Opinion – Mindanao Gold Star Daily https://mindanaogoldstardaily.com Read the Latest News and Updates in Mindanao Tue, 23 Apr 2019 21:00:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.1 https://mindanaogoldstardaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/cropped-GSD-Browser-icon-32x32.png Opinion – Mindanao Gold Star Daily https://mindanaogoldstardaily.com 32 32 Sipaka on Easter https://mindanaogoldstardaily.com/sipaka-on-easter/ Tue, 23 Apr 2019 20:10:46 +0000 https://mindanaogoldstardaily.com/?p=96025 Bencyrus Ellorin . PACKING my extended family in van was not a bad idea to escape from urban life during the Holy Week holidays. Sipaka Point is the westernmost tip of Gingoog Bay in Talisayan, Misamis Oriental. Facing the Bohol Sea, opposite the Pamilacan Island and the majestic Camiguin Island on its northwest, this area ...

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Bencyrus Ellorin .

PACKING my extended family in van was not a bad idea to escape from urban life during the Holy Week holidays.

Sipaka Point is the westernmost tip of Gingoog Bay in Talisayan, Misamis Oriental. Facing the Bohol Sea, opposite the Pamilacan Island and the majestic Camiguin Island on its northwest, this area was infamous for the slaughter of the world’s biggest fish, the whale shark (Rhincodon typus), locally called Tawiki or tuki.

In the 1980s and early 1990s, hundreds of these gentle giants which feed on krills were hunted by fishermen every year resulting in its population decline. In 1998, the PH BFAR issued Fishery Administrative Order (FAO) 193 prohibiting the killing, transport and selling of whale shark meat.

Later in 2002, the Philippine delegation successfully campaigned at the Convention in International Trade of Endangered Species (Cites) resulting in its listing at Appendix 2 of the Cites as an endangered species.

I had participated in educating fisherfolk against unsustainable fishing practices, including the conservations of whale sharks and the pawikan, as a worker for coastal resource management and fisheries resource management projects in 1998 to 2005 in Macajalar, Gingoog and Butuan Bays.

I felt a bit of pride and that feeling of satisfaction of past struggles visiting this place carved by the force of the sea on Easter Sunday. A research in 2017 observed recurrence of the gentle giants with at least 32 encounters in municipal waters of Talisayan to Balingoan, up to Salay, Misamis Oriental.

The white sand beaches of Barangay Calamcam, also in Talisayan, is a perfect getaway for weary urbanites. An hour or two drive from the city are enclaves of excellent white beaches. Although generally rustic, some resorts like the Villa Arcadia offer modest accomodation and amenities.

Sleeping in tents was a good idea, but the humid nights when we were there made sleeping al fresco under the moon and the stars was better.

(The author is a former journalist with experience in managing and editing online news portals here and abroad. He is now a public relations consultant and political campaigner. One of the social media groups he co-administered was a finalist in Globe’s Tatt award in 2012.)

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Who was at fault? https://mindanaogoldstardaily.com/who-was-at-fault/ Tue, 23 Apr 2019 20:08:47 +0000 https://mindanaogoldstardaily.com/?p=96027 Egay Uy . DESPITE the request to hold comments regarding the incident involving an ambulance driver and a traffic law enforcer at Osmena St. corner Recto Ave. a few days ago, I had to inquire from those who have done their own snooping around, so to speak. No, I did not get any piece of ...

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Egay Uy .

DESPITE the request to hold comments regarding the incident involving an ambulance driver and a traffic law enforcer at Osmena St. corner Recto Ave. a few days ago, I had to inquire from those who have done their own snooping around, so to speak.

No, I did not get any piece of information from the organic head of office. I expected him to be around during the flag raising ceremony at City Hall so he could provide some insights but as usual he was nowhere to be found.

From various sources, I have gathered that the ambulance was going towards the west cruising along Recto Ave. and using the rightmost lane.  At that time, the traffic along Recto has not moved. As expected, motorcycles have converged at the pedestrian lane and even blocked the rightmost lane of the highway.

The ambulance driver reportedly wanted to pass as a priority vehicle. In so doing, he pointed to the motorcycles that blocked his lane and wanted the traffic law enforcer to direct traffic so the ambulance could pass. A few seconds later, the ambulance was able to pass Osmena St. going towards west.

While passing, the ambulance driver reportedly kept on pointing to the traffic law enforcer probably wanting to make a point why the traffic law enforcer did not assist the ambulance so it could pass ahead of the other vehicles. We all know that ambulances are among the priority vehicles on the road.

