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Pope Francis: we are all God’s children

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“ALL of us are God’s children, members of God’s family.”

These were the words of Pope Francis giving relation to the people of God to the image of Santo Niño during his homily at the Quirino Grandstand on January 18.

As the pope celebrated his holy mass on a Santo Niño Sunday, he gave recognition to the Holy Child of Jesus as the ‘link between God’s Kingdom and the mystery of spiritual childhood’ through the Sunday’s Gospel, “Whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it” (Mk. 10:15).

“That is why the message of Santo Niño is so important,” he said. “He speaks powerfully to all of us. He reminds us of our deepest identity, of what we are called to be as God’s family.”

“The Santo Niño also reminds us that this identity must be protected,” he noted.

“We too need to protect, guide and encourage our young people, helping them to build a society worthy of their great spiritual and cultural heritage. Specifically, we need to see each child as a gift to be welcomed, cherished and protected. And we need to care for our young people, not allowing them to be robbed of hope and condemned to life on the streets.”

The Holy Father mentioned that the Philippines, being the foremost Catholic country in Asia, not only is it a “special gift of God,” it is also a “vocation” to all Filipinos to be”‘outstanding missionaries of faith in Asia.”

 

Photo by Carmelo Culvera

 

As missionaries of faith, the pope said that God chose us to be witnesses of His truth and justice amidst the destruction of sin – which, according to the pope is “[to] forget at heart that we are children of God.”

 

Pope Francis added that lie has always been the ‘great threat’ to God’s plans. “The devil is the father of lies,” he said. “Often he hides his snares behind the appearance of sophistication, the allure of being ‘modern’, ‘like everyone else.’ He distracts us with the promise of ephemeral pleasures, superficial pastimes. And so we squander our God-given gifts by tinkering with gadgets; we squander our money on gambling and drink; we turn in on ourselves.”

 

He, once again, reminded the people to be witnesses and missionaries of the Gospel in Asia and the whole world.

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Martial law forum highlights human rights violations

A martial law forum hosted by the UST-Simbahayan was held yesterday, September 20, 2019 as part of the Francisco De Vitoria Linggo ng Karapatang Pantao featuring talks about martial law and human rights.

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Photo by Audrice Serrano

A martial law forum hosted by the UST-Simbahayan was held yesterday, September 20, 2019 as part of the Francisco De Vitoria Linggo ng Karapatang Pantao which featured talks about martial law and human rights.

In the beginning of the program held at the Graduate School Auditorium, the University’s Vice Rector for Religious Affairs Rev. Fr. Pablo Tiong O.P. first introduced Francisco De Vitoria and his role in human rights during his time.

“Nang 1225 isinilang si Santo Tomas. Mga 1510-1520, si Francisco De Vitoria, isa ring Dominican, ipinaglaban niya ang karapatang pantao ng mga tiga-Americas,” said Tiong.

He shared that Vitoria fighted for the rights of the natives in South America in the Court of the King of Spain.

“Matinding debate, matinding paglalaban […] na kailangan igalang ang karapatang pantao ng mga natives ng South America,” said Tiong.

He also added the importance of the duty of respecting others’ rights and to carefully analyze the rights being fought for. 

“Magkasama ang duty at rights, mga katungkulan at karapatan. […] “Kapag nag-umpisa tayo sa tungkulin sa Diyos, matutuklasan natin na lahat pala ng karapatang pantao ay galing sa Diyos. Mayroon tayong katungkulang igalang ang karapatang pantao [at] suriin kung ang ipinaglalaban ay tunay na karapatan,” he added.

Hilda Narciso, a victim and survivor of the martial law era who is now a healer also gave a talk about her experiences during those times.

She asserted that there is again an undeclared martial law in the country, and she keeps on talking about the stories of martial law because she does not it to happen again.

“We are all sick. The country is sick. Which is why I go to healing. I kept talking about these things because I don’t want it to happen again.

She also urged the youth to keep the torch burning to imitate Christ’s example of respect and compassion for others. 

