How could the 'Maguindanao
massacre' been allowed to happen?
A Statement by the
Asian Human Rights Commission
November 27, 2009
("We don’t care about it, we don’t know about it" – the Acting Head of
the Provincial Police)
As it has been widely
reported, 57 people-including two human rights lawyers and 30
journalists - were slaughtered on November 23 in Maguindanao, a
province in central Mindanao. While much of the stories and worldwide
condemnation focused on the number of, and manner of the deaths -
describing them as gruesome, barbaric and animalistic amongst others
things, the Filipino people, even in this country's war-torn southern
part, still grapple in disbelief as to how it could have happened.
incomprehensible, not only to the Filipino people, but the
international community as to how, in an area with a modicum of
governance and law enforcement and the right to the protection of life
could have been so easily dismissed in a democratic state. How is it
possible that a group of over 100 armed men, reportedly led by a scion
of a powerful political clan, the Ampatuans, blocked a convoy of
vehicles of over 50 people in broad daylight, took them to a remote
hilly area, executed them and then buried them in shallow graves?
There were indications
that the massacre was premeditated and thoroughly planned; for
example, the graves where the 57 dead bodies had been buried had
already been excavated using a government-owned backhoe. Its engine
was still running when the soldiers arrived at the scene of the
massacre after they had received reports of the incident. When the
soldiers arrived, dead bodies littered the scene, vehicles used in the
convoy were riddled with bullets and three of the vehicles had been
flattened and buried together with the dead bodies.
Before the massacre
happened, some journalists had already received information that
should they persist in covering the filing of Certificates of
Candidacy (CoC) of Esmael Mangudadatu, they would be killed and
buried. However, because they were given assurance by Alfredo Cayton,
commanding general of the Army's 6th Infantry Division, that they
could push through telling them that area is safe, the group decided
to proceed. The group also had seriously discussed matters on security
arrangements for two hours before leaving. It was unfortunate though
that organisers and the group of journalists may have underestimated
the situation. Threats of this nature are common in this part of the
Mangudadatu is a
bitter political rival of one of Ampatuan's scions, Andal Ampatuan Jr,
incumbent town mayor of Datu Unsay, a town named after him by his
father, Andal Ampatuan Sr., who is also the incumbent provincial
governor of Maguindanao. The younger Ampatuan is now considered the
prime suspect in the slaughter, according to witnesses. After his
arrest on Thursday, November 26, he is being held in detention at the
National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Manila.
The carnage left
Esmael's wife, Genalyn; his two sisters, Eden and Farida Sabdula;
several of his political supporters; two human rights lawyers,
Concepcion Brizuela and Cynthia Oquendo; and 30 journalists dead.
Brizuela and Oquendo were assisting Mangudadatus' wife, Genalyn, to
file the CoC on behalf of her husband at the provincial election
office in Maguindanao while the journalists were covering the would-be
filing. The event, in the local context, would have been a big story
for local journalists as the filing was an act upon which the
Mangudadatus, also a powerful political clan in the adjacent province,
Sultan Kudarat, would be challenging the Ampatuans for a gubernatorial
The younger Ampatuan
is reported to have been groomed by his father to run as governor for
the May 2010 general elections. The elder Ampatuan is the close ally
of the Philippine President, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her party;
and had served as the governor of Maguindanao, a province under the
Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), for three consecutive
terms as governor. Three of Ampatuans’ political leaders were expelled
from the President's political party because of the massacre.
The Ampatuans and the
Mangudadatus are bitter rivals and powerful political clans in the
local politics. In this southern part of the country, the notion of
governing for the 'common good of constituents, good governance, rule
of law and human rights and democracy' has hardly ever existed. The
politicians' motivation in running for public office is for protecting
their territory, expanding their influence and cementing their de
facto absolute control into the affairs of the local government – from
the civilian administration, to the security forces. The security
forces were there to serve the local political elite, rather than
enforcing law and order.
In Shariff Aguak, the
capital of Maguindanao, the display of wealth and power can be
illustrated by the huge palaces that these political leaders of the
province have built, dwarfing the town and shanties of their
constituents. The province is one of the poorest in Mindanao, and is a
long term recipient of foreign development aid. The constituents in
remote municipalities have been for decades victims of massive
protracted displacements, killings and abductions and summary
executions either by the government or military forces in the
decades-old conflict in
Mindanao. Thus, the people's threshold to violence is higher than
other place, but the extent of this massacre is, even for them
difficult to comprehend.
