippine Constitution. We implore them that in these gathering clouds of darkness, let the light of rule of law and ultimately, justice shine ever bright.

We ask all women and men of goodwill, fellow religious and all who cherish our rights and freedoms: Stand Your Ground and Be with the Poor and Downtrodden!
Truth, justice and peace will prevail.

“We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” – 2 Corinthians 4:8

Signed:
FR. CIELITO R. ALMAZAN, OFM                                            SR. MARILYN A. JAVA, RC
AMRSP Co-Chairpersons

July 6, 2020

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[Statement] NO to a charter change that will further entrench political dynasties, extend terms of office and surrender our sovereignty! -AMRSP

NO to a charter change that will further entrench political dynasties, extend terms of office and surrender our sovereignty!

STATEMENT ON THE 32ND ANNIVERSARY OF EDSA I

“If my people… shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my presence,
and turn from their evil ways, I will forgive them their sins, and I will revive their land.” 2 Chr 7:14

We, the members of the ASSOCIATION OF MAJOR RELIGIOUS SUPERIORS IN THE PHILIPPINES, join the whole nation in celebrating the 32nd Anniversary of the 1986 EDSA Revolution. From the dark years of martial law until the fall of the dictatorship, the Church had played an important role. Throughout the years, the Church has had an undeniable influence in shaping the Philippines’ history.

The birth of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP) in the early 70s, in particular, was a reaction and an answer to the realities during those turbulent years. This year, in celebration of the anniversary of People Power I, the AMRSP also rekindle that fire of hope in a miracle that a peaceful revolution is indeed possible.

To dream the impossible dream – At EDSA we fulfilled a seemingly impossible dream. A united people toppled a dictatorship after 14 long years of tyranny and darkness. At EDSA, we shouted NEVER AGAIN! The aftermath of EDSA I saw in the Filipino nation a genuine sense of hope. Our bishops in those times saw the events of February 1986 as having renewed the Filipinos’ faith in each other, the faith in their nation, and deeper still, our faith in God who writes our history.

To fight the unbeatable foe – Fourteen long years of struggle and resistance paid for by blood, sweat and tears of our martyrs and heroes paved the way for the EDSA uprising. The unsung, faceless and nameless heroes and martyrs of the resistance paid with their lives so that we may taste freedom and democracy. We showed the world that dictatorship can be toppled. Tyranny can collapse in the face of a united and determined people rising up to change their lot.

To bear with unbearable sorrow – More than 100,000 victims of human rights violations and their descendants still bear the sorrow of a disappeared kin, a salvaged son or daughter, a tortured freedom fighter and the years of separation because of imprisonment.

To run where the brave dare not go. – AMRSP cast its lot with the poor, deprived, oppressed but struggling sectors of our society. True to its prophetic tradition it members immersed themselves in factories, slums, haciendas, in the lupang ninuno of the IPs and lumads, in the mountains even. And these they all did, our forebears, to “right the unrightable wrong”, “to love pure and chaste” not from afar but totally immersed in the daily life-struggles of the workers, peasants, indigenous peoples, urban poor, women and youth.

At EDSA we reached that unreachable star!

Today we are once again called to continue to dream and to toil in the vineyard to realize that dream. The struggle to emancipate our people from poverty and want remains an “unbeatable foe”. Dynasties and elitism remain an “unrightable wrong”. Tyranny and the insatiable lust for wealth and power remain the bane of our leaders. Hate and divisions reign in our politics, culture and social life! Indeed there is a pressing need to change ourselves and our society!

This year, the Philippine Church celebrates the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons. These same people stood side by side with other Filipinos and faced the danger of being killed; men and women armed with rosaries, flowers and prayers. The legacy of EDSA I and the lessons that we learn from it bid us to assert and fight for the following ideals:

Never Again to tyranny and dictatorship!
Yes to rule of law and justice!
Yes to an equitable distribution of our wealth and resources!
No to political dynasties!
Yes to people empowerment and a government for, of and by the people!

Today we say NO to a charter change that will further entrench political dynasties, extend terms of office and surrender our sovereignty!

Today we march for our rights, our freedoms and our dreams for a better life for our people!

Today we light a candle for peace and justice, for all of Creation. Today we light a candle in hope that we may be led to the path of righteousness and a land flowing with milk and honey.

