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PHILIPPINE ARCHBISHOPS CALL FOR PROBE IN MULTI-BILLION-PESO COVID-19 FUND MESS

By ROGER M. BALANZA

In a message heavily loaded with political undertones, Philippine Catholic archbishops called for an investigation into allegations of corruption in the government’s handling of the multi-billion-peso Covid-19 pandemic response fund under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The call by the Catholic archbishops in Northern Luzon expressed in a pastoral letter, comes following reports by state auditors, the Senate, and the media, of misspending by the budget department’s procurement service.

The Procurement Services of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) is reported as behind the allegedly anomalous award of a multi-billion-peso contract to supply anti-coronavirus medical equipment and supplies to a questionable company financed by a former economic adviser of President Rodrigo Duterte.

We commend, bless, and encourage the full investigation, by those in authority, of any whiff of corruption; as we also reproach, rebuke, and censure those who obstruct the legal process to arrive at truth and justice,” said the pastoral letter issued on Saturday, September 11, by the Metropolitan Archbishops of Northern Luzon, signed by Nueva Segovia Archbishop Marlo Peralta, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, and Tuguegarao Archbishop Ricardo Baccay.

The pastoral message also took a shot at rampant killings, that made conditions inthe country “like living in the valley of death.”

“Killing of drug users and opponents; helpless death in the pandemic, death by governance without vision, death by shameless corruption that seems to break all records. Killings! Murders! Deaths!” said the message posted on the website of CBCP News, the news service of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippinese.

“Viruses kill. Governance without direction kills. Corruption kills. Trolls kill with fake news. Hunger kills. When will the killings stop? The poor pay for the corruption of the powerful. The nation is sinking in debt,” said the archbishops.

“Journalists have been killed, political opponents have been murdered, court judges have been assassinated, priests have been shot and critics have been bullied and threatened. The killers are at large and the blind supporters of these murderers applaud the killers,” said the pastoral message.

“This is not the time for despair but courage. This is not the time to be quiet but to stand up for God. Against the tide of murders and plunder, let us bear witness to truth and life,” the archbishops added. 

Pedregosa to assume as new Malaybalay bishop

 July 9, 2021, 5:14 pm

MANILA – Bishop-elect Noel Pedregosa will officially assume as the new bishop of Malaybalay, Bukidnon on September 14.The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) news website reported that the 56-year-old monsignor will be ordained and installed as bishop in a Mass at 9… Read More

Bishop Pablo Virgilio David elected as new CBCP president

Diocese of Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, DD officiated a mass for the dead at the Old Chapel of the La Loma Catholic Cemetery on All Souls’ Day, November 2, 2018. Hi homily centered on the value of the human being. November 2, 2018. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

 July 8, 2021

MANILA – Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David was elected as the new president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).The CBCP news website reported that the 62-year-old prelate was chosen for the position on Thursday, the first day of the two-day online plenary… Read More

BISHOP: Nothing wrong with Catholics involving in partisan politics

Seminarians should encourage good people to run for public office

Bishop Broderick Pabillo, apostolic administrator of Manila, delivers his homily during Mass for the Seminarians Network of the Philippines’ launching of the “Year of Prayer for Clean, Honest, Accurate, Meaningful, and Peaceful Elections” on May 13, 2021.

A Catholic bishop called on the country’s theology seminarians to rethink the way Catholics participate in politics.

Educate our people that “it’s alright to participate in a partisan way,” said Bishop Broderick Pabillo, apostolic administrator of Manila archdiocese.

For many years, he said that church’s participation is centered on voter’s education and the characteristics of leaders that should be voted upon.

But when asked who to vote for, “we cannot give out names”, said Pabillo, who chairs the Commission on Laity of the bishops’ conference.

“We can’t say anything because those who run are ‘trapo’ (traditional politicians). Election is more of a process of choosing the lesser evil,” Pabillo said.

Pabillo presided over the Mass at the launching of Seminarians’ Network of the Philippines’ “Year of Prayer for Clean, Honest, Accurate, Meaningful and Peaceful Elections” on May 13.

