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PHNO HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

NASSA/Caritas Philippines ROLL OUT P13.21-M 'LANDO' RELIEF PROJECT


OCTOBER 22 -NASSA/Caritas Philippines executive secretary Fr. Edu Gariguez (Photo: CBCPNews) The CBCP through its social action arm, the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines will roll out a P13.21-million relief project to aid areas hit by Typhoon Lando (Koppu). According to NASSA/Caritas Philippines Executive Secretary Rev. Fr. Edwin Gariguez, the aid includes provision of ready-to-eat food, drinking water, hygiene kits, emergency shelters, and other non-food items like blankets, sleeping mats and mosquito nets to at least 5,000 families or approximately 25,000 individuals affected by the recent typhoon. “We are aiming to help the most vulnerable people such as the elderly, disabled, single parents and those who are ill from the worst-hit and hard-to-reach areas. We are very thankful to our Caritas networks around the globe for its immediate response to our appeal,” Gariguez said. Initial reports from the diocesan social action centers reveal that 15 provinces—Aurora, Quezon, Cagayan,Nueva Vizcaya, Qurino, Nueva Ecija, Kalinga, Benguet, Pangasinan, Zambales, Rizal, Cavite, Batanes, La Union and Abra—are the worst-hit areas during the onslaught of Typhoon Lando. At the grassroots, the 16 dioceses in Central and Southern Luzon, Cagayan Valley, Cordillera, Ilocos and Calabarzon are coming to the aid of the typhoon victims. “We are still waiting for more data from our assessment teams on the ground. These areas may still change depending on the needs of the affected dioceses,” Gariguez added. Pledges and support to the victims of Typhoon Lando from other Caritas organizations worldwide are being extended to NASSA/Caritas Philippines. So far, CORDAID (Caritas Netherlands) has pledged 40,000 EUR to the Typhon Koppu emergency response activity. Gariguez said regular updates about the program are being provided through SMS, electronic mails and the social media sites of NASSA/Caritas Philippines. The Typhoon Koppu Monitoring Center has already been activated through the following emergency hotlines: (02) 527-4163 and 0927-610-9977. The Global Caritas Internationalis with its 165 member countries worldwide is currently being headed by its first Asian President, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle. (Myraine Joly Carluen-Policarpio) THE FULL REPORT. RELATED, Yolanda’ survivors help ‘Lando’ victims

ALSO the calls now gets louder: Southern Tagalog joins call to '#Stop Lumad Killings'
[Manilakbayan 2015 is one name given to the Lumad protest caravan. A much bigger number of these Lumad compatriots of ours than the few thousands who arrived in Manila in the past are coming because the deaths and injuries that they have suffered these past months of 2015 have been more bitter.]


OCTOBER 24 -#Manilakbayan2015 conducted a short protest along Barangay Tabugon, Sta. Elena, Camarines Norte at 10:30AM today, October 24. Michelle Campos talked about the militarization in Mindanao, particularly the brutal Lianga Massacre, where her father Dionel Campos was slain. "Support the people's resistance to militarization and plunder in MindaNOW!" ----------------------------------- Manilakbayan ng Mindanao!!!!!!!! The Manilakbayan is expected to arrive in Manila on Oct. 26. They will head back to Mindanao on Nov. 22. READ MORE FROM BULATLAT.COM ....

ALSO TIMES EDITORIAL:
Support our Lumad fellow Filipinos’ protest


OCTOBER 24 -Aquino hit for 'disappointingly predictable' reaction to Lumad killings. In this Friday, Sept. 4, 2015 photo, a protester spray-paints a seal of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) during a protest to condemn the killings of three indigenous people known as "Lumads" in Surigao Del Sur in Mindanao at the AFP general headquarters in Quezon City. The protesters accused a paramilitary group and the military in the killings on September 1 of three "Lumad" leaders. The military denied the accusation. By Camille Diola (philstar.com) | Updated September 9, 2015PHOTO BY   AP/Bullit Marquez FROM all the provinces that still have Filipinos who are indigenous peoples (IPs)–Aetas, Bagobos, Bilaans, Higaonons, Suban-ons, Igorots (we just wrote down names at the top of our head), and some 80 or more other native peoples who are exactly like our ancestors before they were Westernized–more than 20,000 of them will arrive in Metro Manila on Monday, October 26. Most of them are already in provinces adjacent to Manila. The most publicized contingent is that from Mindanao. That’s because the latest and most media-covered atrocities against the Lumads have happened there of late. Manilakbayan 2015 is one name given to the Lumad protest caravan. A much bigger number of these Lumad compatriots of ours than the few thousands who arrived in Manila in the past are coming because the deaths and injuries that they have suffered these past months of 2015 have been more bitter. Various civil society, youth and student organizations are helping the Lumad protesters. The following story, distributed by the Manilakbayan ng Mindanao 2015 association yesterday, fundamentally tells why the basics for those who are still unaware of the Lumads’ sufferings. “A year after the last Manilakbayan ng Mindanao, the Southern Tagalog region and Mindanao have yet to achieve their calls – which was a basic wish for food and peace. As state terror tightens its death grip upon the peoples of both places, it was but necessary for them to wage a crusade for the similar advocacies, albeit with a larger delegation. “Today, the Manilakbayan sets foot yet again in Southern Tagalog, arriving by Tabugon in Sta. Elena, Camarines Norte at about 10 in the morning; welcomed by delegates from the Quezon province, then marched to the Southern Luzon Command headquarters (SOLCOM HQ) Camp General Nakar in Lucena City. “Both delegations united in this protest-crusade against widespread militarization in rural communities – which, counter to claims of peace and development in the areas, have only resulted in more casualties and poverty of the locals. “According to Jumorito Guaynon, spokesperson of this year’s Manilakbayan ng Mindanao, both the peoples of Southern Tagalog and Mindanao have experienced plain warmongering from these military groups: mentioning the Lianga massacre last October 1, which killed 3 Lumad leaders and educators in aims of providing basic social services in far-flung areas. READ MORE...

