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No talk of surrender in the peace negotiations, NDFP says

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) said it will never consider any talk about its surrender and those of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) should peace negotiations with the Ferdinand Marcos government push through.

In a statement, NDFP Executive Council member and senior adviser to the NDFP Negotiating Panel Luis Jalandoni said, “[T]here is and should absolutely be no talk or insinuation, much less demand, about the surrender of the NDFP or of the revolutionary struggle of the CPP, NPA and NDFP.”

Jalandoni explained that their group has always negotiated with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) under various administrations to genuinely resolve the real reasons for the armed conflict.

“The peace negotiations are not negotiations for capitulation but rather a unique opportunity to find mutually acceptable and principled ways of addressing the root causes of the civil war,” he said.

This means, among others, the land problem that impacts on more than 70% of the entire Philippine population, namely the farmers, he explained.

“Their struggle for land must be addressed,” the former NDFP chief negotiator said.

Jalandoni added that their agreement to enter anew into the peace process with the GRP is based on the premises and context of their November 23 Joint Statement.

“Morover, we in the NDFP have firmly asserted from the start that we must build on the basic bilateral agreements, namely, The Hague Joint Declaration of September 1, 1992, the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) which remain binding between the Parties,” he explained.

Earlier, presidential peace adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. said the prospective peace talks between the NDFP and the Marcos GRP would not be a resumption but a “new beginning.” 

The former general added that the absence of “preconditions” will give the parties “greater flexibility to engage in meaningful, honest discussions, and by doing so, allow the peace process to move forward at a more definite and faster pace.”

Jalandoni however said various issues and concerns from both sides remain outstanding and are yet to be negotiated across the table.

“We in the NDFP are ever committed to enter into peace negotiations with the GRP in a determined quest for a just and lasting peace that will be of lasting benefit to the Filipino people,” he said.

All but Sara

Meanwhile, top leaders of both houses of Congress said they support President Marcos’ decision to negotiate with the NDFP.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri told reporters last Wednesday he approves of the resumption of the peace talks.

“Any political move that will end any conflict within the Philippines, I’m in favor of, because those are long lasting solutions,” he said.

Earlier, House of Representatives Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said the peace negotiations are not mere political maneuvers but a responsibility of both parties in pursuit of peace.

Unlike Zubiri and Romualdez however, Vice President Sara Duterte has openly rebuked Marcos Jr.’s decision to negotiate with the NDFP, the first such instance since the country’s top four leaders ran and won under the UniTeam slogan in the 2022 national elections. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

Farmers: BBM should leave DA as gift to Filipinos on his bday

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) reiterated its call for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to leave the Department of Agriculture (DA) and appoint a competent full time secretary on the occasion of his 66th birthday last Wednesday.

In a statement on September 13, the farmers’ group said Marcos is not really serious in solving the problems of the agriculture sector and has proven to be incompetent at the job.

“He had been agriculture secretary for more than a year and we are seeing only bad results. He failed to fix the problems of agriculture and these only worsened,” KMP chairperson emeritus Rafael Mariano said.

“Rice prices did not go down to P20. It in fact rose to P50 to P60. There had been no relief to farmers and fisherfolk and importation has worsened. We hope he listens and steps down as DA secretary,” Mariano added.

Marcos spent his birthday in Singapore attending an Association of South East Asian Nations summit and the elitist Formula 1 Grand Prix on his second birthday in a row.

The KMP said agriculture has no hope with Marcos, adding the people are more hard up since he appointed himself agency secretary.

Various agricultural products such as rice, tomatoes, sugar, onions, chilli have experienced runaway prices under the Marcos presidency.

KMP, citing government data, said agriculture remains to be the weakest contributor to the country’s gross domestic product.

It added that the agricultural output further contracted in the second quarter of the year because of the decrease in fisheries production.

“Agricultural production weakened by 1.3% from April to June this year compared to 0.5% last year. This means that the gains of this year’s first quarter have been reversed,” KMP said.

The group further revealed that rice production has failed to increase in the past six years, averaging only -0.15% at 0.35% since 2017.

The President is being insensitive in attending the Formula 1 while the country is in crisis. It further proves he does not care about the people’s hardships brought about by runaway prices, KMP said.

