Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Two Sermons

Here are two homilies on the same subject matter. The first was delivered by Fr. Jose "Joey" Echano, father rector of the Chruch of Perpetual Help on 25 February 2008 at our Mass for Truth. The second was delivered at the La Salle Gym Mass for Truth by Fr. Manoling Francisco, SJ.

PEOPLE POWER 2008

Una sa lahat, sa ngalan po ng Redemptorist community dito sa Baclaran malugod ko kayong tinatanggap at wini-welcome sa Pambansang Dambana ng Ina ng Laging Saklolo. Tayo ngayon ay nasa harap ng banal na larawan ng ating Mahal na Ina ng Laging Saklolo. Tunay na ang ating mahal na Ina ay saksi sa mga makasaysayang pangyayari sa ating bansa.

Noong 1986, ang mga Comelec computer encoders na nagtatabulate ng boto ng snap elections ay humingi ng kanlungan dito sa dambana ng ating mahal na ina pagkatapos na sila ay nag walk out sa kanilang mga computer consoles sa PICC sapagkat ipinapagawa sa kanila ang isang bagay na di nila kayang masikmura – ang pagdaya at pagtakip sa katotohanan. Alam naman nating lahat na ang walk out na ito para sa katotohanan ang isa sa mga naging mitsa ng people power noong EDSA 1.

Ngayon tayo muli ay lumalapit sa kanyang banal na larawan sa panahong pilit na itinatago at pinagtatakpan sa atin ang katotohanan. Tayo ay nahaharap sa isang krisis ng katotohanan at moralidad sa pamamahala na nagbabadya ng panganib at kapahamakan. Subalit ito rin ang naging mitsa upang muli ang sambayanan ay magsama-sama at mapukaw sa pagkakahimbing.

Sa paglapit natin kay Maria sa gitna ng paghahanap natin ng katotohanan, si Maria sa kanyang larawan ay itinuturo tayo sa kanyang anak na si Jesus. Lagi tayong pinapa-alalahanan ni Maria na dapat tayong naka-sentro kay Kristo. Narinig natin si Jesus sa ebanghelyo: "Kung tinutupad ninyo ang aking aral, kayo nga'y tunay na mga alagad ko; v32makikilala ninyo ang katotohanan, at ang katotohanan ang magpapalaya sa inyo." Kung tayo’y nakasentro kay Kristo malalaman natin ang katotohanan. Malalaman natin ang katotohanan kung tayo lamang ay nakasentro kay Jesus. Si Jesus ang katotohanan. Si Jesus ang tunay na laging saklolo ni Maria. Samakatuwid, si Jesus ang katotohanan, ang ating walang hanggang saklolo.

Mga kapatid, tunay na maraming kasinungalingan at pagtakip sa katotohanan sa ating bansa ngayon hindi lamang sa pinakamataas pati na rin sa pinakamababa, mula sa lipunan hanggang sa personal. Isa sa pinakamalaking sakit na yata ng ating bansa ngayon ay “Truth Decay.” Malala na masyado ang truth decay kaya hindi na kaya ng pasta at root canal na lamang, kailangan nang bunutin ito.

Ang sinasabi nila: “Huwag na nating pag-usapan ang katotohanan. Mag move on na lang tayo.” Oo masakit ang katotohanan, pero kailangan natin ang katotohanan upang tayo ay umunlad. Sinasabi nila na tayo daw ay nag-iingay at nanggugulo lamang. Bakit di na lang tayo sumabay sa pag-unlad ng ekonomiya?

Ang sinasabi natin ay walang tunay na kaunlaran kung walang katotohanan. Ang ating bansa ay di makakamove-on kung nababalot ng kasinungalingan at kaplastikan. Mas mabuti pang gobyerno na may mababang pag-unlad subalit ang nakikinabang ay ang mga mahihirap, pero isang gobyernong na totoo naman keysa isang gobyerno na may mataas na pag-unlad kuno subalit ang nakikinabang naman ay ang mga makapangyarihan at mayayaman, pero isang gobyernong sinungaling naman.