ALSO #Manilakbayan: Mindanao tribes demand a stop to Lumad killings (Nasaan ang Pangulo?)
[Hundreds of participants of a protest caravan dubbed Manilakbayan are expected to arrive in the county’s capital this weekend. The participants will proceed to Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig where scores of political prisoners are currently detained. “People from all walks of life have been waiting for the people of Mindanao in uniting to call for justice and plunder in their respective lands. We will be standing side by side with our Manilakbayanis from Mindanao as we assert our rights in Malacañang,” said De Chavez. The delegates will spend Sunday night in Baclaran Church before going to UP Diliman, where a week-long camp-out will be held.]


OCTOBER 25 -MANILAKBAYAN JOURNEY ON WAY TO MANILA: DEFEND TALAINGOD: STOP MILITARY OPERATION IN OUR COMMUNITY. SAVE PANTARON COMMUNITY.  FACEBOOK TIMELINE Nearly a week after their long journey against killings of Lumad or indigenous peoples in Mindanao, hundreds of participants of a protest caravan dubbed Manilakbayan are expected to arrive in the county’s capital on Sunday, October 25. The caravan participants, who are called Manilakbayanis, travelled from Surigao City to Eastern Visayas, before crossing over to Luzon island, highlighting their call to stop human rights violations in various Lumad communities. The campaign captured the national attention after a paramilitary group, on September 1, murdered a school director and two Lumad leaders in Surigao del Sur. The spate of killings of rights activists and Lumad also alarmed two United Nations special rapporteurs who described the attacks as unacceptable and deplorable. Challenge to President Aquino Church groups and activist organizations from Southern Tagalog welcomed the Lumad and their advocates when they arrived in the region Saturday, October 24. “We join our brothers and sisters in their journey from Mindanao to let the people in the national capital know about their sufferings and struggles, and to demand [that] Noynoy Aquino immediately take action. Their struggles are not different from what we are experiencing due to massive militarization and human rights violations in the region,” said Diana de Chavez, spokesperson of BIGKISAN-Southern Tagalog. READ MORE...RELATED, Meet the Lumad By Katrina Stuart Santiago, MANILA TIMES...

ALSO: Stormy synod ends in stalemate; over now to you, Pope Francis
[Three weeks of often heated discussions on issues such as divorce, homosexuality and cohabitation.At the end of the three week gathering, the bishops agreed to a qualified opening toward divorcees who have remarried outside the Church and currently cannot receive communion. But the final document effectively sidestepped the issue of whether the Church should use more welcoming language towards homosexuals - a topic that threw a preliminary meeting into turmoil a year ago. Related report below...]


OCTOBER 25 -
Pope Francis (R) waves during his arrival with cardinals and bishops for the morning session of the last day of the Synod on the Family at the Vatican on October 24, 2015. The Pontiff on October 4 defended marriage and heterosexual couples, as he opened a synod on the family overshadowed by a challenge to the Vatican. Pope Francis accelerated his streamlining of the Vatican bureaucracy by announcing plans to create a new ministry which will increase the role of lay believers in the Church. The Pontiff made the announcement to an afternoon session of the synod, which is due to conclude at the weekend after three weeks of often heated discussions on issues such as divorce, homosexuality and cohabitation. AFP VATICAN CITY, Holy See — Catholic bishops on Saturday wrapped up a divisive synod by approving a compromise report reflecting a stalemate in the battle between the Church’s conservative and liberal wings over its approach to sex, love and marriage. The document, which Pope Francis is free to ignore or implement as he sees fit, fudges the key issue of whether divorced and remarried believers should be allowed to play a full role in the Church.And it confirms the pullback from the more explicit opening to lesbian and gay believers supported by progressives when the review of teaching on the family was launched last year. But it also leaves Francis with room for maneuver should he wish to defy his conservative opponents and push on with his attempt to make the Church more relevant and more welcoming towards believers who find themselves in breach of its rules. Francis, who recognized in closing remarks that the three-week synod had exposed deep divisions in the Catholic family, now has to decide if and when he updates guidelines on Catholic teaching. The text approved Saturday advocates a “case-by-case” approach to the most controversial question, the handling of divorced and remarried believers, saying they need to play a greater role in the Church but stopping short of explicitly ending the current ban on their receiving communion. READ MORE...RELATED, Pope, closing synod, calls for more open-hearted Church