KMP recalled that Supertyphoon Karding (Tropical Cyclone Noru) was barrelling towards the Philippines when he attended the Singapore Grand Prix last year. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

Groups defend artist from QCPD’s ‘harassment suit’

Groups condemned the Quezon City Police Department (QCPD) for filing charges against activist artist Max Santiago for alleged violations of environmental laws during President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s last State of the Nation Address.

The Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP) said the charge against Santiago and others is a “harassment suit,” adding the emissions from the burnt effigy “are nothing compared to the criminal conduct and neglect of this administration.”

The police accused Santiago, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN)’s resident artist, of violating the Ecological Waste Management Act (Republic Act9003) and the Clean Air Act (RA 8749) in connection with the burning of an effigy last July 24.

Three other “John Does” were charged along with Santiago.

In its complaint, the QCPD said the burning “greatly contributed to air pollution which grossly negates the government program in ensuring the protection of public health and the environment.”

The police added the effigy that showed a two-faced Marcos was a “deliberate disrespect to the President.”

CAP however said an effigy is an art form and not solid waste.

“It is not garbage or refuse,” CAP argued.

“It is hypocritical of the state to allege this when it cannot even address the problem of worsening traffic and its emissions, urban and industrial waste, and other government regulated practices that contribute to environmental destruction,” the group added.

CAP said the lawsuit is an attack on freedom of expression and the right of the people to redress and expression of grievance, particularly during a political event.

“Why expend public resources on this just to save face when the realities that the effigy reflects and expresses remain unaddressed?” CAP secretary general Lisa Ito said.

BAYAN meanwhile said it will contest the charges and defend Santiago.

“It should be noted that it is only under the presidency of Marcos Jr. that such a case was filed,” the group pointed out.

“Clearly this infringes on free speech. QCPD is ignorant of the law. It wants to regulate the content of the protests under the guise of enforcing an environmental law that is inapplicable in this situation,” BAYAN president Renato Reyes said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

Reds dismiss Marcos offer of amnesty as ‘treachery’

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) dismissed President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s amnesty proclamation announcement in his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) before Congress yesterday, July 24.

CPP chief information officer Marco Valbuena said their group and the New People’s Army (NPA) firmly reject Marcos Jr.’s “treacherous offer of amnesty and surrender” as an additional instrument of deception and oppression.

The CPP added communists and revolutionary fighters remain true to the aspirations of the Filipino people and that their cause is genuine freedom and social justice is far greater than any offer of amnesty.

“Revolutionaries are motivated not by the selfish desire for some personal gain, rather by the selfless devotion to serve and struggle with the people,” Valbuena said.

In his SONA, Marcos claimed the government’s Barangay Development Program (BDP) and the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP) are solving the root causes of armed conflict in the country.

“Through community development and livelihood programs, the barangay development and enhanced comprehensive local integration program have been effective in addressing the root cause of conflict in the countryside,” Marcos said.

“To complete this reintegration process, I will issue a proclamation granting amnesty to rebel returnees and I ask Congress to support me in this endeavor,” he added.

The CPP however said that Marcos is being grossly insolent and is seriously mistaken to think that NPA fighters will line up to gain a few individual concessions in exchange for giving up the cause they have committed themselves to.

“Marcos’ offer of amnesty for those who will surrender is duplicitous, considering that close to 800 political prisoners remain in jails, and every day, people are being arrested and persecuted for their political beliefs and social commitment,” Valbuena said.

Persistent landlessness

Valbuena also scored Marcos’ claim that government is effectively addressing the root cause of conflict in the countryside.

”[These] are utterly devoid of the truth and completely out of touch with reality,” Valbuena said.

The CPP officer said government’s community development and livelihood programs, farm to market roads as well as its newly-signed New Agrarian Emancipation Act only perpetuate the basic problems of social injustice and poverty that are rooted in the problem of landlessness.

“The Marcos regime ignores the outstanding clamor of the peasant majority population for genuine land reform, and the Filipino people’s demand for national industrialization,” Valbuena said.

He added widespread economic dislocation and agricultural crisis in the countryside continue in the countryside under the Marcos Jr. government.

Valbuena pointed out that hundreds of thousands of farmers and minority people are being dispossessed of land and their means of production.