Marami tayong gustong malaman na katotohanan, maliban sa nakakagimbal na NBN-ZTE deal, gusto natin malaman ang katotohanan sa likod ng extra-judicial killing – humigit kumulang 800 na ang pinaslang ng walang pangkatarungang proseso, at 100 na ang sapilitang nawawala, sa fertilizer scam, sa Hello Garci scam, sa north rail at south rail.

Ngayon tuloy lang ba tayo sa pag-unlad samantalang maraming dumi na itinatago sa ilalim ng carpet? Hindi sapat laman na malaman natin ang katotohanan. Ang katotohanan ay may kaalinsunod na pananagutan. Kailangang panagutin ang may sala at palayain ang walang sala. Hindi kalimutan na lang natin at magkasundo na tayo. Ang mahirap sa ating mga Pilipino, maikli ang ating memorya. Kay dali nating makalimot at mabagal tayong matuto.

“Makikilala ninyo ang katotohanan, at ang katotohanan ang magpapalaya sa inyo." Sa ating pagtuklas sa katotohanan, tayo ay nagiging malaya. Dahil sa katotohanan muli ang buong bansa ngayon ay nagising at nagsasama-sama at nilalanghap ang matamis na simoy ng kalayaan.

Ipinagdiriwang natin ngayon ang ika 22 taon ng people power. Marami sa atin ay nagsesentimento. Nasaan na ba ang mga pangunahing personalidad ng EDSA 1? Maraming nagsabi sa akin, Fr. Nami-miss namin si Cardinal Sin. Tanong ng iba: Bakit ang ating mga Obispo ngayon ay di mag-ala Cardinal Sin?

Si FVR at Enrile ay may kanya-kanya nang landas. Pero si Tita Cory ay nandito pa rin, hindi ka nag-iisa. At mayroon naman tayong mga bagong bayani – nandyan si Jun Lozada ang uragon kong kababayan. Jun, ngayon ikaw ang Philippine idol – lalong-lalo na sa mga nagtitiktik sayo. Si Juan de la Cruz ay nakatagpo ng kanyang kapuso at kapamilya kay Jun Lozada. Si Juan de la Cruz ay malayo sa pagiging perfecto, katulad ni Jun Lozada. Subalit si Jun Lozada ay pilit na di bumibitiw sa natitirang dangal ng kanyang gula-gulanit na kalooban at pangalan. Kaya’t hindi nakapagtataka na kay Jun Lozada si Juan de la Cruz ay nais maging bayani sa kabila ng kanyang pangkaraniwang pagkatao at maraming sablay sa daan ng kanyang paglalakbay.

Kung kaya’t, higit sa lahat ay nandyan kayo, ang taumbayan. Mayroong bayani kung titingin lamang kayo sa loob ng inyong sarili. Ang pagiging bayani sa loob ng inyong sarili ay umuugnay sa bayani na nasa loob ng inyong kapwa Pilipino. Ang pagpapalabas at pagbabahaginan ng ating pagiging bayani ay ang simula ng people power. Ang bayanihan – ito ang people power. Ang people power ay tayo. Tayo ang people power. Ang pagbabago ay tayo, tayo ang pagbabago.

Ngayon pagkatapos ng 22 taon, nasaan na tayo? Nakakalungkot isipin na kaunti ang pagbabago lalo na sa pamamaraan ng pagpapatakbo ng ating bansa. Ang mga family dynasties ang siya pa ring naghahari sa ating politika samantalang ang corruption at ganid ay malalim nang nakabaon sa ating sistema ng politika.

Kung kaya’t sabi nila di na pahihintulutan muli ng mundo ang panibagong “People Power”. Sabi naman ng iba bigo ang people power sapagkat malinaw na hindi ito nakapagdulot ng pangmatagalang pagbabago sa ating sistema political.

Patay na ba ang People Power? Noong nanawagan ang mga obispo ng isang “communal action” bilang tugon sa mga nagaganap sa ating bansa parang mabagal at mababaw ang ating pagtugon. Bagama’t mayroong nagaganap na maliliit na mga pagkilos sa iba’t ibang lugar, hindi ito katulad ng mga nakaraang pagkilos na puno ng ingay, sigla sa gitna ng pagkabalisa at diskuntento bago mag-EDSA 1 o EDSA 2.

Napagod na ba tayo sa people power? O Natuto tayo sa mga nakaraan nating kamalian?

