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EDITORIALS & OPINIONS OF THE WEEK:
(Mini Reads followed by Full news commentary)

FROM GMANEWS NETWORK

By Fr. Ranhilio C. Aquino: ABORTION REMAINS THE TERRIBLE THING IT IS ...SO POPE FRANCIS' GESTURE MEANS A LOT


FR. RANHILIO CALLANGAN AQUINO - So that all may understand what Pope Francis is reported to have done for the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, here is the current practice in the Church. Abortion that is deliberately procured (in other words: asked for by a woman who knows that it is gravely wrong and that it can get her separated from the life of the Church) or that is deliberately performed on another results in "excommunication latae sententiae"...an archaic way of saying: By your thoughtless and heartless act, you have separated yourself from the Body of Christ. Nobody did this to you. You did it to yourself. That is how seriously the Church takes the UNJUST AND EVIL TERMINATION of human life. Of course the Church understands the difficulty that women sometimes find themselves in....but no difficulty is ever so that it can justify terminating life in the womb. It is a RESERVED SIN...which means that it takes a bishop to absolve it in the Sacrament of Penance. READ MORE...

ALSO by Atty Bruce Rivera: The Iglesia ni Cristo and the game of politics


ATTY. BRUCE V. RIVERA
I seldom talk about politics. Let us just say I have given up on Philippine politics after becoming a lawyer and realizing the political immaturity of the Filipino voter. My experiences as a lawyer in recent political scandals just fortified my disdain for politics and everything it stands for today. The past week was like an eye-opener for me. No matter how I avoided politics, the sad reality is that: Filipinos breathe, think, sleep and even, pray politics. It is like a drug to every Filipino and after a long time cold turkey, I had a relapse. The premise of the conflict is simple. The SOJ de Lima called for a preliminary investigation of several INC church leaders based on the testimony of Mr. Isias Samson, a former-minister-turned-nemesis with allegations of serious illegal detention. Let me start by saying that while Pinoy telenovelas usually end with serious illegal detention, Pinoy political scandals usually begin with serious illegal detention. Coincidence or not, but makes me wonder if this is God’s way of telling us that we have to stop getting too involved with telenovelas or politics, I just do not know which is which. The response of the INC was swift. Indignation rallies against de Lima in Padre Faura and in EDSA calling for her resignation and branding the investigation as persecution and meddling by the state in an internal squabble in the INC. The infamous “separation of Church and State” tagline now becomes as popular as AlDub and the Pabebe Girls. The problem with instant rallies is that it will cause inconvenience especially if you manage to block traffic in two major thoroughfares, EDSA and Taft Avenue. Many wondered why rally in EDSA when Commonwealth Avenue is much wider and within view of the mother-ship church or the Philippine Arena which has better acoustic support for more dramatic shout-outs. As a result, a crippling traffic situation, an angry mob directed against the INC calling the latter as “bullies” and the chance of politicians to show their real colors. Let me get this off my chest, and I know a lot of my INC friends will not be happy with this, but the law is not on their side with this one. First of all, the anger is premature. Sec. de Lima merely called out for a preliminary investigation. Every lawyer knows that in a preliminary investigation, there are no accusations yet. It is a proceeding that would allow several INC leaders to answer their accusers, in this case, Samson. The State has not taken a side in this case yet because no criminal complaint was ever filed at this point. READ MORE...

ALSO: WE WON THE WAR!
[Ang pagtatagumpay ng Pilipino noong Ikalawang Digmaang Pandaigdig]


Sa ibang bansa, ang petsa ng pagtatagumpay sa digmaan ang ipinagdiriwang. Ngunit sa Pilipinas, ang araw ng pagbagsak ng Bataan noong 1942 ang ginugunita natin bilang Araw ng Kagitingan, April 9.] Oo nga at napakahalaga ng pangyayaring ito nang pagsuko ng mga pwersang Pilipino-Amerikano sa mga Hapones matapos ang pinakamatagal na pakikibaka laban sa mga Hapones sa Asya, mahigit tatlong buwan sa kabila nang pag-iwan ng suporta ng pamahalaan ng Estados Unidos sa mga defenders ng Bataan.
Sinundan ito ng malagim na Death March kung saan mga 70,000 sundalong Pilipino at 11,000 na mga Amerikano ay pwersahang pinalakad ng 100 kilometro mula Bataan hanggang Capas, Tarlac. Sa buong mundo, ang “Remember Bataan” ay naging simbolo ng katapangan ng Pilipino at Amerikano. Ngunit napapaisip ako, hindi kaya may kinalaman ang paggunita lamang natin sa “Fall of Bataan” sa kaisipang ang mga beterano at gerilyerong Pilipino ay talunan noong World War 2 o Ikalawang Digmaang Pandaigdig? Na ang tunay na bida lamang na nagligtas sa atin sa mga pelikula at sa mga palabas ay si Heneral Douglas MacArthur at ang mga Amerikano. Kung hindi sila dumating, hindi tayo lalaya. Hindi masyadong ginugunita ang petsang ito, September 2. Seventy years ago, alas otso ng umaga sa araw na iyon noong 1945 nang magpasyang sumuko sa mga sundalong Amerikano ng 32nd Infantry Division ang pangkalahatang kumander na Hapones na si Heneral Tomoyuki Yamashita sa Kiangan, Ifugao. Nakilala si Yamashita noong 1942 dahil sa loob lamang ng 14 na araw ay nakuha niya ang maraming bansa sa Timog Silangang Asya, binansagang “The Tiger of Malaya.” Ngunit hindi mangyayari ito kung hindi dahil sa sigasig ng mga gerilyerong Pilipino. Ang papel ng Pilipino sa tagumpay ng Digmaang Pasipiko Oo nga at malaki talaga ang papel ng Hukbong Amerikano sa Liberasyon ng Pilipinas noong 1945. Ngunit, una, marami din silang nawasak, lalo na sa pagbomba nila sa Maynila upang talunin ang mga Hapones. Ang Maynila ang naging 2nd most destroyed Allied city in the World. Pangalawa, malaki ang papel ng iba’t ibang grupo ng mga naiwang gerilya upang magbigay impormasyon sa mga Amerikano at tumulong din sila sa paghahanda sa mga operasyon sa pamamagitan ng mga intelligence reports, at sa pakikipagbakbakan, tulad ng makikita sa pelikulang “The Great Raid” sa pinakamalaking pagliligtas sa mga bihag na Amerikano sa Cabanatuan. Sa Cebu halimbawa, sa pagdating ng mga Amerikano, sinalubong na lamang sila ng mga gerilyerong Pilipino dahil napahina na nila ang mga puwersang Hapones doon. Pangatlo, absent din sa mga aklat pero kinuwentuhan ako ng mga beterano na lumaban din sila sa Battle for Manila. Nanguna rin ang mga Hunter’s ROTC Guerillas sa pananagumpay sa “Raid of Los Baños” dahil nahuli ng dating ang mga Amerikano. Ganoon din nakatulong sa pagpapabagsak sa Maynila ang pag-agaw ng mga gerilyerong Pilipino ng Hunter’s sa Parañaque na naging dahilan ng pagpasok ng mga Amerikano sa Timog ng Lungsod ng Maynila. READ MORE...

