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Cops confess participation in EJKs, seek Church protection

Police officials allegedly involved in extrajudicial killings under the government’s anti-drug campaign have sought the protection of the Catholic Church, said outgoing Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines President Socrates Villegas on Monday, Oct. 2.

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Photo courtesy of Noli Yamsuan/Archdiocese of Manila.

Police officials involved in the extrajudicial killings under President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody campaign against drugs have sought the protection of the Catholic Church, said outgoing Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines President Socrates Villegas on Monday, Oct. 2.

“They have expressed their desire to come out in the open about their participation in extrajudicial killings and summary executions. Their consciences are troubling them,” Villegas said in a statement.

The Lingayen-Dagupan prelate pointed out that the whistleblowers, whom he did not name, have approached him and other priests to “seek sanctuary, succor and protection.”

Villegas, moreover, affirmed the safety of the witnesses if they desire to stay with the Church.

“If their preference is to stay with us in the Church, they will not be turned over to the State under its own witness-protection program,” he said.

Villegas also stated that the Church is willing to provide refuge for the policemen and their families when their stories are proven accurate.

“We will look prudently into the sincerity of their motives and the veracity of their stories. Within the bounds of Church and civil laws, we express our willingness to grant them accommodation, shelter and protection (including their families if necessary). The hospitality, comfort and acceptance that they seek from the Church will be attended to,” he assured.

He added, “We are likewise putting our Ministry of Mercy at the service of these law enforcers who need the hospitality of the Church.”

Villegas urged the priests in Lingayen to secure the safety of these police officers as the clerics “open their hearts and their rectories, the convents of religious communities and seminaries as well as other secure buildings.”

The Church will not force the witnesses to testify, but when they decide to reveal themselves, “every means must be provided for a fair, accurate and unconstrained or unrestrained testimony that may be used in evidence,” the statement read.

The testimonies of the law enforcers will be recorded in the form of affidavits and depositions, with the assistance of a competent independent counsel, said Villegas.

According to data from the Philippine National Police as of July this year, 3,451 suspected drug personalities had been killed in legitimate operations. However, there is no official record yet on drug-related vigilante killings.

In a report by human rights group Amnesty International, the group claimed that some police officers are paid to kill alleged drug offenders.

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UST, hinikayat ipagpatuloy ang gawain ni Santo Domingo de Guzman

Hinimok ng UST Vice Chancellor ang Unibersidad noong Martes, Agosto 7, na ipagpatuloy ang gawain nitong paggabay sa mga Tomasino palapit sa Diyos.

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mga pari na nagmimisa
Kuha ni Jude Angelo Camot/TomasinoWeb.

Hinimok ng UST Vice Chancellor ang Unibersidad noong Martes, Agosto 7, na ipagpatuloy ang gawain nitong paggabay sa mga Tomasino palapit sa Diyos.

Ayon kay Very Rev. Fr. Napoleon Sipalay, Jr., O.P., ang paggabay na ito ay gawain ni Santo Domingo de Guzman, ang ama ng Order of Preachers, noong nabubuhay pa siya.

“Nawa’y ang Unibersidad na ito ay patuloy na punan ang pangangailangan [na mas makilala ang Diyos] ng ating mga estudyante at ibigay ang sagot sa kanilang mga tanong sa sarili at sa mundong kanilang tatahakin,” aniya sa kaniyang sermon sa misang handog para sa pista ni Santo Domingo.

Pinuri rin ng Prior Provincial ng Dominican Province ng Pilipinas ang Unibersidad sa tuloy-tuloy nitong paglaganap ng salita ng Diyos sa pamamagitan ng edukasyon.

“Naniniwala ako sa ministeryong pangangaral dito sa [UST]. Ang prayoridad ng Dominikanong probinsya ng Pilipinas sa paglaganap ng ebanghelyo sa pamamagitan ng edukasyon, karamihan sa inyo ay katulong namin sa misyong ito,” sabi ni Sipalay.

Dagdag pa rito, ipinaalala niya sa mga Dominikano sa bansa na tularan ang ginawang pagsagot ni Santo Domingo sa pangangailangan ng mga tao sa kaniyang panahon.

“Tinugunan niya (Santo Domingo) ang mga pangangailangan ng kaniyang panahon, ito naman ang ating pagkakataon upang punan ang mga pangangailangan ngayon… Gawin natin itong paglilingkod na na ipinasa sa atin ni Dominic, ang pag bahagi ng magandang balita ni Hesus sa mundo,” aniya.

Dinaluhan ng mga pari, mga Dominikano, mga Tomasino at mga guro ang misang ginanap sa simbahan ng Santisimo Rosario bilang pagdiriwang sa pista ni Santo Domingo.

