© Copyright, 2015 (PHNO) http://newsflash.org  | NOVEMBER 18 -19, 2015


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

FROM ABS-CBN

By Teddy Locsin, Jr:  JUST REMEMBER AND NOTHING MORE


NOVEMBER 17 -Teddy Locsin, Jr - Now that everyone’s in town for APEC it is good to remember that in 1965 the Indonesian government ordered the slaughter of more than 500,000 of its own people, most of them ethnic Chinese. They were not just shot out of hand but burned alive and chopped to death, while pale Chinese girls were raped by swarthy mobs and then chopped up as well. To this day it is dangerous to talk about it. So far as I remember hearing about Jakarta at the time, the ethnic slaughter was triggered by a false report that 6 army generals were kidnapped and killed by one communist cadre. One. Maj. General Suharto mobilized the army to crush what he said was a communist coup attempt by left-leaning generals. He then rewarded himself with a 31-year kleptocracy. To give the Indonesian common man his own share of pleasure, and as a celebration of what was becoming the rare American triumph over Communism in the Cold War, he gave the go-signal that all ethnic Chinese were fair game, especially if you owed them money. And so rivers were filled with mutilated Chinese bodies, streets ran with Chinese blood, Chinese homes were broken into and strewn with chopped suey, so to speak. And then all of it was ordered to be forgotten. The last remaining Chinese took Indonesian names, and some of them emerged as dummies of Indonesian generals whose families are still pretty much in power and in clover today. In 1970, right after an unprecedented election to a 2nd term, an event the Americans most feared of a Philippine president—someone with suddenly nothing to lose by defying American interests, after all Laurel-Langley was discontinued under Marcos—student riots broke out and a cardboard coffin was attempted to be overturned on the president’s limo. This was the symbolic coffin of democracy. Marcos called in the American ambassador and showed him photos of white men with walkie-talkies in the crowd and of Jesuit Father Blanco who was said to have been in Jakarta for the riots that toppled the Indonesian founding father and Asian neutralist Sukarno, the husband of Dewi. Marcos told the American ambassador that the riots might well drive him out of Manila but he would bomb his way right back in through the US Embassy on Dewey Boulevard. I was there in the Palace with Tito Tito Yulo (a submachine gun slung from his neck), Tito Gilbert Teodoro and others, along with my dad. I recall a pale looking ambassador emerge from the meeting with Marcos. My family—well, okay, my dad didn’t like Marcos; he backed Macapagal’s reelection bid in 1965 (which failed because he fought for agrarian reform). However we campaigned for Marcos in 1969 because the Liberal Party (even then the party of treason) alternative was a Japanese collaborator whose election would be an indelible stain on the nation. My father was a decorated resistance hero. That night Marcos emerged as the first Filipino contemporary hero. READ MORE...

ALSO By Ellen T. Tordesillas: The great divide in an 'inclusive' APEC


NOVEMBER 18 -By Ellen T. Tordesillas
The monstrous traffic jam last Monday that caused thousands of people to walk to their destinations under the sweltering heat of the noon-day sun shows the disastrous gap between noble intentions and miserable realities on the ground. That’s what makes many people resist embracing the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation which is holding its 23rd summit today and tomorrow at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City. This week is an opportunity for the Philippines to shine in the world stage. Twenty-one leaders of the Asia Pacific economies or their representatives are in Manila to discuss how to realize the vision they laid down in 1989 which is to support sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. Aside from the 21 leaders accompanied by their senior officials and media that number some 8,000, there are also some 800 business leaders in the region working hand-in-hand with the governments to achieve the APEC objective of making the lives of the 2.8 billion people in the Asia Pacific region better through easy flow of goods, services, investment, and people across borders. That’s the reason for the stringent security measures in Metro Manila. Places where the leaders would be staying and roads where they will be passing are closed to the public. The public understands the restrictions and are willing to adjust their lives for what they know are short-term inconveniences. What they demand from the government are common sense measures. The President declared Nov. 18 and 19 non-working holidays and suspended work in government offices in the National Capital Region on Nov. 17 through 20. Nov. 16, Monday, was not included in the work suspension. Thus, workers in Metro Manila still went to work.I was one of those who walked more than three hours the almost five-kilometer stretch from Coastal Road to Baclaran last Monday when our bus decided to return to where it came from- Las Pinas- after more than one hour of not moving because Roxas Boulevard was already closed to non-APEC cleared vehicles. Aquino and his advisers should have listened to the travails of the commuters. One has a small business in Sta. Cruz and she had to go to her office that day because it was payday. She said if she didn’t give the employees’ salary that day, they would have no money for the next three days because the next working day would be on Friday. What if the employee needed money for the milk of her baby or for the rental of the house? READ MORE...