ALSO by Rene Saguisag: Iglesia super-bullying (?) and the rule of law


 ATTY. RENE SAGUISAG
Where do the guys and dolls with a moist eye case on the presidency stand on the current reportedly disruptive Iglesia ni Cristo demo? Who is for the Rule of Law? Prudent. Who seems to be for a trapo stance? This may or may not be prudent. I am often Pusong Mamon but on this one I find it hard to cave in to the seeming or arguable super-bullying by the Iglesia, which does not want a criminal complaint probed at all. For crying out loud! Everybody else charged with a crime, presents his side before some prosecutor, who may file a case or dismiss the case as totally unfounded and even recommend a case for malicious prosecution. The Iglesia seems to scare the bejesus out of anyone caring for its support. But, not Justice Sec. Leila de Lima, who has my vote for the Senate in 2016, assuming I'd still be around then. The Iglesia is one reason I didn't run for reelection for the Senate or election (for Makati Cong, despite Jojobama's entreaties) after my stint in the Senate. I have lived in Makati since 1979 as my Dulce's star boarder and I had attended Makati Elem. So, I'd josh Jojobama, that should I run for Cong, he didn't have to cheat more than absolutely necessary. Pero talaga pong walang hilig. I am simply not cut out for public life in government. To be sure, I don't want to make mano again to the Iglesia as I was advised to do; I did in 1987, and went on to win without spending a single centavo of my own. When our ticket was launched publicly in early 1987 in the Palace, the applause for me was the loudest and longest, as I recall it. But, much as I am grateful for the 1987 support, I don't want any of my children having to do the same - make mano - for the Iglesia's command vote, much sought for. The thinking or decision is made at the highest and its members are not allowed to think for themselves, for unity, I am told. I think it goes against the grain of each citizen being a particle of popular sovereignty. Even a family may be divided - on principle. The Iglesia is said to support perceived sure winners. I was No. 2 in Metro Manila in 1987, behind Orly Mercado. Now, the Iglesia is again - not the first time - inconveniencing the public not for kapakanang pambayan, but for kapakanang pansarili, here, to stop Leila from doing her duty. It used to be scary to hear "the First Lady wants this," now, it is "the Iglesia wants this." From where I sit, no matter what happens, the winner is Leila, the losers, the trapos, throwbacks to the time of Macoy and Imelda. She's on the right side of history here. READ MORE...

ALSO Tag# Torre de Manila: Unparalleled chance to uphold nat’l heritage


IVAN HENARES The Supreme Court of the Philippines is in a position that can change the way we plan our towns and cities. It can make an impact, not just on heritage conservation, but on urban planning and sustainable development around the country, by making the current helter-skelter development a thing of the past.
I attended two oral arguments on the Torre de Manila case. The oral arguments on August 18, 2015 were very important for planning and zoning in the Philippines. We were introduced to Manila City Ordinance No. 8119, the ordinance that adopted the Manila Comprehensive Land Use Plan and Zoning Regulations of 2006. I learned that Manila's Zoning Ordinance has several provisions that protect heritage, four years before the Heritage Law was enacted! The biggest revelation was that all the high-rise buildings in Manila built since June 2007 may not have valid permits because they do not conform with the floor area ratio (FAR) allowed in their respective zones and did not go through the procedure mandated by the ordinance to obtain a variance. During his six years as mayor, Alfredo Lim had this erroneous notion that because the National Building Code allowed a higher limit, he could suspend the height limits prescribed by the stricter local ordinance. Unfortunately, he was not allowed to suspend any provisions of the zoning ordinance. And thus, many of the permits they issued did not follow the rule of law. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Abortion remains the terrible thing it is...so Pope Francis’ gesture means a lot


FR. RANHILIO CALLANGAN AQUINO

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 7, 2015 (GMA NEWS NETWORK) September 3, 2015 11:49am Tags: abortion, popefrancis By FR. RANHILIO CALLANGAN AQUINO - So that all may understand what Pope Francis is reported to have done for the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, here is the current practice in the Church.

Abortion that is deliberately procured (in other words: asked for by a woman who knows that it is gravely wrong and that it can get her separated from the life of the Church) or that is deliberately performed on another results in "excommunication latae sententiae"...an archaic way of saying: By your thoughtless and heartless act, you have separated yourself from the Body of Christ. Nobody did this to you. You did it to yourself.