That the alleged
mastermind, the younger Ampatuan, was reported to have been able to
command and have given the order to kill the victims is well
established and illustrates the local government's policy in funding,
training and recruiting militia forces. The Civilian Volunteer
Organisation (CVO) is one of the government's militia forces and is
also accused of having been involved in the Maguindanao massacre. The
functioning of the CVO should have been under the control and
oversight of the Philippine National Police (PNP); however, the existing system is so heavily
politicized, effectively making the police authorities underdogs of
The top local
executive has the authority to expel, appoint and recommend, for
example, who should be the head of the provincial police and the head
of the town police. The local executives also decide whether or not
the local police and its security unit should be given budget
allocations from the local government's coffer for their operation.
This deliberately brings the policemen and security units under the
politician's control and influence. The extent of the policemen's
control by the politicians has been affirmed and shown when Esmael,
upon learning of the massacre, was told by the acting head of the
Maguindanao provincial police when he sought his assistance that: "Wala
kaming paki-alam d'yan, hindi namin alam 'yan (“We don’t care about
it, we don’t know it”).
After the massacre,
the PNP had to relieve six of its top officials in Maguindanao for
their alleged complicity – the chief of police of Shariff Aguak and
Ampatuan towns and three other police inspectors from their position.
According to the
PNP though, they are not yet considered as suspects, but reports
indicate that one of them, was seen by the witnesses to be present at
the scene when the victims were executed. Also, it would be difficult
to accept that these top policemen would not know of the presence of
heavily armed men in their area of jurisdiction. The national highways
of these towns where the convoy passed also had check points of only
few hundred meter distance from one place to the other - either set up
by soldiers, policemen or militia forces - thus, it is hard to believe
that they would not know of the movement of armed men, unless they
were complicit or had been co-opted.
When the convoy was
blocked and the victims subsequently executed, reason dictates that
the victims may have thought the perpetrators would not do such
horrendous acts. They unfortunately walked to the grave virtually
blindfolded for reasons that their numbers and composition – there
were over 50 of them mostly women – that the town mayor who was the
prime suspect, the government's militia forces and armed civilians;
and the policemen, who were seen by witnesses at the crime scene were
The killing of 30
journalists, mostly local journalists, is the largest number of deaths
in a single incident in the Philippines' recent history. It has
virtually crippled the press freedom in this part of the country. The
fight for press freedom and right to information itself is a notion
that local journalists had struggled to fight for. Before the
massacre, some of the journalists who were reporting on the corrupt
practices of the government officials in these provinces were
themselves subjected to threats. At least two journalists had already
been killed in the past, one of whom was Marlene Esperat in October
2006 in Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat.
As one of the
eyewitnesses to the massacre said, they were just following orders
when the alleged mastermind ordered them to shoot and kill not only
the relatives of the Mangudadatus but also the human rights lawyers,
the journalist; and all of those who had joined the convoy. This
eyewitness had come out in an exclusive television interview but is
said to have gone into hiding. There are also several other persons
who had witnessed and survived the massacre but are too frightened to
The plight of the
witnesses and the survivors also exposed the realities of the absence
of any protection mechanism within the country. At least three of the
journalists who survived the massacre sent feelers out to the
Department of Justice (DoJ) informing them of what information they
had to help the investigation and prosecution of the case, but they
(the DoJ) paid no attention, according to the survivor's family. Like
the eyewitness, these survivors too had to take their own security
measures to protect themselves. It is also not practical to seek for a
police escort since one of the policemen relieved from his post was
once assigned in the survivors' hometown; and given the small
community of journalists there – who often covers the police and
military beats – even without exposing their names, those who want
them dead know where they can be located.
Also, how could the
survivors consider asking for police protection when, in fact, prior
to covering the filing of CoCs the Mangudadatus, had already sought
police and military protection. Such request was rejected. The
military had to excuse themselves saying they were unable to provide
escorts because their troops were deployed somewhere and that
providing escorts is primarily a police duty; while the policemen to
whom the group had sought security escort for the convoy turned out to
have reportedly were complicit or had taken part to the massacre.