ALSO: Pope reaffirms love for Pinoys


OCTOBER 26 -Daet Bishop Gilbert Garcera said the pope recalled with “great happiness” the “Lolo Kiko” nickname that Filipinos gave him. Philstar.com/File Pope Francis has reaffirmed his love for the Filipino faithful during the synod on the family in the Vatican, which concludes today.
This was according to Filipino bishops who had a brief encounter with the pontiff, who recalled his impression of the Filipino’s great faith and respect for elders. “The Holy Father said ‘I have special admiration for the Filipinos,’” Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma quoted the pope as saying in a post on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines website. “Basically, he is taking us as people of great faith,” he said. Daet Bishop Gilbert Garcera, for his part, said the pope recalled with “great happiness” the “Lolo Kiko” nickname that Filipinos gave him. “He was really laughing and was so happy about it,” Garcera said. Palma said it created a good impression on the pope how the elderly are held in high regard in the Philippines. “It’s a sign that I am appreciated. I am loved in the Philippines,” Pope Francis said, according to the Cebu prelate. Palma and Garcera were among six Filipinos out of 270 prelates and 18 couples from around the world who participated in the synod on the family. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

NASSA/Caritas Philippines roll out P13.21-M relief project


NASSA/Caritas Philippines executive secretary Fr. Edu Gariguez (Photo: CBCPNews)MANILA, OCTOBER 26, 2015 (CBCP NEWS) Filed under: Headlines,Nassa News |

NASSA/Caritas Philippines executive secretary Fr. Edu Gariguez (Photo: CBCPNews) MANILA, Oct. 22, 2015 – The CBCP through its social action arm, the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines will roll out a P13.21-million relief project to aid areas hit by Typhoon Lando (Koppu).

According to NASSA/Caritas Philippines Executive Secretary Rev. Fr. Edwin Gariguez, the aid includes provision of ready-to-eat food, drinking water, hygiene kits, emergency shelters, and other non-food items like blankets, sleeping mats and mosquito nets to at least 5,000 families or approximately 25,000 individuals affected by the recent typhoon.

“We are aiming to help the most vulnerable people such as the elderly, disabled, single parents and those who are ill from the worst-hit and hard-to-reach areas. We are very thankful to our Caritas networks around the globe for its immediate response to our appeal,” Gariguez said.

Initial reports from the diocesan social action centers reveal that 15 provinces—Aurora, Quezon, Cagayan,Nueva Vizcaya, Qurino, Nueva Ecija, Kalinga, Benguet, Pangasinan, Zambales, Rizal, Cavite, Batanes, La Union and Abra—are the worst-hit areas during the onslaught of Typhoon Lando. At the grassroots, the 16 dioceses in Central and Southern Luzon, Cagayan Valley, Cordillera, Ilocos and Calabarzon are coming to the aid of the typhoon victims.

“We are still waiting for more data from our assessment teams on the ground. These areas may still change depending on the needs of the affected dioceses,” Gariguez added.

Pledges and support to the victims of Typhoon Lando from other Caritas organizations worldwide are being extended to NASSA/Caritas Philippines. So far, CORDAID (Caritas Netherlands) has pledged 40,000 EUR to the Typhon Koppu emergency response activity.

Gariguez said regular updates about the program are being provided through SMS, electronic mails and the social media sites of NASSA/Caritas Philippines. The Typhoon Koppu Monitoring Center has already been activated through the following emergency hotlines: (02) 527-4163 and 0927-610-9977.

The Global Caritas Internationalis with its 165 member countries worldwide is currently being headed by its first Asian President, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle. (Myraine Joly Carluen-Policarpio)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

RELATED FROM CBCP NEWS

Yolanda’ survivors help ‘Lando’ victims Filed under: Headlines,Nassa News |


Indigenous communities in Barangay Cozo in Casiguran, Aurora started repairing their damaged homes after Typhoon Koppu ravaged Central and Northern Luzon. (Photo by: NASSA/Caritas Philippines' Rapid Assessment Team)

MANILA, Oct. 23, 2015 – Knowing all too well their present plight of the victims of Typhoon “Lando” (Koppu), survivors of Typhoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan) from Palo, Leyte are at the forefront of the Church’s ongoing relief operations.

According to Fr. Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines, “the spirit of Alay Kapwa is truly alive during these trying times.”

“We really appreciate how dioceses previously affected by Typhoon Yolanda immediately flew here to immediately respond to the needs of the people in Northern Luzon,” he said.

Gariguez said the staff of the Archdiocese of Palo’s Relief and Rehabilitation Unit (Caritas Palo) volunteered to take part in the rapid needs assessment in provinces worst-hit by “Lando” like Nueva Vizcaya and Cagayan.

The priest added that this is not the first case of Yolanda survivors helping those affected by similar natural disasters.

In 2014, Gariguez recalled they were also among the first to send relief aid to nearby Samar during the onslaught of Typhoon Ruby.

NASSA/Caritas Philippines earlier launched an emergency appeal to the Caritas Internationalis confederation to provide Php 13.21-million worth of relief aid to 25,000 people in 15 provinces affected by Lando: Aurora,Quezon, Cagayan, Nueva Vizcaya, Qurino, Nueva Ecija, Kalinga, Benguet, Pangasinan, Zambales, Rizal, Cavite, Batanes, La Union, and Abra.

Moreover, the Church’s social action arm set up a ‘Lando’ Monitoring Center on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) compound in Intramuros, Manila.