That is how seriously the Church takes the UNJUST AND EVIL TERMINATION of human life.

Of course the Church understands the difficulty that women sometimes find themselves in....but no difficulty is ever so that it can justify terminating life in the womb.

It is a RESERVED SIN...which means that it takes a bishop to absolve it in the Sacrament of Penance.

READ MORE ...

In actual practice, bishops will grant some, if not all of their priests, the "faculties" (read: powers) to forgive these sins in his behalf.

During the Jubilee Year of Mercy, it seems that Pope Francis is minded on granting the faculty to all priests.

Does this make abortion any more benign? IT CAN NEVER BE BENIGN...and that is why Pope Francis' gesture means a lot.

It confronts the horror of the sin of abortion with the available mercy of God through the sacrament of penance, that can now, for such sins, be administered through the ministry of a priest, the minister of the church.

So far from saying that abortion is not as bad as it has been made of, by the Church, Pope Francis is actually saying: SEE HOW GREAT THE MERCY OF GOD IS THAT SUCH A HORRIBLE THING AS ABORTION FINDS FORGIVENESS IN HIS GENTLE HEART when one of course is truly penitent.

Fr. Ranhilio Callangan Aquino is the dean of the San Beda Graduate School of Law.


The Iglesia ni Cristo and the game of politics September 1, 2015 8:59am Tags: iglesianicristo By ATTY. BRUCE V. RIVERA


ATTY. BRUCE V. RIVERA

I seldom talk about politics. Let us just say I have given up on Philippine politics after becoming a lawyer and realizing the political immaturity of the Filipino voter. My experiences as a lawyer in recent political scandals just fortified my disdain for politics and everything it stands for today.

The past week was like an eye-opener for me. No matter how I avoided politics, the sad reality is that: Filipinos breathe, think, sleep and even, pray politics. It is like a drug to every Filipino and after a long time cold turkey, I had a relapse.

The premise of the conflict is simple. The SOJ de Lima called for a preliminary investigation of several INC church leaders based on the testimony of Mr. Isias Samson, a former-minister-turned-nemesis with allegations of serious illegal detention. Let me start by saying that while Pinoy telenovelas usually end with serious illegal detention, Pinoy political scandals usually begin with serious illegal detention. Coincidence or not, but makes me wonder if this is God’s way of telling us that we have to stop getting too involved with telenovelas or politics, I just do not know which is which.

The response of the INC was swift. Indignation rallies against de Lima in Padre Faura and in EDSA calling for her resignation and branding the investigation as persecution and meddling by the state in an internal squabble in the INC. The infamous “separation of Church and State” tagline now becomes as popular as AlDub and the Pabebe Girls.

The problem with instant rallies is that it will cause inconvenience especially if you manage to block traffic in two major thoroughfares, EDSA and Taft Avenue. Many wondered why rally in EDSA when Commonwealth Avenue is much wider and within view of the mother-ship church or the Philippine Arena which has better acoustic support for more dramatic shout-outs. As a result, a crippling traffic situation, an angry mob directed against the INC calling the latter as “bullies” and the chance of politicians to show their real colors.

Let me get this off my chest, and I know a lot of my INC friends will not be happy with this, but the law is not on their side with this one. First of all, the anger is premature. Sec. de Lima merely called out for a preliminary investigation.

Every lawyer knows that in a preliminary investigation, there are no accusations yet. It is a proceeding that would allow several INC leaders to answer their accusers, in this case, Samson. The State has not taken a side in this case yet because no criminal complaint was ever filed at this point.

READ MORE...

Many INC protestors are saying that what Samson is saying is a lie and I will not even rebut that. However, that is precisely the purpose of a preliminary investigation. To ferret out some facts to determine if an actual case should be filed. If there is no truth to the allegations, I am sure it will be dismissed. And if there are facts that may lead the DOJ to believe that there is some probable cause, then a case will be filed where there is a court that will determine if the accused are guilty beyond reasonable doubt. And if the trial court errs, the higher courts will always be an option through appeal.

See, it is still a very long process and being agitated at the beginning of the process courted more suspicion than support.

As a professor of Constitutional Law, the separation of Church and State has been used and often abused in this case. The more precise description of this state principle is that the State cannot interfere in purely religious matter and the Church cannot also interfere in matters of the State. Easier said than done. But our Constitution makes it a point to highlight this separation by exempting the Church from taxation, establishing the non-establishment clause in the Bill of Rights preventing the state from establishing a state religion or discriminating a citizen based on his religious beliefs among other things.

This rule, however is not iron-clad because when it pertains to commission of crime, it becomes a matter of state and the same can be justified in having jurisdiction. Furthermore, a crime is a prosecution against persons and not against the church. It is different when the government through the Office of Muslim Affairs decides to take-over the classification of halal from the Islamic Da’wah Council because in this case, there is really an intrusion of religious affairs. Lastly, defining a crime has always been the domain of state and no church can make its own penal code much less impose it.

While the reason d’etre of the INC rally may have been flawed from a legal standpoint, it does not discount the right of every INC member, as a citizen, to express his opinion and to assemble peacefully to redress a grievance. However, like every exercise of a right, it is not without limitation or effect. While you have the right to voice out your opinion, there is a chance that others will voice out a contrary view and if it happens to be a majority view, the backlash is expected. The inconvenience the rallies created added to the backlash because normally nonchalant citizens suddenly became active participants in the movement.

Normally, when it is just a battle of legal viewpoints, the impasse ends with a court of law deciding the verdict. But it turns ugly when it becomes a religious bickering. When people resort to name-calling, sending pictures of “dinuguan” or bashing, that is where I draw the line.