ALSO Iglesia ni Cristo: From Colonial-Ecumenical to Supremacist
[The control exercised over INC members’ political and economic rights are neither Christian nor democratic. Supremacism is an affront to democracy. In fact, as a citizen governed, not by the Bible nor by the Quran, but by his Constitution, by its civil and criminal codes, one has to realize that the INC restrictions are un-Filipino! Iglesia ni Cristo did not start that way. The journey of the INC’s success as astutely steered by its founder, the incremental, developmental and innovative adjustments in doctrine and religious practices that Felix Y. Manalo took and directed will all be worthy of academic investigation and documentation.]


NOVEMBER 19 -Truly impressive, the devotion and discipline displayed by the individuals who responded to matters taken up in my last blog. (READ: 2015: Iglesia ni Cristo’s Year of Errors?) Never have I received such ‘patronage’ albeit mostly masquerading as brickbats. The fervor, almost bordering on the fringe of ferocity, along with an in-your-face expression of unflinching devotion to Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) indoctrination are indeed admirable. In fact, awesome. Were I a dictator desirous of assembling an army of loyally blind adherents, such is the behavior I would exact. Somewhat scary, yes? Happily, I received no threats of eternal damnation. Nonetheless, one responder called me an over-the-hill pedophile! Much of the ‘fan mail’ centered on what they uniformly denounced as rumors and gossip. Their collective anger and discomfort have been stoked by the reported purchase of an Airbus jetliner (plus an executive jet, not mentioned in the last blog) and a Forbes Park mansion for the Executive Minister, expenditures all drawn from Iglesia ni Cristo community funds. This now public information was originally sourced from two items written by veteran newspaper columnist Emil Jurado of the Manila Standard and by the late able and credible Rufo Aries (bless his soul) for an investigative report in the Rappler, a Philippine-based news website. Both appeared in late July this year and remain unrefuted in mainstream media. I enjoy sharing verified information, fruits of readings and research, commenting upon them in essays. Of course, just like you folks, unless you are candidates for beatification, I also enjoy gossip, rumor and conspiracy theories. However, when I publicly utilize these, they are always labeled as such. I am entitled to my opinion but never to my own made-to-fit facts. Of the jets and the mansion, there has been no official denial, much less a demand for an apology and retraction, from the leadership of the Iglesia. Gossip? Rumor? Or, Truth. Perhaps, a strategic decision from up high was taken. Do not rock the boat. Do not aggravate. Do not exacerbate. Enough already! “Silence is golden….” But, wait, that’s not biblical. So, how is this then: “…blessed are the meek…” (Matthew 5:5) or “…..turn the other cheek….” (Luke 6:29 and Matthew 5:39) As a Filipino, I am proud of the expertly accomplished rise of Felix Y. Manalo in his chosen field and the ensuing organizational success of INC today which he trailblazed. Who would not be? Kadugo natin! (Our blood kin.) From just thousands in the 1940s, they now call upon 2.5 million congregants worldwide housed in about 1300 chapels, home congregations and cathedrals, with the vast majority being in the Philippines, naturally. INC is now also in the lucrative business of education, information, entertainment and amusement. Felix Y. Manalo, the Iglesia’s founder, is unquestionably a Philippine social phenomenon that deserves to be recognized for the physical and material advance of INC as a Filipino organization and religious institution. I am not qualified to speak of spiritual salvation and theology. Let the clerics, ministers, pastors, mullahs and lamas joust and tussle over life’s imponderables. I simply happen to be one with the rest of our multitudes who exult and jubilate at sterling international accomplishments of fellow Pinoys ---blood kin-- regardless of fields of endeavor. As we all know, recently these have been mostly in the field of sports and music. Well, here is one truly outstanding Filipino who has made it to the world stage of religious organizations. Let us rejoice and be proud! READ MORE...

