Laudable efforts of
By CHITO DELA TORRE
KAISAMPALAD Inc., or
KPI, a national non-government organization, continues to affect the
lives and behavior of some potential community leaders in the Eastern
Visayas Region, as it does in Mindanao, in relation to their
understanding of how certain norms could be effectively injected into
some transformation processes leading towards making rural areas
developed amidst contending theories and forces of development. The
affectation may still be at a slow rate, which is just right for a
KPI’s new development laboratory that the Waray region is, but it
seems to be in the right track. It is the right response to what its
takers may eventually realize to be an stimulus that should have come
from the government but which could not due to dichotomous politics
and erratic people’s participation in what Ka Oca Francisco described
as “governance” in a Philippine democracy. The desirable behavior
should continue even if it needs to mobilize self-initiatives.
Organized in 1995, KPI
advocates for local economy development through the collaboration of
the various stakeholders in the value chain system. It is also
campaigning for the promotion, and adoption and integration as well,
of conflict transformation, corporate social responsibility and
corporate accountability. KPI’s program areas are the Eastern Visayas,
the CARAGA region, and the National Capital Region (NCR).
According to KPI
executive director Ray P. Abanil, who was in Tacloban last July 19 for
a consultation-workshop that tackled the challenges for the banana
sub-sector: “We are currently implementing a project called
‘Integrating Conflict Transformation and Democratization in Selected
Value Chain Sub-sectors of Local Economies in Southern Philippines’
with two other NGOs, the Alternate Forum for Research in Mindanao (AFRIM)
and Tripeople Concern for Peace, Progress, and Development in
Mindanao (TRICOM). AFRIM is an independent research and advocacy NGO
that has been operating in Mindanao for 32 year now. TRICOM works
with indigenous peoples and Moro communities in Central Mindanao in
securing their ancestral domains as well as increasing their capacity
to participate in various levels of local governance. The project
aims to contribute to the development of the coconut and banana
subsectors in CARAGA, coffee subsector in Sultan Kudarat, and banana
subsector in Leyte fostering collaboration among value chain actors,
building capabilities in conflict transformation, and promoting
enterprise development. In CARAGA, the province of Agusan del Norte
is KPI’s focus area.”
Abanil points out that the banana subsector has a strong economic
importance for the province (of Leyte). “While efforts are in place
to promote development in the subsector, issues are still faced by
producers and even traders in the various stages of the value chain.
Various forms of conflict also arise in the process. Addressing these
concerns is not only the role of government. Participation of value
chain actors and other stakeholders in the province is important as
Besides these, the KPI,
through its regional coordinator for Region 8, Judy Torres, has gone
to related concerns of development, all acceptable to all those to
whom they were introduced. For instance, on his own and with the
active participation of Baktas Kabub’wason Rural Workers Association
in Basey through its president Teodorico “Dioring” D. Porbus and
initiative of the Department of Agrarian Reform Samar Settlement
Project in Basey, organic banana planting was introduced among
agrarian farmer beneficiaries in Basey, Samar between August and
December of 2010. For another, the KPI, still in collaboration with
Baktas and DAR-SSP-Basey, conducted a training on Natural Farming
Systems last September in barangay Sawa where eleven barrios were
Last July 12, the KPI
gave a computer-aided training on community organizing for the core
group of the newly founded (co-convened on May 30, 2011 by pastor
Guillermo Gacutan of Basey Baptist Church, Baktas and youth leaders
Michael U. Dela Torre and Myron Gandia). Judy was the principal
resource speaker. Issues on community organizing in Basey were
tackled. Towards the close of the training that was held at the
office of the DAR at the Espina Building in Baybay, Basey under the
auspices of the DAR municipal agrarian reform officer, the
participants (most of whom were agrarian reform beneficiaries) planned
and scheduled their proposed activities that would climax with a big
event one year after. The planning was a response to KPI’s helpful
This afternoon, as
part of that response, the COrBa will give a brief echo of that
training for leaders of all other religious and community groups that
it has invited, including the ALERT chapter that was formed last
Sunday, thanks to pastor Marvin G. Añonuevo who heads the church that
he founded in Pagsanghan, Samar. COrBa convenor Guil Gacutan plans to
cap the activity with the election of officers of the COrBa, with the
participants as added members from whom other officers may be chosen.