I am with the Catholic Church in calling for sobriety and understanding for the INC despite differences in opinion. Religions will always differ in beliefs and that is the reason why many Catholics will never understand the matter from the perspective of the INC. So, if you base your reasons on the premise “kung nangyari sa pari namin iyan, hindi ako magre-react nang ganyan,” you will only invite more argument.

We just have to accept the fact that the INC is different. They have been indoctrinated in a manner that is beyond our understanding; in the same breath why they will not understand why some Catholics give up their lives just to touch the Black Nazarene on a specific day or our self-mutilation during Holy Week as penance. We can complain without being insensitive. And this also goes to some INC members whose rebuttal to our woes was the Papal Visit. Which makes me laugh because I know that to non-Catholics, it was really an inconvenience, albeit planned. In the free market of ideas, it pays to argue with class.

The real revelation about the INC debacle is hanging over our heads and no one dares to ask the question. So, I will ask the question and pray to my God that I will not be crucified like him: Who gave a minority religious group like the Iglesia Ni Kristo, not even one-tenth as many as the Catholic Church, so much power and influence that it has the confidence (audacity, to some) to stage a protest and expect the State to kowtow in fear? The Catholic Church did it in the past but with 80% of the population, it is a mystery why we have not elected a priest as President. It is amazing why election after election, presidentiables and senatoriables have to make a courtesy call to INC leadership like their political lives depended on it. It is mind-boggling how the announcement of INC-supported candidates get more media mileage than the CBCP list.

With all honesty, this is testament to how powerful its indoctrination is; that its leadership wields so much power over the flock, it can sway all if not most of its members to vote as a bloc. There is nothing wrong with that. Every religion has the right to preach its dogmas and doctrines and the way they have preached to their flock is just so effective, it blows me to pieces.

The problem starts when people who want to control the State are willing to use the Church to get elected. Then, the separation becomes blurry. If the State allows the Church to dictate election results by allowing open endorsement of candidates, then it will give religious groups like (INC, El Shaddai, etc) enough concessions to wield influence in the matters of State because patronage politics is still a reality in this country. That is the reason why some politicians are willing to prostitute convictions and the rule of law so they will not earn the ire of the INC and others who may already know their fate with the INC to readily criticize it.

And in my book, there is a worse politician than a thief: it is a sell-out.

Bruce Villafuerte Rivera is a lawyer, law professor, and member of the LGBT community.


WE WON THE WAR!
[Ang pagtatagumpay ng Pilipino noong Ikalawang Digmaang Pandaigdig] September 2, 2015 1:29pm Tags: worldwar2 By XIAO CHUA

Sa ibang bansa, ang petsa ng pagtatagumpay sa digmaan ang ipinagdiriwang. Ngunit sa Pilipinas, ang araw ng pagbagsak ng Bataan noong 1942 ang ginugunita natin bilang Araw ng Kagitingan, April 9.]

Oo nga at napakahalaga ng pangyayaring ito nang pagsuko ng mga pwersang Pilipino-Amerikano sa mga Hapones matapos ang pinakamatagal na pakikibaka laban sa mga Hapones sa Asya, mahigit tatlong buwan sa kabila nang pag-iwan ng suporta ng pamahalaan ng Estados Unidos sa mga defenders ng Bataan.

Sinundan ito ng malagim na Death March kung saan mga 70,000 sundalong Pilipino at 11,000 na mga Amerikano ay pwersahang pinalakad ng 100 kilometro mula Bataan hanggang Capas, Tarlac. Sa buong mundo, ang “Remember Bataan” ay naging simbolo ng katapangan ng Pilipino at Amerikano.

Ngunit napapaisip ako, hindi kaya may kinalaman ang paggunita lamang natin sa “Fall of Bataan” sa kaisipang ang mga beterano at gerilyerong Pilipino ay talunan noong World War 2 o Ikalawang Digmaang Pandaigdig? Na ang tunay na bida lamang na nagligtas sa atin sa mga pelikula at sa mga palabas ay si Heneral Douglas MacArthur at ang mga Amerikano. Kung hindi sila dumating, hindi tayo lalaya.

Hindi masyadong ginugunita ang petsang ito, September 2. Seventy years ago, alas otso ng umaga sa araw na iyon noong 1945 nang magpasyang sumuko sa mga sundalong Amerikano ng 32nd Infantry Division ang pangkalahatang kumander na Hapones na si Heneral Tomoyuki Yamashita sa Kiangan, Ifugao. Nakilala si Yamashita noong 1942 dahil sa loob lamang ng 14 na araw ay nakuha niya ang maraming bansa sa Timog Silangang Asya, binansagang “The Tiger of Malaya.”

Ngunit hindi mangyayari ito kung hindi dahil sa sigasig ng mga gerilyerong Pilipino.

Ang papel ng Pilipino sa tagumpay ng Digmaang Pasipiko

Oo nga at malaki talaga ang papel ng Hukbong Amerikano sa Liberasyon ng Pilipinas noong 1945. Ngunit, una, marami din silang nawasak, lalo na sa pagbomba nila sa Maynila upang talunin ang mga Hapones. Ang Maynila ang naging 2nd most destroyed Allied city in the World.

Pangalawa, malaki ang papel ng iba’t ibang grupo ng mga naiwang gerilya upang magbigay impormasyon sa mga Amerikano at tumulong din sila sa paghahanda sa mga operasyon sa pamamagitan ng mga intelligence reports, at sa pakikipagbakbakan, tulad ng makikita sa pelikulang “The Great Raid” sa pinakamalaking pagliligtas sa mga bihag na Amerikano sa Cabanatuan. Sa Cebu halimbawa, sa pagdating ng mga Amerikano, sinalubong na lamang sila ng mga gerilyerong Pilipino dahil napahina na nila ang mga puwersang Hapones doon.