With its 165 member-countries, Caritas Internationalis is currently headed by Manila Archbishop Luís Antonio Cardinal Tagle. (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)


PRESS RELEASE FROM MANILAKBAYAN MINDANAO

Southern Tagalog joins call to #StopLumadKillings

#Manilakbayan2015 conducted a short protest along Barangay Tabugon, Sta. Elena, Camarines Norte at 10:30AM today, October 24.

Michelle Campos talked about the militarization in Mindanao, particularly the brutal Lianga Massacre, where her father Dionel Campos was slain.

"Support the people's resistance to militarization and plunder in MindaNOW!" ----------------------------------- Manilakbayan ng Mindanao

FROM BULATLAT.COM

The protest caravan called “Manilakbayan ng Mindanao 2015

MANILA – The protest caravan called “Manilakbayan ng Mindanao 2015” kicked off from different provinces of the island on Oct. 20, starting its 1,000-kilometer journey to Manila, to bring its calls against militarization and human rights violations, environmental destruction and plunder.

Some 700 protesters – mostly Lumád evacuees and victims of human rights violations– joined the trip, which will be by bus, and alternately on foot, as they will march in the town and city centers.

In the evening of Oct. 21, the different delegation from the regions of Caraga, Socksargends, southern, and northern Mindanao converged at the Lipata ferry port in Surigao City, Surigao del Norte, to take the ferry to Leyte province.

Both the journey and the destination matters, as the caravan will be joined by other people’s organizations in the route it will pass through in different provinces: Leyte and Samar in the Visayas, Sorsogon in Bicol region, Quezon and Laguna in Southern Tagalog, then, onwards to southern Metro Manila.

The Manilakbayan is expected to arrive in Manila on Oct. 26. They will head back to Mindanao on Nov. 22.

For the third time since 2012, the protest caravan carried the calls: “Stop the Attacks on our Schools, Communities, and People! Support the people’s resistance to militarization and plunder in MindaNow!”

Among those who began the trip from Cagayan de Oro city, Misamis Oriental, is Hermenio Samia Jr., whose father Hermenio Sr. two brothers, cousin and uncle were killed by soldiers of the 1st Special Forces battalion in Mendis village, Pangantucan, Bukidnon on Aug. 18.
“We promised our family that we would seek justice no matter what hardships we might encounter. The Manilakbayan will be just one among many journeys we are willing to take to achieve this,” Samia was quoted in a statement by the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines-Northern Mindanao Region.

Many of the “lakbayanis” come from communities and groups which the military and paramilitary groups have persistenly red-tagged as supporters of the New People’s Army (NPA).

“Here are the people they have accused to be rebels,” said Jumoring Goaynon, chairperson of the northern Mindanao Lumád group, Kalumbay, and first nominee of Sulong Katribu partylist.

“It is very easy for the government to put our demands aside because we are far. So, here we are, once more marching towards them. And we are marching as we are in our communities, without guns, but with our determination to assert our rights,” Goaynon said.

Upon arrival in the National Capital Region, Manilakbayan will set up a “Kampuhan” (People’s Camp) at the University of the Philippines in Diliman. The camp will later transfer to the Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila. With video report by Kilab Multimedia(http://bulatlat.com)


MANILA TIMES EDITORIAL

Support our Lumad fellow Filipinos’ protest October 24, 2015 10:55 pm


Aquino hit for 'disappointingly predictable' reaction to Lumad killings. In this Friday, Sept. 4, 2015 photo, a protester spray-paints a seal of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) during a protest to condemn the killings of three indigenous people known as "Lumads" in Surigao Del Sur in Mindanao at the AFP general headquarters in Quezon City. The protesters accused a paramilitary group and the military in the killings on September 1 of three "Lumad" leaders. The military denied the accusation. By Camille Diola (philstar.com) | Updated September 9, 2015PHOTO BY   AP/Bullit Marquez

FROM all the provinces that still have Filipinos who are indigenous peoples (IPs)–Aetas, Bagobos, Bilaans, Higaonons, Suban-ons, Igorots (we just wrote down names at the top of our head), and some 80 or more other native peoples who are exactly like our ancestors before they were Westernized–more than 20,000 of them will arrive in Metro Manila on Monday, October 26. Most of them are already in provinces adjacent to Manila.

The most publicized contingent is that from Mindanao. That’s because the latest and most media-covered atrocities against the Lumads have happened there of late.

Manilakbayan 2015 is one name given to the Lumad protest caravan. A much bigger number of these Lumad compatriots of ours than the few thousands who arrived in Manila in the past are coming because the deaths and injuries that they have suffered these past months of 2015 have been more bitter.

Various civil society, youth and student organizations are helping the Lumad protesters.

The following story, distributed by the Manilakbayan ng Mindanao 2015 association yesterday, fundamentally tells why the basics for those who are still unaware of the Lumads’ sufferings.

“A year after the last Manilakbayan ng Mindanao, the Southern Tagalog region and Mindanao have yet to achieve their calls – which was a basic wish for food and peace. As state terror tightens its death grip upon the peoples of both places, it was but necessary for them to wage a crusade for the similar advocacies, albeit with a larger delegation.

“Today, the Manilakbayan sets foot yet again in Southern Tagalog, arriving by Tabugon in Sta. Elena, Camarines Norte at about 10 in the morning; welcomed by delegates from the Quezon province, then marched to the Southern Luzon Command headquarters (SOLCOM HQ) Camp General Nakar in Lucena City.