The Metropolitan Bible Baptist Mission house in Loyo (to the right of
the ascending road to the Basey hospital) will play host to the event,
thanks to its pastor, Douglas D. Dela Torre, who was among Judy’s
trainees last July 12, like his son Michael. As participants will
head back for their own homes, they will be looking forward to the
preparation of their constitution and by-laws, registration with the
Department of Labor and Employment, and the conduct of CO-related
activities, such as the formation of core groups or cadres in selected
barrios of Basey.
Off tangent to these,
Mercy G. Caboboy of the office of Basey mayor Igmedio Junji E.
Ponferrada, informed this section that the Holy Child Building of the
MSH Sisters Academy in sitio Bangon of barangay Canmanila, about 1.3
kilometers from the town proper of Basey (towards the road to
Catbalogan City, Samar) was blessed at ten o’clock in the morning last
July 23, following a Holy Eucharistic Sacrifice of the Mass at the
school quadrangle, officiated by His Excellency Most Reverend Isabelo
Abarquez, D.D., Bishop of the Diocese of Calbayog, and assisting
priests, and the inauguration ceremonies which consisted of the
cutting of the ceremonial ribbon and turnover of the ceremonial key.
The blessing was followed by a program and Agape Lunch at the
quadrangle which saw selected fourth year studes rendering the Body of
Christ Song, presentation (Life is a Beautiful Thing) by graders, and
another presentation (Liwanag at Gabay) by selected studes. Mayor
Ponferrada gave the welcome talk. Ex-mayor Mansueto Delovino and
international Papal awardee and district supervisor Alejo Yu of the
Basey I school district shared their meaningful thoughts with the
Mercy said that the
MSH Sisters Academy of Basey was actually born inside the public
school premises of Basey in during the school year 2006-2007, as
probably the first in the Philippines for a Catholic school to be
given birth within a public school environment, using government
buildings as its first classrooms. The building built as Extension of
the then Leyte State College (now Leyte State University, LNU) at
Basey 1 was the first school building and home economics was used by
the MSH Sisters as their living quarters (bedroom, sala, kitchen,
dining room, chapel , school canteen and library, all in a space of
just 6X5 or 30 square meters. Growing fast in enrolment, the school
had to move to a wider but lower area near the big river, so much so
that there were months of the year that the school was affected by the
tide of the river. During high tides, the school becomes an island
with its first floor only a few inches higher than the water level.
To the school
administration, congratulations! To the whole school community, we
say, we are proud of you.
AHRC questions the membership of
former President Arroyo in the International Commission against the
Death Penalty (ICDP)
(An Open Letter from the Asian Human
Rights Commission to Mr. Federico Mayor, President of the
International Commission against the Death Penalty)
Mr. Federico Mayor
International Commission against the Death Penalty
C/o The Secretariat
Edificio Torres Ágora, Serrano Galvache
Tel: +34 91 394 89 53
Dear Mr. Mayor,
The Asian Human Rights
Commission (AHRC) is writing to express its deepest concern at the
inclusion of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, former president of the
Republic of the Philippines, as one of the 12 members of the ICDP.
The AHRC and its
sister organisation, the Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC), which has
Consultative Status at the United Nations, have been working for the
protection and promotion of human rights in countries in Asia,
including the Philippines – of which Mrs. Arroyo is a former head of
We have also been
involved in the campaign against the death penalty in countries where
our assistance is sought. Of late are the cases in Saudi Arabia where
we are assisting Rizana Nafeek, a Sri Lankan domestic helper who was
sentenced to death and in the Philippines the case of the Abadilla
Five, the five torture victims who were sentenced to death prior to
the abolition of the death penalty in the country.