Pangatlo, absent din sa mga aklat pero kinuwentuhan ako ng mga beterano na lumaban din sila sa Battle for Manila. Nanguna rin ang mga Hunter’s ROTC Guerillas sa pananagumpay sa “Raid of Los Baños” dahil nahuli ng dating ang mga Amerikano. Ganoon din nakatulong sa pagpapabagsak sa Maynila ang pag-agaw ng mga gerilyerong Pilipino ng Hunter’s sa Parañaque na naging dahilan ng pagpasok ng mga Amerikano sa Timog ng Lungsod ng Maynila.

READ MORE....

Mula nang bumagsak ang Bataan, ang mga gerilya sa buong Pilipinas na ayaw tanggapin ang pagsuko ang patuloy na lumaban sa mga Hapones. Ayon sa historyador na si Ricardo Trota José, “The end of formal resistance, however, saw the birth of a strong, nationwide, guerilla resistance against the Japanese—a struggle for freedom which sustained the ideals of Filipinos throughout their colonial history. …the heroic struggle brought out the best in the Filipino character in the face of adversity and served as a beacon to freedom loving peoples everywhere.”

Ilan lamang ito sa marami pang mga kuwento na nagpapakita ng bahagi ng mga Pilipino sa pananagumpay ng Allied Forces sa digmaan.

Ang Koga Papers

Madaling araw ng April 1, 1944: Isang eroplano ang bumagsak sa dagat malapit sa baybayin ng San Fernando at Carcar sa Timog Cebu. Ang sakay ng eroplano: Ilang susing opisyal ng hukbong pandagat ng imperyong Hapones na nasa isang inspection mission. Nahuli ng mga Pilipinong gerilya sa Cebu sa pamumuno ng isang Amerikanong si James Cushing sina Vice Admiral Shigeru Fukudome, Chief of Staff ng Japanese Imperial Combined Fleet, at siyam pang opisyal at mga tauhan ng Imperial Japanese Navy. Nasawi sa crash si Admiral Mineichi Koga, ang commander ng combined fleet.

Mula sa wreckage ng eroplano, inanod ang isang maleta na puno ng mga papeles ni Koga. At natagpuan ng mga gerilya na ito ang mga papeles. Dito nakadetalye ang mga plano ng mga Hapones na magdulot ng matinding pinsala sa papalapit na mga pwersang pandagat ng mga Amerikano. Nakatala rin dito ang kumpletong pagtataya ng lakas at disposisyon ng mga barkong pandigma ng mga Hapones.

Dahil sa high strategic value ng mga papeles, hinanap ng mga Hapones ang mga papeles ni Koga sa mga dalampasigan ng Naga hanggang Carcar. Brutal ang naging pamamaraan nina Koronel Takeshi Watanabe upang maisakatuparan ang kanilang misyon na mahanap ang mga Koga Papers at ang mga bihag na mga Hapones, minaltrato at pinatay ang mga sibilyan at sinunog ang mga bahay at tinugis ang mga gerilya hanggang sa kagubatan ng Cebu.

Ngunit hindi isinuko ng mga gerilya ang mga papel. Isinilid ang mga dokumentong ito sa isang sisidlan ng bala ng mortar, waterproof, itinawid ng dagat patungo sa Negros Oriental. Mula dito, isinakay sa isang submarino at dinala sa Australia, kay Heneral Douglas MacArthur mismo sa kanyang himpilan sa Southwest Pacific Command.

Mula sa mga Koga Papers, nalaman nilang ang mga Hapones ay naghahanda sa paglalanding ng mga Amerikano mula sa Mindanao, ngunit mahina ang depensa sa bandang Visayas. Plano sanang bumalik ni MacArthur sa Sarangani Bay sa Mindanao noong December 1944.

Kaya naman, pinaaga ni MacArthur ang nakatakdang pagbabalik at magaganap na ito sa Leyte sa Visayas noong October 20, 1944.

Pakikipagtulungan ng mga gerilyerong Pilipino kay Chick Parsons

Sa kabila ng masyadong pagbibigay pansin sa mga Amerikano bilang tagapagpalaya ng Pilipinas kahit na ba kasama talaga nila ang mga gerilyang Pilipino, mayroon pa ring mga kamangha-manghang kwento ng mga Amerikano na hindi gaanong naikukuwento sa mga tao.

Sa katunayan ang kwento ng Amerikanong ito ang lalong magpapatibay sa naratibo ng tulungang Pilipino-Amerikano para palayain ang bayan.

Ito ang kwento ni Charles Thomas Parsons, Jr. na mas kilala sa tawag na Chick.


Charles Thomas Parsons, Jr. (also known as Chick Parsons) was a businessman, diplomat, and decorated World War II veteran. He was born April 22, 1902, in Shelbyville, Tennessee. Parsons died in May 1988, survived by his four sons, Michael, Peter, Patrick and Jose. Charles Parsons' interest in the Philippines occurred because two of his uncles had gone there to seek their fortune. FROM WIKIPEDIA

Siya ay isinilang sa Tennessee noong 1902 at naging interesado sa Pilipinas dahil sa kanyang mga tiyong negosyante dito. Natuto Mangastila at nagkaroon ng iba’t ibang klase ng trabaho para makarating sa Maynila. Dahil din sa kanyang kaalaman sa shorthand, naging sekretaryo ni Governor General Leonard Wood at sa kanyang mga paglalakbay natutunan ang kultura at ilang mga wikang Pilipino at naging kaibigan ng marami.

Nag-aral, matapos ay nagtrabaho sa Philippine Telephone and Telegraph Company at naging negosyante ng mga kahoy sa Zamboanga. Sa kabila ng marami pa niyang ibang mga negosyo, sumali siya sa US Naval Reserve bilang tinyente sa mga submarino.

