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

FROM THE MANNILA BULLETIN

EDITORIAL: SENATE BLUE RIBBON PDAF REPORT ENDS UP IN ARCHIVES
[But the Senate Blue Ribbon report itself is now just part of the Senate archives, of no legal value – an unfortunate ending to such a huge event in the Senate that impacted on the national government administration and even on the recent presidential election.]


JUNE 14 -Alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles attends the Senate Blue Ribbon commitee hearing. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO Hardly noticed in the welter of stories on more current events was the report last Friday that the Senate Blue Ribbon report on the misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), the congressional pork barrel fund, had ended up in the Senate archives. It was never submitted to the Senate as a whole and was, therefore, never approved or acted upon. It was sent to the Legislative Bills and Index an hour after the sine die adjournment of the Senate of the 16th Congress on June 6 and was, therefore, simply archived, with no value except for future reference. The PDAF issue exploded on the national scene with a big bang in 2013. It started, innocently enough with an employee of Janet Lim Napoles – Benhur Luy – claiming he had been illegally detained but managed to escape. He proceeded to expose a scam involving the misuse of pork barrel funds through fake non-government organizations (NGOs). Hundreds of millions of pesos in PDAF funds in the national budget, it was charged, went to NGOs for projects that turned to be non-existent. So many senators and congressmen linked to the scam were investigated, but only three opposition senators got to be charged by the Ombudsman before the Sandiganbayan and detained, giving rise to the charge of selective justice by the administration against its political enemies. READ MORE...

ALSO: EDITORIAL - A historic milestone for Hillary Clinton


JUNE 14 -Hillary Clinton, former first lady and former secretary of state of the United States, reached a milestone in American history last Wednesday when she clinched the nomination for presidential candidate of the Democratic Party. With the delegates she won in the primaries in New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota, she exceeded the 2,383 delegates needed to win the nomination at the coming Democratic Party convention.It was a historic victory for Clinton. It will be the very first time that a woman is the presidential candidate of a major party in the US. And should she win the election in November, she would be the first woman to be elected president. American television programs noted that many other countries in the world have already elected woman leaders, among them Ellen John Sirleaf of Liberia, Golda Meir of Israel, Angela Merkel of Germany, and Park Geun-hye of South Korea. The Philippines has already had two woman presidents – Corazon C. Aquino and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. But no woman has ever been elected American president. Much has been written about the “glass ceiling” that keeps women from reaching the topmost levels in American corporations. The toughest glass ceiling of all in the US – that in the White House — is now within reach of Hillary Clinton. READ MORE...

ALSO: Former CHED Chief Fr. R. De La Rosa, OP - Another look at K-12
[Advances in communications technology made it possible for any work to be performed virtually anywhere on the globe, so even if K-12 graduates remain in the Philippines, they will still be employed as outsourced personnel of prosperous countries who are forever scrounging for cheap labor to further increase their profits.]


JUNE 18 -Fr. Rolando V. De La Rosa, OP Through Untrue He was the former Rector Magnificus (1990-1998, 2007-2012) of the University of Santo Tomas (UST), the oldest and the largest Catholic university in Asia]. A religious leader and a seasoned educator, he was appointed by former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as the Chairman of the Commission on Higher Education in 2004. Avid proponents of the K-12 scheme argue that the Philippines has been the only country in Asia and one of only three countries worldwide with a 10-year pre-university cycle. The implication is, the lack of two years of basic education produces graduates who are inferior to those of other countries. These proponents seem blind to the fact that skilled and highly-in-demand Filipino professionals abroad were graduates of the K-10 system. We have now copied the K-12 scheme of other countries because we seem to be ashamed of having only 10 years of basic education. But should we not rather hammer on the heads of our foreign counterparts that Filipinos can accomplish in 10 years what they struggle to achieve in 12 years? Should we not glory in our inherent capacity to learn quickly the necessary knowledge, skills, and competencies that make us globally competitive? What we so sorely need are additional government support, adequate educational infrastructures, and an army of quality teachers, and not two more years in shcool. READ MORE...