Kung naghahanap tayo ng dating ekspresyon ng people power, wala na ito. Ang mga naglalakihang rali at demonstrasyon, ang mga slogang puno ng paghihikayat at pagsisiwalat, ang pagsasanib ng iba’t ibang sektor sa isang tukoy na panawagang pulitikal ay wala na.

Subalit huwag tayong magpalinlang na ang people power ay wala na, katulad ng nais ipaniwala sa atin ng mga may kapangyarihan. Ang pagkabalisa, pagkabigo, ang matinding pagnanais ng pagbabago, ang paghahangad ng pagkakaisa ay buhay na buhay. Datapawat, ang lahat ng ito ay naghahanap ng bagong ekspresyon ng pagpapahayag, ng bagong pamamaraan, ng bagong simbolo.

Isang aral na napulot natin sa nakaraan ay ang samasamang pagkilos o communal action ay hindi nakabatay sa malalaking personalidad at mga politiko. Gayundin naman ang mga kaparian at Obispo ay hindi taga-likha ng direksyon para sa mga tao. Sila ay moral na gabay sa mga tao at tagapagbigay sigla’t lakas sa mga laykong kasapi ng simbahan na siyang pangunahing responsable sa paghuhubog ng pulitikal at pang-ekonomiyang larangan ng ating lipunan. Ang samasamang pagkilos ay dapat talagang isang proseso ng samasamang pagninilay at pagtugon ng bawat kasapi ng komunidad.

Hindi patay ang people power. Ito ay sisibol sa tamang panahon na may malakas na kapangyarihan at mas mayamang kahulugan. Ang people power ay hindi nagtatapos sa pagtanggal sa luklukan ng mga may kapangyarihan at wala ng moralidad na umupo. Ang people power ay ang pagbabago ng buong sistema sa ating lipunan at sarili.

Mga kapatid, isang dakilang biyaya ang nagaganap sa ating bansa. Huwag lamang tayong maging usisero. Wag tayong tagapagkutya lamang sa mga nangyayari. Sabi nga ng makatang si Dante Alighieri: “Ang pinakamainit na apoy sa impyerno ay nakalaan doon sa mga taong nagsawalang kibo sa panahon ng krisis ng moralidad.” Tama na, sobra na, kumilos na!

Mahal na Ina ng Laging Saklolo, ipanalangin mo kami sa aming pagsunod kay Kristo ang katotohanan at aming laging saklolo patungo sa landas ng pagbabago ng aming sarili at aming bayan.


RECLAIMING OUR HUMANITY
MASS FOR JUN LOZADA
LA SALLE GYMNASIUM, GREENHILLS
17 FEBRUARY 2008

On this Second Sunday of Lent, during which we are asked to reflect on the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ, I wish to touch on three themes that have to do with our moral transformation as a people: first, Ascertaining Credibility; second, Rediscovering our Humanity; and third, Witnessing to the Truth. In so doing, I hope to invite all of you to reflect more deeply on how we, as a nation, might respond to the present political crisis in which our identity and ethos, our convictions and integrity, in fact, who we are as a people, are at stake.

I. ASCERTAINING CREDIBILITY

Jun, as Sen. Miriam Santiago has grilled you to ascertain your credibility (or was it to undermine your credibility?), allow me to raise some important questions to consider in the very process of discerning your credibility. Allow me to do so by drawing on my own counseling experience.

Very often, a young rape victim initially suppresses his or her awful and painful story, indeed wills to forget it, in the hope that by forgetting, he or she can pretend it never happened. But very often, too, there comes a point when concealing the truth becomes unbearable, and the desperate attempts to supposedly preserve life and sanity become increasingly untenable.

At this point the victim of abuse decides to seek help. But even after having taken this step, the victim, devastated and confused, will tell his or her story with much hesitation and trepidation. It should be easy to imagine why. In telling the truth, one risks casting shame on himself or herself, subjecting oneself to intense scrutiny and skepticism, and jeopardizing one’s safety and those of his or her loved ones, especially when one dares to go up against an older or more powerful person.