We seriously question
the credibility of Mrs. Arroyo's membership of the ICDP in advocating
for the abolition of the death penalty. During Mrs. Arroyo's term as
President in the Philippines, what we witnessed was not the execution
of convicts but rather the extra judicial executions of human rights
defenders and political activists, witnesses to court trials and
complainants who were pursuing cases of human rights violations
against the security forces. These executions were all done outside
the parameters of the law and when executions are done outside the
parameters of the law it demonstrates the government's incompetence
and inability to protect its own people. This is where Mrs. Arroyo and
her regime failed grossly; a failure for which she has not yet been
held to account. Her regime left hundreds, if not over a thousand of
unresolved cases of extrajudicial and summary executions, enforced
disappearances, torture and systematic threats and the intimidation of
any person working for the protection of rights.
We have thoroughly
documented this in our special report titled: "The Criminal Justice
System of the Philippines is Rotten" published in Article 2 (Vol. 06 -
No. 01 February 2007). Other investigation reports, for example, by
the Melo Commission in January 2007 (Independent Commission to Address
Media and Activist Killings), a body tasked to investigate
extrajudicial killings; and that of Mr. Philip Alston in February
2007, former UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary and
arbitrary executions, are also available for your serious perusal.
Four years since the
Melo Commission and Philip Alston's reports were published, most of
their findings and recommendations have not been effectively and
adequately implemented. The implementation of these recommendations
was negligible even during Mrs. Arroyo's term. The insignificant and
minimal success in the prosecution of cases was visibly obvious during
her term. The legacy that she left behind therefore is the unresolved
cases of extrajudicial and summary executions by state agents under
It is true that it was
during Mrs. Arroyo's term as President that the death penalty was
abolished. However, we must not forget that the campaign to abolish
the death penalty would not have been possible without the tireless
efforts of people who aspired for the abolition of this barbaric act
of punishment. Even before Mrs. Arroyo's presidency the social
movement and the campaign for the abolition of the death Penalty
already existed. These are the families of convicts who were sentenced
to death but whose convictions were questionable. They are the
families of executed convicts who continue to question the legality of
the conviction, and execution of their loved ones; they are the local
NGOs who devoted their efforts to influence the discourse to abolish
the death penalty, they are the members of Congress who lobbied
strongly to enact the law that abolished the death penalty and many
other nameless faces.
The fact is among the
activists killed during Mrs. Arroyo's term as President are those who
had an important role in the movement for the abolition of the death
penalty. Take the case of Rashid "Jun" Manahan, a former coordinator
of a coalition of local NGOs campaigning and lobbying for the
abolition of the death penalty. He was killed in
Davao City in August
2004 on his way to a meeting that was to discuss the abolition of
We urge the ICDP to
review and reconsider Mrs. Arroyo's membership of the Commission due
to the lack of her credibility. The ICDP should also take into
consideration the negative implications of her membership of the
Commission on the ongoing struggle and aspirations of the Filipino
people for the recognition and protection of their rights.
Unless Mrs. Arroyo is
either cleared of the suspicion of allowing human rights abuses to
take place during her presidency or answers the serious allegation of
her complacency towards human rights violations and her failure to
protect the rights of the Filipino people, she has no credibility at
all to advocate for other countries in Asia to abolish capital
Wong Kai Shing
Asian Human Rights Commission,
- Ambassador Rafael Valle, President of the Support Group of
the International Commission against the Death Penalty
- D. Álvaro Lozano Cutanda, Consulate General of
Spain, Makati, Metro
- Mr. Christof
Heyns, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary
executions, OHCHR-UNOG, Geneva, SWITZERLAND
By Fr. ROY CIMAGALA, firstname.lastname@example.org
CARDINAL Sin was
reported to have said that if he was given money by Satan, he would
accept it and use it for charity. Many people are reacting to that
view, saying that this position is unconscionable, since it is like
following the immoral doctrine that the end justifies the means.