ALSO: by FVR - Rizal’s dream: A better Philippines


JUNE 18 -JOSE RIZAL
“The advancement and ethical progress of the Philippines are inevitable, are decreed by fate… And once more free… Will recover its pristine virtues… And will again become addicted to peace – cheerful, happy, joyous, hospitable and daring•••” — Dr. Jose Rizal, The Philippines A Century Hence, 1892 “These goals are a blueprint for a better future. Now we must use the goals to transform the world. We will do that through partnership and through commitment. We must leave no one behind•••” — UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon 25 September 2015, New York Today, we observe the 155th birthday of Dr. Jose Rizal, our national hero who was born in Calamba, Laguna, on 19 June 1861. So much has been written, also filmed, about Rizal to-date – but, maybe not really enough about his dream of a better Philippines, or perhaps, too much about his extra-curricular activities which are not really relevant to his love of God, country, and people. We do believe that it is again time for our education, knowledge, and historical agencies – the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), National Book Development Board (NBDB), and the incoming president of the Philippines himself – to revisit Jose Rizal in terms of mankind’s dream today of “One World, One Community, One Family” as expressed in the UN General Assembly’s Resolution of 25 September 2015 which intends to achieve “The 17 Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs) by year 2030. What we need from these agencies and President-elect Duterte are new, on-line school textbooks, videos, and other interactive materials on Rizal and our independence movement against Spain to inspire our complacent, but IT-savvy youth, to greater patriotism and respect for the environment. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Senate PDAF report ends up in archives


Alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles attends the Senate Blue Ribbon commitee hearing. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, JUNE 20, 2016 (MANILA BULLETIN) June 14, 2016 (updated) - Hardly noticed in the welter of stories on more current events was the report last Friday that the Senate Blue Ribbon report on the misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), the congressional pork barrel fund, had ended up in the Senate archives.

It was never submitted to the Senate as a whole and was, therefore, never approved or acted upon. It was sent to the Legislative Bills and Index an hour after the sine die adjournment of the Senate of the 16th Congress on June 6 and was, therefore, simply archived, with no value except for future reference.

The PDAF issue exploded on the national scene with a big bang in 2013. It started, innocently enough with an employee of Janet Lim Napoles – Benhur Luy – claiming he had been illegally detained but managed to escape. He proceeded to expose a scam involving the misuse of pork barrel funds through fake non-government organizations (NGOs).

Hundreds of millions of pesos in PDAF funds in the national budget, it was charged, went to NGOs for projects that turned to be non-existent. So many senators and congressmen linked to the scam were investigated, but only three opposition senators got to be charged by the Ombudsman before the Sandiganbayan and detained, giving rise to the charge of selective justice by the administration against its political enemies.

READ MORE...

In the course of the Senate Blue Ribbon inquiry on the PDAF, the existence of another fund – the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) – was inadvertently discovered. This was described by the opposition as Malacanang’s own pork barrel as it released government funds for projects and other undertakings of Malacanang without going through Congress.

Both PDAF and DAP were subsequently declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Aside from the Sandiganbayan cases of the three opposition senators, cases against other legislators are in various stages of investigation by the Ombudsman following leads uncovered during the Senate Blue Ribbon inquiry.

But the Senate Blue Ribbon report itself is now just part of the Senate archives, of no legal value – an unfortunate ending to such a huge event in the Senate that impacted on the national government administration and even on the recent presidential election.

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

THE NEWS REPORT FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

Glitch forces Senate to archive Blue Ribbon report on 'pork barrel' scam Published June 9, 2016 6:11pm By AMITA LEGASPI, GMA News


Enrile, Estrada, Revilla linked anew to Napoles pork scam | Inquirer News

It's been two years since Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada, and Ramon Bong Revilla Jr were indicted for plunder and graft in connection with the so-called pork barrel scam yet it was only Monday evening that the panel that investigated the celebrated scam submitted its full report.

And the report was archived after it was submitted over an hour after the last session day of the 16th Congress was adjourned last Monday.

The Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations — better known as the Blue Ribbon Committee — conducted nine hearings on the alleged misuse of Priority Development Assistance Fund the from August 2013 to March 2014.

The 122-page Committee Report was submitted to the Senate Bills and Index Service at 6:30 pm while the last session of the 16th Congress was adjourned past 5 pm.