ALSO By Ellen Tordesillas: In awe of how the French handled the crisis

We join everybody in condemning the attacks in NOVEMBER 16 -Paris and nearby places that killed more than 120 people and injured about 200 Friday night. There’s no justification for violence perpetrated on innocent people. The group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), a fanatical group that aims to transform the entire earth as an Islamic State and promotes religious violence to achieve its goals, has claimed responsibility for the attacks. The night before, in a less publicized incident, ISIS also sowed terror in Beirut in two suicide bombings that left 239 people injured or in a critical condition, according to news.co.au. The Australian online report said it “was the deadliest in the capital since the end of Lebanon’s civil war in 1990.” The twin bombings happened in an area known as a stronghold of Lebanese Shi’ite movement Hezbollah, which is fighting ISIS in Syria. Actress Angelina Jolie, who is active in the United Nations efforts to help refugees, posted a message in Facebook not to forget Beirut as we mourn for the victims of the Paris attacks: “Whilst everyone talks about #Paris no one mentions the #ISIS attack in #Lebanon yesterday. I pray for both countries.”  French President Francois Hollande vowed his government will be “ruthless" to the perpetrators of the horrifying attacks. The whole world stood with him as he declared that "France will not let itself be overwhelmed or frightened even if today we are overcome with sadness and emotion." How the French responded to the crisis is impressive, especially from where we are coming from. The first explosion, according to reports, was at 9:20 p.m. Friday at Stade de France, where President Hollande together with the foreign minister of Germany was watching a France-Germany friendly soccer match. He was safely evacuated. More explosions and shooting happened in other parts of Paris as well as in a nearby suburb of Saint-Denis. Gunmen armed with Kalashnikov-style assault rifles went on a shooting spree in two restaurants - Le Carillon and Le Petit Cambodge. More shootings in other parts of Paris. But the deadliest attack was at 9:40 p.m. at Le Bataclan, a concert hall, where an American band "Eagles of Death Metal" was performing to jam-packed audience. Three attackers wearing suicide vests fired at everybody on sight immediately killing 89 people. BBC’s timeline said that by the time of the Le Bataclan assault, which was a little over 20 minutes from the first attack at Stade de France, “President Hollande was in crisis talks with Prime Minister Manuel Valls as well as Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.” BBC also reported ”President Hollande visited the scene of the Bataclan atrocity after security forces had moved in. Shortly before midnight, Mr Hollande gave a live address on TV announcing a state of emergency throughout France and a tightening of border controls.” All that in less than three hours. Hollande’s message:"My dear compatriots, “As I speak, terrorist attacks of unprecedented proportions are underway in the Paris area. There are dozens killed, there are many injured. It is a horror. READ MORE...

ALSO: What Kris Aquino tells critics of 'sunburn joke'


NOVEMBER 21 -Derek Ramsay [L] with Kris Aquino [R] hosting a luncheon for the wives of the country leaders who attended the 2015 APEC summit. The luncheon was held at the Ayuntamiento de Manila in Intramuros. Photo: Nice Print Photography
 MANILA - Kris Aquino is a survivor. The 44-year-old Aquino made that clear in an Instagram post, addressed to those criticizing her for joking about the plight of commuters during the height of the 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' meeting held in Manila. Late Friday, the television host shared to her more than 2.2 million followers on Instagram that recent events caused her blood pressure to shoot up. "Good news for all those who can't stand me yet keep reading up on me, [keep]forwarding, [keep] commenting, [and] are affected sa posts ko," she wrote. And as if proving to critics that she hasn't lost her sense of humor amid all the flak, she quipped that Filipinos may have to deal with her for around four more decades, describing herself as a "masamang damo." "I was conversing with former president [Fidel] Ramos and asked about his good health and long life the other night, and he said 'matibay ang masamang damo.' So, OMG! Baka I'll be around for 40 [plus] more years?" "Pero if you really want to get rid of me, pray that Datin Rosmah [Mansor] of Malaysia or [Ho Ching] Lee of Singapore will be successful in matching me [with one] of their countrymen --both said they'd be looking," she added. Aquino, the youngest daughter of Benigno Aquino Jr. and the late former president Corazon Aquino, then turned sentimental and reminisced about "surviving" the Martial Law years. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Just remember and nothing more


By Teddy Locsin Jr

MANILA, NOVEMBER 23, 2015 (ABS-CBN) Teddy Locsin Jr.Posted at 11/17/2015 11:05 AM - Now that everyone’s in town for APEC it is good to remember that in 1965 the Indonesian government ordered the slaughter of more than 500,000 of its own people, most of them ethnic Chinese. They were not just shot out of hand but burned alive and chopped to death, while pale Chinese girls were raped by swarthy mobs and then chopped up as well.