Because of the “pointing incident” the traffic law enforcer reportedly slapped the ambulance as it passed him (enforcer). Because of that, when the ambulance was already in front of La Cabana which is about 15 to 20 meters from the corner of Osmena and Recto, the ambulance driver stopped, got off, and walked back towards the traffic law enforcer.

That was when the delivery of the patient in the ambulance got more delayed. The ambulance driver, as the video would show us, demanded for the traffic law enforcer’s identification. In fact, we could all see that it was the traffic law enforcer that showed his identification card to the ambulance driver, not the latter showing his driver’s license to the former.

The sad thing is that the patient whom the ambulance was tasked to take to the hospital expeditiously was reported later to have expired at the hospital. We cannot yet surmise that the delay caused by the altercation between the ambulance driver and the traffic law enforcer has contributed to the demise of the patient.

But probably we can ask, “Was the ambulance driver justified in stopping a few meters ahead and in walking back towards the traffic law enforcer to confront the latter despite the presence of a patient under his care?”

I will reserve my opinion on this until after the investigation conducted by RTA’s Doy Ramiro will have been officially completed and a full report officially released.

(Egay Uy is a lawyer. He chairs the City’s Regulatory and Complaint Board, co-chairs with the city mayor the City Price Coordinating Council, and chairs the city’s Joint Inspection Team. He is also a former overseer of the Roads and Traffic Administration. He retired as a vice president of Cepalco.)

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Prelude to a crackdown https://mindanaogoldstardaily.com/prelude-to-a-crackdown/ Tue, 23 Apr 2019 20:06:36 +0000 https://mindanaogoldstardaily.com/?p=96029 Statement . THE National Union of Journalists of the Philippines expresses alarm over The Manila Times article “Oust-Duterte plot bared,” penned by no less that its Chairman Emeritus Dante A. Ang, as dangerous as it lays the ground for more attacks against independent media. Ang’s story is such a marvel of unethical and amateurish writing. ...

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Statement .

THE National Union of Journalists of the Philippines expresses alarm over The Manila Times article “Oust-Duterte plot bared,” penned by no less that its Chairman Emeritus Dante A. Ang, as dangerous as it lays the ground for more attacks against independent media.

Ang’s story is such a marvel of unethical and amateurish writing. Based on a single anonymous source and a matrix showing a web of threads so tenuous it would not hold up in the slightest breeze, Ang’s piece of claptrap wouldn’t even pass muster at any self-respecting high school publication.

It would, in fact, be funny if the implications of his slanderous naming of journalists and human rights lawyers supposedly involved in this fictitious plot weren’t so dire. In fact, proof that the matrix, the source and the story are hogwash is the fact that former NUJP chair – and former Times editor – Inday Espina Varona is listed in the matrix as among National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) members. She is not and she is not a lawyer.

For what Ang has done is no different from the narco-lists his principal, President Rodrigo Duterte, is so fond of trotting out every now and then sans evidence but which often amount to hit lists, death sentences without the benefit of trial. In fact, the source – supposing there was one – and the writer do not even bother to explain the nature of the links, if any, between Vera Files, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism and Rappler on one hand, and the NUPL, on the other except by claiming preposterously that these media outfits and the Left have aligned themselves in a plot to oust Duterte – a tale as old, and as stale, as time.

What we do fear is that this “revelation” could be a prelude to a crackdown against independent media and human rights lawyers.

In light of this, we call on the community of independent Filipino journalists and news outfits to close ranks and resist any attempt to silence the press.

Should any harm come to those he has maligned, Dante Ang should be held just as fully accountable.

Again, we reiterate, history has proven that attempts to silence the independent Philippine press may succeed for a while but, in the end, the truth will out and tyrants will always end up in the dustbin of history. – National directorate, National Union of Journalists of the Philippines

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Impossible. Incredible. Awesome. https://mindanaogoldstardaily.com/impossible-incredible-awesome/ Tue, 23 Apr 2019 20:04:31 +0000 https://mindanaogoldstardaily.com/?p=96031 Netnet Camomot . THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) has started its “Operation Baklas” to remove campaign posters from non-designated areas. The Philippine National Police and the Department of Public Works and Highways help Comelec in removing illegal campaign posters and this task can be dangerous to their health as what happened to election officer Teddy ...

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Netnet Camomot .

THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) has started its “Operation Baklas” to remove campaign posters from non-designated areas.