A source said the Blue Ribbon committee staff thought the report could still be accepted even after the adjournment but the Bills and Index insisted that once the gavel has been banged, no report or bills will be accepted.

Majority of the committee members or 13 senators have signed the Committee Report recommending the filing of plunder charges against the three senators who were accused of pocketing millions of pesos in kickbacks from the scam.


committee chairman Teofisto Guingona III

Among those who signed the report were: committee chairman Teofisto Guingona III, Sergio Osmeña III, Antonio Trillanes IV, Miriam Defensor Santiago, Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino, Grace Poe, Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, Loren Legarda, Francis Escudero, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Pia Cayetano, Alan Peter Cayetano, and Cynthia Villar.

Because of the delay in the submission of the report, the Senate was not able to adopt and deliberate the matter on the plenary.

Senate President Franklin Drilon said the committee report will just be archived.

“The problem is this was filed after we adjourned and ended the 16th Congress. So that’s the technical problem. There is no more session to which this could be referred, but we received the report,” he told reporters.

He said the report cannot just be pulled out of the archives in the 17th Congress.

“No, they can not pull it out. It has to go through another hearing. In other words the 17th Congress cannot adopt that report. It has to be re-filed, a new resolution would have to be filed, we have to go through hearings,” he said.

“Of course, in the hearings, you can adapt the testimonies of the resource persons and call for additional resource persons if the committee wishes to do it. But the technical problem is that there was no more Senate when it was filed,” he added.

It was in April 2014 when Guingona presented the draft report to the media.

Hours after the presentation, the Office of the Ombudsman announced that it found probable cause to indict Enrile, Estrada, Revilla and others involved including alleged mastermind Janet Napoles.

The Ombudsman’s decision was based on the complaint filed by the Department of Justice and National Bureau of Investigation. — APG, GMA News


A historic milestone for Hillary Clinton June 14, 2016 (updated) Share1 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share8

Hillary Clinton, former first lady and former secretary of state of the United States, reached a milestone in American history last Wednesday when she clinched the nomination for presidential candidate of the Democratic Party. With the delegates she won in the primaries in New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota, she exceeded the 2,383 delegates needed to win the nomination at the coming Democratic Party convention.

It was a historic victory for Clinton. It will be the very first time that a woman is the presidential candidate of a major party in the US. And should she win the election in November, she would be the first woman to be elected president.

American television programs noted that many other countries in the world have already elected woman leaders, among them Ellen John Sirleaf of Liberia, Golda Meir of Israel, Angela Merkel of Germany, and Park Geun-hye of South Korea. The Philippines has already had two woman presidents – Corazon C. Aquino and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

But no woman has ever been elected American president. Much has been written about the “glass ceiling” that keeps women from reaching the topmost levels in American corporations. The toughest glass ceiling of all in the US – that in the White House — is now within reach of Hillary Clinton.

READ MORE...

Standing in her way is the presumptive presidential candidate of the Republican Party, the Grand Old Party (GOP) – Donald Trump, who clinched the GOP nomination on Tuesday, a day earlier than Clinton. Trump is himself a maverick in his party, criticized and opposed by many of its traditional leaders because of his quick tongue and his perceived bias against minorities, immigrants, and Muslims.

The Philippines has just held its national election this May 9 and we are now preparing for a new administration led by our own kind of maverick who promised change. We are now following the elections in the US, from whom we adopted our own political system and where so many of our countrymen live today.

We have solid relations with the US and these are expected to continue whoever wins the election in November. In the meantime, we share in the America people’s savoring the experience of a possible woman president. We have had two, no less, and they have made enduring contributions to our history and development as a nation.


Another look at K-12 by Fr. Rolando V. De La Rosa, OP June 18, 2016 (updated) Share2 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share22


Fr. Rolando V. De La Rosa, OP Through Untrue He was the former Rector Magnificus (1990-1998, 2007-2012) of the University of Santo Tomas (UST), the oldest and the largest Catholic university in Asia]. A religious leader and a seasoned educator, he was appointed by former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as the Chairman of the Commission on Higher Education in 2004.