With all this brouhaha
of the so-called “Pajero bishops,” a pure invention of PCSO chair
Margie Juico (OMG, what was she thinking?), this statement of Cardinal
Sin is understandably retrieved by those who still buy the line of the
PCSO official despite its almost self-evident falsehood and malice.
What’s becoming clear
is that there is still a big number of people, some of them prominent,
who are sick with respect to their life of faith and in the Church,
and are in fact nursing a certain dislike, if not, hatred and
hostility toward Church people.
automatically think badly of churchmen, watching them with eagle eyes,
and are happy when they notice or imagine some lapses on the part of
bishops and priests. They are always ready for a strike.
Back to the statement
of Cardinal Sin, may he rest in peace, I think the question to ask is,
“What would we do with the money of Satan?” Would we just burn it or
bury it, or allow it to stay idle and rot? Would it not be more
common-sensical to use it for a good purpose?
Money is not Satan
himself. It has its own existence, independently of Satan. We have to
clarify this, because many people are misquoting a bible passage about
money being the root of all evils.
I checked my Bible,
and I found the quotation which reads: “For the desire of money is the
root of all evils, which some coveting have erred from the faith, and
have entangled themselves in many sorrows.” (1 Tim 6,10)
So it’s not money
itself that is the root of all evils. It is the desire, the evil,
coveting desire for money that is the culprit. Many people have a
“colorum” grasp of the gospel and with that they start to pontificate.
Hopefully in time, they will realize they have been victimized by
their own ignorance or error.
So if Cardinal Sin or
any bishop would receive money from Satan, they have to make sure that
they use it properly. Obviously, it would be a different story if
Satan would make some immoral conditions, or some unacceptable strings
Or if the money
involved would be in such amount and condition that using it would
cause some evil effects, as in the case of money laundering. In these
instances, I think, the donation should be rejected, unless the
necessary changes of the evil conditions are made.
Of course, certain
transactions may have to be done very discreetly, because not all
people have the same perception and understanding of these
transactions. There are those who are “weak” and can get easily
scandalized even by a very good transaction. So, discretion is needed.
This is not cheating. It is discretion.
With all this furor
about the “Pajero bishops,” it might be good to revisit the spirit of
poverty everyone, prince or pauper, is asked to live and develop.
Poverty is a matter of the heart, when it is detached from material
things to keep itself whole and entire for God and for others.
Poverty therefore is
not so much a matter of how much one has. It is more how one uses his
money and the material things for love of God and for love and service
To exaggerate a
little, one can be a billionaire and live Christian poverty well
because he uses his money for God and for the others, or can be a
dirt-poor beggar and yet not live poverty well because he is selfish.
This is possible.
Bishops and priests
should lead the way in showing the true face of Christian poverty,
which does not mean they, we, should be dirty, smelly and miserable.
Everyone is entitled to certain level of wellbeing to keep our
Christian dignity intact and our effectiveness working.
I was amused once when
I visited a young priest who was assigned to a very poor parish made
up mostly of farmers. When I asked him how much was his average Sunday
Mass collection, he told me he would usually receive P15 to P20. I
could not help but laugh. He survives because a rich benefactor takes
care of all his needs.
Still I reminded
him to live poverty well.
Pajero as the new
By Fr. ROY CIMAGALA, email@example.com
IF it were not
ridiculously funny, I would have been gravely mortified, even
devastated. But I think that the government expose that some bishops
received Pajeros from the PCSO of the previous administration had no
aim other than to embarrass these bishops and drive a wedge into the
It’s a demolition job
of the lowest and thoughtless kind, reeking of rash judgments,
detraction, malice, unfair innuendoes, self-righteousness, etc. It’s a
very clumsy political operation that speaks badly more of its
perpetrators than of its intended victims.