The Philippine National Police and the Department of Public Works and Highways help Comelec in removing illegal campaign posters and this task can be dangerous to their health as what happened to election officer Teddy Mariano of Camiling, Tarlac who was slapped by Marty Toralba, a candidate for board member. I gotta feeling Toralba became bored, thus, the slapping incident? Hmmm.

Still, this proves that the political candidate has continued to believe in the impact of a campaign poster—the more visible it is, the better. That’s in addition to debates, candidates’ fora, campaign sorties and rallies, social media, trolls, house-to-house visits, handshaking, kissing babies and grandmas, sound bites that end up in the evening news, television ads, print ads, the endorsement of President Rody Duterte, the support of showbiz celebrities, ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

Exposure must be the key to success in the polls unless that exposure is the kind that Jim Paredes recently indulged in, which prompted Duterte to comment, “Hala kaliit.” So, he has seen the video. Oh, my.

“Sorry, I don’t smoke” is the appropriate reaction to men with small “gadgets” below the belt, since the smaller that “gadget,” the bigger its owner’s ego—to make up for the lack in size. Much like the political neophyte who boosts about his plans and compare them with the incumbent, when the former has not even achieved anything yet for the place he wishes to serve. Pathetic, eh? But that’s exactly why he’s running, right? To correct the wrongs of the incumbent. That is, if the incumbent indeed has wrongs.

A political candidate will always claim to be better than his opponent, otherwise, he may as well stop joining the campaign circus if he can’t convince the madlang pehpohl about his sincerity in serving the community.

Campaigning is not easy especially amidst the summer heat which the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) warned could be 38 degrees Celsius this month. Whew!

Dagupan City, Pangasinan even had a heat index of 44 degrees Celsius a few weeks ago. Pagasa says heat index means “human discomfort” index or “init factor.” If you’re outside and literally basking in the sun, the heat index may increase to a maximum of 8 degrees Celsius.

Pagasa has advised the Pinoy to wear lightweight and light-colored clothes since dark colors tend to attract more heat. I have mostly black and navy clothes in the closet. Should I switch to pastels? Gasp!

Excess body weight and fats can also result to, Whew, ang init! So, imagine me and my fats wearing black at noon while I’m doing house-to-house campaigning for my piggies. Tsk tsk. But black makes me look slimmer. Hmmm. Esep-esep pud ‘pag may time.

Before next year’s summer arrives, I should consider going vegan again. Or at least, plant-based on weekdays, with fish or chicken added to the menu on weekends. Much like Beyoncé’s mostly plant-based diet, meaning, not absolutely vegan. And this renewed vow can be possible once Burger King (BK) and Nestle begin to offer plant-based food items here in Pinas.

BK now has the Impossible Whopper which is made of soy and potato protein and it’s reportedly as good as the original meaty Whopper, the BK fan could hardly tell the difference. For now, the Impossible Whopper is available at BK outlets in St. Louis in the US.

Nestle also has its meatless burgers to be sold in some parts of Europe starting this month. Called Incredible Burger, it’s made from soy and wheat protein. For the US market, Nestle has Awesome Burgers.

Impossible. Incredible. Awesome. Three words that may sum up a carnivore’s reaction to meatless burgers: Impossible! Incredible! But once he has tried one, hopefully the reaction will be, Oh, that’s awesome!

Much like a voter’s reaction to the newbie political wannabe’s campaign promises: Impossible! Incredible! But once he wins and begins to make his campaign promises come true: Oh, awesome! Well, the newbie can dream, can’t he?

Meanwhile, the newbie has to learn about prohibited places for campaign posters in order to not waste precious funds in having them printed, only for the posters to end up removed through “Operation Baklas.” That could have been money reserved for vote buying on the eve of election day. Oops!

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Our ultimate identity https://mindanaogoldstardaily.com/our-ultimate-identity/ Tue, 23 Apr 2019 20:02:03 +0000 https://mindanaogoldstardaily.com/?p=96033 Fr. Roy Cimagala . WE have to be most aware of this fundamental truth about ourselves. Our identity is not just determined by our DNA, nor by our baptismal and legal name, our personal bio-data, etc. Our ultimate identity is that we are another Christ, ‘alter Christus.’ And if we have to exaggerate it some ...

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Fr. Roy Cimagala .

WE have to be most aware of this fundamental truth about ourselves. Our identity is not just determined by our DNA, nor by our baptismal and legal name, our personal bio-data, etc. Our ultimate identity is that we are another Christ, ‘alter Christus.’ And if we have to exaggerate it some more, we are actually ‘ipse Christus,’ Christ himself. That’s what we are meant for.