Avid proponents of the K-12 scheme argue that the Philippines has been the only country in Asia and one of only three countries worldwide with a 10-year pre-university cycle. The implication is, the lack of two years of basic education produces graduates who are inferior to those of other countries.

These proponents seem blind to the fact that skilled and highly-in-demand Filipino professionals abroad were graduates of the K-10 system.

We have now copied the K-12 scheme of other countries because we seem to be ashamed of having only 10 years of basic education. But should we not rather hammer on the heads of our foreign counterparts that Filipinos can accomplish in 10 years what they struggle to achieve in 12 years?

Should we not glory in our inherent capacity to learn quickly the necessary knowledge, skills, and competencies that make us globally competitive?

What we so sorely need are additional government support, adequate educational infrastructures, and an army of quality teachers, and not two more years in shcool.

READ MORE...

I believe that the driving force behind the imposition of the K-12 scheme is not the quest for excellence, but pure market demand. Professional services have become a commodity, the value of which depends on marketability. The K-12 system is the offshoot of the inclusion of professional services in trade agreements among countries. Putting these services in the global market has allowed new investors in the educational enterprise to come into the picture—multinational corporations, foreign businesses, media conglomerates, and First World universities.

These are the present neo-colonists who impose their educational system everywhere to assure themselves of graduates that fit their academic and career standards. For their part, government in poor countries like the Philippines, whose economy depends largely on the foreign remittances of its millions of exported laborers, assist these neo-colonists even at the cost of our intellectual and cultural autonomy.

For instance, as regards professionals’ mobility, the flow is always from poor countries to richer countries. A large number of highly skilled professionals migrate to richer countries in order to take jobs. The migration of academic talent is in many ways promoted by the industrialized countries, which have much to gain. Immigration policies in many First World countries are designed to encourage talented personnel from Third World countries to migrate and establish residency and fit into the career structure there.

A cursory glance at the enrolment in senior high schools shows that students are flocking to those strands of specialization in math, engineering, business, accountancy, law, computer science, and allied health professions which are highly in demand in industrialized countries.

Advances in communications technology made it possible for any work to be performed virtually anywhere on the globe, so even if K-12 graduates remain in the Philippines, they will still be employed as outsourced personnel of prosperous countries who are forever scrounging for cheap labor to further increase their profits.

The K-12 system therefore will further speed up the commercialization of professional services for the benefit of industrialized countries that are assured of harvesting a large pool of graduates every year. Unwittingly, we will be helping these countries to maintain their already overwhelming lead in trade, science and scholarship.

The K-12 scheme is an indication that the government has succumbed to the pragmatic and utilitarian ethos that has become the moving force behind current educational reforms.


Rizal’s dream: A better Philippines by Former Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos June 18, 2016 (updated) Share1 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share17 (First of Two Parts)


JOSE RIZAL

“The advancement and ethical progress of the Philippines are inevitable, are decreed by fate… And once more free… Will recover its pristine virtues… And will again become addicted to peace – cheerful, happy, joyous, hospitable and daring•••” — Dr. Jose Rizal, The Philippines A Century Hence, 1892

“These goals are a blueprint for a better future. Now we must use the goals to transform the world. We will do that through partnership and through commitment. We must leave no one behind•••” — UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon 25 September 2015, New York


BY FORMER PIHLIPPINE PRESIDENT FIDEL V. RAMOS

Today, we observe the 155th birthday of Dr. Jose Rizal, our national hero who was born in Calamba, Laguna, on 19 June 1861. So much has been written, also filmed, about Rizal to-date – but, maybe not really enough about his dream of a better Philippines, or perhaps, too much about his extra-curricular activities which are not really relevant to his love of God, country, and people.

We do believe that it is again time for our education, knowledge, and historical agencies – the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), National Book Development Board (NBDB), and the incoming president of the Philippines himself – to revisit Jose Rizal in terms of mankind’s dream today of “One World, One Community, One Family” as expressed in the UN General Assembly’s Resolution of 25 September 2015 which intends to achieve “The 17 Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs) by year 2030.

