Hello world!

doy1

I shall be writing topics as it comes to mind. It could be topics, past or present, but relative to the times. I shall also be reacting to articles published, whether domestic or foreign, and voicing my opinion. My views shall always be objective.

Every now and then I shall also be sharing with you videos, photos, sayings and graphics of people, animals, places, etc., that I find interesting, which I hope you will appreciate.

Also, there are times when I will be posting articles about facts – why it happened that way or what could have been if something else happened.

I welcome you to my blog site and I look forward to inter-acting with you. Your participation, your thoughts and commentaries, either for or against, will be very much appreciated. We may have differences in opinion but that is the essence of being rational, to be able to agree to disagree. It is my aim that as we go along we enlighten not only ourselves but also those that finds the opportunity/chance to visit this site. Let us enrich each other in knowledge and build each other up in friendship. Thank you. Jesus Sievert a.k.a  Quierosaber

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¡Hola mundo!

Escribiré temas como estos vienen a la mente. Esto podría ser temas, pasadas o presentes, pero con relación a los tiempos. También reaccionaré a artículos publicados, doméstico o extranjero, y expresaré mi opinión. Mis vistas siempre serán objetivo.

De vez en cuando también compartiré con ustedes vídeos, fotos, refranes y gráficos de la gente, animales, lugares, etc., que encuentro interesante y espero que lo aprecian.

También, hay tiempos cuando fijaré artículos sobre hechos – por qué pasó así o lo que podría haber sido si algo más pasara.

Bienvenidos a mi sitio de blog y espero colaborar con Vd. en el futuro.

Su participación, sus pensamientos y comentarios, para o contra, serán muy apreciados. Podemos tener diferencias en la opinión pero eso es la esencia de ser racional, ser capaz de consentir en discrepar. Esto es mi objetivo que como continuamos, aclaramos no sólo nosotros mismos sino también aquellos  que encuentran  la oportunidad/posibilidad de visitar este sitio. Déjenos enriquecer el uno al otro en el conocimiento y en la amistad. Gracias. Jesus Sievert alias Quierosaber

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Roxas and the Mamasapano issue

 

Pres. Duterte and former DILG Sec. Mar Roxas

It may be seemingly unfair for President Duterte to be blaming then Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary and now senatorial candidate Mar Roxas for the deaths of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) troopers in the botched police operation that happened four years ago.

Having been left out of the loop by his boss, former President Aquino, during the whole secretive and highly-sensitive planning operation dubbed Oplan Exodus, which sole purpose was to carry out the arrest of international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias “Marwan” and Filipino bomb maker Abdul Basit Usman who were reported lurking in Mamasapano, a Muslim rebel territory in the province of Maguindanao, Roxas never had any inkling what was going on behind his back until the shit finally hit the fan, so to speak.

One can still imagine Roxas’ face with mouth agape, unbelieving and stunned of the crisis he was in an instant facing as Interior Secretary.

In defending Roxas from Duterte’s culpability attack on the Mamasapano massacre, Sen. Francis Pangilinan reasoned out that what the president was doing was “pure politicking”, considering that the Senate had already investigated the incident and charges have already been filed in court.

“Raising the matter anew is pure and simple politicking, and a means to shun important and pressing issues affecting the Filipinos such as poverty, lack of opportunities, indignation over China’s aggression, and corruption hounding many of the administration candidates,” said Pangilinan in a statement.

Well, Pangilinan should really be putting the money where his mouth is for the truth is that to Roxas, the Mamasapano issue continues to be his political liability for not being man enough to confront Pres. Aquino on why he was excluded from a highly-sensitive Oplan Exodus meeting. but chose instead to connive, trust and discuss covertly the SAF mission with the suspended Police Gen. Alan Purisima .

Why the mistrust in Aquino’s own Interior Secretary and the latter’s PNP OIC chief, Lt. Gen. Leonardo Espina?

Roxas could have made something of himself if he only stood up to Aquino and defended his name, his reputation and the dignity of his office. After being wittingly ignored and disrespected, the least that he could have done was submit a courtesy resignation and the people would have lauded him for that. In fact had he turn his back on Aquino and left government he could have given Duterte a stiff competition during the 2016 presidential election.

Thus, Roxas spineless demeanor on the Mamasapano issue, where he in fact supported Aquino’s  action, continue to be a matter of contention in the May 2019 election that is being exploited to the hilt by Duterte because of his weak leadership.