To this day it is dangerous to talk about it. So far as I remember hearing about Jakarta at the time, the ethnic slaughter was triggered by a false report that 6 army generals were kidnapped and killed by one communist cadre. One. Maj. General Suharto mobilized the army to crush what he said was a communist coup attempt by left-leaning generals. He then rewarded himself with a 31-year kleptocracy.

To give the Indonesian common man his own share of pleasure, and as a celebration of what was becoming the rare American triumph over Communism in the Cold War, he gave the go-signal that all ethnic Chinese were fair game, especially if you owed them money.

And so rivers were filled with mutilated Chinese bodies, streets ran with Chinese blood, Chinese homes were broken into and strewn with chopped suey, so to speak. And then all of it was ordered to be forgotten. The last remaining Chinese took Indonesian names, and some of them emerged as dummies of Indonesian generals whose families are still pretty much in power and in clover today.

In 1970, right after an unprecedented election to a 2nd term, an event the Americans most feared of a Philippine president—someone with suddenly nothing to lose by defying American interests, after all Laurel-Langley was discontinued under Marcos—student riots broke out and a cardboard coffin was attempted to be overturned on the president’s limo. This was the symbolic coffin of democracy.

Marcos called in the American ambassador and showed him photos of white men with walkie-talkies in the crowd and of Jesuit Father Blanco who was said to have been in Jakarta for the riots that toppled the Indonesian founding father and Asian neutralist Sukarno, the husband of Dewi.

Marcos told the American ambassador that the riots might well drive him out of Manila but he would bomb his way right back in through the US Embassy on Dewey Boulevard. I was there in the Palace with Tito Tito Yulo (a submachine gun slung from his neck), Tito Gilbert Teodoro and others, along with my dad. I recall a pale looking ambassador emerge from the meeting with Marcos.

My family—well, okay, my dad didn’t like Marcos; he backed Macapagal’s reelection bid in 1965 (which failed because he fought for agrarian reform). However we campaigned for Marcos in 1969 because the Liberal Party (even then the party of treason) alternative was a Japanese collaborator whose election would be an indelible stain on the nation. My father was a decorated resistance hero. That night Marcos emerged as the first Filipino contemporary hero.

READ MORE...

To revive the memory of the Indonesian massacre, Marcos allowed the filming of The Year of Living Dangerously, based on a modern Dutch novel of the same name. The Jakarta ’65 massacre was to be etched indelibly in our minds with the alluring figure of Sigourney Weaver and the face of Mel Gibson, along with those of Kuh Ledesma and Bembol Roco.

Today the memory of Jakarta ‘65 is revived by Joshua Oppenheimer in a 6-hour documentary called The Act of Killing and in the companion film, The Look of Silence—both unavailable on Netflix or HBO let alone Sky. One Indonesian politician has come forward to say sorry for his part in the massacre, while Soe Tjen Marching, daughter of a victim, has braved threats of death and rape to bring the massacre to light even if not its perpetrators to justice.

Human rights activists seek a trial at the Hague. But before we join in the outcry, let us not forget that Indonesia has always stood by us against Malaysian subversion and patrolled our Southern waters to discourage Malaysian arms smuggling at the height of the MNLF war—and that with Indonesia we might have shared Borneo between us.

It is good to remember Jakarta ’65 because truth matters but it is not necessary all the time to do anything about the truth, especially with APEC going on even if the Indonesian president has declined to attend it in case he gets badgered to spare the life a Filipina drug mule of a POEA registered recruiter. #


The great divide in an 'inclusive' APEC By Ellen T. Tordesillas
Posted at 11/18/15 3:58 PM


By Ellen T. Tordesillas

The monstrous traffic jam last Monday that caused thousands of people to walk to their destinations under the sweltering heat of the noon-day sun shows the disastrous gap between noble intentions and miserable realities on the ground.

That’s what makes many people resist embracing the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation which is holding its 23rd summit today and tomorrow at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.

This week is an opportunity for the Philippines to shine in the world stage. Twenty-one leaders of the Asia Pacific economies or their representatives are in Manila to discuss how to realize the vision they laid down in 1989 which is to support sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.

Aside from the 21 leaders accompanied by their senior officials and media that number some 8,000, there are also some 800 business leaders in the region working hand-in-hand with the governments to achieve the APEC objective of making the lives of the 2.8 billion people in the Asia Pacific region better through easy flow of goods, services, investment, and people across borders.