Human rights groups
denounce massacre of lawyers Concepcion Brizuela and Cynthia Oquendo
and 55 others on November 23, 2009 in Maguindanao Province
A Joint Statement by
the Asian Legal Resource Centre and Lawyers Rights Watch Canada
November 25, 2009
Lawyers Rights Watch
Canada (LRWC) and the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC) condemn the
execution of two human rights lawyers, Concepcion Brizuela and Cynthia
Oquendo, along with 55 others in the November 23, 2009 massacre in
Maguindanao province of the Philippines, condemn government failure to
investigate the murders of more that 37 jurists and over 800 other
members of Philippine society since 2001, calls for the creation of an
international body equipped and mandated to conduct a thorough and
timely investigation of the November 23, 2009 massacre and to
recommend prosecutions and such further actions required by law.
On November 23, 2009,
57 people were abducted and executed by approximately 100 gunmen while
en route to file election papers for Ismael Mangudadatu as a candidate
for governor of Maguindanao in the May 2010 election. The candidate
was not with the entourage as he has received deaths threats. Reports
indicate that many of the 57 people murdered were subjected to
terrible acts prior to their deaths. Twenty-four of the victims were
women including the candidate’s wife and sisters and two lawyers
Concepcion Brizuela and Cynthia Oquendo. According to Reporters
without Borders, at least 22 journalists were killed in the attack,
the largest killing of journalists in a single day.
Police have named as
the chief suspect, Andal Ampatuan, son of the three-term governor of
Maguindanao province and a powerful supporter of the Lakas Kampi
colation led by Philippine President Gloria Arroyo. This raises the
sceptre of possible complicity by government agents. The past reveals
a record of failing to take effective measure to prevent such
Since 2001 over 800
have been killed in the
all of them in some way seen as opponents or critics of the regime led
by President Gloria Arroyo. The dead include peasants, lawyers (22),
judges (15), opposition politicians, journalists and other members of
civil society. These extra-judicial killings were thought to be a
result of the U.S. initiated counter-insurgency plan to eliminate the
New People’s Army – Operation Plan Freedom Watch (Oplan Bantay Laya -
OBL). The OBL was first ceated by the Arroyo regime in 2002 as a
5-year plan and extended in 2007. There have been no proper
investigations of these extrajudicial killings and only one
prossecution and conviction.
In 2007, Philip
Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur for extra-judicial, summary
or arbitrary executions, made a number of recommendations to prevent
further and punish past extrajudicial killings. His recommendation
that, “Convictions in a significant number of extrajudicial execution
must be achieved” has not been implemented. His recommendation that,
“IALAG [Inter-active Legal Agency Group] should be abolished, and the
criminal justice system should refocus on investigating and
prosecuting those committing extrajudicial executions and other
serious crimes” has not been implemented. His recommendation that,
“Human rights should be safeguarded within the peace movement has not
been implemented.”1 has not been implemented.
government failed to take effective steps to prevent or punish those
extrajudicial killings, in spite of the careful recommendations of
Professor Alston. That failure violated the Philippine government’s
primary legal duty to protect the right to life and to ensure adequate
criminal and civil remedies when that right is violated. It also
created the climate of impunity that encouraged and allowed the
November 23, 2009 massacre.
For a period of over 8
years, the Philippine government has on the one hand refused, and on
the other, demonstrated a lack of capacity, to carry out the
investigations required by both international law (binding on the
Philippines) and domestic law.
A state’s duty to
protect the right to life, in part by punishing violations has been
articulated by the European Court of Human Rights, "The obligation to
protect the right to life... requires by implication that there should
be some form of effective official investigation when individuals have
been killed as a result of the use of force. …The essential purpose of
such investigation is to secure the effective implementation of the
domestic laws which protect the right to life and, in those cases
involving State agents or bodies, to ensure their accountability for
deaths occurring under their responsibility..."2
The articles of the
European Convention on Human Rights considered above are
the same as Articles 2 and 6 of the International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which the Philippines became
a party on 23 January 1987.