“Agricultural and ancestral land are being grabbed by the expansion of plantations and mining operations, real estate, construction of dams, ecotourism, ‘green’ energy and other foreign-funded infrastructure projects. Millions of peasant tillers and fisher folk are being forced to bankruptcy by wanton importation of rice, sugar, vegetables and other agricultural and aquatic produce,” he said.

Since he took office in June 30, 2022, Marcos Jr. had been concurrent secretary of the Department of Agriculture which struggled with smuggling and agricultural product price manipulation controversies.

Police violently arrest agrarian reform beneficiaries and supporters in Concepcion, Tarlac. (Altermidya photo)

Worse, Valbuena said, peasant masses are daily subjected to worsening forms of oppression and exploitation, particularly those who voice grievances and choose to assert their demands who are subjected to political repression by government agents.

“Military and police abuses, summary killings, torture, unlawful detention, enforced disappearances and other violations of human rights are most rampant in the countryside, and are being carried out with utmost impunity,” Valbuena complained.

‘Remember Sakay’

The CPP said amnesty offers to those who take up arms had only been sugar-coated bullets against revolutionary forces.

 The group recalled United States of America’s colonial government in the Philippines offered amnesty to Filipino freedom fighter Macario Sakay and his government in 1905 only to publicly execute him in 1907.

In 1946, some leaders of the Hukbalahap were baited by the amnesty program of President Elpidio Quirino only to be murdered a few months later.

The Hukbalahap (Hukbong Mapaglaya Laban sa Hapon) was a Communist guerilla army that fought the invading Japanese Imperial Army during World War II and is regarded as forerunner to the NPA.

The CPP also cited Presidents Corazon Aquino and Gloria Arroyo’s amnesty programs but under whose respective governments several killings and massacres of farmers would occur.

Valbuena said Marcos Jr.’s government is similar to his predecessors in its drive for ‘localized peace talks’ and ‘surrender drive’ in which rural communities are subjected to military occupation, psychological warfare and intelligence and combat operations.

Many of these communities are later declared as “insurgency free,” characterized by well-publicized “mass surrender” ceremonies.

Valbuena also cited the mass filing of charges against mass organizations and activists under the Anti-Terrorism Law.

The government’s draconian measures against all forms of resistance make their struggle just and necessary, Valbuena said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

DC police arrests 4 Fil-Am activists at ‘lavish’ Marcos dinner

By Nuel M. Bacarra

Another picket protest hounded a dinner organized for Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos Jr., his party, and Filipino billionaires at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Washington DC last Tuesday, leading to the arrest of four Filipino-American activists.

Continuing their series of rallies against the president’s official visit to the United States, activists chanted “Marcos is not welcome here!” both inside and outside the Fiola Mare restaurant where Marcos was set to dine with billionaires Enrique Razon Jr., Lance Gokongwei and Sabin Aboitiz.

House of Representatives Speaker Martian Romualdez and former Philippine president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo were among the president’s party to the dinner.

The four activists chanting their slogans inside the restaurant were the ones arrested by the police, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-USA (BAYAN-USA) said.

The four has since been released from jail, Kodao sources said.

The group refused to disclose the names of the arrested activists, saying they were so advised by their lawyers.

Anakbayan-USA said those arrested are their members. The group has since launched an online appeal for donations for their defense.

In a statement, Anakbayan-USA said it salutes its members “for facing off against the cowardly and fascist US-backed Marcos II regime.”

“Anakbayan USA condemns the arrests of four, brave Anakbayan members after rightfully disrupting an excessive and lavish dinner between President Marcos, his cabinet secretaries, and some of the Philippines’ richest billionaires,” the group said.

The Marcoses are the ones who should be arrested, the youth group added.

Malaya Movement’s Julie Jamora said the police arrested the wrong persons.

“If you want to arrest someone, arrest the thieves inside. The only reason Marcos was not detained when he stepped foot inside this country is because of diplomatic immunity,” Jallora told the police during the rally.

Marcos Jr. and his mother Imelda were held in contempt by a US court in 1995 for “contumacious conduct causing direct harm to [a class of human rights victims].”

The continuing contempt offense already amounted to US$353 million in 2011.