“Dalhin niyo sa susunod na henerasyon. […] Gayahin niyo ang Panginoon, ang kanyang pagtingin sa tao […] at pagpapahalaga sa kapwa.

Jerbert Briola, Deputy Executive Director of Task Force Detainee of the Philippines and a member of the Commission on Human Rights also gave a talk on human rights in the country under President Rodrigo Duterte.

He asserted that human rights violations are still rampant under the Duterte administration and there are different methods being imposed to “restrict civil liberties.”

“Patuloy pa rin ang paglabag sa karapatang pantao sa ilalim ni Pangulong Duterte. […] Lahat ng presidenteng dumaan hanggang ngayon ay patuloy na umiigting ang oagpabag sa karapatang pantao,” said Briola.

He also mentioned that Duterte has a narrow view on his interpretation on human rights and the prevalence of culture of death in the country.

“Pag drug pushers, drug lords, wala nang karapatan. […] Ganon na lang yung kawalan ng pagpapahalaga ng Pangulo ng Pilipinas sa karapatang pantao. […] Dito makikita natin, paano yung narrow mindedness ni Pangulong Duterte sa kanyang interpretasyon, sa kanyang pag intindi sa human rights,” said Briola.

Briola also mentioned that the planned national ID system will might lead to increase in government surveillance and analytical breach.

“Malalaman ng isang gobyerno, ng isang institution kung progressive ka ba or not. […] Itong national ID system ay massive profiling ng mga Pilipino,” he said.

For him, these events are proofs of the degradation of democratic space in the country and urged the youth to do their duty to resist.

“Yung patuloy at patuloy na pagsisinungaling, ito ay magiging totoo. At ito ang nangyayari ngayon. […] It is our duty to resist,” he said.

Militarization in universities to ‘sow terror’

The plan to increase military presence in universities was also tackled where the speakers expressed their disapproval and concerns.

Tiong said that if there is really an actual threat, the protection should be provided by the Philippine National Police (PNP) which is part of their duty and not by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

“How we wish this would be reconsidered because under ordinary circumstances, the peace and order should be kept by police force. […] But if we would going to have that protection, the protection should be for real threat. And we wish that it would not come from the military because the military is for external threat,” said Tiong.

Briola also expressed his concerns, mentioning that the training of the military is quite different and they have a different mindset.

“Ang military or ang AFP, they were trained, iba ang training niyan compared to PNP and other security forces. They were trained to destroy. Iba ang kanilang mindset. […] It will open gates ng iba’t ibang abuses,” he said.

Narciso also pointed out that increasing military presence in schools will only “sow terror” to the students.

“Why come up with militarization in school. It will sow terror in schools. Magiging dumb na kayo. Hindi na kayo kikilos. Hindi na kayo magiging free kung paano kayo hinubog ng Diyos na maglingkod sa kapwa,” said Narciso.

The Francisco De Vitoria Linggo ng Karapatang Pantao is a weeklong activity featuring in the University in commemoration of the 42nd anniversary of the declaration of martial law in the country.

An exhibit was also held at the lobby of UST-Tan Yan Kee Student Center featuring different martial law victims and events.

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Former CSC secretary now president

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Former Central Student Council (CSC) secretary, Robert Dominic Gonzales, is set to lead the council as the newly elected president as officially announced on Saturday together with the new members of the executive board for the following academic year.

The Medicine sophomore ran as an independent and lone candidate for the presidential post with 17, 175 votes while 3, 947 ballots were left unanswered.

Along with Gonzales, candidates who won the positions of secretary, treasurer, auditor, and public relations officer were also proclaimed by the Central Commission on Election (COMELEC) while the position for vice president was left vacant.

Legal Management freshman Krizia Milleny Bricio (Independent) acquired the highest total of votes for the secretariat post with 7, 449 over Chemistry freshman Karch Andrei Rafael (Lakas ng Diwang Tomasino) and advertising arts senior Nicolas Sia (Lakas Tomasino Coalition). A total of 4,994 students left the ballots unanswered.