Noong 1941, paretiro na sana si Parsons sa edad na 39, maglalaro na lamang nang kanyang paboritong laro na polo nang bigla na lamang salakayin ng mga Hapones ang Pilipinas. Bilang naging aktibong tinyente si Parsons ng US Navy, siya ang nagbigay ng suplay sa mga submarino patungong Bataan at Corregidor sa pagsisimula ng digmaan.

Pero nanatili siya sa Maynila at nagkaroon ng papeles bilang pansalamantalang consul ng Panama, at nagkaroon ng diplomatic immunity bilang diplomat ng isang neutral country. Kasama sa pagpapanggap ng kanilang pamilya ang pagsasalita ng wikang Espanyol. Dahil dito nakapagbigay sila ng importanteng mga impormasyon sa mga pwersang Amerikano, at dahil medyo naging kayumanggi na siya nagpapanggap na magsasaka para kausapin ang mga gerilya.

Natortyur ngunit dahil diplomat, pinaalis ng bansa. Dala-dala ang kanyang intelligence notes sa isang diaper bag, nang halughugin ang gamit nila pasakay sa barko, binigay niya ito sa limang taong gulang niyang anak na si Peter. Sinwerteng hindi hinalughog ang bag na ito.

Nang makabalik ang pamilya sa Estados Unidos, siya ay nagreport kay Heneral Douglas MacArthur at dahil sa matinding kaalaman sa Pilipinas, siya ang namuno sa pagdadala ng mga suplay, pagkain at nakipagkontak sa mga gerilyang Pilipino, sikretong naglakbay sa mga submarino ng walong beses at ilang beses pa sa himpapawid lalo na sa Mindanao. Ang operasyon niyang ito ay nakilala bilang “Spyron” (Spy Squadron).

Nakita rin siya ng ilan na nagpanggap na paring naglalakad sa Maynila, at nagkukumpisal pa si Manuel Roxas sa kanya ng mga impormasyon ukol sa mga posisyon ng mga Hapones.

Siyam na araw bago lumapag si MacArthur sa Leyte narooon na siya upang ihanda ang mga gerilya.

Sa pagtatapos ng digmaan tumulong siya bilang negosyante sa muling pagtatag ng bansa.

Labanan sa Bessang Pass at ang pagsuko ni Yamashita

Ang Bessang Pass sa Cervantes, Ilocos Sur, ang siyang lagusan tungo sa Baguio at mga kabundukan ng Cordillera. Ito ang huling tanggulan ni Heneral Yamashita na ilang buwan nang umuurong sa Ilocandia.

Ang limang buwang labanan sa Ilocos ay nagsimula noong January 8, 1945, nang lusubin ng mga gerilyerong Pilipino ng United States Army Forces in the Philippines, Northern Luzon o USAFIP-NL sa pangunguna ni Colonel Russel Volkmann ang mga linyang Hapones sa Bitalag, Tagudin, Ilocos Sur.

Noong Pebrero 1945, pinapalayas na nila ang mga Hapones sa mga labanan sa paligid ng Cervantes, Tagudin, Ilocos Norte at Abra. Gayundin, sa isang labanan, napatay ng mga gerilya ang ilang pinunong Hapones sa Naguilian, La Union at napasakamay nila mula sa isa sa mga namatay, si Major Tauchi, ang mapa ng mga posisyon ng mga Hapones. Ayon sa isang nahuling sundalong Hapones na si Col. Sotomo Terau, ang pagkakuha ng mapa ang naging susi sa pagkabigo nilang mga Hapones.

Matapos na mapalaya mula sa mga Hapones ang San Fernando, La Union noong March 29, nagsimula nang marahang akyatin at lusubin ng mga gerilya ang Bessang Pass.

Mahirap ang laban dahil sa kagubatan at talampas nagtitiis ng hirap ang mga gerilya.

Ayon sa isang gerilya, si Col. Ricardo Madayag, isa sa pinakamahirap na labanan ay ang Labanan sa Nalidawan Ridge noong April 25. Nakataas ang mga Hapones sa kabundukan na nagpaulan sa kanila ng bala. Hindi makita ang mga Hapones na nagtatago sa mga kakahuyan, tanging ang pag-ulan ng bala ang kanilang nakikita.

Marami ang nasawi at ni hindi sila makapag-break, kumakain sila habang nakikipagpalitan ng putok maghapon at magdamag. Sinuportahan sila ng mga eroplanong Amerikano na nagpaulan ng mga napalm bombs sa mga posisyon ng kalaban.

Noong June 14, 1945, matapos ang isang labanan, naitaas sa ibabaw ng Buccual Ridge ang isang simbolikong bandila, isang dirty green na bimpo. Tanda ng pagtatagumpay ng 20,000 gerilyang Pilipino at limang Amerikanong opiser ng USAFIP-NL sa kabila ng sakripisyo ng dalawang libo sa kanila na nasawi sa labanan.

Ang labanan na ito ang huling pako ng kabiguan na magpapasuko kay Yamashita mula sa kanyang pagtatago sa Kiangan, Ifugao, September 2.

Narinig ko mismo sa mga beterano at kay dating Chief of Staff Fortunato Abat, lumahok sa Battle of Bessang Pass, na pinagbawalan silang panoorin sina Yamashita habang naglalakad sa Kiangan.

Bagama’t ang pormal na pagsuko ni Yamashita ay sa mga Amerikano lamang at inilayo sa mata ng mga gerilya, hindi maikakaila na ang mga Pinoy pa rin ang dahilan at napabagsak ang Tigre ng Malaya.

Lahat ng hamon ay kaya natin!

Sa matagal na panahon, ayon sa historyador na si Samuel Tan, “the contribution of the Filipino to the war has not been justly recognized.”