With regards to other issues which Pangilinan considers ‘important and pressing’, like China’s aggression, poverty, lack of opportunities and corruption, well, as Liberal Party (LP) president, he should be the first one to admit that Duterte is addressing these problems better and more successfully than his party-mate Aquino during his time.

 

A Songbird’s discordant voice

This is a compelling interjection I am making after reading Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez’s remark insulting the intelligence of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin when the latter said that the Philippines and China must not go to war over some kind of shellfish, but that China should just pay for it.

The bone of contention here is actually about the giant clams being harvested by China with impunity in the Scarborough Shoal (Panatag Shoal), which the Philippines claims to be part of its territory. Note that this is the same controversial shoal that used to be the rich source of livelihood and haven for Filipino fishermen during inclement weather until China took control of it, claiming it as belonging to their territorial waters in the South China Sea (SCS).

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin

“I am not going down in history as a clam defender, okay? It’s a complaint; we’re looking into it; but these are just fucking food; no one goes to war for clams (maybe Oysters of Locquemariaquer) but they just happen to be OUR food. They should pay for them like in fish market,” Locsin said.

This of course did not sit well for Velasquez especially that it sounded to her more like a sick joke coming from an intelligently irrepressible Locsin. I don’t think she has a clear knowledge of who Locsin is really.

“Ang akala ko pa naman matalino ka. Ako ay simpling tao lamang na may simpleng pagiisip,” Velasquez said in a tweet on Friday. (And I thought you were smart/clever. I am just a simple person with simple thoughts.)

“These people are invading our territory they are not just taking food sinisira nila ang ating karagatan!!!!” (…. they are destroying our seas!!!), she added.

Well, the reality is that having “simple thoughts” is what makes war, and that is precisely what Locsin is trying to avoid knowing both the economic and military might of China that our country is being subjected to.

Thus, it is best for the Songbird of Asia to just concentrate on what she does best and leave the diplomatic tussle to the knowledgeable. Her discordant voice in foreign relation is distasteful and therefore unwelcome, more so that her rhetoric has no basis at all.

Former Pres. Benigno Aquino

The fact is that had the Aquino government in 2012 handled the Scarborough Shoal controversy against China with utmost prudence, the rich fishing ground of Panatag Shoal could still have been accessible to our fishermen today. Note that the shoal has also been the fishing grounds of Chinese fishermen and there existed a ‘peaceful coexistence’ between them until the Philippine Navy surveillance ship started flexing its muscles and ordered their sailors to board eight Chinese fishing vessels anchored in the shoal’s lagoon. They tried to arrest the Chinese fishermen for illegal fishing and “harvesting endangered marine species.” However, two China Maritime Surveillance (CMS) ships come to their rescue creating a standoff.

What made the standoff even unwise is when then President Aquino ordered the frigate BRP Gregorio del Pilar, a newly refurbished warship from the US Coast guard, to the area to confront the Chinese at Panatag.

What happened next was that more CMS ships entered the shoal, bringing with them a flotilla of 31 Chinese fishing boats and 50 dinghies. The number of CMS vessels in the days that followed increased to 10.

Outwitted, the the BRP Gregorio del Pilar left on the pretext that it was going “to replenish fuel and food provisions” in its base in La Union.But why send a warship when CMS vessels are officially civilian, part of its Ministry of Transport’s Maritime Safety Administration?

Since then no Filipino ship or fishing vessel has been able to enter the shoal, now occupied by CMS vessels and Chinese fishing boats. The Chinese imposed a 15-nautical mile restriction perimeter around the shoal, and prevents any vessel from going into the shoal’s lagoon.

Brother and not Father – Part ll

The gravity and solemnity by which the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ is celebrated during the Holy Week always seems to be the best time for the Catholic faithful to contemplate and reflect on for after all His sacrifice and death was not for Himself but for the redemption of mankind.

Christ’s crucifixion on the cross is said to be the greatest love story that is ever told – His self-sacrifice for humanity.

Thus, it is in this context that in identifying with the sufferings of Christ and meditating on His Passion and Death, that the faithful in turn should possess the motivation to be more faithful to the teachings of the Church, to be more respectful and understanding, to be more patient and persevering, and ensuring always of being on the path of doing the will of the Father.

But has the will of the Father been earnestly observed and followed in the Christian lives of the faithful since Christ paid for our freedom with the price of His own blood and death on the cross for the purpose of pleasing Him?

With what is happening in the Catholic Church today, having priests and high ranking officials of the Church accused of sexually molesting children for many, many years now, I could not see the logic anymore of anyone doing the will of the Father, more so by the members of the clergy.