Marcos Jr.’s ongoing visit is his first in decades, allowed by diplomatic immunity that he gained after assuming the presidency in 2022. # (with reports from RB Villanueva)

‘We need a full-time, hardworking, and sincere agriculture secretary’

Malinaw ang panawagan ng mga magsasaka mula sa Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) na magbitaw na sa pwesto si Pangulong Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. bilang secretary ng Department of Agriculture (DA), at sa halip ay magtalaga na ng isang full-time secretary para sa kagawaran.

Binatikos din ng KMP ang pakikipag-usap ni Marcos Jr. sa Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) noong Oktubre 21 upang hingin ang kanilang payo para tugunan ang krisis sa pagkain.

“He snubbed the farmer-proposed Doables in Agriculture and chose to listen only to business executives,” ani ni KMP Chairperson Danilo Ramos sa kanilang inilabas na pahayag. Binanggit din ni Ramos na ang isa sa lead convenor ng PSAC ay mula sa Aboitiz Group na isa rin sa nangunang contributor ni Marcos Jr. noong eleksyon.

“Marcos’s group of advisers obviously have business and profit as their top priorities. Farmers and food producers on the other hand, are proposing concrete and actionable measures on how to boost local food production, how to genuinely develop the agriculture sector, and protect farmers and consumers alike from inflation shocks. [We need] to genuinely strengthen agriculture and fight hunger, Marcos Jr. should heed the demands of farmers, fisherfolk and food producers,” pagtatapos ng KMP sa kanilang pahayag.

Marcos fails to impress activists in inauguration speech

Among those who closely listened to Ferdinand Marcos’ Jr’s inauguration speech, activist groups were unimpressed with the new Philippine president’s words, calling it a string of worn-out rhetoric without concrete programs to address the country’s problems.

Human rights lawyers said they have heard Marcos Jr’ words more than half a century ago, adding his mantra of unity is but a tired cliché and cosmetization for continuing impunity for past, present and even the future wrongs.

“Yet prove us wrong that the dark, dangerous and sordid yesterdays are not going to be our same bad, base and miserable todays and tomorrows,” National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers president Edre Olalia said.

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said Marcos Jr’s only used the historic event to heap praise on his father’s so-called legacy, conveniently avoiding any mention of the ousted dictator’s fascism in his long reign in the 60s to the 80s.

“He was very selective in what he wanted to highlight with his father’s so-called achievements, and even those need to be fact-checked and not be taken as gospel truth,” Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. said after the new president’s inauguration on Thursday, June 30.

Reyes said that Marcos Jr’s claim he shares the same dream as the ordinary Filipino is mere platitude, omitting mention of his privileged position.

“The major issues such as high oil prices, crushing taxes, low wages, and human rights were altogether ignored or left out,” Reyes added.

Reyes pointed out that Marcos only promised to “get things done” but fails to give any concrete program how he intends to do so.

“Twice he tells us a comprehensive plan is being draw up to address the issues facing the people. The public however will have to wait until the incoming regime gets its act together, and even then, we are unsure of the outcome of Marcos’ pronouncements,” Reyes said.

“We should brace ourselves for more of the same. Indeed, there are no reasons to celebrate this day,” he added.

Marcos’ failure to present even an outline of an economic agenda also disappointed

IBON Foundation’s Sonny Africa who said Marcos Jr appeared to have failed to prepare since he won the elections in May.

“A serious presidency would’ve have prepared its economic agenda long ago and not waited until after elections. Our huge problems deserve no less,” Africa said.

“President Marcos and his economic team clearly aren’t ready nor brining any new ideas to fix our old problems,” Africa added. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

Scientists slam Marcos Jr’s plan to review BNPP project revival

AGHAM recommends ‘sustainable, safe, accessible, affordable and reliable’ energy sources instead

A science and technology group refuted president-elect Ferdinand Marco’s Jr’s pronouncement that a refurbished Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) may prevent an energy crisis and may even usher in rapid industrialization in the country.

AGHAM-Advocates of Science and Technology said that the supply of electricity is not the most pressing problem in the country but its cost to the consumers—the most expensive in Southeast Asia.

“The current energy crisis is a result of the liberalized policy implemented since the 1990’s that allowed the privatization of our energy facilities and deregulation of the energy industry,” AGHAM said.