Political Science junior and lone candidate Jan Rafael Lipat (Lakas Tomasino Coalition) was elected as the new treasurer of the council with 12, 093 votes while 9, 029 ballots were left unanswered.

Accountancy freshman and lone candidate Patricia Claire Cruz (Lakas Tomasino Coalition) was announced as auditor garnering a total of 11, 933 votes; 9, 189 were left unanswered.

Physical therapy sophomore and lone candidate Ian Jericho Sun (Lakas ng Tomasino Coalition) obtained the position of PRO with 10, 591 votes; 10, 531 ballots were left unanswered.

A total of 21,122 out of 38,032 Thomasians participated in this year’s elections held last April 24 to 27, lower than last year’s 26,148 out of 38,045.

Next year’s CSC Central Board, composed of the newly-elected local student council presidents, are as follows: Sean Matthew Sison (Alfredo M. Velayo – College of Accountancy), Hector Armando Sario. (College of Education), Rigel Kent Almonte (College of Rehabilitation Sciences) Cameron Jilliane de Leon (College of Science) Stephen Batacan (College of Tourism and Hospitality Management) Lady Freja Gascon (Faculty of Arts and Letters) Lyodichie Camarao (Faculty of Civil Law), John Knight Gulla (Faculty of Medicine and Surgery), Lorenzo Gabriel Banayo (Faculty of Pharmacy), John Michael Cruz (Faculty of Philosophy), Siddharta Chiong, O. P. (Faculty of Sacred Theology), Jillian Joenn Enriquez (Education High School) Charlize Noelle Dimaunahan (Junior High School) Marieliz Quianzon (Institute of Physical Education and Athletics) and Dale Ignatius Marollano (Senior High School).

Local SCs face Failure of Elections

Five local student councils were left without an student council President, proclaiming a failure of elections

The local student councils whose presidential position remain vacant due to failure of elections are as follows: The College of Architecture,  College of Commerce and Business Administration, College of Nursing, and the Faculty of Engineering.

Meanwhile,  the College of Fine Arts and Design COMELEC declared a failure of elections for all the positions in the executive board.

There was no candidate for the position of President in the Institute of Information and Computing Sciences Student Council.

According to the UST Student’s Election Code of 2011 (USEC), a failure of election is declared whenever the voter turnout is less than 25 percent of the total population of the electorate

In section 8 of the USEC, the Central or Local COMELEC concerned shall call for special elections fifteen (15) days from declaration of failure of elections.

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#TWenty: The 2018 TomasinoWeb Year-end special

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Art by Jessica Lopez
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As the year draws to an end, we can’t help but think that this year is the worst—we say the same thing every year. But we really can’t blame ourselves because the Government really did us dirty; prices of our daily goods rose uncontrollably all thanks to the implementation of TRAIN law which made the poor even poorer, Martial Law in Mindanao is extended until the end of 2019 to “quell” the hostile activities there, and despite the rising death toll on the “War Against Drugs, the unjustified killings still continues.

Change has really happened to us, and it came down to us, really hardBut somehow, the sun shone on us. 

Our Growling Tigers’ renewed strength under the guidance of its new Coach Aldin Ayo and its Super Rookie Cj Cansino, revived the fighting spirit of the whole community.  And as the fight for our pride rekindles to a brighter flame, our fight for justice burns stronger as the 10 Aegis Juris frat men face charges against fatal hazing of Horacio and the former first lady Imelda Marcos is now convicted with seven counts of graft.

Yet, our country still faces the wrath of the Government as our the media faced the endless tirades where even their freedom is being suppressed by those in power. But strangely, the benevolence of our beloved system seems to be felt by the recently acquitted former senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla.

We were all begging for our plot twists to happen ever since 2017, but 2018 is the year that taught us that we don’t plead for change–we make it, because we’re tired of asking them to do so. And so, everyone in TomasinoWeb prepared for you #TWenty to look back to the times we have fallen, but most importantly, to the times we rose stronger than ever.

And we will continue to rise again—until lambs become lions.

Keep the fire burning,

Cielo Erikah Mae J. Cinco
Executive Editor

 

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