Follow AMRSP @
Website: http://www.amrsp.ph
Facebook: @amrsp.org

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[Statement] On the gruesome killing of a Filipino transgender woman by a US Serviceman -OWGC

Statement on the gruesome killing of a Filipino transgender woman by a US Serviceman
October 20, 2014

Our shock and horror over the gruesome killing of Filipino transgender woman Jennifer (legal name: Jeffrey) Laude by a US marine serviceman are accompanied by grave concern about how the case will progress and the kind of justice that might prevail in the end given the circumstances surrounding the case.

owgc
1. The crime committed and the suspect are covered by the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the United States that puts a Filipino crime victim at a disadvantage. A provision in the VFA gives the US custody of a crime suspect being tried who is a member of the US visiting forces.

2. Laude, the latest victim, is a member of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community that, in present society, continues to suffer discrimination, marginalization, exclusion and hate crimes. Such is the result of centuries-old societal biases toward those who “do not fit” into the so-called mainstream.

3. The victim belongs to a family of humble means whose resources might not see them through the whole legal process while the suspect has the whole US military might behind him.

We do not want to see a repeat of a past case that saw a rape suspect spirited away by his US defenders through the use of wile and force, resulting in the victim’s capitulation (despite overwhelming support from anti-violence against women advocates) and an acquittal.

Laude is dead and cannot give an account of what happened. We call on witnesses to put aside fear and come forward with what they know. We call on

Laude’s family and supporters to stay the course and not be cowed into giving up. We call on Laude’s critics to hold their judgment. We call on our government officials and lawmakers to re-examine the onerous provisions in the VFA.

Even while protecting the rights of a US citizen, in this case, US Marine PFC Joseph Scott Pemberton, who is a crime suspect, the US government should refrain from using might to get its own brand of justice, with little regard for Philippine sovereignty.

We pray that genuine justice based on the truth will be served—for both the victim and the accused.

Office of Women and Gender Concerns

Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines

Sr. Mary John Mananzan OSB
Fr. Quirico Pedregoza OP
Chairpersons

Sr. Aurora Zambrano ICM
Chair emeritus
Board Members
Sr. Graziella Aseberos DOLSH
Sr. Betty Baroro PDDM
Ma. Ceres P. Doyo
Atty. Corazon Fabros
Sr. Lucila Vasquez SP
Sr. Leonila Villanueva FMM

Contact:
Office of Women and Gender Concerns
Mission Partner of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines
3F St. Scholastica’s College Museum
884 P. Ocampo St., Malate, Manila, PHILIPPINES
owgc_14@yahoo.com, 02-2636208

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[Statement] Unemployment: Social Exclusion not Pleasing to God. By Bp Gerardo Alminaza, DD

Unemployment: Social Exclusion not Pleasing to God
April 11, 2014

by BISHOP GERARDO ALMINAZA, DD
Bishop of San Carlos, Negros Oriental
Convenor, Visayas Clergy Discernment Group

There is poverty and suffering in the country and the world, not because of overpopulation but because of inequality, manifested in the huge mass of people being excluded from gainful livelihood (unemployment).

Bp Gerardo Alminaza cropped

Pope Francis lamented, “The unemployed and underemployed risk being relegated to the margins of society, becoming victims of social exclusion.”

Myrna, a worker in an Export Processing Zone in Mactan, Cebu, shared with me how the company summarily terminated her from work when they started organizing workers against the oppressive working conditions in the garment factory where she worked.

Unemployment
Myrna is not alone. Despite the Philippines registering the highest gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate in Southeast Asian regions last year,“the latest Labor Force Survey pegs unemployment at 6.5% of the national workforce and, more tellingly, underemployment at 17.9% (the latter being the percentage of the workforce that is employed but looking for additional work)” (Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines [CBCP] 2014 Lenten Message).

In January 2014, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said, the unemployment rate climbed to 7.5 percent from last year’s 7.1 percent even after the GDP last year grew 7.2 percent.

“In its survey on poverty for the last quarter of 2013, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) reports that 55% of respondents actually consider themselves poor, up from 50% the previous quarter. Clearly, many people see themselves as being excluded from opportunities to live a decent life”(CBCP 2014 Lenten Message).

Pope Francis considers UNEMPLOYMENT as a very serious problem affecting many countries: “It is the consequence of an economic system that is no longer able to create work, because it has placed at its centre the idol of money.” (March 20, 2014, to employees and managers of a steel company).

Pope Francis deplored today’s world where “everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape. Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded… Those excluded are no longer society’s underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised – they are no longer even a part of it. The excluded are not the “exploited” but the outcast, the “leftovers” (cf. Evangelii Gaudium [EG], 53)

The CBCP 2014 Lenten Message said that we experience moral destitution as inequality. It quoted Pope Francis’ critique of capitalism: “Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting” (EG, 54).