Incontestably, when we talk about the will of the Father it could only mean the will of God. Thus, I find it wrong, inappropriate, and even tasteless, that despite the inequities of priests, which the faithful perceive as lodestars of morality, they are continued to be called Father.

Isn’t this in itself an affront to and a usurpation of the distinct honor and glory given by humanity to the most high, the Father in Heaven?

For isn’t it found in the Gospel of Matthew 23:8-9 where it says: “You are not to be called ‘Master,’ for you have but one Master, and you are all brothers and sisters. And do not call anyone on earth ‘Father,’ for you have but one Father, who is in Heaven”.

So why can’t we just call a man of the cloth, Brother, in the same way that when today’s priest writes or addresses his parishioners he begins with ‘Dear Brothers and Sisters?’ It is simply incongruous to sign ones letter with the title ‘Father’ before ones name when one is addressing it to his ‘brothers and sisters’, isn’t it?

What I am saying is that if we address nuns as ‘Sisters’, why can’t we call priests, ‘Brothers’?

This suggested change in title from Father to Brother does not in any way, shape and form diminish the respect one has for a priest. On the contrary it could foster a better relationship between the clergy and the worshippers because the fraternal distance between them stays the same even when the priest has gone up in rank. This is the kind of relationship that enables to sustain and/or enrich further ones affinity to God.

Also that the name, Father, will forever be shielded from debasement of any kind. This is how it should have been from the very beginning.

The unwanted Marcoses

It is gratifying to know that Gen X, the demographic cohort following the baby boomers and preceding the Millenials, have been able to sustain the momentum of communicating, explaining and educating the younger generation about the brutality of the Marcos regime.

Although it has been 47 years ago that President Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law over the entirety of the Philippines, the agonizing consequence of it continues to be felt by many, especially the most aggrieved families.

When I remember my mother aborting, what to us, college students then, was even a short visit, and hurriedly and fearfully packing her belongings early that afternoon to be loaded on a ‘tartanilla’ (horse drawn carriage) so she could be on the vessel leaving that night for Baybay, Leyte, and be with my father the following day, I could not help but question the inhumanity of it all.

Forty seven years of conjugal dictatorship is not really that long for the Marcos matriarch, Imelda, and children, Bongbong, Imee and Irene, who are now back in their glory years, thanks but no thanks to Filipino sycophants, to just say we have got to move on.

One could not just say either that the children shall not suffer the iniquity of their parents because the fact is that they were not toddlers anymore when martial law happened. Imee was already a political youth leader being the chairperson of the Kabataang Barangay and Bongbong was in his teens already and fully aware of what was happening by the way he donned fatigue uniform of the military in one of the photo ops of the former dictator addressing the crowd of supporters from the balcony in Malacañang. In between her siblings stood Irene who was already as tall as Imee and fully aware of what was going on.

With this as a backdrop, it is heartening and reassuring to know that the students of the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) condemned the attendance of Irene at the opening of the Ateneo Areté’s Amphitheater on Thursday, April 4, saying, among other things that “ …her presence is a grave insult and vehement mockery to Martial Law survivors and martyrs.”

A separate petition signed by various students of the university also demanded the university to issue a formal apology for the incident. The petition read, “Are we not aware by now how the Marcoses systematically use art as a tool to blind the people from their violence and corruption?”

Thus, the May 2019 elections should be used as a tool to repudiate another Marcos, Imee, a senatorial candidate, who has the propensity of lying about her educational records and for saying and making people believe that martial law is a conflict between the Marcoses and the Aquinos.

Imee’s presumptuousness is so overwhelming that one can’t help wondering how it would be if she becomes a senator. Let us not dignify her being a Marcos for the truth is that martial law is and will always be a conflict between the reprobate Marcoses and the Filipino people he was sworn to serve in the first place.

Enough of them already.

Brother and not Father

 

many of a priest during mass,details

I am sharing with you this article from La Croix International written by Jean-Pierre Roche, a French priest, as I find it not only enlightening and thought-provoking but rather the most rational and analytical explanation I have ever read in answering his plea, which is also the title of his article “Stop calling me ‘Father’”.

In the midst of a worldwide accusation of priests sexually abusing children, Roche’s explanation seems to have put everything in context such that one realizes now that this is how it should have been from the very beginning.

I hope the Vatican will look into this matter seriously as this suggested change in title does not in any way, shape and form diminish the respect one has for a priest. On the contrary it could foster a better relationship between the clergy and Church followers because the fraternal distance between them stays the same even when the priest has gone up in rank.