We may not realize this truth immediately and may find it overwhelming and incredible, but that is what our Christian faith tells us. Why? Simply because we have been created by God in his image and likeness. We just did not come from our parents. We all come from God and belong to him.

We are made to be children of his, to share in his divine life and nature, to be actually one with him. That’s his will. We cannot do anything about it other than to try our best to conform ourselves to that truth—of course, with God’s grace and our all-out effort.

Thus, we have to go through the lifelong process of identifying ourselves more and more with Christ who is the pattern of our humanity and the redeemer of our damaged humanity. We have been given all the means. In fact, we have been given Christ himself, especially in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist!

We need to spread this truth of our faith more widely and earnestly break whatever barrier there is in all of us so we can become another Christ. At the moment, I believe that the majority of the so-called good people, good Christians or good Catholics believe that Christian life is more about doing good things, praying, sacrificing, doing works of mercy, etc.

All of these are part of what Christianity is all about.

But Christianity has a more radical foundation. It involves making ourselves another Christ, assuming the sentiments and very identity of Christ, much like what St. Paul once said: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself up for me.” (Gal 2,20)

Even more, St. Paul said that we should have the mind and the sentiments of Christ. (cfr. 1 Cor 2,16) We need to check ourselves from time to time if indeed the mind and sentiments of Christ are developing in us.

It is a mind and heart that is clean of pride and arrogance, of selfishness and greed. Rather it is filled with humility, goodness, mercy, willingness to suffer and to bear the burdens and sins of others, etc. It is a mind and heart that fully complies with all the teachings of Christ.

Of course, human as we are, we would feel awkward to assume that radical identity, but we just have to overcome that awkwardness. Progressively assuming that identity will actually give us peace and joy and the quiet conviction that we are doing the right thing in life, we are hitting the mark and not distracted by many other worldly things.

We would never feel the pride of the sinful type. In fact, we would be happy giving ourselves completely to others in a gratuitous way, passing unnoticed and not expecting any earthly reward. The virtue of humility grows ever deeper and stronger.

We would not mind being misunderstood and made to suffer even for the good things we do. We would be aware that we are co-redeeming with Christ since the work of human redemption continues all throughout time.

We should see to it that we realize we are meant to be another Christ and work it out tenaciously with the help of the ever-available grace of God. And yes, we have to help one another to make this ideal real in our life.

***

We’re still being created. We need to be clear about this fundamental truth about ourselves. We are still being created by God. Our creation is still ongoing. Our creation is still in the making. This time though, our creation involves our cooperation.

If we review the story of the creation of the world (cfr. Gen 1,1-2,1), we will notice that God created everything before man in a generic way—the heaven and the earth, light, darkness, land, sea, animals, birds, etc. But when it came to the creation of man, God became personal and entered into relation with man by giving them instructions.

With man, God had to make the garden of Eden for man to cultivate it. Since it was not good for man to be alone, God created woman to be his helper who is equal to him. They were told that they can eat the fruits of all the trees in the garden except the ones of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

This only shows that the creation of man is not yet finished since man, being created in God’s image and likeness and therefore has the capacity to know and to love, has to do his part of cooperating with God’s creation of him.

That stint in the garden of Eden was for man, i.e., Adam and Eve, to do his part of his own creation. And we know what happened. Our first parents failed, and so God who at first was angry and punished them, started to undertake the re-creation through a very complicated plan of redemption.

That plan that involved patriarchs, prophets, a chosen people, many holy men and women, finally had its culmination when the very Son of God became man. The God-man, Jesus Christ, bore all our sins and had to show us the way to redeem ourselves by following him in his teachings and ultimately by suffering, dying and resurrecting with him.

Christ also founded the Church and instituted the sacraments so that his presence and redemptive work can effectively continue with us till the end of time, which is the end of our creation.

At our death and at the end of time, our creation is supposed to be finished with each one of us receiving a new name that only each of us would know. It’s a name that is distinctive and unique to each one of us. This will be our definitive name for all eternity, indicating the very personal relationship between God and us, the Creator and the co-creator.

This new and definitive name is referred to in the Book of the Apocalypse where it says, “To him who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone which no one knows except him who receives it.” (2,17)

It would be good if we are keenly aware of this truth of our faith because this will give us the proper perspective, meaning and direction of our life here on earth. At the moment, I am afraid a great majority of the people, even among educated Catholics, are not quite aware of this truth and are therefore not doing what they are supposed to do to conform to this truth. Many are actually confused and lost.