Similarly, it is easy to imagine why Jun would initially refuse to challenge the might of Malacanang. Who in his or her right mind would accuse Malacanang of crimes against our people and implicate the First Family in a sordid tale of greed and corruption, knowing that by doing so, one endangers one’s life and the lives of his or her loved ones? We are, after all, living in dangerous times, where the government has not hesitated to use everything in its power to keep itself in power, where it has yet to explain and solve the numerous cases of extra-judicial killings.

But Jun is in his right mind. His story rings true especially in the face of the perils that he has had to face. And by his courage, Jun has also shown that it is not only that he is in his right mind; his heart is also in the right place.

Hence, my personal verdict: Jun, I believe that you are a credible witness. And if hundreds have gathered here this morning, it is probably because they also believe in you. Mga kapatid, naniniwala ba kayo kay Jun Lozada? Naniniwala ba kayo sa kanyang testimonya? Kung gayon, palakpakan po natin ang Probinsyanong Intsik, si Mr. Jun Lozada.

Jun, we hope that by our presence here, you may find some consolation. Pope Benedict XVI writes that “con-solatio” or consolation means “being with the other in his or her solitude, so that it ceases to be solitude.” Jun, be assured that your solitude is no longer isolation as we profess our solidarity with you. Hindi ka nag-iisa. We are committed to stay the course and to do our best to protect you and your family and the truth you have proclaimed.

II. REDISCOVERING OUR HUMANITY

What makes Jun a credible witness to us?

I think Jun is credible not simply by virtue of his being an eyewitness to the unmitigated greed of some of our public officials. Perhaps more importantly, Jun is credible because he has witnessed to us what it means to be truly human.
Which leads me to my second theme: What does it mean to be human? How might we rediscover our humanity?

Allow me to quote Pope Benedict XVI, who in his latest encyclical, Spe Salvi, has written: “the capacity to accept suffering for the sake of goodness, truth and justice is an essential criterion of humanity, because if my own well-being and safety are ultimately more important than truth and justice, then the power of the stronger prevails, then violence and untruth reign supreme. Truth and justice must stand above my comfort and physical well-being, or else my life becomes a lie... For this … we need witnesses—martyrs …. We need them if we are to prefer goodness to comfort, even in the little choices we face each day.”

Our Holy Father concludes, “the capacity to suffer for the sake of the truth is the measure of humanity.”

Isn’t this the reason we emulate our martyrs: Jose Rizal, Gomburza, Evelio Javier, Macli-ing Dulag, Cesar Climaco and Ninoy Aquino? They have borne witness for us what it means to be truly human—to be able to suffer for the sake of others and for the sake of the truth.

I remember Cory recalling a conversation she had with Ninoy while they were in exile in Boston. Cory asked Ninoy what he thought might happen to him once he set foot in Manila. Ninoy said there were three possibilities: one, that he would be rearrested and detained once more in Fort Bonifacio; two, that he would be held under house arrest; and three, that he would be assassinated.

“Then why go home?” Cory asked.

To which Ninoy answered: “Because I cannot allow myself to die a senseless death, such as being run over by a taxi cab in New York. I have to go home and convince Ferdinand Marcos to set our people free.”

Witnessing to one’s deepest convictions, notwithstanding the consequences, is the measure of our humanity. Proclaiming the truth to others, whatever the cost, is the mark of authentic humanity.
Jun, we know you have feared for your life and continue to do so. But in transcending your fears for yourself and your family, you have reclaimed your humanity. And your courage and humility, despite harassment and calumniation by government forces, embolden us to retrieve and reclaim our humanity tarnished by our cowardice and complicity with sin in the world. You have inspired us to be true to ourselves and to submit to and serve the truth that transcends all of us.

III. WITNESSING TO THE TRUTH

This leads us to our third and last theme: witnessing to the truth. In his encyclical, Pacem in Terris, Pope John XXIII exhorts that it is the fundamental duty of the government to uphold the truth: “A political society is to be considered well-ordered, beneficial and in keeping with human dignity if it grounded on truth.” Moreover, the encyclical explains that unless a society is anchored on the truth, there can be no authentic justice, charity and freedom.
Every government is therefore obliged to serve the truth if it is to truly serve the people. Its moral credibility and authority over a people is based on the extent of its defense of and submission to the truth. Insofar as a government is remiss in upholding the truth, insofar as a government actively suppresses the truth, it loses its authority vested upon it by the people.