That’s the reason for the stringent security measures in Metro Manila. Places where the leaders would be staying and roads where they will be passing are closed to the public.

The public understands the restrictions and are willing to adjust their lives for what they know are short-term inconveniences. What they demand from the government are common sense measures.

The President declared Nov. 18 and 19 non-working holidays and suspended work in government offices in the National Capital Region on Nov. 17 through 20. Nov. 16, Monday, was not included in the work suspension. Thus, workers in Metro Manila still went to work.

I was one of those who walked more than three hours the almost five-kilometer stretch from Coastal Road to Baclaran last Monday when our bus decided to return to where it came from- Las Pinas- after more than one hour of not moving because Roxas Boulevard was already closed to non-APEC cleared vehicles.

Aquino and his advisers should have listened to the travails of the commuters. One has a small business in Sta. Cruz and she had to go to her office that day because it was payday. She said if she didn’t give the employees’ salary that day, they would have no money for the next three days because the next working day would be on Friday. What if the employee needed money for the milk of her baby or for the rental of the house?

READ MORE...

Another commuter was from Cavite and she was going to Binondo. She sells printers ink and she has to collect on paydays. She was panting under the noon-day heat and she was beginning to get worried because she is hypertensive.

Many said, since authorities would be closing major streets in Metro Manila, they should have declared Monday a non-working holiday so they would have also adjusted their activities.

I met 71-year-old Lourdes Lopez from Caloocan who visited her daughter in Las Pinas. She had difficulty walking. Good thing Loisa Castro, an employee of the Philippine National Bank, Macapagal Avenue, assisted her. She said, “Sana may shuttle van man lang.”
Emmanuel Miro, head of the MMDA’s Task Force APEC, was asked about providing shuttle buses to stranded commuters. He dismissed the idea saying that would only cause more road congestion. “The most advisable thing to do is to walk,” he said.
Talk of callousness.

Leaving people displaced by government’s not-so-well-thought out measures to their own devices does not seem to fit in APEC’s desire for an “inclusive” economy.

In fact, this year’s APEC theme is “Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World.”

The term “inclusive” signifies embracing everybody. Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Lula del Rosario, chair of the APEC2015 Senior Officials Meeting said: “We see economic growth through the lens of inclusiveness … not only in trade and business facilitation, but also on issues which affect the very fabric of the man on the street.”

President Aquino himself told the CEOs that he looks forward to “a connected, synergized Asia-Pacific…where no one is left behind.”

As he was saying this in the splendid ballroom of the Makati Shangrila, thousands of hapless commuters were hiking under the heat of the scorching sun left behind in the government’s frenzy for an “inclusive” APEC.

***

Blog: www.ellentordesillas.com
E-mail: ellentordesillas@gmail.com


Iglesia ni Cristo: From Colonial-Ecumenical to Supremacist Buddy Gomez Posted at 11/19/2015 3:27 AM

Truly impressive, the devotion and discipline displayed by the individuals who responded to matters taken up in my last blog. (READ: 2015: Iglesia ni Cristo’s Year of Errors?) Never have I received such ‘patronage’ albeit mostly masquerading as brickbats.

The fervor, almost bordering on the fringe of ferocity, along with an in-your-face expression of unflinching devotion to Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) indoctrination are indeed admirable. In fact, awesome. Were I a dictator desirous of assembling an army of loyally blind adherents, such is the behavior I would exact. Somewhat scary, yes? Happily, I received no threats of eternal damnation. Nonetheless, one responder called me an over-the-hill pedophile!

Much of the ‘fan mail’ centered on what they uniformly denounced as rumors and gossip. Their collective anger and discomfort have been stoked by the reported purchase of an Airbus jetliner (plus an executive jet, not mentioned in the last blog) and a Forbes Park mansion for the Executive Minister, expenditures all drawn from Iglesia ni Cristo community funds.

This now public information was originally sourced from two items written by veteran newspaper columnist Emil Jurado of the Manila Standard and by the late able and credible Rufo Aries (bless his soul) for an investigative report in the Rappler, a Philippine-based news website. Both appeared in late July this year and remain unrefuted in mainstream media.

I enjoy sharing verified information, fruits of readings and research, commenting upon them in essays. Of course, just like you folks, unless you are candidates for beatification, I also enjoy gossip, rumor and conspiracy theories. However, when I publicly utilize these, they are always labeled as such. I am entitled to my opinion but never to my own made-to-fit facts.