The UN Human Rights
Committee has also determined that the failure to properly
protect the right to life by punishing those who violate that
right is itself a violation of the right to life.
obligations on States Parties to ensure Covenant rights
will only be fully discharged if individuals are protected
by the State...There may be circumstances in which a failure
to ensure Covenant rights as required by Article 2 [rights to a
remedy] would give rise to violations by States Parties of those
rights, as a result of States Parties' permitting or failing to
take appropriate measures or to exercise due diligence to
prevent, punish, investigate or redress the harm caused by
such acts by private persons or entities.3
The UN General
Assembly has likewise affirmed the duty of states to
provide victims of extrajudicial killings and other gross human rights
violations with ‘full and effective reparation ...which
includes...erification of the facts and full and public disclosure of
the truth' 4
The UN Principles on
the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal,
Arbitrary and Summary Executions (UN Investigation
Principles)5 and the Model Protocol for a Legal
Investigation of Extra-Legal, Arbitrary and Summary
Executions (Minnesota Protocol)6 reflect a global consensus
on the appropriate standards for such investigations. The
initial remedy for the loss of life by violence is an
investigation, which is capable of effectively determining if the
death occurred by an illegal use of force. If the loss of life
was the result of illegal violence, the state has a duty to
prosecute and try the perpetrator(s), to punish those
convicted and to afford access to civil remedies.
LRWC and ALRC call
upon the international community to condemn the massacre of
57 people that has left members the human rights community
around the world in shock. LRWC and ALRC also call upon the
international community to insist on and to take all measure to
1. The appointment of
a team of professional investigators from outside the
a) qualified in the
various necessary aspects of criminal investigations,
independent of the Arroyo regime; and
c) authorized to
compel production of evidence and examine witnesses; and,
d) mandated to conduct
a thorough, transparent and accountable inquiry into the 57
murders that occurred on November 23, 2009; and
e) mandated to make
recommendations for the prosecution of the suspected
perpetrators identified by the inquiry and to make
recommendations of alternatives in the event that the Philippine
courts are unable or unwilling to proceed with the prosecutions
2. Monitor the safety
of others likely to be under attack.
1. Report of the
Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions,
Philip Alston, Addendum, Follow-up to country recommendations –
Philippines, A/HRC/11/2/Add.8, 29 April 2009, Appendix, analyzing
compliance with the recommendations made in his 2007 report, A/HRC/8/3/Add.2.
2. Finucane v. The
United Kingdom (Application no. 29178/95) Judgment, Strasbourg, 1 July
2003, at para. 67.
3. Human Rights
Committee, General Comment No. 31 on Article 2 of the Covenant: The
Nature of the General Legal Obligation Imposed on States Parties to
the Covenant, UN Doc. CCPR/C/74/CRP.4/Rev.6, 21 April 2004, para. 8.
4. GA Res. 60/147, Basic Principles and
Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of
Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious
Violations of International Humanitarian Law, 16 December 2005,
Articles 18 and 22. See Duty of States to Investigate Extra-Judicial
Killings, Lawyers Rights Watch Canada, November 2009.
Sen. Chiz Escudero’s
umaga sa inyong lahat, magsi-upo po tayo. Maikli lamang ito.
noong umalis ako sa NPC noong ika-28 ng Oktubre, ginawa ko yun upang
Malaya akong Makita at matanaw ang dapat kong gawin kaugnay ng 2010
elections. Ginawa ko ‘yun upang hindi nakapiring at hindi nakatali ang
aking mga mata’t mga kamay para malaman kung ano ang dapat kong magawa
sa ating sambayanan sa darating na panahon. Mula sa aking Malaya na
pagkakatayo, tunay namang mas nakita ko ang dapat nating gawin bilang
isang bansa at bilang isang lahi. Kabilang na ang pag-amin at pag-ako
ng aniuman kakayanan o kawalan nito kaugnay sa mga mithiin, pangarap
at layunin natin para sa ating bansa.
mga nagdaang araw, nagnilay-nilay ako, kumausap sa maraming malalapit
na kaibigan at gayundin pamilya, kinausap ang ilan sa ating mga
kababayan at pinagpasyahan ang aking papel na gagampanan sa darating
Akala ko magiging madaling desisyon pero hindi pala. Akala ko
napakadali ang magiging pasya pero hindi pala. I’ve always said that
for me, it’s the presidency but not at all cost. Not at the cost of
losing my soul, not at the cost of losing myself, not at the cost by
being eaten up by the system and the process and certainly not at the
cost of not being able to do the things that I was and set out to do.