“Both delegations united in this protest-crusade against widespread militarization in rural communities – which, counter to claims of peace and development in the areas, have only resulted in more casualties and poverty of the locals.

“According to Jumorito Guaynon, spokesperson of this year’s Manilakbayan ng Mindanao, both the peoples of Southern Tagalog and Mindanao have experienced plain warmongering from these military groups: mentioning the Lianga massacre last October 1, which killed 3 Lumad leaders and educators in aims of providing basic social services in far-flung areas.

READ MORE...

“He also mentioned the recent threats and demolition of the Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation Inc. (MISFI) Academy in Brgy. White Culaman in Bukidnon by military forces, accompanied by the barangay chairman.

“It seems that [the government’s Oplan Bayanihan seemingly defeats its self-proclaimed development thrust by examples of destruction of community efforts such as schools and organizations. BS Aquino’s highly-touted program has spattered innocent blood,” said Goaynon, who is of the Higaonon tribe of Misamis Oriental.

“After the stopover at Quezon province, the 700-strong delegation from Mindanao met with a huge welcoming delegation at the University of the Philippines – Los Baños, where welcoming ceremonies were staged. More than 300 students waited for the Lakbayanis at the Los Baños highway to formally escort them inside the campus.

As the rest of the Southern Tagalog delegation met with the lakbayanis, they shared stories of repression and resistance.

“We are not really alone in calling against the plunder of our lands and death of our people. The sheer support those we met and enjoined with as we pushed through is really heart-warming, but, moreover, gives us higher resolve to carry on,” exclaimed Goaynon.

Diana de Chavez of BIGKISAN Southern Tagalog, a unity of people’s organizations in the region, said that the struggles in Southern Tagalog and Mindanao had been similar – as victims of widespread plunder of resources and a hotbed of atrocities committed by state forces.

“Last year, more than 70 combat battalions from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) were stationed in the two locations combined, which was almost 70-80% of the armed strength of the AFP. Figures were not expected to dwindle for this year, as, according to de Chavez, human rights violations escalated in the two places.”.

Our Lumad fellow Filipinos will congregate at the Kampuhan sa Diliman at the University of the Philippines from October 26 to November 1. Please donate food and cash for them.


RAPPLER.COM

#Manilakbayan: Mindanao tribes demand a stop to Lumad killings Voltaire Tupaz @voltairetupaz Published 12:18 AM, October 25, 2015 Updated 12:47 AM, October 25, 2015 5 26 Reddit Email 31

NASAAN ANG PANGULO?


PNoy on Lumad killings: "No campaign to kill anybody". PHILSTAR SEPTEMBER 8, 2015

Hundreds of participants of a protest caravan dubbed Manilakbayan are expected to arrive in the county’s capital, Sunday, October 25


MANILAKBAYAN JOURNEY ON WAY TO MANILA: DEFEND TALAINGOD: STOP MILITARY OPERATION IN OUR COMMUNITY. SAVE PANTARON COMMUNITY.  FACEBOOK TIMELINE

MANILA, Philippines – Nearly a week after their long journey against killings of Lumad or indigenous peoples in Mindanao, hundreds of participants of a protest caravan dubbed Manilakbayan are expected to arrive in the county’s capital on Sunday, October 25.

The caravan participants, who are called Manilakbayanis, travelled from Surigao City to Eastern Visayas, before crossing over to Luzon island, highlighting their call to stop human rights violations in various Lumad communities.

 (READ: TIMELINE: Attacks on the Lumad of Mindanao)

The campaign captured the national attention after a paramilitary group, on September 1, murdered a school director and two Lumad leaders in Surigao del Sur. (READ: #StopLumadKillings trends: Nasaan ang Pangulo?)

The spate of killings of rights activists and Lumad also alarmed two United Nations special rapporteurs who described the attacks as unacceptable and deplorable.

Challenge to President Aquino

Church groups and activist organizations from Southern Tagalog welcomed the Lumad and their advocates when they arrived in the region Saturday, October 24.

“We join our brothers and sisters in their journey from Mindanao to let the people in the national capital know about their sufferings and struggles, and to demand [that] Noynoy Aquino immediately take action. Their struggles are not different from what we are experiencing due to massive militarization and human rights violations in the region,” said Diana de Chavez, spokesperson of BIGKISAN-Southern Tagalog.


"The B.S. Aquino III  administration will be remembered as a lost opportunity for important measures that would have put an end to the culture of impunity in the country." Members of the participating human rights groups made this assessment. September 24, 2015 2:41pm GMA NEWS NETWORK

READ MORE...

Various groups, including the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) had earlier challenged the Aquino administration to probe the killings of the Lumad despite the alleged suspects’ links with the Armed Forces of the Philippines

(READ: CBCP dares Aquino admin: Probe Lumad killings)

(READ: Christian churches condemn Lumad killings)

The military, however, denied any involvement in the death of Lumad leaders.

The spate of violence has already displaced nearly 3,000 indigenous peoples, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Week-long camp-out in Manila

From Quezon and Laguna provinces, an estimated 2,000 ‘Manilakbayanis’ will travel to Muntinlupa City where they are expected to be received by various advocates in Alabang Sunday morning.

The participants will proceed to Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig where scores of political prisoners are currently detained.