Hosted by San Jose Seminary in Quezon City, theology seminarians all over the Philippines joined the celebration via live streaming.

The prelate noted that one way of engaging in politics in a partisan way is to encourage good people to run for public office.

“Encourage good people to run for politics. It is also a Christian option,” he said.

Pabillo also said that the good people who run for office are usually without the political machinery unlike traditional politicians.

“That is why they need the support of good people in order for them to win,” he added.

He noted how crucial the 2022 election is that he urged the seminarians to encourage more people to register and vote. CBCPnews

Bishop links lifting of mining ban to 2022 polls

Politicians need money for the elections. Big mining firms are the ones giving away these money in exchange of getting permits

The lifting of the ban on new mining deals is just one sign that next year’s national election is fast approaching, a Catholic bishop said.

As the Church opens the Laudato Sí Week celebration Sunday, Bishop Broderick Pabillo, administrator of the Manila archdiocese, lamented how the government allows further destruction of the environment allegedly for the sake of election funds.

“They really need the money for the elections. And these big mining firms are the ones giving away these money in exchange of getting permits,” said Pabillo in his homily at the St. Joseph Parish in Gagalangin, Tondo, Manila.

President Rodrigo Duterte, in April, lifted the moratorium on new mining agreements imposed in 2012, reopening the door to investments.

But the move alarmed church leaders and environmental activists.

“In our current situation, it will not benefit the country, but only just a few,” Pabillo said.

The bishop warned that more mining operations also means more human rights violations against the poor communities and environmentalists.

“Mining is one of the causes of destruction of communities of lumads and the poor,” he said.

“We will again see more human rights violations, red-tagging of indigenous people, farmers, fishermen, and environmentalists that are against mining,” Pabillo added.

The Laudato Sí Week celebrates the anniversary of Pope Francis’ landmark encyclical, Laudato Sí, which was issued in 2015, through prayer, education and online activities. CBCPnews

CBCP ADVISES ONLINE MASSES ONLY DURING HOLY WEEK

Manila churches revert to strictly-online mass streaming

 March 22, 2021

MANILA – Some Catholic churches in Manila have decided to switch to online mass streaming only, suspending public attendance amid the increasing number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections in the nation’s capital.Starting Monday, the following churches temporarily suspended… Read More

Manila archdiocese churches to hold Masses at 10% capacity

 March 23, 2021

MANILA – The Archdiocese of Manila is allowing all its churches to accept worshippers starting Wednesday (March 24) at a 10-percent seating capacity.In a pastoral instruction for this year’s Holy Week observance issued on Tuesday, Apostolic Administrator of Manila Bishop Broderick Pabillo… Read More

Catholics urged to stay home, observe Holy Week virtually

 

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March 22, 2021

MANILA – A Catholic priest urged the faithful to observe virtual Holy Week activities in the comforts of their homes as churches in Metro Manila are closed for two weeks starting Monday in connection with the directive of the government to ban religious gatherings to contain the surge in… Read Mor

Faithful urged to join ‘First Mass’ celebration on Easter Sunday

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 March 23, 2021

MANILA – The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) urged the faithful to participate in the celebration of the first Mass in the country next month.In a Pastoral Letter issued on Tuesday, CBCP president Archbishop Romulo Valles encouraged Catholics to join the event on… Read More

CHRISTIANITY’s 5th centenary celebration to launch this week

 

MANILA – The Archdiocese of Manila is set to launch this week the celebration of the 500 years of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines.In an article posted on the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM) website, it announced that the launching will be held at the Manila Cathedral… Re

Manila parishes ordered to learn PH Christianity 500th year song

 January 30, 2021

MANILA – The Archdiocese of Manila on Saturday directed parishes to learn the song for the celebration of the 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines this year.In a circular, Fr. Kali Pietre Llamaso, the archdiocese’s Minister of Music, urged parish priests, shrine rectors,… Read More

Read: Logo for 500 years of Christianity