At this juncture, allow me to raise a delicate question: At what point does an administration lose its moral authority over its constituents?
First, a clear tipping point is the surfacing of hard evidence signifying undeniable complicity of certain government officials in corruption and injustice, evidence that can be substantiated in court.
Hence, during the Marcos Regime, the manipulation of Snap Election results as attested to by the tabulators who walked out of the PICC was clear evidence of the administration’s disregard for and manipulation of the collective will of the people in order to remain in power..
During the Erap Administration, the testimony of Clarissa Ocampo, claiming that Pres. Erap had falsified Equitable Bank documents by signing as Jose Velarde, was the smoking gun that triggered the rage of our people.
Allow me to respond to the same question by pursue an alternative track of argument: an administration loses it moral authority over its people when it fails in its fundamental duty to uphold the truth, when it is constituted by an ethos of falsehood. When a pattern of negligence in investigating the truth, suppressing the truth and harassing those who proclaim the truth is reasonably established, then a government, in principle, loses its right to rule over and represent the people.

Regarding negligence: Do the unresolved cases, such as the the failed automation of the national elections, the fertilizer scam, the extra-judicial killings, and the “Hello, Garci” scandal, constitute negligence on the part of the GMA Administartion to probe and ferret out the truth?
Regarding covering-up the truth: Does the abduction of Jun Lozada and the twisting and manipulation of his narrative by Malacanang’s minions constitute concealment of the truth? Was the padlocking of the office of Asst. Gov’t Counsel Gonzales who testified before the Senate regarding the North Rail project anomaly an instance of covering-up the truth?
Regarding the suppression of the truth: Does the issuance and implementation of E.O. 464, which prevents government officals from testifying in Senate hearings without Malacanang’s permission, constitute suppression of the truth? Was the prevention of AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Senga and six other officers from testifying before the Senate with regard the “Hello, Garci” scandal tantamount to a suppression of the truth? Was disallowing Brig. Gen. Quevedo, Lt. Col Capuyan and Lt. Col. Sumayo from appearing before the Lower House an instance of hindering the truth from surfacing?
And regarding harassment of those who proclaim the truth: Are the abduction of Jun Lozada and the decision to court-marshall Gen. Gudani and Col. Balutan for disregarding Malacanang’s order not to testify before the Senate examples of punishing those who come forth to tell the truth?

By conflating one’s responses to all these questions does one arrive not at hard evidence showing culpapility on the part of some government officials, but a ghestalt, an image which nonetheless demands our assessment and judgment. I invite all of you then to consider these two methods of evaluating and judging the moral credibility of any government, the moral credibility of our present government.

Allow me to end with a few words about an Ignatian virtue, familiaritas cum Deo. To become familiar with God involves the illumination of the intellect, coming to know who God is and what God wills. But it also involves the conversion of the affect, the reconfiguration of the heart. Becoming familiar with God entails trasforming and conforming my thinking, my feeling and my doing in accordance to the Lord’s, which can only be the work of grace.

Familiarity with God thus entail rejoicing in what God delights—the truth; abhoring what God detests—falsehood; being pained by what breaks the heart of God—the persecution of truth-seekers. Familiary with God means sharing the passion of God for the truth and the pathos of God whenever the truth and the bearers of truth are overcome by the forces of the lie.

On this Second Sunday of Lent, as we contemplate the transfiguration of Jesus Christ on Mount Horeb, we pray that our hearts and minds be so transfigured and so conformed to the mind, heart and will of the Jesus, our way, our life, and our truth.

May the Lord bless and protect you, Jun, and your family. May the Lord bless and guide us all into the way of truth. Amen.

6 comments:

buddy said...

agaton says: Bakit yun homily ni Cardinal Rosales na sinabi niya, "kaya di umuunlad ang bayan, bumabalik kasi kayo sa EDSA, dapat lahat,magbago hindi lang si GMA." Ganun ang sinabi ni Cardinal Vidal ng Cebu.

buddy said...

follow up of buddy: bakit di nyo i publish sa blog nyo ang homily ni Cardinal Rosales.

Kabayan said...

Columnist Lito Banayo has a diagram of Oligarchic control given to him by Neri and had testified in Senate.