Para sa akin panguluhan lamang ang aking nasa isip subalit hindi ko
ito hahanapin at kukunin kung sa proseso ng pagkuha nito mawawala po
ang aking sarili’t kaluluwa. Hindi ko rin kayang gawin ang dapat at
gusto kong gawin at kung makakain lamang ako ng sistema. Para sa akin,
hamon itong dapat tingnan ng lahat na ng unang nagdeklara, sila ba’y
nakain na ng sistema o hindi pa, sa daan tungo sa panguluhan. Sila ba
ay kaya pa ring gawin ang lahat ng pinangako sa atin na magaganda at
matatamis habang nangangampanya. Hindi ko makokonsensyang sabihin ‘yan
kung hindi ko rin lang kayang gawin kung ako ay pagtitiwalaan niyo.
Dahil po sa lahat ng nabanggit ko, akala ko’y madali pero hindi.
Napagpasyahan ko, na hindi tumakbo bilang pangulo sa darating na
halalan. Napagpasyahan ko na hindi man bilang kandidato, ako’y may
papel na pwedeng gampanan bilang Pilipino at ordinaryong botante sa
panahong ito. Napagpasyahan ko na hindi lang ngayon ang panahon para
matupad ang pinanghahawakan kong pangarap at layunin kong panguluhan
nang hindi nakatali. Patuloy kang panghahawakan ang pangarap at
pangakong iyan. Hindi man ngayon kundi sa darating na panahon.
gamitin ang pagkakataong ito para magpasalamat sa lahat nang mga
naniwala at nagtiwala; sa lahat ng gumalaw at kumilos maski na walang
salapi o pera; sa lahat ng nagsalita at naniwala, sumigaw at nakiisa
sa aking pangarap ng walang katumbas at kapalit. Kaninang umaga, bago
ako umalis binisita ko yung dalawang anak ko na kambal at yun lang ang
nagbigay sa akin ng lakas humarap sa inyo ngayon dahil maraming
nagsasabing kung hindi ka rin lang naman tatakbo Chiz bakit kapa
Mag press release ka na lamang. Buong tapang at buo ang loob kong nais
sabihin ito sa harap ninyo. Dahil hindi ko kinakahiya anumang salitang
binigkas ko ngayon.
Kasabay ng inyong
kalungkutan, marahil ganun din ang aking kalungkutan. Pero kasabay ng
kalungkutang yan, ang pagnanais at pangarap at pangakong nais kong
hawakan pa rin natin matapos nating lumisan ng silid na ito. Ang
pangako ng isang bagong Pilipinas; ang pangako ng isang bagong
pagbabago; ang pangako ng isang Pilipinas na hindi tulad ngayon, na
kung hindi man natin makakamtan ngayon at sa pamamagitan ko san a
magampanan ito nang mga nagpapakilala sa ating reresolba sa lahat ng
ating problema. Kaisa ninyo ako at kaisa ako nang sinumang
pagtitiwalaan ng sambayanan sa mga darating na araw. At bilang botante,
bilang Pilipino, bilang senador patuloy akong mananalig sa kakayanan
ng Pilipino at ng ating bansa na malampasan ang mga hamon at pagsubok
na ito. Salamat po sa inyong pagtitiwala nitong mga nagdaang araw. At
salamat din po sa inyong pagtitiwala sa akin sa aming grupo at sa
aming lahat, sa adhikaing aming pinanghawakan. Makakaasa kayo na
patuloy namin itong gagawin at gagampanan sa mga susunod pong araw.
muli po, taos pusong pagbati, salamat sa pagbisita at isa pong maganda
at pinagpalang umaga.
Pacquiao can still win
8th World Title if he fights in 147-lb division
By ALEX P. VIDAL /
If any other world boxing body will offer Manny Pacquiao
a title shot at the 147-lb division and he will win, he can become the
first human being to pocket eight world titles in eight different
divisions, technically speaking.