Of the jets and the mansion, there has been no official denial, much less a demand for an apology and retraction, from the leadership of the Iglesia. Gossip? Rumor? Or, Truth. Perhaps, a strategic decision from up high was taken. Do not rock the boat. Do not aggravate. Do not exacerbate. Enough already! “Silence is golden….” But, wait, that’s not biblical. So, how is this then: “…blessed are the meek…” (Matthew 5:5) or “…..turn the other cheek….” (Luke 6:29 and Matthew 5:39)

As a Filipino, I am proud of the expertly accomplished rise of Felix Y. Manalo in his chosen field and the ensuing organizational success of INC today which he trailblazed. Who would not be? Kadugo natin! (Our blood kin.) From just thousands in the 1940s, they now call upon 2.5 million congregants worldwide housed in about 1300 chapels, home congregations and cathedrals, with the vast majority being in the Philippines, naturally. INC is now also in the lucrative business of education, information, entertainment and amusement.

Felix Y. Manalo, the Iglesia’s founder, is unquestionably a Philippine social phenomenon that deserves to be recognized for the physical and material advance of INC as a Filipino organization and religious institution. I am not qualified to speak of spiritual salvation and theology. Let the clerics, ministers, pastors, mullahs and lamas joust and tussle over life’s imponderables. I simply happen to be one with the rest of our multitudes who exult and jubilate at sterling international accomplishments of fellow Pinoys ---blood kin-- regardless of fields of endeavor. As we all know, recently these have been mostly in the field of sports and music. Well, here is one truly outstanding Filipino who has made it to the world stage of religious organizations. Let us rejoice and be proud!

READ MORE...

This does not mean, however, that we ought to be in consonance with and accept Manalo’s/INC’s interpretative teachings and parochial dictat especially those that infringe upon freedom of conscience, to which all humanity is heir. Blatant examples that sorely stick out are the INC’s anti-labor union membership rule; the herded collective bloc voting as a practice of political leverage, and the supremacist “no salvation” outside the realm of the INC doctrine. And the unforgettable chauvinist declaration: “….we now ought to reject… …the Catholic Church and the different protestant churches, for they are not of God, but of Satan and the devil.” (from ‘Pasugo,’ Aug. ‘61--an INC doctrinal tract, meaning ‘Message.’)

The control exercised over INC members’ political and economic rights are neither Christian nor democratic. Supremacism is an affront to democracy. In fact, as a citizen governed, not by the Bible nor by the Quran, but by his Constitution, by its civil and criminal codes, one has to realize that the INC restrictions are un-Filipino!


FELIX MANALO: MESSENGER OF GOD

Iglesia ni Cristo did not start that way. The journey of the INC’s success as astutely steered by its founder, the incremental, developmental and innovative adjustments in doctrine and religious practices that Felix Y. Manalo took and directed will all be worthy of academic investigation and documentation. How such edifying endeavor can ever be achieved, however, will depend upon the Iglesia. And that ain’t gonna happen anytime soon, brethren.

Succinctly. At birth, a colonial legacy. With baby steps, ecumenical. Today, a supremacist.

History has an irreversibility clause to its contract with society. The beginnings of Felix Y.Manalo and of the Church he spawned and nurtured is now indelible. He was born a Catholic towards the sunset of Spain in the Philippines (1886). The new colonial master, the United States of America, took over the islands and allowed/encouraged the entry of Protestantism. As a young apostate to the religion of his birth, Felix had dalliances at the smorgasbord table of newly available religious persuasions.

Before deciding that he wished to and could “preach” on his own, he had religious internships with American mentors. First with the Methodists. This was followed by a stint with the Presbyterians, until he actually preached for the 7th Day Adventists. This is not religious promiscuity, silly! It is ardent search for the convenient and useful truth. Iglesia ni Cristo was the personal epiphany of Felix Y. Manalo after a span, calculated to be at least some 10 years, of sitting at the feet of colonial American Protestant tutors.

Imagine, had Commodore Dewey sailed away from Manila Bay and President McKinley washed his hands of the Islands, Protestantism would not have come at all, at the time that it did. But America kept the new territorial possession. (Don’t we know it!) Then came the non-Catholic Christian pastors and ministers. Isn't it easy to see that without America, there would have been no Felix Y. Manalo and no Iglesia ni Cristo?