It would be good if a catechesis be made on this fundamental truth about ourselves and our earthly life. We are still being created, and our creation by God involves our cooperation, given the way we are as designed by God. We are God’s co-creator of our own selves.

We need to do our part, making use of everything we have in this life to further this lifelong process of our creation. We have to be responsible for the practical consequences and implications contained in this fundamental truth about ourselves.

E-mail: roycimagala@gmail.com

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People see more diversity and gender equality https://mindanaogoldstardaily.com/people-see-more-diversity-and-gender-equality/ Tue, 23 Apr 2019 20:01:11 +0000 https://mindanaogoldstardaily.com/?p=96035 MEDIANS of about seven-in-ten across 27 nations polled say their countries have become more diverse and gender equality has increased over the past 20 years, a new Pew Research Center report finds. However, about six-in-ten across the countries surveyed say that family ties in their countries have weakened in the same 20-year span. A median ...

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MEDIANS of about seven-in-ten across 27 nations polled say their countries have become more diverse and gender equality has increased over the past 20 years, a new Pew Research Center report finds.

However, about six-in-ten across the countries surveyed say that family ties in their countries have weakened in the same 20-year span. A median of 37 percent also say that religion plays a less important role in their countries than it did two decades ago, while 27 percent say it plays a more important role.

These are among the results of a survey Pew Research Center conducted among 30,133 people in 27 countries in spring of 2018. Key findings from the survey are:

Across the world, there is strong consensus among people that diversity has increased in their countries. And for the most part, that diversity is welcomed. A median of 23 percent oppose increasing diversity in their country – they view more diversity as a bad thing or less diversity as a good thing for their country – but overall, more people favor a more heterogenous society (median of 45 percent). Two exceptions are Greece, where 62 percent oppose a more diverse country, and to a lesser extent Italy, where 45 percent oppose diversity. But in the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Australia and Spain, roughly six-in-ten say they are in favor of more diversity, as do 76 percent in Indonesia and 68 percent in South Korea.

Majorities in 23 of the 27 countries surveyed believe that equality between men and women in their country has increased in the past two decades. The countries with the highest and lowest shares saying gender equality has increased can both be found in Europe. In Sweden – one of the most egalitarian countries in Europe, according to the European Institute for Gender Equality – 80 percent say equality has increased in the past two decades. Hungarians, however, have seen much less positive change in their country, which is one of the European Union’s least egalitarian nations, according to the same source. Fewer than a third of Hungarians (29 percent) believe gender equality has increased in their society.

Opinions vary widely across the countries surveyed on whether religion plays a more or less important role compared with 20 years ago. Those saying religion plays a more important role range from seven percent in Spain and eight percent in Japan to 83 percent in Indonesia and 65 percent in Nigeria. In Europe, North America and Australia, ideology is linked to whether people want a more prominent role for religion in their country. In the US, for example, people on the right end of the political spectrum (those who consider themselves somewhat or very conservative) are 42 percentage points more likely than those on the left to favor a larger role for religion in their country. While this is the largest political divide measured, substantial differences exist between left and right in many countries.

Across the countries surveyed, almost six-in-ten (58 percent) believe family ties have gotten weaker over the past 20 years. This includes 64 percent in the US and a median of 59 percent across 10 European countries. The view that the strength of family is declining is also found in the Middle Eastern, sub-Saharan African and Latin American publics surveyed. When asked about whether the change in family ties was a good or bad thing for their countries, half or more in every country surveyed (except Indonesia and the Philippines, where people say family ties are strengthening) said this was a bad thing. And majorities in every country surveyed are in favor of strengthening family ties. –Pew Research Center

(Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It does not take policy positions. The Center is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts, its primary funder. The findings are for immediate release and available at https://www.pewglobal.org/2019/04/22/a-changing-world-global-views-on-diversity-gender-equality-family-life-and-the-importance-of-religion)

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Barabbas, ‘son of god’ https://mindanaogoldstardaily.com/barabbas-son-of-god/ Mon, 22 Apr 2019 20:10:16 +0000 https://mindanaogoldstardaily.com/?p=95975 Cong Corrales . NETIZENS have been posting a meme about how people chose Barabbas over Jesus. It has been appearing on my newsfeed since “holy week.” I suspect it will continue circulating on the Internet until the midterm elections next month. The meme goes on to say that 2,000 years later, people still tend to ...

