26. Extra-Judicial Killings.Speaking to ANC's Ricky Carandang on The Big Picture just now, Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo said that the Bishops have a "a long list of people" who've been killed not by the government, but as a result of NPA raids on police stations to capture weapons and ammo, in the collection of revolutionary taxes and other extortion/protection rackets run by the communist armed groups. So far, as both Ricky and Lagdameo noted, the Media reportage has painted a one-sided picture of who is commiting these "extrajudicial" killings. I've put quote marks on the word "extrajudicial" because I realize now that this term is loaded against the government and the military. I've opined in numerous recent posts that people should not assume that all or even most of these murders are all the work of rightist of paramilitary groups, though some undoubtedly are. Likewise, the murder of journalists cannot possibly be blamed on any one single cause or perpetrator. These revelations by Lagdameo reflect the reality that the communist insurgency in the Philippines has taken a heavy toll in human life, especially out in the countrysides, where indeed the Catholic Church cannot ignore them, as they surely oversee the last, tragic rights for the victims of the CPP NPA. I'm glad they've weighed in on this issue because it sounds like they know what is really going on! Shame on Media that beats its chest about "the right of the public to know!"
On extra-judicial killings, the CBCP stand is of long standing. We have issued statements on this issue in the past. Needless to say, we join the outcry of groups that have denounced the increasing number of extra-judicial killings of journalists and social activists suspected as sympathizers of insurgents allegedly by some ultra-rightist elements in the military. But at the same time, we cannot close our eyes to the great number of extra-judicial killings that sometimes do not come to light in the newspapers but are known to us in our dioceses. These are killings reported by our people as allegedly perpetrated by insurgents for various reasons, such as agaw-armas operations,the failure to pay a revolutionary tax, or "blood-debt to the people."
These we also unequivocally denounce. The defense of human rights and of human dignity must itself be just. It has to be impartial, irrespective of religious belief or ideology.
UNCLEAR AND AMBIGUOUS: Groans of disappointment can be heard in many places over the "disinclination" of the Bishops to support the second impeachment complaints. I was not at all surprised at their basic position, but I was aghast at the mangled, confused statement of it:
24. Impeachment.Dong Puno Live had the good commentary on this matter, mainly from Prof. Magay of the University of the Philippines. She pointed out how contradictory it was to want a search for the truth but not to support the impeachment, since it IS the only peaceful, Constitutional means of getting at the truth for a high official like the President, who can't otherwise be used. She also criticized the Bishop's position as one of "bad prophesy" by predicting certain failure of the impeachment process and bad faith on both sides, instead of promoting a "culture of hope." Touché, Prof!
We wish to make the CBCP position clear and unambiguous on the present impeachment plans:
24.1. We are undoubtedly for the search for truth. Therefore, in all sincerity we respect the position of individuals or groups that wish to continue using the impeachment process to arrive at the truth.
24.2. But as Bishops reflecting and acting together as a body in plenary assembly, in the light of previous circumstances, we are not inclined at the present moment to favor the impeachment process as the means for establishing the truth. For unless the process and its rules as well as the mindsets of all participating parties, pro and con, are guided by no other motive than genuine concern for the common good, impeachment will once again serve as an unproductive political exercise, dismaying every citizen, and deepening the citizen's negative perception of politicians, left, right and center.
WHAT SCARES BISHOPS ABOUT SEX AND SEX ED? They are afraid the kids will find out that sex is fun and all become sluts and studs. That became obvious after Tina Monson Palma asked a Deped official if "the joy of sex" was part of their sex education plans. To which she got a shivering, shuddering, "Oh no, we would never teach children that!".
Under tremendous pressure from the Catholic Church, the Deped has completely capitulated and halted a pilot program on reproductive health classes for high school seniors while the Opus Dei cuts and pastes "abstinence" and "chastity" all over the course content. The Inquisitor-Censor is again Antonio Torralba of the University of Asia and Pacific. This is the same person who caused the ABOLITION of Grades One and Two Science courses in all public elementary schools starting with the 2002 Basic Ed Curriculum.
22. The Family under Siege.Oh well, expect some lurid exposés on the sex and private lives of the Bishops from the Main Stream Media...
We are deeply troubled by attempts to legislate or make as state policy ideas that tend to weaken or even destroy cherished religious values regarding the nature of life, the nature of marriage as union of man and woman, child bearing, the values formation of children, etc. Such ideas are part of an orientation that is fundamentally secularistic and materialistic, separated from their religious and moral roots. We find them in pending bills about population, marriage and family, reproductive health, and sex education in schools. The Filipino family is ill-served by these developments. As the foundation of a civilization of life and love, the family is most seriously threatened. Therefore, Catholic lay groups as well as our Bishops' Commission on Family and Life have made many public interventions about these and they shall continue to do so.