Ngayong araw na ito, sana maalala natin ang tagumpay ng Pilipino noong Digmaang Pasipiko. WE WON THE WAR!

Kung babalikan natin ang kasaysayan, makikita natin na kaya pala nating harapin ang kahit na anong malaking hamon o kalaban basta tayo ay nagkakaisa sa iisang layunin.

Si Prop. Michael Charleston “Xiao” Briones Chua ay kasalukuyang assistant professorial lecturer ng Pamantasang De La Salle Maynila. Isa siyang historyador at naging consultant ng GMA News TV series na Katipunan at Ilustrado. Ang sanaysay na ito ay batay sa kanyang news segment sa “Xiao Time: Ako ay Pilipino” sa istasyong pantelebisyon ng pamahalaan. Siya rin ay aktibong nagpupugay sa mga beterano sa pamamagitan ng pakikipagtulungan sa Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), Veterans Federation of the Philippines (VFA) at sa Spyron-AV Manila Productions.

Ang mga paksang tinalakay dito ay tatalakayin rin sa symposium on the Images of Valor and Victory ng PVAO at ng Philippine Historical Association, “Hour of Redemption: The End of World War II in the Philipines,” na gaganapin bukas, September 3, 2015, 10:00 ng umaga sa Baguio Convention Center, Lungsod ng Baguio sa mismong anibersaryo ng pagpirma sa pagsuko ni Yamashita sa lungsod. Ang mga dokumentaryong isinulat ni Xiao Chua para sa PVAO at PHA, ang “Tagumpay” at ang “Mapalad ang Inyong Mga Apo: Sulat Para Kay Lolo at Lola Beterano” ay mapapanood sa YouTube.

“The Fighting Filipinos” poster made by Michael Rey Isip used to solicit support for the Filipino soldiers.


Iglesia super-bullying (?) and the rule of law August 31, 2015 9:28am Tags: iglesianicristo, ruleoflaw, renesaguisag By ATTY. RENE SAGUISAG


 ATTY. RENE SAGUISAG

Where do the guys and dolls with a moist eye case on the presidency stand on the current reportedly disruptive Iglesia ni Cristo demo?

Who is for the Rule of Law? Prudent.

Who seems to be for a trapo stance? This may or may not be prudent.

I am often Pusong Mamon but on this one I find it hard to cave in to the seeming or arguable super-bullying by the Iglesia, which does not want a criminal complaint probed at all. For crying out loud!

Everybody else charged with a crime, presents his side before some prosecutor, who may file a case or dismiss the case as totally unfounded and even recommend a case for malicious prosecution.

The Iglesia seems to scare the bejesus out of anyone caring for its support. But, not Justice Sec. Leila de Lima, who has my vote for the Senate in 2016, assuming I'd still be around then.

The Iglesia is one reason I didn't run for reelection for the Senate or election (for Makati Cong, despite Jojobama's entreaties) after my stint in the Senate. I have lived in Makati since 1979 as my Dulce's star boarder and I had attended Makati Elem. So, I'd josh Jojobama, that should I run for Cong, he didn't have to cheat more than absolutely necessary. Pero talaga pong walang hilig. I am simply not cut out for public life in government.

To be sure, I don't want to make mano again to the Iglesia as I was advised to do; I did in 1987, and went on to win without spending a single centavo of my own. When our ticket was launched publicly in early 1987 in the Palace, the applause for me was the loudest and longest, as I recall it.

But, much as I am grateful for the 1987 support, I don't want any of my children having to do the same - make mano - for the Iglesia's command vote, much sought for.

The thinking or decision is made at the highest and its members are not allowed to think for themselves, for unity, I am told. I think it goes against the grain of each citizen being a particle of popular sovereignty. Even a family may be divided - on principle.

The Iglesia is said to support perceived sure winners. I was No. 2 in Metro Manila in 1987, behind Orly Mercado.

Now, the Iglesia is again - not the first time - inconveniencing the public not for kapakanang pambayan, but for kapakanang pansarili, here, to stop Leila from doing her duty. It used to be scary to hear "the First Lady wants this," now, it is "the Iglesia wants this."

From where I sit, no matter what happens, the winner is Leila, the losers, the trapos, throwbacks to the time of Macoy and Imelda. She's on the right side of history here.

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Anyone who kowtows to the Iglesia on its current abusive stance, I cannot support in 2016 with my one vote. No more separation between church and state, if the Palace backs down. The INC will become the State.

Niratrat ang kapihan ni Kapanalig Tunying Taberna. Who had the motive, opportunity and means to do so? He is supposed to be related to a current nemesis of the INC, which would rally against any probe.

We cannot have this, or the Rule of Law is really gone. I hope my responsible less emotionalized friends in the INC will ask it to review and reconsider its position, for the greater good for the greater number. Rule of Law, not the Hooting Throng.

Rene Saguisag is a former senator who authored RA 6713, The Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Government Officials and Employees.


Unparalleled chance to uphold nat’l heritage SC’S LEGACY AND SIGHT LINES September 2, 2015 4:36pm Tags: supremecourt, torredemanila By IVAN HENARES


 IVAN HENARES

The Supreme Court of the Philippines is in a position that can change the way we plan our towns and cities. It can make an impact, not just on heritage conservation, but on urban planning and sustainable development around the country, by making the current helter-skelter development a thing of the past.

I attended two oral arguments on the Torre de Manila case. The oral arguments on August 18, 2015 were very important for planning and zoning in the Philippines. We were introduced to Manila City Ordinance No. 8119, the ordinance that adopted the Manila Comprehensive Land Use Plan and Zoning Regulations of 2006. I learned that Manila's Zoning Ordinance has several provisions that protect heritage, four years before the Heritage Law was enacted!