What we need from these agencies and President-elect Duterte are new, on-line school textbooks, videos, and other interactive materials on Rizal and our independence movement against Spain to inspire our complacent, but IT-savvy youth, to greater patriotism and respect for the environment.

READ MORE...

The same need for IT-sourced knowledge is true for two other crucial periods of Philippine history – (1) the Philippine defense of freedom during WWII, and (2) the people’s resistance against martial law and our peaceful “People Power Revolution” at EDSA.

LAST 19 JUNE 1998, IT WILL BE RECALLED THAT PRESIDENT FVR OPENED TO THE PUBLIC RIZAL’S RENOVATED BIRTHHOME AS AN INTEGRAL PART OF OUR COUNTRY’S CENTENNIAL FREEDOM TRAIL (CFT). THESE ARE HISTORIC SITES ALL OVER OUR ARCHIPELAGO THAT MARK THE STRUGGLES OF OUR HEROIC FOREBEARS IN THEIR PROTRACTED, VALIANT QUEST FOR FREEDOM AND INDEPENDENT NATIONHOOD.

Jose Rizal’s Advocacies

RIZAL WAS A WIDE-RANGING SCHOLAR, SKILLED IN BOTH THE ARTS AND SCIENCES. HE PAINTED, FENCED, AND DID SCULPTURES AND WOODCARVING. HE WAS A PROLIFIC POET, ESSAYIST AND NOVELIST WHOSE MOST FAMOUS WORKS WERE HIS TWO NOVELS, NOLI ME TÁNGERE (BERLIN, 1887) AND ITS SEQUEL, EL FILIBUSTERISMO (GHENT, 1891) THAT INSPIRED BOTH PEACEFUL REFORMISTS AND ARMED REVOLUTIONARIES. RIZAL WAS ALSO A WORLD TRAVELER, AGRICULTURIST, PRACTISING OPHTHALMOLOGIST, AND CONVERSANT IN TWENTY LANGUAGES.

Even at that early stage of our foreign relations, Rizal in the 1880s had already espoused views and concepts about the “Global Fellowship of Humankind,” “Worldwide Brotherhood,” and similar ideas of universal harmony – as now being forcefully enunciated and vigorously pursued by international organizations, principally the UN. His democratic advocacies taken from his writings, speeches, and analysis of his personal history, works, and actions are still valid and relevant today.

RIZAL WAS AMONG THE FIRST LIBERALS OF HIS TIME TO CHAMPION WORLDWIDE PARTNERSHIPS TO ESTABLISH BONDING, UNITY, AND HARMONY AMONG NATIONS IN ORDER TO HEAL THE ILLS OF HUMANKIND. HIS STRONG SPIRIT OF FRATERNITY COULD HAVE COME FROM THE DISCRIMINATION HE EXPERIENCED NOT ONLY IN SPAIN BUT ALSO ELSEWHERE BECAUSE OF COLOR, SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATUS, OR RELIGION.

Rizal and Blumentritt

THE SHEER VOLUME OF RECORDED EXCHANGE OF IDEAS THROUGH HIS CORRESPONDENCE WITH VARIOUS PEOPLE – PRINCIPALLY DR. FERDINAND BLUMENTRITT, RIZAL’S CLOSEST EUROPEAN FRIEND AND CONFIDANT – PROVIDES VITAL REFERENCES FOR HISTORIANS AND SCHOLARS. BLUMENTRITT WAS A TEACHER AND SCHOOL PRINCIPAL IN LEITOMERITZ (A CITY IN THE OLD AUSTRO-HUNGARIAN EMPIRE, NOW THE CZECH REPUBLIC) AS WELL AS LECTURER, AND AUTHOR OF ARTICLES AND BOOKS ON THE PHILIPPINES AND ITS ETHNOGRAPHY.

This strong fraternal bond between Rizal and Blumentritt that stood the test of time was among the many elements of the lasting foundation of friendship that our two peoples share, and upon which Czech President Vaclav Havel, a world-class author and dramatist, himself a freedom-fighter against Communism, anchored his state visit to Manila in April, 1995. President FVR reciprocated Havel’s goodwill with a visit to Prague and also to Leitomeritz, where now stands a well-endowed Rizal Museum, in September 1997.