Ang pista ni Santo Domingo ay ginaganap tuwing ika-8 ng Agosto, ang pagkasilang niya sa Calaruega sa Espanya noong 1170. Walang pasok ang Unibersidad bukas upang ipagdiriwang ito. Beatrice Laforga

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Patuloy na maghanap ng katotohanan, hikayat ng kinatawan ng Santo Papa

Inanyayahan ng kinatawan ng Santo Papa sa Pilipinas ang mga estudyante, mga guro at mga miyembro ng fakultad ng Unibersidad na magpatuloy sa paghahanap ng katotohanan ngayong bagong akademikong taon.

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Kuha ni Alecsandra Go/TomasinoWeb.

Inanyayahan ng kinatawan ng Santo Papa sa Pilipinas ang mga estudyante, mga guro at mga miyembro ng fakultad ng Unibersidad na magpatuloy sa paghahanap ng katotohanan ngayong bagong akademikong taon.

Sa kaniyang homiliya sa Misa de Apertura sa Parokya ng Santisimo Rosario kaninang umaga, winika ni Arsobispo Gabriele Giordano Caccia, ang papal nuncio o ambasador ng Vatican sa Pilipinas, na kahit ano man ang propesyon na nais kunin, dapat hanapin pa rin ang katotohanan.

“Maraming iba’t ibang produkto [ang maaari mong makamit] ngunit kung saan mo [man] ilagay ang iyong sarili, sana itong simpleng sagot ang iyong mabibigay: ‘Dahil ako ay naghahanap ng katotohanan,’” sinabi ni Caccia.

Ipinaliwanag pa ni Caccia na importanteng talakayin ang katotohanan sa paparating na akademikong taon upang “hindi magabayan ng ibang mga interes.”

“Kapag ikaw ay tumigil sa paghahanap ng katotohanan, gagabayan tayo ng iba’t ibang interes…. [I]ka nga ni Hesus: Ang katotohanan ay ang magpapalaya sayo. Kapag tayo ay hindi nakalakip sa katotohanan, iba’t ibang lore ang gagabay sa ating buhay,” ani Caccia.

Binigyan-diin din niya ang lohika ng Espiritu Santo na kung saan “kapag ikaw ay nagbahagi, ikaw ay mas yumayaman.”

Iklinaro, gayunpaman, ni Caccia na “tayo ay pagmamay-ari ng katotohanan at iyon ang kagalakan ng kalangitan.”

Ang Misa de Apertura, o ang Misa ng Espiritu Santo, ay ipinagdiriwang upang salubungin ang bagong akademikong taon sa UST.

Ang mga iba pang aktibidad ng pagsalubong para sa mga mag-aaral sa unang antas ng kolehiyo ay nakatakda sa ika-3 ng Agosto.

Nakatakda naman sa ika-6 ng Agosto ang tradisyunal na pagpasok sa Arch of the Centuries, o ang Thomasian Welcome Walk, isang makahulugang pagsalubong sa Unibersidad.

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Church at stake with decline in attendees, priest says

A Catholic priest warned on Saturday that the Church is at stake if its number of attendees continue to go down.

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A Catholic priest warned on Saturday that the Church is at stake if its number of attendees continue to go down.

“The Filipino Church is bleeding. Those Catholics who stopped going to church…it will continue. And given enough time, the very life of the Church, even in the Philippines, can be at stake,” Fr. James Mallon said during his plenary talk on the fourth day of the Fifth Philippine Conference on the New Evangelization (PCNE).

Last year, Social Weather Stations reported a 23-point decline in Filipino Catholics’ weekly church attendance from 1991 to 2017, stating the decrease is “highly significant,” statistically speaking.

Mallon, the episcopal vicar for Parish Renewal and Leadership Support for the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth in Canada, claimed this change was due to the Church’s negligence to acknowledge the dilemma and its refusal to change the system.

“Everything is okay, we know that there’s a decline but…the impact of parishes on the community is often negligible because the church has become inward-focused[.] We seek a simple fix and there’s [no] simple fix,” he said.

He added that the institution should not resist, as Pope Francis advised, the shift from a “maintenance mode” to a “missionary mode.”

“[The Church believes] we need to adjust something. What Pope Francis is talking about is not just adjustment. He is talking about the transformation of the entire Church to live out this missionary option,” he stated.

Mallon, however, said the country could change its system and attract more Church-goers without compromising their faith since it still remains to be one of the “most Catholic” countries in the world.

“You (the Philippines) have the luxury of time…to begin to change gears. Method or mission? This is what he (Pope Francis) was asking us. If we can let go of our method, our structures, our ways of doing things for the sake of evangelization of today’s world [without compromising] what is essential in our faith not at all…then there’s reason for great hope,” he said.

The fourth day of PCNE was held at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion.

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