The biggest revelation was that all the high-rise buildings in Manila built since June 2007 may not have valid permits because they do not conform with the floor area ratio (FAR) allowed in their respective zones and did not go through the procedure mandated by the ordinance to obtain a variance.

During his six years as mayor, Alfredo Lim had this erroneous notion that because the National Building Code allowed a higher limit, he could suspend the height limits prescribed by the stricter local ordinance. Unfortunately, he was not allowed to suspend any provisions of the zoning ordinance. And thus, many of the permits they issued did not follow the rule of law.

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Indeed, many violations were uncovered. The current City Legal Officer of Manila, Jose Alberto Flaminiano, in replying to questioning by Justice Francis Jardeleza, conceded that former city officials may be held both administratively and criminally liable for issuing zoning and building permits for Torre de Manila.

The week after, Solicitor General Florin Hilbay was asked to take the stand on behalf of his clients, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), and the National Museum (NM). We commend the Solicitor General for upholding his statutory duty to articulate a legal argument that best serves his ultimate client, the Republic of the Philippines.

The National Historical Commission of the Phillippines (NHCP) is a different story. Why a government cultural agency would say that Torre de Manila “cannot possibly obstruct the front view of the said National Monument” and still continue to defend its position is truly deplorable.

It would seem the NHCP is more concerned with its own narrow judgment than with the protection of historical monuments. The NHCP is there to protect historical pieces of property significant to the nation. And if the Solicitor General believed in a basis for stronger protection of such, if the NHCP was indeed imbued with a sense of duty to the nation, it should have leaped at the prospect, just as the NCCA and NM did.

The last of the oral arguments on the Torre de Manila case were held on September 1, 2015. The issue I have always raised regarding the NHCP is that it issues vague opinions. These unclear statements are truly a disservice to the nation.

Justice Teresita de Castro asked the question I've always wanted to ask the NHCP. If the NHCP believed that Torre de Manila would have ruined the visual corridor of the Rizal Monument, why didn't it say so in its letter to Mayor Lim? That important opinion was conveniently omitted in the letter to Mayor Lim but contained in other letters and opinions they released.

Unfortunately, the question was not answered directly. And Justice de Castro pointed out, had the NHCP letter to Mayor Lim contained the opinion that Torre de Manila would destroy the visual corridor, the permit for variance may not have even been issued.

There is a possibility the NHCP will get away with what it did on technicalities. But if that happens, that will not be a vindication. That condominium will haunt their consciences for as long as it stands.

And how the NHCP chair and her legal counsel could just stand before the podium in agreement while the significance of the Rizal Monument was being disparaged by some justices is evidence enough that they really just care about themselves and are not willing to defend our heritage. For them to agree that Rizal would not mind a photo bomber behind his monument is reprehensible.

National Museum Director Jeremy Barns also expressed his frustration. He writes, "At bottom, I really, really, really hated the fact that my esteemed colleague at the NHCP and her counsel just went along with the disparagement by some of the justices of the Rizal Monument as being contrary to the wishes of Rizal himself, or the work of a Swiss foreigner (who was regarded as one of the greatest sculptors in Europe at the time, never mind that Richard Kissling was himself a keen admirer of Rizal and that Switzerland was a nation that Rizal, a true internationalist, and cosmopolitan, loved dearly) or being inaccurately placed away from where he was shot."

He adds, “As if any of this matters! Why should this matter to us now when it mattered not at all to our forebears? The decision to build the monument was taken in response by Governor Taft in 1901 to the expressed desire of the Filipino people; and its construction, in terms of style and design and place, was openly taken by a duly constituted national committee of Filipinos, with not an American among them, and was only completed in 1913. Hardly the hurried project of American imperial propaganda, but of deliberative national fundraising, promotion, competition, fabrication and installation, a model which we could well adopt in the erection of national monuments even now, hardly any of which in recent decades have received popular acclaim, let alone ownership and affection.”

“And what this committee, which included Paciano Rizal, achieved, has undoubtedly been consequently sanctified by all the people and all the generations and all our national rituals since 1913. Upon its centennial in 2013, we took a hard look at all this history – yes history – which the NHCP seems now to belittle, as well as cultural significance, which the NHCP did not even bother to refer to before the Court, before the NM resolved to declare it a National Cultural Treasure. Gosh, whenever a Rizal monument is erected anywhere around the world it usually imitates the design of his mausoleum-monument at Luneta precisely because it is iconic and culturally valid! Why else would replicas have been allowed to have been erected, with the explicit approval of our National Government, with the endorsement of the NHCP, in countries ranging from Spain to China? Why didn't the Court ask this of them? Why didn't they ask all manner of related questions?”

NCCA Chair Felipe de Leon, Jr. agrees, “To trivialize Dr. Jose Rizal is to show disrespect for the nation.”

Finally, Director Barns stresses, "Why relegate a national monument like the Rizal Monument to the protection of the City of Manila when it's, uh, national? I never got to understand that, given the arguments aired at the Court. There are dozens of local monuments in the City of Manila, but the Rizal Monument? Why should we in the National Government rely on a dysfunctional LGU for its protection, when the Rizal Monument has been under national jurisdiction since… when? Can the NHCP even tell us?"

This case will be written in our history books. What legacy will this Supreme Court leave to future generations of Filipinos? Our esteemed justices have been given this unparalleled opportunity to protect the heritage of our nation and ensure the implementation of planning and zoning laws all over the Philippines. They must remember that their decision can be the knight in shining armor that our heritage needs. Or it can open the floodgates for corporate greed, and lead to the demise of our heritage, our country’s heart and soul. What will their choice be?

(Ivan Henares is the president of the Heritage Conservation Society and a senior lecturer at the University of the Philippines-Asian Institute of Tourism. He is one The Outstanding Young Men of the Philippinesin 2012.)


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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