Prodded by a sense of gratitude for his earlier multi-church peregrinations as well as a need for acceptance within the Christian community, the self-declared “last messenger” of Christianity decided that he will of assume his church’s leadership in a public ceremony. Invitations were issued for the event of his official assumption as “Pastor and Administrator” of INK (Cristo was initially spelled with a K). The ceremony took place morning of Christmas Day of 1918 at Cine Gloria in Calle Sande, Tondo, Manila. (Btw, INC does not recognize and observe Christmas).

Very noteworthy, as we look back, is that this landmark ceremonial solemnity was officiated by invited “Bishops and pastors of the different churches established in the islands.” (“mga Obispo at mga Pastor ng mga iba’t ibang mga Iglesia na natatatag sa Kapuluan,” so the invitation printed in Tagalog says.) They were even enumerated: Alejandro Reyes, Victoriano Mariano, Gil Domingo, Guillermo Zarco, Nicolas Fajardo, Emiliano Quijano and Roque Bautista. (The wonders of the Internet and Google! How else would I have known the foregoing!)

Inarguably, Christmas Day of 1918 was an ecumenical assembly for Felix Y. Manalo and his Iglesia! But wait, didn’t the INC ‘Pasugo’ clearly state that these guys “are not of God…but of Satan and the devil”?

As Yul Brynner sang in the musical “The King and I” -- ”A puzzlement!”


In awe of how the French handled the crisis Ellen T. Tordesillas Posted at 11/16/15 2:17 AM


 Ellen T. Tordesillas

We join everybody in condemning the attacks in Paris and nearby places that killed more than 120 people and injured about 200 Friday night.

There’s no justification for violence perpetrated on innocent people.

The group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), a fanatical group that aims to transform the entire earth as an Islamic State and promotes religious violence to achieve its goals, has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The night before, in a less publicized incident, ISIS also sowed terror in Beirut in two suicide bombings that left 239 people injured or in a critical condition, according to news.co.au.

The Australian online report said it “was the deadliest in the capital since the end of Lebanon’s civil war in 1990.” The twin bombings happened in an area known as a stronghold of Lebanese Shi’ite movement Hezbollah, which is fighting ISIS in Syria.

Actress Angelina Jolie, who is active in the United Nations efforts to help refugees, posted a message in Facebook not to forget Beirut as we mourn for the victims of the Paris attacks: “Whilst everyone talks about #Paris no one mentions the #ISIS attack in #Lebanon yesterday. I pray for both countries.”

French President Francois Hollande vowed his government will be “ruthless" to the perpetrators of the horrifying attacks.

The whole world stood with him as he declared that "France will not let itself be overwhelmed or frightened even if today we are overcome with sadness and emotion."

How the French responded to the crisis is impressive, especially from where we are coming from.

The first explosion, according to reports, was at 9:20 p.m. Friday at Stade de France, where President Hollande together with the foreign minister of Germany was watching a France-Germany friendly soccer match. He was safely evacuated.

More explosions and shooting happened in other parts of Paris as well as in a nearby suburb of Saint-Denis. Gunmen armed with Kalashnikov-style assault rifles went on a shooting spree in two restaurants - Le Carillon and Le Petit Cambodge.

More shootings in other parts of Paris.

But the deadliest attack was at 9:40 p.m. at Le Bataclan, a concert hall, where an American band "Eagles of Death Metal" was performing to jam-packed audience. Three attackers wearing suicide vests fired at everybody on sight immediately killing 89 people.

BBC’s timeline said that by the time of the Le Bataclan assault, which was a little over 20 minutes from the first attack at Stade de France, “President Hollande was in crisis talks with Prime Minister Manuel Valls as well as Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.”

BBC also reported ”President Hollande visited the scene of the Bataclan atrocity after security forces had moved in. Shortly before midnight, Mr Hollande gave a live address on TV announcing a state of emergency throughout France and a tightening of border controls.”

All that in less than three hours.


Police forces, firefighters and rescue workers secure the area near the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris in the early morning of Saturday, Nov. 14.

Hollande’s message:"My dear compatriots,

“As I speak, terrorist attacks of unprecedented proportions are underway in the Paris area. There are dozens killed, there are many injured. It is a horror.

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“We have, on my decision, mobilised all forces possible to neutralise the terrorists and make all concerned areas safe. I have also asked for military reinforcements. They are currently in the Paris area, to ensure that no new attack can take place.

“I have also called a cabinet meeting that will be held in a few minutes.