Solidarity
Each individual Christian and every community is called to be an instrument of God for the liberation and promotion of the poor, and for enabling them to be fully a part of society. This demands that we be docile and attentive to the cry of the poor and to come to their aid (EG, 187).

The Visayas Clergy Discernment Group and the Cebu Archdiocesan Discernment Group have, in various instances, supported workers’ struggle against union-busting. Cebu Archbishop Jose S. Palma mediated a labor dispute where the company was set to terminate 18 workers, including leaders of the labor union. After interventions, termination of workers did not push through.

Pope Francis said to workers and managers: “The various political, social and economic actors are called upon to promote a different approach, based on justice and solidarity, to ensure the possibility of dignified work for all.”

“This great challenge requires the involvement of the Christian community as a whole. The first challenge is to revive the roots of faith and of our adhesion to Jesus Christ. This is the inspiring principle in the choices of a Christian: faith. Faith moves mountains! Christian faith is able to enrich society through the concrete element of brotherhood it embodies. … Never cease to hope for a better future. Do not let yourselves be trapped in the vortex of pessimism! If everyone does his part, if we all put the human person and his dignity at the centre, and if we consolidate an attitude of solidarity and fraternal sharing, inspired by the Gospel, we can emerge from the swamp of this difficult and burdensome period of economic turmoil”.

Workers’ Empowerment
The Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP 2) in 1991 said that in our country “where the poor and marginalized have little genuine participation… we realize that integral development of people will be possible only with their corresponding empowerment” (PCP 2, 326).

PCP 2 declared that, “We need to activate fundamental charisms of freedom and responsibility, and encourage the emergence of people’s organizations, sectoral associations, inspired by the principle of solidarity and empowered by the principle of subsidiarity”(PCP 2,328).

For the workers, it is important that they become organized in labor unions and workers’ associations for them to be empowered in charting their future. It is imperative for the Church’s Social Action Centers to have programs in helping facilitate the building up of workers’ organizations.

It is only through organized strength that workers will participate in social development, as “No social transformation is genuine and lasting where people themselves do not actively participate in the process” (PCP 2, 325).

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[Statement] AMRSP statement on the Tampakan massacre -AMRSP

AMRSP statement on the Tampakan massacre

“Who has appointed you ruler and judge over us…? (Exodus 2:14)”

We, the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines condemned the treacherous killing of Family members of a B’laan tribe leader opposed to the entry of Sagittarius Mines Incorporated (SMI) in their ancestral domain area during a raid conducted by the military at their farm house. Three (3) members of Capion family died while the youngest daughter was wounded. The massacre on October 18, 2012 at about 6:30 in the morning in Sitio Fayahlob, Barangay Datal Aliong, Kiblawan, Davao del Sur, is a manifestation of heartlessness and ruthlessness on the part of the perpetrators and criminals in uniform who were members of 27th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army.

AMRSP denounces this massacre for no one has the right to deprive anyone of the gift of life through an unjust and inhuman way. We demand justice for the members of Capion family who were brutally murdered. The voice of the woman victim who was pregnant and her children who were helplessly killed while still in bed shouted for justice to the heavens! We cannot simply be silent with this show of impunity for aside from the fact that the victims were defenseless; a mother and her children, their only sin is to stand for what they think is truthful and just!

We call on the present government to order an immediate and thorough investigation to ensure that justice be served. The residents in the area testified that they did not hear any exchanges of gunfire; they only heard two bursts of gunfire, which would be validated according to the detailed account of the witness who was interviewed. The witness claimed that the 2nd strafing of the military was done 20-25 meters away from the house where the mother and her child lay wounded, so the claim of the military that the victims were caught in a crossfire was false and could not be substantiated. The excessive use of force by the military should be thoroughly investigated, because they have known that the people there were civilians as the place and the farm house is visible. We call on the Armed Forces of the Philippines to immediately pull out the military detachment in the area, as the community feared more violations may happen after the killing of Capion’s family.

May this occasion urge the government to seriously take action on behalf of the indigenous people and other sectors who are oppose to mining for this will wantonly damage the environment which we all hailed to be sacred and also damages the future resource for our children’s children.

AMRSP extends its sympathy to the surviving members of the Capion family and we assure them that the lives of their mother and their siblings will forever be remembered by all who work for justice and peace and the protection of Mother Earth!

May the God hear the cries of all victims of violence and may they obtain justice!
For Reference:

Fr. Marlon A. Lacal, O.Carm
AMRSP C0-EXECUTIVE SECRETARY

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