This hypothesis is
supported by the fact that when he recently battled Miguel Angel Cotto
and knocked him out in the 12th stanza, they disputed the 145 lbs
Even if the World
Boxing Organization (WBO) recognized the win as a “welterweight”
championship, Pacquiao can still pocket the legitimate “welterweight”
crown in the World Boxing Foundation (WBF), International Boxing
Association (IBA), World Boxing Union (WBU), or World Boxing
Association (WBA), the only remaining world boxing bodies that have
not sanctioned a world title fight involving the 30-year-old
A promoter cannot add
any weight category in boxing.
boxing, there are only 17 weight categories – from mini flyweight or
straw weight to heavyweight – and each weight has its numerical
emphasis. A 140-lb or 63.5 kg is super lightweight, junior
welterweight or light welterweight.
Next is 147 lbs or
66.7 kg and is called welterweight.
Pacquiao has won world
championship belts in the following divisions: flyweight (WBC against
Chatchai Sasakul), super bantamweight (IBF against Lehlohono Ledwaba),
featherweight (WBC against Erik Morales), super featherweight (WBC
against Juan Manuel Marquez), lightweight (WBC against David Diaz),
light welterweight (IBO against Ricky Hatton), and recently
welterweight (WBO against Cotto).
The WBF welterweight
division is now vacant and the number one contender is Floyd
Mayweather Jr. while the number two contender is Shane Mosley.
If Pacquiao will fight
for WBF title either against Mayweather or Mosely and win, he will
become unreachable in as far as record in the number of world titles
won is concerned.
By ART JIMENEZ
Manny “The Pacman”
Pacquiao used his much vaunted lightning speed and jackhammer power to
confuse, demoralize and reduce Miguel Angel Cotto to a pulp in what
could rightly considered as the match-of-the-year held at
MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas yesterday (Manila time). Only the
intervention of referee Kenny Bayless 55 seconds away from the
12-round fight’s end spared the back-pedaling defending welterweight
Puerto Rican champion from further corporal punishment and a most
referee-stopped-contest TKO, Pacquiao collected his seventh boxing
crown in seven weight divisions, a world record. And there’s
absolutely no possibility for that record to be broken. Firstly,
Pacman’s peers in the six-titles, six-divisions column are either
retired or near retirement. They are Oscar de la Hoya, Tommy Hearns,
Hector Calma, and James Toney. And secondly, the present crop of
champions could snatch no more than three additional championships.
Ask Alex Vidal.
I leave the details of
the annihilation to the sports writers. However, I would just like to
share some thoughts on the fight, which should not detract from the
impressive win of The Pacman.
As with his recent
opponents in the square ring, Manny Pacquiao’s had an anesthetic
effect on Cotto. They all climbed the ring deathly serious, wide-eyed,
and dry lipped. This nervousness, nay, fear, slowed their blood flow
and numbed their arms and legs. Thus, they became easy targets what
with the speed and power of The Pacman.
Manny, of course, was
their exact opposite. He was totally at ease and even acknowledged
those he recognized seconds before introducer Michael Buffer boomed
his famous “Let’s get ready to rumble” line.
And second, we must
remember that Cotto is a natural 147-pounder, the maximum weight limit
in the welterweight division as defined by the four major sanctioning
boxing bodies, namely the World Boxing Association (WBA) a 1962
spin-off of the National Boxing Association formed in 1921, World
Boxing Council (WBC) established in 1963, International Boxing
Federation (IBF) established in 1983, and World Boxing Organization (WBO)
established in 1988.
It seems that Bob Arum
fits the role of Shylock in the Merchant of Venice. Note that the
promoter Arum wagged the color of money to Cotto on the condition that
he agrees to slug it out with Pacquiao at the catch (agreed maximum)
weight of 145 pounds. The former hesitantly consented to shed two
pounds of pure muscle. Just imagine how much strength and punching
power Cotto lost with that lost poundage.
On the other hand,
Pacquiao had the golden opportunity to gain weight, and therefore,
more power provided the added poundage is pure muscle. Hence, the
necessity of a thoroughly serious physical training and proper
nutrition, which Manny is incapable of unless given the reality
therapy by his coach, now “Master,” Freddie Roach.