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Cong Corrales .

NETIZENS have been posting a meme about how people chose Barabbas over Jesus. It has been appearing on my newsfeed since “holy week.” I suspect it will continue circulating on the Internet until the midterm elections next month.

The meme goes on to say that 2,000 years later, people still tend to choose thieves and white-collar criminals over supposed people of conscience. Right off the bat, any self-respecting critical thinker would say the meme is loaded with political agenda – as if the political terrain in the Philippines isn’t fractious enough.

So, in the spirit of public service, I would like to share with you the context behind the Jewish people’s choice two millennia ago with the end in view that you stop sharing that ignorant meme. My source of information for this context is culled from the writings of Roman-Jewish historian, Titus Flavius Josephus.

First, let us start with his name. The “Bar” part of his name is actually the Aramaic version of “Fitz” and “Ben” in medieval Europe. It means “son of.” For instance, Fitzgerald and BenCyrus would mean sons of Gerald and Cyrus, respectively.

Barabbas, then, means son of Abbas. However, his full name is Yeshua Barabbas. Yeshua is a common Hebrew alternative name to Yehoshua or Joshua in the Second Temple period. Joshua, in turn, is where the name Jesus has been derived from. Loosely translated, Abbas means lion but for the Hebrew, it means god. So, Yeshua Barabbas translates to Jesus son of god.

If you are a Bible freak and find these translations ridiculous, you can look it up in Mathew 27:16-17 that gives the full name of Barabbas as “Jesus Barabbas” and this was most probably the name as originally written in the ancient texts.

With this information, it would be safe to posit that Pontius Pilate, the fifth governor of the Roman province of Judea, could have made the Jews choose between “Jesus son of god” and “Jesus of Nazarene,” son of a carpenter. More on this “choice” later.

Second, Barabbas was neither a bandit nor a thief. He was part of the Jewish armed resistance — the Zealots. They were a political movement in 1st century Second Temple Judaism which sought to incite the people of Judea province to rebel against the Roman Empire.

During King Herod’s regime over Galilee and Perea, which includes Judea, decreed to put the Roman insignia, an eagle, in all the synagogues across his realm. The Jewish people saw this as a desecration of their places of worship. Thus, the formation of the Zealots.

Barabbas was imprisoned for being a “lestes” (Greek for bandit) after leading a riot in Judea. He could not have been a thief since the Greek word for thief or robber is “kleptes.” The word bandit does not necessarily mean a thief but that the person belonged to a band or a group. In Barabbas’s case, the Zealots.

Also, thieves during that time weren’t executed publicly because they consider theft a petty crime. Being an insurrectionist, however, needed to be made as an example to other Jews not to rebel, ergo the crucifixion.

Joseph ben Caiaphas, the Jewish high priest who presided over the Sanhedrin trial of Jesus argued specifically that Jesus was claiming to be the “king of the Jews” as opposed to being the “son of god” because King Herod would care less if Jesus claimed to be the son of the Jewish god.

That’s is why the cross where Jesus was nailed bore the inscription “INRI,” which means Iesvs Nazarenvs Rex Ivdaervm or Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews.

This argument played into supporting the cause of the Zealots. The Jews would have preferred to choose a person actively fighting for their cause than Jesus who, years before, had been correcting high priests, questioned the Jewish dogmas, and even dismantled the stalls of traders in front of a synagogue and shooed them away. Jesus even publicly forgave a taxpayer and worked to heal the sick even during the Sabbath.

So, it is an understandable choice for an oppressed people at that time to choose a fighter over what they perceived to be a pacifist.

The vilification is understandable too since it still happens in contemporary history. Remember what the Americans called Macario Sacay and the last remaining Katipuneros? Yes, you guessed it right – bandits.

Now, this should’ve been the contents of the Barabbas meme. Enemies of the state who have been vilified 2,000 years ago are still being vilified as bandits today or in the modern jargon — terrorists. Pfft.

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Candid notes https://mindanaogoldstardaily.com/candid-notes/ Mon, 22 Apr 2019 20:08:18 +0000 https://mindanaogoldstardaily.com/?p=95977 Pat Diaz . GENERAL Santos City — On Feb. 22, 2019, in Malacañan, President Rodrigo R. Duterte swore in the members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) which he had appointed with MILF Chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim as chief minister. The BTA, the Parliament, is the interim government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in ...

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Pat Diaz .

