August 15th bail hearing at the Sandiganbayan, Janet Lim Napoles showed the
media the marble rosary she personally received from recently canonized
Saint Pope John Paul II. Her lawyer Stephen David later disclosed to media
that Napoles prays 2,000 rosaries a day. Given that a day has only 24 hours
or 1,440 minutes, Napoles would have to complete an entire rosary in less
than a minute praying non-stop for an entire day…every day. Atty. David also
pointed out that Napoles paid for the schooling of at least 200 priests and
helped construct many Catholic churches.
Does this mean that God will forgive or at the very least shorten Napoles’
stay in Purgatory? So that, in spite of the billions of pesos she stole from the
government—billions that should have gone to marginalized segments of
Philippine society but instead went to her pockets (and bathtub) and the
pockets of her cohorts in crime—in the end Napoles attains redemption and
gets to strum a harp with the rest of the angelic choir. Right?
All transgressions are forgivable—just repent and God will forgive you. That
is what Catholic teaching has been instilling into the minds of Filipinos
for almost 500 years. And they seem to have wholeheartedly bought that line,
so much so that today there are many Filipinos who cheat, steal, lie and
even kill but believe they will still end up in Heaven. The rich and
powerful commit all sorts of nefarious deeds six days a week but attend Mass
on Sunday and believe all their misdeeds are washed away. This is how all
those corrupt, immoral, unethical and criminal Filipinos are able to live
China has got it right
When Pope Francis visited South Korea this August, his plane was allowed to
fly over Chinese airspace. In the past, Vatican flights had to skirt Chinese
airspace whenever a Pope flew to Asia. The conciliatory gesture by China was
not lost on the Pontiff who stated that he very much wanted to visit China
as soon as possible. Pope Francis however was quickly though politely
rebuffed by Chinese leaders who told him to refrain from interfering in
There are approximately 12 million Catholics in China, but the state-run
church known as the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association is overseen by
Catholic bishops who are appointed by the Chinese government, not the
Vatican. Pope Francis did indicate that all he is asking the Chinese
government is that the Catholic Church be given the “freedom to do its job”
in China. Unfortunately, that is precisely what Beijing is leery of.
leaders need only look at their neighbor to the Southeast to see how
unbridled church interference can wreck havoc on a country. In the
Philippines, Catholic bishops constantly meddle in state affairs: they tell
government officials what laws they should or shouldn’t pass; they threaten
with excommunication or otherwise intimidate those who speak out against
them; they exercise tremendous authority without any corresponding
Case in point: despite the United States, the United Nations, and the
Philippine government’s efforts to curb the country’s soaring birthrate, the
Catholic Church remains steadfast against any and all forms of birth control
for Filipinos. And now that the Philippine population has passed the 100
million threshold, church leaders do not see it as their responsibility to
provide for the wherewithal to house, feed, educate, and employ all these
additional human beings who are the direct result of their misguided
Chinese President Xi Jinping and the rest of China’s politburo realize that
this could happen to them and have thus told Pope Francis—however
well-intentioned his overtures might be—no thanks, and leave us alone.
An Australian living in the Philippines published a book titled: “The Unlucky Country. The Republic of the Philippines in the 21st Century.” The author Duncan McKenzie came up with the title as the counterpoint to “The Lucky Country” a book written in the mid-sixties that refers to Australia. In his book McKenzie explains that the Philippines is unlucky because, for starters, it is an archipelago and therefore naturally fragmented.
We’ve all heard the saying “justice delayed is justice denied.” That maxim has been around since time immemorial. In fact the Pirkei Avot (Hebrew for “Ethics of the Fathers”) which dates back to the 1st century B.C. mentions an old rabbi saying that goes: “the sword comes into the world, because of justice delayed and justice denied." In 1215 A.D. a clause from the Magna Carta similarly declares that “to no one will we refuse or delay, right or justice."
Amal Alamuddin Clooney Wants to Defend Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ...Why?
Okay so she's George Clooney's wife, she's got great looks, a law degree and ambitious enough to make a name for herself apart from that of her superstar husband. Fair enough. So Amal Alamuddin Clooney decides to take on high profile cases of injustice around the world. Even better. But filing a complaint with the United Nations Human Rights Council on behalf of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo? What's up with that? Better do your homework Mrs. Clooney. It won't take long for you to realize that Arroyo is getting exactly what she deserves.
Manny Pacquiao Should Not Be Given a Tax Exemption
Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III has proposed a bill to grant Manny Pacquiao a special tax exemption for the income he will earn from his May 2nd boxing match with Floyd Mayweather Jr. Pimentel justifies his bill as a "fitting tribute" to the Filipino eight-division world champion adding that "Manny is now part of our history and of world sports history. Let’s give him this tax incentive in recognition to his invaluable efforts to promote boxing and the country around the world."
With Negotiators Like These on Our Team, Who Needs an Opposing Side?
What on earth happened to these two women—supposedly handpicked by the president himself to argue on behalf of the Philippine government in peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front—who now seem to be mouthpieces for the Moros? Have Secretary Teresita Deles, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, chair of the negotiating panel become mesmerized by the tough "macho" image the rebels project?
Why is the NBI Going After Those Who Uploaded the Sagonoy Video?
According to NBI Director Virgilio Mendez, they have identified the individuals who uploaded the video showing the coldblooded killing of PO2 Joseph Sagonoy. The cellphone video was purportedly taken by Muslim rebels during the Jan. 25, 2014 encounter between the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebel group. The video shows a wounded Sagonoy who is shot twice in the head at close range.
Twice the Heroes—the SAF 44 Who Lost Lives in Mamasapano
The 44 members of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (SAF) who were brutally killed in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25, 2015 are heroes twice over: first, they paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving their country; second, they exposed for all to see, the dangers the country will face if the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is passed.
No More Bangsamoro, Period!
With each passing day, it is becoming increasingly clear that the idea of a Bangsamoro is a bad idea. Just as the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) spearheaded by former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was a bad idea (and declared unconstitutional in 2008 by the Supreme Court). Just as the failed Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) during the 1990s was a bad idea.
After the Mamasapano Massacre, Plans for a Bangsamoro Must Be Scrapped
What happened in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25 is a "game changer"—make no mistake about it. Reality as we saw it before this event is not the reality we see now...everything is different; everything has "changed. When the Philippine National Police's (PNP) elite team known as the Special Action Force or SAF set out to arrest Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan, it had actionable intelligence that the Malaysian fugitive was hiding in the town of Mamasapano. Marwan, an expert bomb maker, is a core member of the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah.