this happens only when the topic hits my heart hard…
this happens only when the topic hits my heart hard…
By Niña Calleja
MANILA, Philippines—The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is now training its guns on the anti-discrimination bill, saying the possible enactment of the bill into law would open the door for the legalization of same sex marriages.
Speaking at a weekly forum in Greenhills, San Juan City, on Wednesday, lawyers of the CBCP and a Catholic bishop hit the Senate for amending the previous version of the anti-discrimination bill or the Senate Bill 2814.
The Senate has recently passed on third reading the bill which is after penalizing all forms of discrimination.
The SB 2814, known as Anti-Ethnic, Racial or Religious Discrimination and Profiling Act of 2011, will be discussed by a bicameral conference committee tasked to harmonize the Senate bill with similar bills passed by the House.
Ronald Reyes, a lawyer of the CBCP, said they had no qualms about the bill before but became concerned when the bill was amended and “sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity” were included.
“It’s opening the door for same sex marriages, which our country doesn’t allow,” Reyes told reporters.
He said the Catholic church, which would not officiate same sex marriages, might be punished if the bill became law.
“This is alarming and it might change our society,” Reyes said.
Another CBCP lawyer Jo Imbong said the LGBT (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender) should not be considered the same as the elderly, the handicapped, and the poor.
“These people are disadvantaged not by their own choice. But the third sex, they choose this. How can you give protection to a choice like that?” Imbong said.
Imbong said the bill violated religious freedom and the “no prior restraint” accorded by the law to freedom of speech.
“The government may not penalize a religious organization for … excluding a person from Church responsibilities, for example, based upon that person’s moral behavior which could include the practice or promotion of homosexuality,” she said.
The bill would hinder the Church from teaching what it believed to be right or wrong, Imbong said.
The lawyer noted that under the bill, the priest who refused to officiate same sex marriages may be fined with P500,000 and jailed for 25 years.
Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes said the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life of the CBCP has been appealing to the Senate and the House of Representatives to exclude the LGBT from the bill.
I cannot believe this. These statements are so alarming. Sobrang self-righteous and impokrito. I truly believe that this kind of thinking is what keeps Filipinos and the Philippines in a backward state. The reason we don’t progress as a nation and as human beings is that we like to think of ourselves as superior. And because of what? We’re Catholics?!? Such hypocrites. Nobody, as in nobody, in the Philippines can honestly say that he/she is better than any gay or a lesbian. Pare-parehas lang tayong may basura sa bakuran at skeletons na tinatago. Bawal magpanggap. At mag-maganda. Minsan talaga nakakahiyang maging Pilipino dahil sa klase ng pag-iisip ng marami sa atin. Akala mo kung sinong magaling at malinis at relihiyoso. Hoy. pare-pareho lang tayong nagmumura at nakakagawa ng kasalanan. Pero kahit ganun, lahat tayo, bading man o tibo, tao pa din. Nobody has any right to say who deserves or does not deserve protection and/or service.
@ Ronald Reyes: What the hell is wrong with changing our society? Do you want to be stuck in the times of prayles and indios forever? My gulay! Wake up! If you are really bent on NOT changing the society, then do away with your riches and gadgets and everything. It’s money and technology that changed the world, not an anti-discrimination bill.
@ Jo Imbong: Gays and lesbians are humans, in every aspect. They deserve every right to be protected and serviced by the government and yes, the church too. They are only disadvantaged because the rest of society (i.e. YOU) are not as open and willing to accept and respect them. The government, and yes even the CHURCH, does NOT have the right to choose which people to protect or provide for. Every human being here in this world has that right.
By Tarra Quismundo
MANILA, Philippines – Previously honored in state banquets and military salutes, a frail former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was formally booked Saturday in a police registry on charges of electoral fraud, becoming the second Philippine President to be detained on criminal allegations.
Still wearing her neck brace over a hospital gown, Arroyo was hypertensive, “frail-looking” and hooked to intravenous fluids when she underwent the standard detainee booking procedure Saturday afternoon, police said.
“We proceeded to the room of former President Arroyo. We took her photographs, portrait and profile (left and right side) for our mug book reference,” said Senior Superintendent Joel Coronel, chief of the Metro Manila regional Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.