The diagram is a shocking revelation, if able please procure a copy of the diagram so that we can copy-paste it ... incredible, we were all milking cows.

danny said...

Bagong bayani daw si Jun Lozada! Ewan ko si Mr. Jun nagsalita hindi naman talaga dahil sa bayan, ang nagbunsod talaga para siya ay magsalita ay dahil nalagay sa peligro ang buhay nya. Kahit sino pag buhay na ang nakataya ay magsasalita na! Mahirap yatang makamatayan yung kabulukan sa gobyerno na kung saan meron kang personal na nalalaman. Pakiusap lang po wag nating linlangin ang taong bayan at tawaging bayani si Mr. Lozada. Sa sarili nyang pag-amin guilty din siya ng mga katiwalian, yun nga lang small time kumpara sa iba na talagang big time. Hindi siya pumayag sa komisyong gusto ni Abalos na $130 milyon. Paano kung $10-20 million dollars lang ang hiningi ng grupo ni Abalos, papayag na siya at katulad ng maraming 'pinoy na tumatahimik lang, hindi na rin siya mag-iingay kasi sabi nya nga nga nasa permissible zone yon. Sa totoo lang nakakapikon na kayong lahat, pare-pareho lang kayo, pag nasa puwesto na kayo puro pangungurakot ang inaatupag nyo pero pag nawala na kayo sa puwesto saka kayo ngangawa ng ngangawa.

Galit na galit kayo kay Gloria pero hindi ba kayo ang naglagay sa kanya sa puwesto! Nilabag nyo ang ating Saligang Batas at nilapastangan nyo pa ang tinig ng milyon-milyong Pilipino ng patalsikin nyo ang tunay na halal ng bayan. Ngayon heto na naman kayo kasama nyo pa yung mandarambong na dating Presidente, si Erap po ang tinutukoy ko dito, at nag-iingay na naman at gustong patalsikin si Gloria. Tama na po, sobra na kayo, itigil nyo na ang pagdudunong-dunungan, hindi kayo ang ang tunay na boses ng bayan. Hintayin nyo na lang ang 2010 at siguruhing hindi na tatakbo si Gloria at kung sino man ang magiging tuta nya.

Ikinalulungkot ko ang mag sinabi ko pero gusto ko lang sabihin sa inyo ang tunay na nasa loobin ng isang OFW na tulad ko. Huwag kayong mag-alala, kung sino man ang susunod na Presidente, lalo na kung siya ay manggagaling sa hanay nyo ngayon, siguradong hindi nya palulusutin si Gloria, siguradong sa Muntilupa ang baksak nya! Pls. lang wala ng house arrest...kulong kung kulong!

Kung naniniwala kayo sa ipinaglalaban nyo, ipagpatuloy nyo po, sigurado kong magbubunga rin ng maganda ang mga ginagawa nyo ngayon.

Maligayang araw sa inyo.

Bencard said...

what exactly has lozada testified to that directly implicates the president to alleged bribery or corruption? what "truth" do you ascribe to his testimony? credible or not, did he bear witness, of his own knowledge, as to actual wrongful act committed by anyone?.

and why would he "fear" for his life and of his family? he has not presented any earth-shaking revelation that would drive anyone, much less your usual suspect, i.e., the administration, to kill him. i don't think lozada is that important. if anything, i believe the ones who would think of killing him would be the president's rabid enemies because, in their stupid estimation, blame would fall on the shoulders of the president. at this point, lozada has nothing more to offer that he has not already given, which are all useless anyway given the lukewarm reception by the majority of the population to his so-called "truth".

Bencard said...

what exactly has lozada testified to that directly implicates the president to alleged bribery or corruption? what "truth" do you ascribe to his testimony? credible or not, did he bear witness, of his own knowledge, as to actual wrongful act committed by anyone?.

and why would he "fear" for his life and of his family? he has not presented any earth-shaking revelation that would drive anyone, much less your usual suspect, i.e., the administration, to kill him. i don't think lozada is that important. if anything, i believe the ones who would think of killing him would be the president's rabid enemies because, in their stupid estimation, blame would fall on the shoulders of the president. at this point, lozada has nothing more to offer that he has not already given, which are all useless anyway given the lukewarm reception by the majority of the population to his so-called "truth".