“Two decisions will be taken: a state of emergency will be declared, which means that some places will be closed, traffic may be banned , and there will also be searches which may be decided throughout Ile de France (greater Paris). The state of emergency will be proclaimed throughout the territory (of France).

“The second decision I have made is to close the borders. We must ensure that no one enters to commit any crimes and that those who have committed the crimes that we have unfortunately seen can also be arrested if they should leave the territory.

“This is a terrible ordeal which once again assails us. We know where it comes from, who these criminals are, who these terrorists are.

“In these difficult moments, we must - and I'm thinking of the many victims, their families and the injured - show compassion and solidarity. But we must also show unity and calm.

“Faced with terror, France must be strong, it must be great and the state authorities must be firm. We will be.

“We must also call on everyone to be responsible.”

***

An online friend, Anne de Bruce, based in Europe, shared her thoughts why ISIS has targeted France despite the fact that it did not participate in the invasion of Iraq called by then U.S. President George W. Bush over alleged weapons of mass destruction in Iraq which turned out to be false.

She said, “In recent months, France, which, along with Germany, remains one of the genuinely two big powers in mainland Europe, is the only Western country that has launched bombing raids and airstrikes in Syria (and continues to do so) against ISIS enclaves.

“Looking back, France has also been present in Mali; French troops have pushed ISIS terror strongholds from Timbuktu and into the dessert. France is the first and the only country in the world that has made it illegal for the full Islamic garb to be worn in public which most Muslims in France have denounced virulently ad nauseum. Most recently, France has refused to open its borders completely to Middle Eastern refugees and has declared that it would do so only ‘piecemeal.’

“When terrorists with better ability to organise and strike deal with ordinary people of subterranean mindset or with a generation that still wants to live in the medieval era, actions by France of the sort become easy propaganda tools to use on these highly impressionable individuals. Terror minds operating from the Sub-Sahara only need a few poor perverted souls to sow havoc in mainland Europe.

“Our way of life is in danger. The only thing to do is to defend and counter-attack ruthlessly.”


What Kris Aquino tells critics of 'sunburn joke' ABS-CBNnews.com Posted at 11/21/15 1:27 AM


Derek Ramsay [L] with Kris Aquino [R] hosting a luncheon for the wives of the country leaders who attended the 2015 APEC summit. The luncheon was held at the Ayuntamiento de Manila in Intramuros. Photo: Nice Print Photography

MANILA - Kris Aquino is a survivor.

The 44-year-old Aquino made that clear in an Instagram post, addressed to those criticizing her for joking about the plight of commuters during the height of the 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' meeting held in Manila.

Late Friday, the television host shared to her more than 2.2 million followers on Instagram that recent events caused her blood pressure to shoot up.

"Good news for all those who can't stand me yet keep reading up on me, [keep]forwarding, [keep] commenting, [and] are affected sa posts ko," she wrote.

And as if proving to critics that she hasn't lost her sense of humor amid all the flak, she quipped that Filipinos may have to deal with her for around four more decades, describing herself as a "masamang damo."

"I was conversing with former president [Fidel] Ramos and asked about his good health and long life the other night, and he said 'matibay ang masamang damo.' So, OMG! Baka I'll be around for 40 [plus] more years?"

"Pero if you really want to get rid of me, pray that Datin Rosmah [Mansor] of Malaysia or [Ho Ching] Lee of Singapore will be successful in matching me [with one] of their countrymen --both said they'd be looking," she added.

Aquino, the youngest daughter of Benigno Aquino Jr. and the late former president Corazon Aquino, then turned sentimental and reminisced about "surviving" the Martial Law years.

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"From infancy, I survived seven years and seven months of Martial Law na nakakulong ang Dad namin, I survived having him assassinated, I survived all the coup attempts when literally outside my bedroom window nagbabarilan."

"I survived falling from a 12-foot high stage, I survived being disowned by my family for a wrong choice of the heart, I was blessed with forgiveness and reconciliation with my family, I survived losing our Mom to cancer, I survived losing a big part of my savings and my sons' during my annulment."

"I survive as a single parent raising a child in the autism spectrum as well as an 8 year old who is even more opinionated than me, and I survived all the venom thrown at me on social media throughout the campaign and [President Benigno Aquino III's] presidency."

"But I remain one of our country's top taxpayers, I still endorse and represent so many top brands and institutions, I've donated and built homes, schools, and Churches, and I've given numerous educational assistance to students and seminarians. In other words, I'M GREAT AT SURVIVING, been doing it my whole life."


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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