Accordingly, during the state dinner hosted by President Havel in the Prague Castle, FVR affirmed: “The seed of friendship between our two peoples grew more than a century ago – when Dr. Jose Rizal visited Leitomeritz to meet Dr. Ferdinand Blumentritt, a professor whose scholarly interests lay in Philippine studies. What started as a short stopover and scholarly exchange between Rizal and Blumentritt developed into a deep and lifelong friendship!!!

“In the modern-day relationship between our two countries, we draw heavily on that earlier partnership between these two intimate friends, as well as our common devotion to the Santo Niño de Praga which had been promoted in the Philippines by hardy Czech missionaries.

“THE NATIONAL VALUES WE SHARE AND SIMILAR EXPERIENCES WE WENT THROUGH – OUR OWN PEACEFUL ‘PEOPLE POWER’ REVOLUTION AGAINST DICTATORSHIP IN 1986 AND YOUR 1989 DEMOCRATIC ‘VELVET REVOLUTION’ IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC – ENSURE THAT OUR RELATIONS WILL REMAIN PRECIOUS AND CONSTANT THROUGH THE YEARS.”

UN’s 2030 SDGs

Dr. Rizal’s earlier advocacies for a better world – which today we of the Philippines and surely the Czechs share – are essentially imbedded in the 17 SDGs that the UN adopted on 25 September 2015. In brief, these are:

(1)Poverty – End poverty in all forms everywhere.

(2)Hunger and Food Security – End hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.

(3)Good Health and Well-Being – Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all.

(4) Education – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

(5)Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment – Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

(6)Water and Sanitation – Ensure availability and sustainable management of water, and sanitation for all.

(7)Energy – Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and clean energy for all.

(8)Economic Growth – Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

(9)Infrastructure, Industrialization – Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation.

(10)Inequality – Reduce inequality within and among countries.

(11)Cities – Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.

(12)Sustainable Consumption and Production – Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

(13)Climate Change – Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

(14)Oceans – Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development.

(15)Biodiversity, Forests, Deforestation – Protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and biodiversity loss.

(16)Peace and Justice – Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

(17)Partnerships – Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

(Kindly revisit our column in the Manila Bulletin of 04 October 2015, titled “U.N. Anniversaries And Development Goals.”)

SUMMARY

As Dr. Rizal deeply believed and exemplified in his life, he held high the virtues of education as the key to the achievement of much of above UN goals – because knowledge is an essential part of people empowerment.

Having just started this week our 2016-2017 school-year, it is worth recalling that in 1889, when education was still a rare privilege, Rizal wrote a letter strongly commending the young women of Malolos for their collective courage in standing up to the Spanish authorities in order to open a school and be educated. This unheard — of “privilege” for women was strongly opposed by the friars. The Malolos ladies did not give up, and Governor-General Valeriano Weyler eventually acceded to their unprecedented request.

RIZAL’S LETTER TO THE YOUNG WOMEN OF MALOLOS CENTERED ON SALIENT POINTS SUCH AS THE DENUNCIATION OF THE ABUSE OF FRIARS IN EXERCISING THEIR SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY; TRAITS FILIPINO MOTHERS MUST HAVE; OBLIGATIONS OF MOTHERS TO THEIR CHILDREN; AND FUNCTIONS AND ERRANDS OF A WIFE FOR HER HUSBAND. RIZAL ALSO EXPRESSED HIS PHILOSOPHY OF FREEDOM THAT HE BELIEVED WAS THE KEY TO MANKIND’S EMANCIPATION FROM SLAVERY, AND THE NECESSITY FOR EDUCATION AS THE FUNDAMENTAL SOURCE OF LIBERATION. HE ENUNCIATED HIS GREAT WISH FOR FILIPINO WOMEN TO ENJOY THE PRIVILEGES OF EDUCATION, AND NOT BE DOCILE TOWARDS INJUSTICES FORCED UPON THEM. (Extracts from “Girl Power: The Women of Malolos” by Quennie Ann Palafox, National Historical Commission of the Philippines, 04 September 2012.)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DR. JOSE RIZAL – AND OUR FELICITATIONS TO ALL FATHERS AND GRANDFATHERS!!!


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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