Police also took Arroyo’s finger and palm prints and medical officers checked her condition to see if the Pampanga congressional representative indeed needed to remain detained at the hospital.
“The President will remain under guard and detention here… until such time the warrant will be returned to court and a compliance report shall be submitted to court. And it will be up to the court, again exercising its sound discretion, whether to order the continued confinement of President Arroyo here or transfer her to another detention facility,” Coronel told reporters.
Arroyo’s husband, Jose Miguel Arroyo, other relatives and friends surrounded the arrested former leader during the two-hour procedure, which started at 1:45 p.m. Saturday.
Contrary to earlier reports that the Arroyo family requested to supply her mug shots, Coronel said police photographers took the former President’s booking shots. He added that police was not aware of any such request.
As Arroyo was “not capacitated to hold anything” at the time of the booking, Coronel said police technicians held up her name plate, on which her name and case number were written.
Commenting on the Arroyo camp’s request to withhold her mug shot from the public, Coronel said police would submit to the court’s decision on the matter.
“I think the appropriate authority which will direct the release of such photographs will be the court, and we leave it up to the honorable court to release it or not,” said Coronel.
Mug shots of former President Joseph Estrada were publicly released when he was booked on plunder charges at the national police headquarters in Camp Crame in April 2001, just a few months after he was ousted.
Arroyo took his place and was later reelected in a controversial election, serving a total 10 stormy years in office until last June.
Arroyo lawyer Ferdinand Topacio appealed to the authorities and the media to keep the Pampanga representative’s mug shots away from public view, saying the photograph would be especially unflattering as “the former President is also a woman.”
“She’s not in her best appearance. Of course, women have their needs, men have their needs,” Topacio told reporters.
Coronel said they will file Arroyo’s booking records – mug shots, finger and palm prints – in court on Monday and said the judge handling the case would decide whether the pictures will be released or not.
He said Arroyo was given due respect as a former President throughout the procedure.
“We took consideration of her present medical condition… she was suffering from severe stress and hypertension last night [Friday, when the arrest warrant was served]. I was informed by our medical officers that she’s not feeling well and, for this reason, we gave her a small latitude, the courtesy and respect accorded to a former President,” Coronel said.
Senior Superintendent Herminigilda Salangad, a police doctor who checked Arroyo during Saturday’s booking procedure, noted that Arroyo was still weak and had elevated pressure that read 140/100 at the time.
“We saw her fragile-looking, suffering from hypertension, she’s on IV fluids and of course on neck braces. She’s slightly dehydrated, thin looking, she’s frail-looking, much thinner than how she looked before,” Salangad said.
Arroyo’s attending physician, Dr. Juliet Gopez-Cervantes, said her patient has been refusing to eat and was given antibiotics because of bacterial infection in her large intestine. She is expected to remain confined in the hospital for several more days or weeks.
She also noted some improvement in the condition of Arroyo’s cervical spine, which underwent operation earlier this year. Doctors are currently monitoring bone growth in her neck area.
Asked if Arroyo’s condition was life threatening, the doctor said: “As a doctor, when you say matter of life or death, there is multi-organ involvement, there is deterioration of the vital signs. That’s an urgent thing that is a matter of life or death. Probably, objectively speaking, if we are talking about that, she is not in that condition as of now.”
“However, we do not know what is in store for her. If this bone that is growing is not strong enough, that anytime it will collapse, if support will be removed, that will be a matter of life or death,” she said.
She added that there was “some risk” in allowing Arroyo to travel but that the former President could bear a flight given proper medical support.
Call me evil, but I don’t really buy the health condition excuse. I mean, given that she’s sick as hell… I don’t believe that she needs to go to another country just to get medical attention. There are a lot of very capable doctors and hospitals in the Philippines. We, Filipinos, are just used to giving people the benefit of the doubt, even bad people. May sakit sya so hindi sya mag-aattempt na tumakas. My gulay! Even Lacson has admitted to being able to hide from the police. And just because she’s in a wheel chair, she couldn’t and wouldn’t do it? Come on, she and her family and allies have led us on several times during her tenure. Do we honestly think that they are not capable of doing that?
Her camp has been making a lot of excuses and requests, which I believe should not be given and provided for. She does not have those privileges anymore. She has wronged a lot of people already; the whole country, in fact. It’s about time she pays her dues.