“People from all walks of life have been waiting for the people of Mindanao in uniting to call for justice and plunder in their respective lands. We will be standing side by side with our Manilakbayanis from Mindanao as we assert our rights in Malacañang,” said De Chavez.

The delegates will spend Sunday night in Baclaran Church before going to UP Diliman, where a week-long camp-out will be held. – Rappler.com

----------------------------------------------------------------------

RELATED FROM THE MANILA TIMES

Meet the Lumad October 24, 2015 10:49 pm KATRINA STUART SANTIAGO


by KATRINA STUART SANTIAGO

On October 26, 800 Lumads will arrive in Manila. They will have traveled a long way from their homes, to do this protest caravan that calls for an end to the Lumad killings and the military occupation of Lumad schools and communities.

It behooves us to engage with the Lumads, to speak to them, to learn more about their lives. At a time when Manila’s mainstream media can barely get over itself doing election-related stories and “phenomena” like AlDub and JaDine, the stories about the Lumad crisis become old easily – if these are told at all.

At a time when so much depends on the “public pulse” – which is to say falling back on what’s trending on social media – the Lumads living in evacuation centers in fear of their lives, is not a story that will get the hits mainstream media seeks.

The Lumad crisis is one we are complicit in after all, if only because we allow for this silencing to continue.

The question of militarization

Despite the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP’s) denials about the presence of military and paramilitary troops in Mindanao and the CARAGA region, it is clear if we listen to the stories of the Lumad and given their lives in evacuation centers, that there is truth to their fears.

Their leaders are being tortured and killed. Teachers are left for dead, if not killed in front of the community, a warning about what could happen to them if they refuse to leave their homes.

The questions are numerous.

Why are the Lumad communities being subjected to this kind of violence? Who is funding the paramilitary groups that are wreaking havoc on their communities?

Why is the AFP unable to beat these paramilitary groups and bring peace to these communities, presuming of course that they are truly for protecting the Lumad?

The issue also gets muddled given the AFP’s and government’s insistence that in fact the Lumads who have been killed thus far are actually presumed to be members of, or are sympathetic to, the New People’s Army (NPA). And yet they have yet to answer why these victims are not given due process. Why are they being killed instead of being arrested and brought to court, for whatever charges they create against rebels?

READ MORE...

And if this is really about one, two – even 10! – individuals being suspected of being rebels, why must a whole community suffer? Why must they be threatened by violence enough to want to leave their homes?



The question of education

In June this year, the story about 3000 Lumad students who were about to lose their schools made the news (Philstar.com, 1 June). It was revealed then that Department of Education Davao del Norte Superintendent Josephine Fadul had “requested the closure of Lumad schools and requested for permission to install a public school which will have military personnel as para-teachers.”

This request was endorsed by DepEd Region XI Director Alberto Escobarte. In particular, they were eyeing the closure of Salugpongan Ta’Tanu Igkanugon Community Learning Center and MISFI Academy schools.

The Save Our Schools (SOS) Network also revealed that in fact since 2011, schools and communities “have been harassed by soldiers under the 60th and 68th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army.” (Philstar.com, 1 June)

In September was the death of ALCADEV Executive Director Emerito Samarca and Lumad leaders Dionel Campos and Datu Bello Sinzo in Surigao del Sur. (Manila Times, 19 Sept)

In October we constantly heard stories of continued militarization in the region, and the planned shut down of Lumad schools. (Inquirer.net, 6 Oct)

On the CMFR-Philippines website, they talk about the importance of establishing how Lumad schools are different from the learning institutions we are familiar with, given the fact that these are being closed down, as well as how critical it is to the discussion of the militarization of Lumad communities.

“These learning institutions fill the gaps left open by insufficient infrastructure and programs for the Lumad people. These schools emphasize the Lumad way of life and how to preserve it by teaching them to love and respect the environment or their “lupaing ninuno” (ancestral lands).” (CMFR-Phil.org, 16 Oct 2015)

Educating the Lumad is the same as educating the rest of us about nation. The violence the Lumads are subjected to, the amount of time and energy spent trying to close down their schools, is an indication that there is apparently much to fear about the educated Lumad.

The question of land

All of it has to do with the indigenous people’s (IP) lands. It is land that is desired by many, even when it is not for sale. Landgrabbing is rampant; the number of agricultural plantations keeps growing. The Lumad meanwhile is left to contend with the consequences of development that dispossess them of their lands. They are turned into mere workers of the land, instead of being treated like its landowners.

The fact that Mindanao has the largest rubber, banana and pineapple plantations in the country, with some of these encroaching on ancestral lands, and yet the Lumad remain impoverished and uneducated, tells us worlds about how development has further disenfranchised IP communities. (REAP Concept Paper, Oct 2015)

And lest one is in disbelief about the real state of the Lumad, then I respond with this: it does not even matter where you stand with regards who is at fault for this state of being Lumad in the Philippines. What matters is that we are being given the opportunity to engage with them, Filipinos who we never see or talk to, and who are coming to Manila so that we might know their stories to be true.

They can cease to be yesterday’s news. They are here.

* * *

The Lumads will be at Kampuhan sa Diliman in the University of the Philippines Diliman from October 26 to November 1. Cash and food donations are encouraged; musicians and artists who wish to engage the Lumads in performances or activities are welcome.