Its authors try to
tell people that a government agency giving Pajeros to some bishops
only has one interpretation, theirs. There can be no other possible
scenario. In their political game plan, they want to inflict their own
exclusive twisted view on all of us.
It’s a puny
declaration of war, abetted by the media, that will only go pfffft,
since it would require from us that we don’t think, that we let go of
our common sense, that we have to automatically think badly of some
people and of some transactions, etc.
Where is the respect
for freedom and responsibility, and for the dignity of persons, when
people are automatically held guilty for the mere act of receiving
Pajeros from a government agency?
If it were not a
demolition job, then why single out these bishops? Did that agency
give Pajeros and we don’t know what else only to them? Were there no
other recipients – politicians in all their shifting colors, relatives
of politicians, other religious leaders, etc.?
If it were not a
demolition job, then why would they give the impression to the public
that the mere giving by a government agency of cars to some bishops is
Does that mean that
bishops in all instances cannot receive these benefits, while others
can? Does that mean that there can be no justification for such act of
generosity on the part of the government to bishops?
If it were not a
demolition job, why bring this accusation to the public only now? Was
this practice limited only to a certain period of time, that of the
previous administration? Could it not be that it is very politically
motivated, since Church people are now more vocal about certain
government maneuvers that clearly are immoral?
affair reminds me of what St. Augustine once said: “Let us never assume that if we live good lives
we will be without sin. Our lives should be praised only when we
continue to beg for pardon.
“But men are hopeless
creatures, and the less they concentrate on their own sins, the more
interested they become in the sins of others.”
This, I think, is what
is happening here. We are too quick to judge others, not realizing
that we all need to ask for pardon because we are all sinners, and we
just have to help one another do this. The Church, let’s remember, is
not so much a museum of saints as it is a hospital of sinners.
Sad to say, the right
of Church leaders to make pronouncements on the morality of certain
government and public issues is not yet well understood by many public
officials. And I think it is not because of lack of explanations. It
is more of hardheadedness of some officials, if not worse things, like
atheism, agnosticism, etc.
What worsens this
affair is that some clerics are buying the demolitioners’ line,
falling into their web, unwittingly playing crucial roles in the
demolitioners’ storybook. Obviously, this is what the demolitioners
want to happen – to insert a wedge among them, bishops and priests, if
not the Church as a whole.
In their reckless,
off-the-cuff comments, these bishops and priests reinforce the
political angle of the car donations, making blanket judgments on the
acts of their fellow bishops and priests.
Sorry, but I find that
self-righteous and grossly imprudent. If ever there has to be some
investigation of some actuations of bishops, would it not be better to
do it in a proper venue, far from where things can easily be
misinterpreted? This is usually done in all cases, unless dirty
politics is involved.
everyone has the same right to know everything about certain cases.
That scenario is reserved to the Last Judgment, not here. Otherwise,
we would have a mob rule, and further grave injustices can be
committed. Pieces of evidence lending credence to this claim are just
We should stop wasting
our time making these reckless public accusations.
July 4, 1946
By R Sonny Sampayan-Sampayan, firstname.lastname@example.org
Several years before
my father passed away, he once reminded me that Filipinos used to
celebrate July 4th as our independence day. At 12:00 o’clock in the
afternoon on Thursday, July 4, 1946, and after 48 years of American
sovereignty, The Philippines celebrated her independence from the
United States of America.
At the Luneta Park,
Manuel L. Roxas took the oath of office and established the Third
Republic of The Philippines. President Roxas became its first
president. This historic event was witnessed by long-time residence of
The Philippines and World War II hero, General Douglas MacArthur, US
High Commissioner to The Philippines, Paul V. McNutt, and many other
high ranking dignitaries from other countries.
reminded everyone in attendance that, “America praised The
Philippines’ Independence as soon as it was possible. America now
redeems that praise.” Under the order of President Truman, McNutt also
delivers his speech and said, “I am authorized and directed by the
President of the United States to proclaim the independent of The
Philippines as a separate and self-governing nation” (British Pathe,
After their speeches,
they were joined by thousands of Filipinos and Americans to witness
the final lowering of the
flag with its 48 stars. Filipinos, for the first time witnessed the
unfurling and raising of the Philippine flag to celebrate her
independence. A momentarily gust of wind forced the two flags to
briefly tangle during the lowering of the Stars and Stripes and the
raising of The Philippine flag as if to signal the ultimate hug and
the everlasting friendship that exists between our two nations.