GENERAL Santos City — On Feb. 22, 2019, in Malacañan, President Rodrigo R. Duterte swore in the members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) which he had appointed with MILF Chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim as chief minister. The BTA, the Parliament, is the interim government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Barmm) that will replace the 30-year old Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm). That installed Barmm.

On Feb. 26, Armm Chair Mujiv Hataman formally turned over the Armm government to BTA Chair Murad. The Armm was deemed completely abolished, the Barmm established. The BTA organized and set on March 11 the Barmm inauguration and its first session. After that it can start its mandate to build a new governmental structure on the remains of the Armm for the full-fledged Barmm by June 30, 2022 when the first regular officials will be elected.       

But the President could not make the date; it was reset to March 21 even without the President attending. Still, the President was not available on that date and the BTA had to defer to the President’s desire to attend. It was reset again to March 25 which the Palace confirmed; yet, it had for the third time to postpone it to March 29. 

On March 29, there was no fourth postponement. The Barmm inauguration went on!

What inauguration! The first I ever know. An evening affair (from 6:30 p.m. to around 7 p.m.)

At 5 am of March 30, I opened Mindanews for reports on the inauguration. No report. I searched. There were two, one at the PNA website posted at 9:17 pm March 29 and the other at The Manila Bulletin’s posted a little later – identical reports written by PNA.

PNA said the President “arrived here around 6:30 p.m., banged an “agong” (Muslim brass drum) marking the induction of the Barmm and its interim parliament, the 80-member Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA)”. This implied the rush. Had it to be held that late on March 29 to avert another postponement?

PNA described the President’s speech as one of his shortest, reiterating his commitment to work for the benefit of the Moro people until the end of his term in 2022.

He told the Barmm officials: “Let me repeat and reiterate my solemn promise to you a sacred one, that in my term and for the next three years, we will all work and truly work for the benefit of the Bangsamoro people.”

Unless, he was playing politics, he did not have to repeat any promise, solemn or fake. This is his government’s part and future governments’, too, in its covenant, RA 11054 or the Bangsamoro Organic Law, with the Bangsamoros.

Having celebrated his 74th birthday on the day before, the President said he considered the success of Barmm as his greatest birthday gift. Whatever that success would be was still a dream. He, indeed, was exhorting the BTA to make the dream gift a reality, saying:

 “To my dear Bangsamoro sisters and brothers, in the BTA, the power to chart the course of your region’s future is now in your hands, I trust that you will wield this power with utmost care.” … And more:

“As we enter the transition period, I ask everyone to work towards building lasting peace and inclusive progress that will benefit the entire Mindanao and the country as well.”

This is the part of the BTA and future Bangsamoro governments in the same covenant, RA 11054. But no exhortation can make the Bangsamoros succeed unless present and future governments do their part as agreed – without prodding and pleading.

In his welcome address, BTA Chair Murad said that when the President banged the “agong” that marked a new beginning for the Bangsamoro people. The BTA is the interim government of the newly established Barmm until June 30, 2022 – building on, where feasible and practicable, on solid remains of the Armm.

 Murad envisioned Barmm to be different. “We vow to make moral governance as the foundation of peace leadership.”  To realize this, he led the BTA members in vowing for moral governance before the Qur’an.

The “new beginning” – moral governance – is the biggest challenge for the BTA. The first step is for the BTA members to plant firmly the foundation. The second is for the BTA to indoctrinate the Bangsamoros to appreciate moral governance and to rally behind the BTA. The third is for the succeeding Bangsamoro Parliament, the next and the next, to continue strengthening moral governance and uniting the Bangsamoros around it.

Can it, will it be done? With Allah’s help, Yes! Hence, the vow before the Qur’an.

The inauguration was a drama. The principal actors made solemn promises filling the elated Bangsamoros with hope. Waking up in the morning, and many, many mornings thereafter, what Bangsamoro (short for Barmm) awaits – fulfillment or still denial?

Postscript: The backdrop of the Sharif Kabunsuan Complex, venue of the affair, read: Welcome President Rodrigo Roa Duterte / Inauguration of the Bangsamoro Region in MUslim Mindanao – the name of the President twice the size of the name of the region.

Was the “Welcome” more significant than the “Inaugurtion”?

Why were the inauguration, the oath-taking of the BTA members and the turn-over of the Armm to Barmm Interim Chief Minister not held simultaneously last February 22, most preferably at Sharif Kabunsuan Complex than in Malacañan? That would have saved time, money and efforts.

The BTA could have started its mandate on Feb. 23 rather than on March 30, a delay of more than one month.