“This led to relentless increase in the cost of electricity, unstable power supply, and further increased our dependency to imported fossil fuel such as coal. The 621-megawatt nuclear plant will not resolve the above problem but will further aggravate it,” the group added.

AGHAM said private ownership of electricity generation, transmission and retailing in the country has driven its cost unjustly high.

“As long as the [privatization] policy…will not be reversed, private and foreign corporations will continue to monopolize our industry for their own interest and profit, and industrializing the Philippines is not part of it,” AGHAM said.

Reopening the BNPP in the framework of a liberalized energy industry will not serve its purpose of providing lower cost of electricity and it will not redound to industrialization, the scientists said.

Peddling to foreign investors

The group reacted to a pronouncement made by the president-elect after his meeting with South Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Kim Inchul last week.

Marcos Jr said that he is reviewing earlier recommendations made to revive the BNPP.

“We discussed with the South Korean ambassador their offer and their nuclear power expert has already visited the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, to see what else could be done, whether or not it could be revived or if a new one should be built,” Marcos said.

“We revived the discussion. Although they have come before, we will now study their recommendation, their findings and we will see if we can still apply,” he added.

Earlier, the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) said the BNPP can be rehabilitated in four to five years at a cost of about $1.0 billion.

AGHAM however slammed the pronouncement, saying Marcos is already peddling the project to foreign investors even before assuming the presidency.

“[He] denies the fact that the BNPP is already antiquated, faulty, dangerous and has served as a milking cow for corrupt practices. The risk of allowing an old facility with around 4,000 technical defects to operate would be high. It is also crucial for the government to present concrete for the disposal of spent uranium fuel,” it said.

The BNPP was constructed under the administration of Ferdinand Marcos Sr that cost Filipino taxpayers a total of $2.2 billion.

The succeeding Corazon Aquino government mothballed the BNPP, citing massive corruption in the project.

In June 2021, the Supreme Court (SC) affirmed a Sandiganbayan decision finding corruption in the BNPP project and ordered Marcos crony Herminio Desini’s estate to pay the Philippine government PHP1 billion in exemplary damages.

Desini brokered the USD2.2-billion BNPP project to American nuclear power company Westinghouse Electrical Corporation.

FACT CHECK: Marcos Jr. claims politics behind mothballing of Bataan Nuclear Power Plant

Enough supply

AGHAM said a nuclear power plant is unnecessary, asserting the country still has enough power supply.

“In 2020, the country has an installed capacity of 26,250 megawatts (MW) with a dependable capacity of 23,410 MW while the peak demand is just 15,282 MW in the same period. We have more than enough in the coming years,” it said.

The group said the Philippines has other energy options that are sustainable, safe, accessible, affordable and reliable to address expected power demand of the country.

“While we recognize the fact that nuclear energy is a technology option, it is not a good option and the country can do without it. We should give more weight to the safety and lives of our people, environmental costs, and its social and economic viability,” AGHAM said.

It added that the country must instead “harness indigenous energy resources and move away from imported, dirty, and dangerous fuels such as coal and nuclear.” # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

Media groups urge Marcos Jr to ensure media freedom

Manila’s Cardinal Advincula: ‘When truth is at stake, remaining apathetic and being silent is a sin’

International and local media groups urged the incoming Ferdinand Marcos Jr. government to commit to protecting media freedom they said has since deteriorated after being restored upon the ouster of the first Marcos regime in 1986.

Reminding that the media was “restricted and regulated” during his father’s regime, seven media groups said media freedom has also suffered under the outgoing Rodrigo Duterte government with increased attacks on journalists and independent media.

“The president-elect of the Philippines as a result of the May 9 election must ensure the protection of media freedom in the country. Media freedom is important to fulfill the right to information for the public, which is one of the keys to democracy,” the seven groups said.

In a statement, the Alliance of Independent Journalists, Center for Independent Journalism, The Movement of Independent Media / Gerakan Media Merdeka, Freedom Film Network, National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), Cambodian Journalists Alliance Association, and Association of Journalists of Timor Leste cited that the Philippines has declined on the World Press Freedom Index in the last five years.