After over 377 years
of struggle to gain independence from Spain and another 48 years of
American sovereignty, Filipinos finally gained its long awaited
independence. President Roxas (2010) reminded Filipinos in his
inaugural speech and said:
My fellow citizens, there is one thought I want you always to bear in
mind. And that is – that you are Filipinos. That The Philippines are
your country and the only country God has given you…You must live for
it, and die for it—if necessary. Your country is a great country. It
has a great past—and a great future…The Philippines of tomorrow will
be the country of plenty, of happiness, and of freedom. A Philippines
with her head raised in the midst of the West Pacific, mistress of her
own destiny, holding in her hand: A republic of virtuous and righteous
men and women, the torch of freedom and democracy, all working
together for a better world than the one we have at present.
I asked my father,
“Why is The Philippines now celebrating her independence on June 12,
1898 when our motherland and her citizens were granted its
independence in 1946”? My father could only tell me that President
Diosdado Macapagal was ill-informed and wrongly proclaimed June 12,
1898 as The Philippine Independence Day.
Sadly, this meant that
our original independence day only lasted 16 years. I asked my father,
“How can one man take away what is historically right and change the
Philippine Independence Day to 64 years ago?” The declaration of
Independence Day is not a time-machine where we can pick and choose
any day we like.
In December 1898,
Spain turned over The Philippines and two outlying islands to the
United States for $20,100,000 million for damages to Spanish
properties; therefore, The Philippines was not an independent nation
on June 12, 1898 (Trivia-Library.com, 2010).
Where is the glory and
the Filipino pride of having our own and original Independence Day? My
father could not answer my questions as we watched the July 4th
fireworks explode in midair during the clear summer skies from our
home in Earlimart, California.
Some twenty seven
years later in 1998, I was still hungry for the truth and hungry for
facts. Before the advent of the Internet, I found myself spending long
nights in the Northside library at Ramstein Air Base in Germany where
I was stationed from 1990 to 1998. Two weeks into my hunger for the
truth, I came across some books and articles. I discovered an article
from Time magazine that was published on Friday, May 25, 1962 (The
Philippines: Debt of Honor). The article reads, “…the Philippines
changed its independence day to June 12” (Time, Inc., 2011).
Apparently, a bill was
pending for a vote in the United States Congress. In 1946, the United
States approved a $400 million for war-damage related claims for The
Philippines. This amount was not adequate, so an additional $73
million was needed to cover the remaining war damage claims (Time,
Over the years,
Congress dragged its feet to pay the additional claims. Finally, a $73
million appropriations bill was finally brought to the U.S. House of
Representatives for a vote. One Congressman who supported the bill
said, “It is a debt of honor.” Other lawmakers thought that this was a
debt that the United States could renege (Time, Inc., 2011).
administration deemed that this bill as very important and the Speaker
of the House, John McCormack was confident that the $73 million
appropriations bill would pass that he did not take a head count to
make sure that he had enough votes to pass the bill (Time Inc., 2011).
Due to some
misunderstandings, the $73 million war damage claim bill was defeated
on May 9, 1962 in the United States Congress. Many US lawmakers
decided to vote against this bill. According to Time Inc., (2011), one
lawmaker said, “it was an economy vote. There aren’t any Philippine
votes in our districts.” (para. 4).
The defeat of the $73
million appropriations bill was a major setback for the Kennedy
Administration. Nevertheless, President Kennedy promised Macapagal
that he would give his stronger support to have the bill reintroduce
and pass (Time Inc., 2011).