This is why I love F. Sionil Jose…
I was visited by an old Asian friend who lived here 10 years ago. I was floored by his observation that though we have lots of talented people, as a whole, we continue to be shallow.
Recently, I was seated beside former Senator Letty Shahani, PhD in Comparative Literature from the Sorbonne, watching a medley of Asian dances. The stately and classical Japanese number with stylized movements which perhaps took years to master elicited what seemed to me grudging applause. Then, the Filipino tinikling which any one can learn in 10 minutes; after all that energetic jumping, an almost standing ovation. Letty turned to me and asked, “Why are we so shallow?”
Yes, indeed, and for how long?
This is a question which I have asked myself, which I hope all of us should ask ourselves every so often. Once we have answered it, then we will move on to a more elevated sensibility. And with this sensibility, we will then be able to deny the highest positions in government to those nincompoops who have nothing going for them except popularity, what an irresponsible and equally shallow media had created. As my foreign friend said, there is nothing to read in our major papers.
Again, why are we shallow?
There are so many reasons. One lies in our educational system which has diminished not just scholarship but excellence. There is less emphasis now on the humanities, in the study of the classics which enables us to have a broader grasp of our past and the philosophies of this past. I envy those Hindus and Buddhists who have in their religion philosophy and ancestor worship which build in the believer a continuity with the past, and that most important ingredient in the building of a nation — memory.
Sure, our Christian faith, too, has a philosophical tradition, particularly if we connect it to the ancient Greeks and Romans. Remember, the first Bible was in Greek. But Greek, Latin and the classics in these languages are no longer taught in our schools the way these are still studied in many universities in Europe.
We are shallow because we are mayabang, ego driven, and do not have the humility to understand that we are only human, much too human to mistake knowledge for wisdom. We can see this yabang in some of our public commentators, particularly on TV — the know-it-alls who think that because they have so much knowledge — available now on the Web at the click of a button — they can answer every question posed to them. What they do not realize is that knowledge is not wisdom. Until they recognize that important if sometimes awful difference, they will continue to bluster their way to the top at our expense because we, the people, will then have to suffer their arrogance and ignorance.
We are shallow because with this arrogance, we accept positions far beyond our competence. Because there is no critical tradition in this country — a tradition which will easily separate the chaff from the grain, we cannot recognize fakery from the real goods. That outstanding scholar, Wilfredo Villacorta, is a rare bird indeed; when offered a high position in government, he refused it because he knew he was not qualified for the job. Any other mayabang academic would have grabbed it although he knows he can’t handle it. And so it happens always — the nitwits who hold such high positions stubbornly hold on to their posts, bamboozling their subordinates who may be brighter than them for that is the only way those who are inferior feel they can have respect.
On the other hand, the intelligent person will be aware of his shortcomings. He does not hesitate to ask the opinion of those who know more than him on particular subjects. If he is a government hierarch, he will surround himself with advisers who he knows can supply him with guidance and background possessing as they do more knowledge, experience and wisdom than him. Such an official is bound to commit fewer mistakes because he knows himself.
We are shallow because we lack this most important knowledge — who we are and the limits to what we can do.
We also lack the perception, and the courage, for instance, to deny these religious quacks and the thousands who listen and believe in them. Sure, religion is the opium of the masses as Marx said. So then, how can we prevent the masa from taking this poison without recognizing their right to make fools of themselves? Again, shallowness because the good people are silent. Ubi boni tacent, malum prosperat. Where good men are silent, evil prospers.
This shallowness is the impediment to prosperity, to justice, and men of goodwill should emphasize this, take risks even in doing so. As the late Salvador P. Lopez said, “It is better to be silenced than to be silent.”
We are shallow because our media are so horribly shallow. Every morning, I peruse the papers and there is so little to read in them. It is the same with radio — all that noise, that artifice.