What is important is sustaining and/or enriching ones relationship with his God and no better person can do this than he who considers you his equal.

Enjoy!

Stop calling me ‘Father’!

Jean-Pierre Roche
France

The practice of calling priests ‘Father’ can be unhealthy when it is the expression of an emotional dependence based on a false idea of obedience

Many Catholics are overwhelmed, shocked and appalled. They are traumatized by the sex abuse crisis that is tainting their Church. And so am I. But what can we do?

Above all, we must express our compassion and empathy for the victims, whose suffering is much greater than ours.

This crisis demands that we transform the Church, which is made up of us all. This transformation can only happen by returning to the Gospel, but it must also involve tangible changes in the ways in which we live in the Church and society.

Last August, Pope Francis wrote to all of God’s people, appealing to them to take action against clericalism, which he perceives as the source of the abuse perpetrated by priests, bishops and religious superiors.

I hope to add my modest part to his appeal.

At least three reasons not to call me “Father”

The Christians with whom I work and those I guide call me naturally by my first name, my baptismal name.

However, all the Catholics I meet on Sundays, in the different churches in my community, or during baptisms, marriages and funerals, call me “Father.” This is also true of the townspeople, who are not particularly Christian but who feel obliged to address me in this way.

This has bothered me during the almost twenty years that I have been a priest. However, in today’s context when we know that certain priests have been found guilty of the sexual abuse of children or nuns, I believe it is urgent that I ask of you: Please, do not call me “Father”!

I do so for at least three reasons.

— The first reason should be sufficient in itself, as it is found in the Gospels. Priests wish to be disciples of Jesus, who said, “You are not to be called ‘Master,’ for you have but one Master, and you are all brothers and sisters. And do not call anyone on earth ‘Father,’ for you have but one Father, who is in Heaven” (Mt 23: 8-9).

Sometimes Jesus’ words are difficult to interpret, but the meaning of these is particularly clear. To be called “Father” is, quite frankly, to usurp the place of God, the Father of all people. It is, literally, to play God!

Not children, but brothers and sisters

— The second reason is that calling priests “Father” infantilizes Catholics. How is it possible to have fraternal relationships between adults who are equals, if we are all brothers and sisters except for one person — the one we call “Father”? How do we dare express disagreement if, in doing so, we must “kill the father”?

Catholics are not children who have to say “amen” each time the priest has spoken.

If the Church wants to once again be a fraternity, we must stop this custom, and should put into practice the beautiful passage from the Vatican Council II: “Even though some, by the will of Christ, are made doctors and pastors for the good of others, in terms of the dignity and activities of all the faithful in the edification of the Body of Christ, there is true equality among all.”

I understand that priests exercise a sort of spiritual fatherhood. But I can say that those who see me as their spiritual guide never call me “Father.”

So, is it to somehow compensate for not having children that priests let themselves be called “Father”?

What helps me to live my celibacy, is that the fact that my mission has given me many friends. They are not children, but rather brothers and sisters. Isn’t this what priests call us when they say, “Dear brothers and sisters”?

As for my brothers who are bishops (for whom I am saying many prayers at present), I leave it to them to ask you to no longer call them “Monsignor” or “My Lord”. I find this particularly shocking, as we have only one “Signor” / “Lord”. And it’s not our bishop.

— Finally, the practice of calling us “Father” can, quite frankly, be unhealthy when it is the expression of an emotional dependence based on a false idea of obedience.

Fatherhood is, in effect, a mixture of affection and authority. But it can be dangerous, especially if it is made sacred.

An absolute monarchical power of masculine, divine right

So, please, stop calling us “Father.” If you don’t know us well enough to call us by our first name, call us “brother Joseph” or simply “brother”, just as you say, “Sister Nicole” or “sister.”

This will be your contribution to the battle against the clericalism that is at the origin of all the abuse in the Church.

You might think this is just a small thing. An that’s true. But, while we wait for the Church to be reformed, maybe we can begin to change such small things.

I am not sure that our Church can, in the light of the Gospels, cut corners in its careful consideration of its governance and organization.

Catholics, who are always told – and rightly so – that they are the Church, will have more and more difficulty in supporting the clerical authority of priests, bishops and the pope, as long as it remains an absolute monarchical power of masculine, divine right.

The Church is an increasingly incomprehensible organization in our democratic, pluralist and egalitarian society.

In the meantime, maybe we can all take this small step forward in building a more fraternal Church.

Jean-Pierre Roche is a priest and popular author from the Diocese of Créteil, just south of Paris.

