“Please understand that in our own little world, everything is interconnected. The mountains, the trees, the waters, the land, the air we breathe, and even the minerals underneath the grounds. If one of these elements will disappear or will be changed, everything else changes. Thus, however way we look at it, mining will only bring destruction to us”, caps the short presentation of Mr. William Tudcor who spoke in behalf of the Kankana-ey tribe of Kibungan, Benguet during the Natural Resources Committee hearing at the House of Representatives in support of House Bill (HB) 4387 which seeks to declare Kibungan, Benguet as a mining-free zone.
“While this is not yet the end of our struggle, we celebrate this victory. This gives hope to the people of Kibungan who have struggled for more than 80 years opposing attempts of mining companies to operate in the area. We have witnessed parts of the struggles and we can’t help but give a sigh of relief that something is happening,” stated Ms. Rosella Bahni, Executive Director of Igorota Foundation (IFI) and cluster point person of the Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc. (PMPI) Northern Luzon Cluster. IFI has been directly working and supporting the communities in Kibungan.
Authored by Benguet Representative Ronald Cosalan, the said bill passed the third reading in the House of Representatives but failed to pass in the Senate before the 16th Congress adjourned.
Thematic Concerns Updates: May - June 2017
National Network for Social Development
lauds the submission of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law
After more than a year since the 16th Congress failed to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), it looks like that the GPH-MILF peace table is now moving.
Last Monday, July 17, the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) finally handed over the revised draft of the proposed BBL to President Rodrigo Duterte in a ceremony attended by the Chairman of the Commission, the peace panels, and members of the BTC. The said draft seeks to create a new Bangsamoro region in Mindanao that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The document is expected to be submitted by the Office of the President to both the House of Representatives and the Senate anytime soon for review and ratification.
"We are happy that the draft document is finally out. We have been closely monitoring the development in this peace table and we have been worried since it was moving rather slow when the new government assumed office. We recognize the challenges and attempts to make the process more inclusive for all stakeholders. We laud the effort of the BTC to agree on this version and submit it within the timetable. We hope this be acceptable to all parties where protection, promotion, and fulfillment of rights and recognition of fundamental freedoms are given importance”, Yoly Esguerra, the National Coordinator of the Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc. (PMPI) said.
Esguerra however said “The next hurdle will be in the halls of the law-making bodies which did not succeed to pass the draft BBL during the 16th congress. We trust that the promise and purported resolve of the President will overpower and transcend the vested interest groups that want this effort to fail”.
CONSECRATE THEM IN THE TRUTH
A Pastoral Exhortation Against Fake News
Brothers and sisters in Christ:
A key dimension of Jesus’ mission was to preach the truth, and in His high priestly prayer, He prayed that His disciples might be consecrated in the truth. We, the Filipino nation, are part of the community of disciples for whom He prayed. At his trial, the question of truth figured prominently. “What is truth?” asked a bewildered Pilate, because he failed to recognize in Jesus, THE TRUTH!
So it is that the Christian cannot be part of falsehood, deceit and lies. A fact is anything that is or that happens. If one man kills another, it cannot but be a fact that the deed was done, and any “alternative fact” that would have it so that no killing was done is simply false, and, when meant to deceive, a lie!
The duty to speak the truth is so elemental a demand of morality and of good social order that it can hardly be reduced to more elementary precepts. It is almost as fundamental as the first principle of all morality: “Do good; avoid evil.” Human life would be impossible in a society where we constantly and habitually deceived each other.
Crucial decisions — personal and social — depend on the accurate grasp of facts. “Alternative facts” and “fake news” engender faulty decisions many times with disastrous long-term consequences to persons and to communities. Sadly, we see this happening today. There are persons who have given themselves to the service of reporting what never happened, concealing what really happened, and distorting what should be presented in a straightforward manner.