I turn on the TV on prime time and what do I get? Five juvenile commentators gushing over the amors of movie stars, who is shacking up with whom. One of the blabbering panelists I distinctly remember was caught cheating some years back at some movie award. How could she still be on TV after that moral destruct? And the telenovelas, how utterly asinine, bizarre, foolish, insipid moronic and mephitic they are! And there are so many talented writers in our vernaculars and in English as the Palanca Awards show every year — why aren’t they harnessed for TV? Those TV moguls have a stock answer — the ratings of these shows are very high. Popularity not quality is their final arbiter. They give our people garbage and they are now giving it back to all of us in kind! So I must not be blamed if, most of the time, I turn on BBC. Aljazeera, rather than the local TV channels. It is such a pleasure to read The New York Times, the San Jose Mercury News, the Washington Post, to listen to “Fresh Air” on US public radio and public TV where my ever-continuing thirst for knowledge (and good entertainment) is quenched.
We are shallow because we don’t read. I go to the hospital on occasion — the long corridor is filled with people staring into the cosmos. It is only I who have brought a book or a magazine. In Japanese cities, in Korea — in the buses and trains, young and old are reading, or if they are not holding books and magazines, they are glued to their iPhones where so much information is now available.
In these countries and in Western cities, the bookshops are still full, but not so much anymore because the new communications technologies are now available to their masa. How I wish my tiny bookshop or any Filipino bookshop for that matter would be filled with people. I’ll make an exception here: BookSale branches are always full because their books are very cheap. But I would still ask: what kind of books do Filipinos buy?
We are shallow because we have become enslaved by gross materialism, the glitter of gold and its equivalents, for which reason we think that only the material goods of this earth can satisfy us and we must therefore grab as much as can while we are able. Enjoy all these baubles that we have accumulated; sure, it is pleasurable to possess such artifacts that make living trouble free. And that old anodyne: “Man does not live by bread alone,” who are the thinking and stubborn few who believe in it?
I hope that those who read this piece still do.
bumili ako ng tv kasi para ma-entertain ang nanay ko sa pinas. pero pagdala palang ng tv sa pinas ay hassle na.
ipapauwi ko dapat kay patrick para magamit na sana, kahit na magbayad nalang ng excess baggage. pero nung tumawag kami sa jetstar, di daw sila responsible sa possible na damages, if ever ma-damage nga. so wag na lang. saka naisip ko mata-tax-an lang yun pagdating ni patrick kasi buwaya ang mga tao sa customs sa pinas. and ganun nga pala ang mangyayare. nag-research ako at sabi sa mga forum, yung mga less than six months nag-stay sa ibang bansa at bumili ng electronics/gadgets ay mata-tax-an. so wag na lang.
lbc nalang. kahit mahal. o kaya ako nalang pag-uwi ko sa october. excess baggage nalang.
pero praning kasi ako so research pa uli. nakaka-bother yung mga nabasa ko sa pinoysg forum. bakit maraming nagbabayad at naglalagay? bakit nire-recommend ng maraming tao na mag-ipit ng $50 o P1000 sa passport para wala na daw tanong-tanong? at kung sabihin nila ay parang…wala lang… normal na gawain lang. at ine-encourage pa talaga yung mga nagtatanong na ganun nalang ang gawin.
potah. nakakainis magbasa. nare-realize ko lalo kung bakit maraming may ayaw sa pinas. kaya ka nga nagtrabaho sa ibang bansa para gumaan ang buhay mo e, kasi ayaw mo ng patakbo ng gobyerno sa pinas, dahil puro tax nang wala namang nangyayare. tapos pag umuwi or nagbakasyon ka e maglalagay ka lang din? ano yun? nakakasura. para daw wala nang hassle at tanong at kung ano man. oo malaki ang tax, pero may ibang options pa naman. para san ang couriers at delivery services? malaki ang fee, pero wala nang hassle. may risk nga, pero kaya nga dun ka sa mga alam mong may reliable na service e. hindi yung parang nagbabayad ka lang ng pamasahe sa jeep na ibibigay mo ng patago yung lagay mo sa mga buwayang customs officer na yun. marami namang paraan siguro para hindi maglagay.
putek. nakarating at nakapagtrabaho ka sa ibang bansa kasi kahit pano may pinag-aralan ka. pero kung ganun lang ang gagawin, nagpaka-tanga ka din at kinonsinte yung maling gawain nung mga buwayang yun. putek. nakakainis talaga. kaya hindi sila tumitigil mang-buwaya at manlamang ng ibang tao kasi pumapayag tayo. hay nako. nakakainis talaga.