On May 15, 1962,
Macapagal wrote to Kennedy to inform him that the feeling of
resentment among the Filipino people and the attitude of the US
Congress negate the atmosphere of goodwill and that he was postponing
his goodwill trip to Washington DC (John F. Kennedy Presidential
Library and Museum, n.d.).
Macapagal hinted that
he might be willing to change his mind about coming to the United
States should the $73 million appropriations bill pass. According to
Time Inc, (2011), Macapagal said, “I would be inclined to consider
this a restoration of good will.” (para. 6). On May 28, Kennedy wrote
back to explain the situation of the $73 million war damage bill and
hope for a convenient time.
When Macapagal was a
congressman, he admittedly formed the opinion that July 4th was not
proper for The Philippine Independence Day. Macapagal noted that this
day cause considerable inconvenience but failed to enumerate them. He
also formed the opinion that July 4th dwarfed The Philippine
Independence Day to the United States and also served to perpetuate
unpleasant memories. Macapagal selectively failed to remember that for
377 years, thousands of Filipinos suffered at the hands of the
Spaniards as we struggled to gain independence. The Philippines was a
Commonwealth of the United States for only 48 years. In addition,
Macapagal (n.d.), said:
I felt, too, that July 4 was not inspiring enough for the Filipino
youth since it recalled mostly the peaceful independence missions to
the United States. The celebration of independence day on June 12, on
the other hand, would be a greater inspiration to the youth who would
consequently recall the heroes of the revolution against Spain and
their acts of sublime heroism and martyrdom. These acts compare
favorably with those of the heroes of other nations
Macapagal said, “I
knew that this was an opportunity to take action on what been in my
mind since entering public life. The specific question was when to
make the change.” Macapagal seized the opportunity as a judicious
choice to change the Philippine Independence Day. After consulting
with his legal adviser, Macapagal sadly proclaimed 64 years later on
May 1962 that June 12, 1898 as the Philippine Independence Day.
Macapagal’s legal adviser informed him that July 4th is being
celebrated as Independence Day but not as specifically designated by
law but as an official holiday. As such, Macapagal had the authority
to declare official holidays, so he can also declare June 12 as a
holiday and hold an independence day on the same day (Macapagal, n.d.).
The change of our Independence Day was a political decision and
Macapagal’s personal agenda. The change was not based on historical
Needless to say, on
January 25, 1965 Macapagal spoke to the Filipino people for his last
State of the Nation Address (SONA) to proudly enumerate his major
accomplishments. On this very important occasion, Macapagal made the
pronouncement of his administration’s success of the $73 million War
Damage Act and he also reminded Filipinos of The Philippines
Independence Day in 1946. Macapagal (n.d.) addressed the United States
and The Philippines relationship this way:
Let me recall that
it was under our administration that the late Pres. John F. Kennedy
signed into law U.S. Public Law 88-94 which amended the Philippine War
Damage Act of 1962 and authorized payments of the balance of war
damage reparations amounting to $73 million to some 88,000 claimants.
In the same SONA
speech, Macapagal said, “it has been almost two decades since we
attained independent nationhood…” (para. 7). In this speech, he
acknowledged that The Philippine Independence and nationhood occurred
My strong belief is
that we need to restore the true Philippine Independence Day because
that significant day must be preserved and honored when The
Philippines and her citizens became a sovereign nation. Our freedom to
self-govern from Spain and the United States was not born until July
British Pathe Ltd. (2010). Philippine independence. Retrieved
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. (n.d.).
New york times
chronology (may 1962). Retrieved from
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R Sonny Sampayan-Sampayan hails from Binalonan, Pangasinan.
He is an executive assistant for a major European bank in
New York City. He is a
University of Phoenix student, majoring in Public Administration, and
expected to graduate in August 2011.
Author’s contact information:
R Sonny Sampayan-Sampayan
5812 Queens Blvd.,
Woodside NY 11377
Mobile phone: (646) 379-4487