 

Disrespecting with impunity

President Duterte and the Pag-asa Island from the air.

With the military might of China well entrenched in the West Philippine Sea, the Chinese arrogance and aggressiveness towards our country has never been as opprobrious as it is today.

It seems that China’s unimpeded stay in the disputed waters have given the occupants the entitlement to do what it pleases them even to the extent of violating and disrespecting the rights of a poor and disadvantaged country like the Philippines.

But we can only take so much of the despotic attitude of China’s leadership, thus, it is only appropriate that President Rodrigo Duterte be commended for standing up against China at the time when his strong leadership is urgently needed.

This, after the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has reported that a surge of Chinese vessels have been circling Pag-asa Island since January 2019.

Accordingly, this corroborates an earlier report by the Washington-based Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative that China deployed Chinese militia to the vicinity of said island after the Philippines began building a beaching ramp for large navy cargo ships for easier unloading of construction materials for the repairs of military facility like the Rancudo Airfield and even the building of a safe harbor which is a project of the local government.

Pag-asa Island is a 37-hectare island, the largest of the Kalayaan Island Group territories claimed by the Philippines and is part of the municipality of Palawan. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 184 people. Aside from an airstrip, it has a commercial communications tower, power generators, a 5-bed lying-in clinic and a small elementary school.

There is no doubt that the commanding presence of Chinese flotilla in the area is not only to monitor what is being done in the island, but its show of intimidating force is simply sending an explicit message and warning that it is the Filipinos that are the intruders in what is now their exclusive maritime territory according to their own historical facts, which for all intents and purposes have been debunked by The Hague tribunal.

Each one of the militia vessel seems to echo the mantra of unjustified ownership that ‘what is ours is ours and what is yours is ours too’!

This abusive and despotic behavior certainly does not sit well with Filipinos as China’s action not only violates our country’s sovereignty, but most of all it disrespects with impunity human value and decency.

Thankfully, it has finally dawn on President Duterte that even his deportment as being non-confrontational towards China in the WPS is being taken advantage of and, thus, it is inspiriting to know that the president is reacting the way many people wants him to do, including those in the opposition, by strongly pushing back at the Chinese machination in Pag-asa Island.

It is good to receive investment help from China to finance Duterte’s economic Build, Build, Build agenda, which could be the start of an infrastructure boom in the Philippines, but it is quite the contrary when the dignity of the Filipino, as a race, is being debased and disrespected with impunity in his own turf.

Department of Water

 

The Metro Manila(MM) water crisis not only has brought to the fore the difficulty the residents are being subjected to in different manner, shape and form, but it has also magnified the importance of a sustainable water supply from concessionaires, who in turn are dependent of their sources that is governed, managed and controlled by, supposedly, responsible government agencies.

Perhaps being more concern that it is an election year, the knee-jerk reaction of the Duterte administration, to assuage the gloomy feelings of the MM electorate, is to immediately propose the creation of a Department of Water (DOW).

Reportedly, the DOW is envisioned to have jurisdiction over the functions currently assigned to several agencies including the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, the Bureau of Soils and Water Management, National Irrigation Administration, Local Water Utilities Administration, National Water Resources Board and Laguna Lake Development Authority.

But do we really have to create another layer of bureaucracy over all these agencies just so water supply dilemma of this proportion happening in MM won’t recur?

Having all these agencies established and designed by government to either function dependently or independently of one another for sourcing, treatment and distribution of water have been thought of and studied well to serve the well being of the people in this country.

So, where and why have we failed disastrously this time after all these years?

If one looks at the mandate of these agencies, which can very well be described in their mission and vision statements, all is geared towards giving the best service to the people with competency, efficiency and integrity. Take time looking, for instance, at the mandate given the National Water and Resources Board (NWRB), a government agency responsible for the management of water resources in the country and you will know what I mean. I am making NWRB as an example because it has a responsibility that impacts importantly the water security all over the country.

But while the office is always characterized as such, the same cannot be said all the time of the people tasked to run the office.

Don’t get me wrong. There are very educated and highly capable people to run a department, but if such individual has the tendency to macromanage all the time, especially in service oriented organizations, then sometime or another that individual will fail. Leaving their employees too much on their own is a guaranteed recipe for failure.

Macromanaging can lead to inefficiency on the part of employees in regards to time spend on the job, work completed, and who they seek out for answers. I am not saying that micromanaging is a better style of management because it does more harm to the morale of the employees.

What I am just saying is that at the end of the day the head of the organization has to be on top of what is happening in his department so that proper guidance and direction can be adequately instituted, if needed.