On October 28 REAP (Resist Expansion of Plantations in Mindanao will be launched at the College of Education Auditorium from 9:00 to 12nn.

WATCH: #Manilakbayan ng Mindanao 2014: Hundreds journey to Manila for land and justice

 
https://youtu.be/ESI5qiiLIdE

Published on Nov 24, 2014 Hundreds of human rights victims from Mindanao trooped to Manila to call for food, peace and justice. Watch the video of the solidarity program in Mendiola:

Pinoyweekly has a write up on the Mindanaoans’ journey: Most of the hundreds who joined the Manilakbayan are victims or families of victims of killings, abductions, incarceration for trumped-up charges, and harassment. Many have forcibly evacuated their homes due to intense military operations, which include the burning of homes and schools.

In 2014, Karapatan has recorded the forcible evacuation of 39 Lumad communities, affecting 4,735 men, women, and children. ... According to Karapatan, there are currently 55 combat battalions of the Armed Forces of the Philippines deployed in Mindanao.

This represents 60 percent of the country’s armed forces, or around 50,000 troops. The deployment is part of President Aquino’s counter-insurgency program, Oplan Bayanihan. According to rights groups, Oplan Bayanihan does not only aim to wipe out the revolutionary New People’s Army, but also unarmed Lumads who oppose large-scale mining and cash crop plantations that threaten their livelihood.

According to Manilakbayan spokesperson Fr. Christopher Ablon, “Agro-industrial and mining corporations sap out our ancestral lands’ natural resources and drive away the people.”

The Manilakbayan will hold a camp-out in Manila, and make the rounds of government offices and agencies to assert their demand to pull-out military troops in schools and civilian places, disband paramilitary groups, and investigate human rights violations in Mindanao.

Their series of protest actions will culminate on December 10, International Human Rights Day. Like Manilakbayan ng Mindanao Facebook page and follow them on twitter. Category People & Blogs


INQUIRER

Stormy synod ends in stalemate; over to you, Pope Francis SHARES: 83 VIEW COMMENTS @inquirerdotnet Agence France-Presse 07:13 AM October 25th, 2015


Pope Francis (R) waves during his arrival with cardinals and bishops for the morning session of the last day of the Synod on the Family at the Vatican on October 24, 2015. The Pontiff on October 4 defended marriage and heterosexual couples, as he opened a synod on the family overshadowed by a challenge to the Vatican. Pope Francis accelerated his streamlining of the Vatican bureaucracy by announcing plans to create a new ministry which will increase the role of lay believers in the Church. The Pontiff made the announcement to an afternoon session of the synod, which is due to conclude at the weekend after three weeks of often heated discussions on issues such as divorce, homosexuality and cohabitation. AFP

VATICAN CITY, Holy See — Catholic bishops on Saturday wrapped up a divisive synod by approving a compromise report reflecting a stalemate in the battle between the Church’s conservative and liberal wings over its approach to sex, love and marriage.

The document, which Pope Francis is free to ignore or implement as he sees fit, fudges the key issue of whether divorced and remarried believers should be allowed to play a full role in the Church.

And it confirms the pullback from the more explicit opening to lesbian and gay believers supported by progressives when the review of teaching on the family was launched last year.

But it also leaves Francis with room for maneuver should he wish to defy his conservative opponents and push on with his attempt to make the Church more relevant and more welcoming towards believers who find themselves in breach of its rules.

Francis, who recognized in closing remarks that the three-week synod had exposed deep divisions in the Catholic family, now has to decide if and when he updates guidelines on Catholic teaching.

The text approved Saturday advocates a “case-by-case” approach to the most controversial question, the handling of divorced and remarried believers, saying they need to play a greater role in the Church but stopping short of explicitly ending the current ban on their receiving communion.

READ MORE...

People in this situation need to be treated with discernment, allowed to play a greater role in the Church and not made to feel as if they have been excommunicated, the document states.

Underlining how controversial this section of the text was, the paragraphs related to divorced and remarried believers only just scraped the required two thirds of synod votes to gain approval.

Today’s realities

The document includes only one brief article on the Church’s approach to gay believers, framing the question in terms of how priests can help support families who have “persons with homosexual tendencies” in their midst.

It reiterates that the Church believes every person, regardless of their sexuality, is worthy of respect and a reception which takes care to “avoid every sign of unjust discrimination”.

But it strongly reiterates the Church’s opposition to gay marriage, saying: “There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and the family.”

READ: Pope’s family synod: No changes, but everything has changed

READ: Pope urges Church to move forward as gay issue overshadows synod

The emphasis contrasted sharply with first drafts last year which spoke of recognizing the value of loving same-sex relationships, to the outrage of those opposed to any dilution of Church teaching that homosexuality amounts to a kind of disorder.

In closing remarks, Francis said the synod had been about confronting “today’s realities” without “burying our heads in the sand”.

He said the divisions that had emerged reflected important cultural differences which the Church should embrace in the way it applies its teaching — an ambiguous comment that will concern conservatives.

“We have also seen that what seems normal for a bishop on one continent is considered strange and almost scandalous for a bishop from another,” he said.

Francis, 78, also appeared to take a new swipe at the conservatives who had accused him of rigging the synod’s organization to try to engineer progressive conclusions.

“The different opinions which were freely expressed -– and at times, unfortunately, not in entirely well-meaning ways -– certainly led to a rich and lively dialogue,” he said.