“Using new metrics to measure press freedom in its 2022 index, Reporters Without Borders ranked the Philippines 147th, the third lowest in Southeast Asia,” the groups said.

They added that the guarantee of media freedom must be implemented by enacting press freedom laws, establishing independent media councils, decriminalizing defamation, ending censorship and bans on the media, and stopping lawsuits.

The groups also said the Philippine government must stop the practice of impunity by committing to uncover and prosecute the perpetrators of attacks against journalists and media, both physically and digitally. Perpetuating impunity will result in a prolonged cycle of violence.

Letter to President-elect Marcos

In a separate May 23 letter, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) President Jodie Ginsberg requested President-elect Ferdinand Jr. to reverse Duterte’s “abusive acts and policies” targeting independent media and journalists and to restore the Philippines’ “once-proud standing as a regional bastion of press freedom.”

Ginsberg said that Marcos should undo Duterte’s long campaign of intimidation and harassment of the press and “give top priority to this urgent task.”

“The legitimacy of your administration should be based on independently reported facts that allow for the kind of true public accountability that is the hallmark of strong democracies. The people of the Philippines deserve no less,” Ginsberg wrote.

Ginsberg said the new Marcos administration should end the relentless persecution of journalist and Nobel Peace laureate Maria Ressa she described as “a global beacon of press freedom.”

“CPJ calls on your government to immediately drop all pending charges against Ressa, her colleagues, and the Rapplermedia group,” Ginsberg wrote.

She said the cases against Ressa and Rappler were trumped-up in attempts to shutter Rappler and carry potential prison penalties.

Ginsberg also mentioned Rappler reporter and NUJP director Lian Buan who complained of being shoved and blocked several times by the president-elect’s security detail and media relations officer while covering Ferdinand Jr.’s campaign events.

The CPJ said it also strongly calls on the incoming Philippine government to restore the operating franchise of ABS-CBN and to stop the Duterte regime’s red-tagging of journalists.

“Red-tagging is especially dangerous considering the Philippine military’s alleged role in extrajudicial killings and torture of accused communists,” Ginsberg wrote.

The CPJ also called on Marcos Jr. to drop the red tagging-related charges pending against journalist Frenchiemae Cumpio who has been languishing behind bars for over two years in an attempt to silence her reporting on the Philippine military’s operations against communist rebels and alleged associated human rights abuses.

“As the Philippines’ newly elected leader, you have the mandate to reassert your country’s damaged democratic credentials by forthrightly promoting and protecting press freedom. We urge you to seize this important moment and state clearly from the outset that journalists will be free to report without fear of reprisal, intimidation, or imprisonment during your tenure,” Ginsberg said.

‘Combat lies with truth’

Meanwhile, Manila Archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula warned of a “crisis of truth” and urged the Catholic faithful to combat lies.

Manila Archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula (wearing miter) mobbed by “selfie”takers at the end of the Thanksgiving Mass on the canonization of St. Titus Brandsma at the Cubao Cathedral last May 28. (R.VillanuevA/Kodao)

At the thanksgiving Mass for the canonization of Dutch Carmelite priest Titus Brandsma last Saturday, Advincula said the media should only be used to promote truth.

“When we seem to be experiencing a crisis of truth especially on social media, St. Titus inspires us to use social media as a pulpit from which we must proclaim, and if need be, defend the truth,” Advincula said.

Hailed as the Catholic Church’s martyr for press freedom, St.Titus Brandsma was arrested and killed by German occupiers for refusing to publish Nazi propaganda during World War II.

Advincula led the thanksgiving at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Cubao with the Carmelite community in the Philippines after Brandsma’s elevation to Catholic Church sainthood by Pope Francis last May 15 in Rome.

“This makes St. Titus very relevant to our times. If there are forces that use social media to deceive and spread lies, let us come combat them with flooding it with the truth of God’s word,” the Cardinal said in his homily.

“St. Titus reminds that when truth is at stake, remaining apathetic and being silent is a sin,” he added. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

ITANONG MO KAY PROF: Hinggil sa Halalan 2022

Panayam ng Kodao Productions, sa pamamagitan ni Prof. Sarah Raymundo, kay Prof. Jose Maria Sison hinggil sa katatapos lang na Halalan 2022.