The same is true for
Pacman’s victim Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton. The latter had to give up
some muscle pounds to meet their fight catch weight of 140 pounds
while Pacman did not have any problem at all. In fact, he was only all
of 138 pounds during the weigh-in. And the result? The dehydrated
Hatton fell asleep even before hitting the canvass when Pacman
uncorked a brutal left hook to his jaw.
So on both instances,
Bob Arum got his “pound of flesh.”
By the way, Hatton is
no pizza. In 2005, the Britisher was named the Ring Magazine Fighter
of the Year. Two years later, Hatton was knighted by Queen Elizabeth
II as she named the boxer a Member of the Order of the British Empire
For fighting Cotto,
Pacquiao was assured $13 million, which translates to P 611 million at
the exchange rate of 47 pesos to one American dollar. From this
amount, you add his share of the Pay Per View revenue which should
total at least $100 million. And that’s the PPV gross income from the
United States alone. Pacman’s share of this large pie is a minimum of
30 percent or $30 million. In Philippine pesos, that will be
P1,410,000,000.00 (or in short, P1.410 billion)!
In sum, Manny is
entitled to a MINIMUM P2.21 billion for one day in the office.
If you want to belabor
the issue, Manny’s pay per round is equivalent to P184.2 million or
P61.4 million per minute!
In his last two
matches (against Oscar de la Hoya and Hatton), The Pacman pocketed at
least $30 million.
Manny the billionaire,
indeed, has got the money.
By Fr. ROY CIMAGALA
WE have been warned
amply in the Gospel about this anomaly. The story of the master who
came home and expected his servant to serve him even if the servant
was working the whole day, had the following conclusion that drives
home the point –
“When you have done
all you have been commanded to do, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants.
We have done no more than what we ought to do.’” (Lk 17,10)
We should be repeating
these lines often to keep us from playing into the hands of self-pity!
Truth is our tendency
to fall into self-pity because of reasons like tiredness, big and
heavy load of work, persistent problems and miseries personal and
otherwise, etc., is quite deep and pronounced. We need to be very
aware of this weakness and do all to avoid succumbing into it.
Self-pity comes about
when we make ourselves, not God and the others in God, as the ultimate
arbiter of what we are supposed to do. It’s this basic mistake that
curtails and truncates our sense of duty.
With it, our knowledge
of our duties can easily be held hostage by our personal weaknesses,
without mentioning the other consequences of our sins that can greatly
impair it. It becomes shallow, narrow-minded and Pavlovian in its
We would not know the
real reasons for our actions and obligations. We become prone to
improper motives that ultimately zero in on ourselves – our advantage,
comfort, pride and vanity, etc.
Of course, we can also
go to the other extreme, as in exaggerating our capabilities to the
point that we can think we have no limits in our powers. Many
politicians have this kind of sickness. They can be so soaked with
ambition that they can fail to acknowledge their limitations. But this
is another story.
Self-pity is a more
common disease, especially when in a poor society beset with all sorts
of problems, like ours and many others, there is also inadequate and
improper human and Christian formation.
Situations like this
can make people’s attitude towards their problems and difficulties to
become very negative, steeped in easy discouragement, despair, sadness
and depression, finding no value in them.
Self-pity can also be
a cover for laziness, complacency, envy, greed, self-centeredness, and
a number of psychological aberrations like low self-esteem, etc. It
can also trigger a slippery slope toward graver disorders like
As Shakespeare would
say, “Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.” St. Josemaria
Escriva used to call sadness the ally of the enemy, the devil.
people from others, leading them to build their own worlds and
hampering their capacity to work with others in solidarity. It shrinks
their sense of the common good. It detaches them from reality. One can
be in a crowd, yet he would still feel lonely.
It simply lends
credence to the poetic insight, “Laugh, and the world laughs with you.
Weep, and you weep alone.”
We should develop the
knack to detect the beginnings of self-pity in ourselves and in
others. Better still, we should do all to protect ourselves from it,
by developing the proper attitudes and virtues.
First, we should
always trust in God and enliven our relation with him. This can always
be done, and in fact should be done, since this is fundamental.
Without this, other human resources and measures, no matter how
brilliant and impressive, will just come to grief.