With conservative clerics talking of “Beasts of the Apocalypse” and the “whiff of Satan” stalking the synod, the debates of the last three weeks were played out against backdrop of frenzied claim and counter-claim.

It made for riveting drama and lively headlines but there are many who fear the gathering will be remembered primarily for the divisions on display rather than any progress on making the Church more relevant to the modern world.

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RELATED FROM REUTER

Pope, closing synod, calls for more open-hearted Church VATICAN CITY | BY PHILIP PULLELLA


 Pope Francis leaves at the end of a mass to mark the closure of the synod on the family in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, October 25, 2015. REUTERS/ALESSANDRO BIANCHI

Pope Francis closed a contentious bishops' meeting on family issues on Sunday calling for a more open-hearted, compassionate Church rooted in people's lives and not a programmatic, arid one that fears changes and challenges.

At the end of the three week gathering, the bishops agreed to a qualified opening toward divorcees who have remarried outside the Church and currently cannot receive communion.

But the final document effectively sidestepped the issue of whether the Church should use more welcoming language towards homosexuals - a topic that threw a preliminary meeting into turmoil a year ago.

On Saturday, the pope excoriated Church leaders who he said sometimes bury their heads in the sand and hide behind rigid doctrine while families suffer..

The overall results appeared to be a qualified victory for Francis, who is the final arbiter and will now write his own major document on family issues.

"A faith that does not know how to root itself in the life of people remains arid and, rather than oases, creates other deserts," he said on Sunday.

The pope has stressed since his election in 2013 that the 1.2 billion-member Church should be open to change, side with the poor and rid itself of the pomp and stuffiness that has alienated so many Catholics.

The synod avoided the very real possibility of ending in a total deadlock on some issues but the fact that conservatives came very close to defeating the articles on divorcees underscored the deep divisions that remain in its wake.

The conservative Voice of the Family group said the meeting had left a "a crisis of trust" between the faithful and Church leaders over the opening to divorcees, which it said would lead to "the scandalizing of the faithful, not least our children and grandchildren."

Father Tom Reese, a progressive analyst for the National Catholic Reporter, said that the synod was a defeat for "those (conservatives) who wanted to emphasize the law over mercy, who were opposed to any changes in Church practice."

COMPASSION

The pope continued his theme of a more compassionate, more listening Church in his Sunday homily of a Mass with the bishops in St. Peter's Basilica.

He weaved his comments around the Bible story of Jesus stopping to restore sight to a blind man while his apostles had not been moved by the man's cries.

"This can be a danger for us: in the face of constant problems, it is better to move on, instead of letting ourselves be bothered ... our hearts are not open," Francis said at the Mass, attended by the synod's 270 bishops.

He said Church leaders needed to beware "a scheduled faith" where everything was programmed, and a condescending point of view where "whoever bothers us or is not of our stature is excluded".

The pope's tough speech on Saturday night was the latest in a series of his admonitions to his bishops to be more flexible and merciful without changing basic doctrine.

In it, he appeared to criticize the ultra-conservatives who nearly derailed some of the synod's openings.

He said the synod had "laid bare the closed hearts which frequently hide even behind the Church's teachings or good intentions, in order to sit in the chair of Moses and judge, sometimes with superiority and superficiality, difficult cases and wounded families".

(Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by Ros Russell)


Pope reaffirms love for Pinoys By Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 26, 2015 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Daet Bishop Gilbert Garcera said the pope recalled with “great happiness” the “Lolo Kiko” nickname that Filipinos gave him. Philstar.com/File

MANILA, Philippines - Pope Francis has reaffirmed his love for the Filipino faithful during the synod on the family in the Vatican, which concludes today.

This was according to Filipino bishops who had a brief encounter with the pontiff, who recalled his impression of the Filipino’s great faith and respect for elders.

“The Holy Father said ‘I have special admiration for the Filipinos,’” Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma quoted the pope as saying in a post on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines website.

“Basically, he is taking us as people of great faith,” he said.

Daet Bishop Gilbert Garcera, for his part, said the pope recalled with “great happiness” the “Lolo Kiko” nickname that Filipinos gave him.

“He was really laughing and was so happy about it,” Garcera said.

Palma said it created a good impression on the pope how the elderly are held in high regard in the Philippines.

“It’s a sign that I am appreciated. I am loved in the Philippines,” Pope Francis said, according to the Cebu prelate.

Palma and Garcera were among six Filipinos out of 270 prelates and 18 couples from around the world who participated in the synod on the family.

READ MORE...

Both added that results of the synod will highlight the church’s “great concern” for families and also address the many issues facing families in the modern world.

“It makes us aware of the realities of families. It makes us aware that efforts are being done all over the world,” said Palma, a former president of the CBCP.

“The church must accompany all people of God whoever they are. We are sinners but the church must be there to guide, to help, and to tell them that God will never ever abandon us. That is the point,” Garcera added, alluding to the matter of communion for divorced and remarried persons.

Among the issues raised in the synod, which started last Oct. 4, is the possibility of divorced and remarried Catholics to receive holy communion again as they are currently barred from doing so.

“What is important is that although they cannot receive communion, they are still part of the people of God,” Garcera said.

“No matter what condition you are in, the church must still take care of you because, basically, God will never abandon us no matter what,” he said.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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