We need to refer
everything we do to God, offering it to him and trying to figure out
how it fits in God’s plan, a difficult but not impossible task. Let’s
remember that Christ gives meaning to everything in our life,
including our pains, sufferings, problems, difficulties, failures and
tragedies, and even death itself.
We have to develop the
relevant virtues: patience, fortitude, joy, prudence, optimism,
openness to anything, since in life, anything can happen to us, but
God would still be in control.
For this, we have to
be familiar with his doctrine and start to assimilate them into our
life. Our life, let’s remember, is always a life with him. It’s not
simply one by ourselves completely. It’s a participation in his, but
we need to do our part to cooperate with him.
Let’s not forget
what he said: “Come to me, all you that labor and are burdened, and I
will give you rest. Take up my yoke upon you and learn of me, because
I am meek and humble of heart, and you shall find rest to your souls.”
Person over ideas
By Fr. ROY CIMAGALA
November 4, 2009
IN our dealings with
others, a daily, constant affair, we should pay a lot of attention to
the concrete circumstances and conditions of the persons rather than
just pursuing the abstract merits and demerits of our ideas, views and
We need to be personal
rather than just go ideological, simply because in the end it’s not
ideas we are actually interested in but rather the persons themselves.
The ideas are hollow without the persons who are their subjects or
targets, their sources and goals, their beginning and end.
Not that the ideas are
unimportant. They are indispensable. But we need to hew them according
to our actual grip of the who and how the persons we are dealing with
We should not allow
our ideas to have a life by themselves. They have to be made fit to
all the persons involved – us, others and ultimately and constantly
God. This is not just a theory. This is simply how things ought to be!
Without this conscious
effort to adapt ideas to the circumstances of persons, they can go
wild and extreme, absolutizing what is relative and vice-versa, and
easily deteriorating into biases, rash judgments, and other forms of
lack of charity.
That’s why our
Christian faith always admonishes us to put charity and truth
together, as well as mercy and justice. Truth and justice get spoiled
once they get detached from charity and mercy. These latter virtues
precisely lead us to treat others the way they should be treated – as
persons and ultimately as children of God.
In Pope Benedicts’s
third encyclical, Caritas in veritate (Charity in the truth),
the same point is reiterated when he said: “To defend the truth, to
articulate it with humility and conviction, and to bear witness to it
in life are therefore exacting and indispensable forms of charity.”
He also said that it’s
when charity and truth are put together when meaningful and
substantial dialogue among different and even conflicting parties as
well as genuine integral human development can take place.
This, of course, will
be a very dynamic affair, for which a lot of patience is needed, a lot
of adjustments and adaptations made, an abiding monitoring of personal
and other circumstances done.
Of course, this
presumes the fundamental virtue of humility, since it’s only when one
humbles himself – that self-denial that Christ told us – can we be
patient and progress in our task of blending charity and truth
We need to develop the
necessary attitudes and the appropriate skills to comply with this
human requirement, because our tendency to go impersonal and to be led
simply by ideas is strong and sadly quite inherent in us.
We need to go through
a perpetual cycle of mutually relating theory and practice, doctrine
and experience, ideas and persons, study and work, isolation for
purposes of recollection and immersion through actual contact with
In our dealings with
others, we have to know when to move fast and when to go slow, when to
be demanding and when to be tolerant, when to be driven and when to
waste time with them.
We have to wary to
with our inclination to be indifferent to others, to consider only our
own preferences and views, to control or herd others according to our
schemes and plans.
We should find time to
really get to know others thoroughly. Thus, we have to invest time and
effort to improve our relationship with them, enhancing our friendship
and fraternity with them.
And in this, we have
to go all the way, down to the personal and even the intimate
spiritual and moral levels. We have to learn how to listen, and simply
to journey with them, but always trying to be a good friend, a help, a
We also have to be
wary of the alienating elements that are sprouting thick and fast in
our environment nowadays. These are the gadgets and other facilities
that worsen our self-absorption by putting up invisible walls that
separate us from others.
We need to continually
examine ourselves just to be more discerning, since we are now living
in a world where the line between good and evil is often blurred and
where the new things can trigger dormant weaknesses that can lead us
into a spiral of unhealthy obsessions.
Indeed, we need to
constantly focus our mind and heart first of all on God, then on
others before we think of ourselves and of our brilliant ideas.