When MNLF Chair Nur Misuari visited Malacañan last March 20, President Duterte apologized to his “beloved friend” for their unimplemented “agreements” on federalism. Nowhere in its report did PNA mention that the President apologized to the BTA for causing the repeated postponement of the inauguration.

Does this show the President holds Misuari in higher esteem than the BTA?

E-mail: patponcediaz@yahoo.com

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The challenge to today’s youth https://mindanaogoldstardaily.com/the-challenge-to-todays-youth/ Mon, 22 Apr 2019 20:06:28 +0000 https://mindanaogoldstardaily.com/?p=95979 Fr. Roy Cimagala . WITH the holding of the National Youth Day celebration here in Cebu this week, we are again given a chance to take a long and serious look at the situation of today’s youth not only in our country but also all over the world. And let’s see what we can do ...

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Fr. Roy Cimagala .

WITH the holding of the National Youth Day celebration here in Cebu this week, we are again given a chance to take a long and serious look at the situation of today’s youth not only in our country but also all over the world. And let’s see what we can do with the pluses and minuses, the lights and shadows that such consideration would give us.

It is obvious that today’s youth are way different from those in the previous generations in so many respects, like in terms of mentality, behavior and lifestyle, attitude, culture and manners, etc. It should come as no surprise since today’s youth are exposed to a lot more things than those of the past. While every generation is different from the others, the present one seems to be more sharply different.

Today’s youth, in general, seem to know and to use a lot more things in terms of technologies. Aside from the wealth of knowledge that has been accumulated through the ages worldwide and now made more accessible due to the new technologies, they are now freely riding the wave of the many new developments in the areas of the sciences, the arts, and of the course the technologies. They are the digital natives.

These new things, of course, can have double effects. They can be good and bad, depending on how we understand and use them. While we can see a lot of today’s youth empowered greatly because of these new things, we can also see many of them sinking in all forms of anomalies and disorders.

There are those who manage to make good use of the many possibilities the new things offer them, but there also those who are simply confused and lost, trapped in their own self-indulgence. And between the two, I am afraid the latter is far more plenty than the former.

It’s the latter case that we should be more concerned about. They are the ones who seem to mature late when, in fact, the challenges and complications of the times call for them to mature early.

How can we help them? What measures should we use? I am sure we can come out with many ideas and initiatives. But initially these are what come to my mind.

We have to intensify our efforts to give effective accompaniment to our youth. How this can be done is something that should be the object of constant reflection, study, research and consultation.

In spite of difficulties arising from the sharp differences between the young and the old of today, we have to find a way of how these two sectors can go together in the journey of life. We have to find a way of putting together for the benefit of today’s youth the old and the new things in our life, the traditions and the innovations, etc.

What is also needed is that we have to be clear about what would comprise as objectively good for all of us, especially the young, what criteria and standard we can use to measure the maturity of a person, etc.

We cannot deny that the strengthening and deepening of people’s faith in God is crucial in this concern. We also have to work out the development of a genuine spiritual life in the young, because without this, we may be doing a lot of things but would still miss the real thing in life. “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world…,” we are already amply warned.

Some practical pieces of advice are also very much inorder. Like, we have to remind the young ones to go slow in their pursuit for the new things today, and to avoid a multi-tasking work style especially if they do not yet have a proper sense of priority about the different human needs.

Am sure a lot more can be said.

***

From death to a new eternal life. We should never be afraid of death. Though it obviously is not something good, since ultimately it is a consequence of sin, death somehow has become a gateway to our new, eternal life with God, a life of bliss and complete identification with God who wants us to be his image and likeness, children of his, sharers of his nature and life.

This is made possible because death has been redeemed by Christ with his own death and resurrection. Its sting has been removed. Its victory and dominion over us has been crushed. It has been converted as the final means for us to gain the definitive life meant for us. In short, with Christ and with him only, we can transit from death to our new life.

We should not worry if as we approach the end of our earthly life, there will still be many things to be done, problems to be solved, challenges to be tackled. We are not expected to do and solve all of them. We will always die with some unfinished businesses still hanging.

But Christ will take care of all that. What is impossible with us is always possible with him. He has shown this by accepting all the sins of man with his passion and death on the cross, and conquering sin and death itself with his resurrection.

We can say that Christ was not able to solve all the human problems that we have. What he did in the end was simply to assume all these problems, including our sins, by offering his life on the cross as payment or ransom, then he conquered sin and death with his resurrection.

In other words, our redemption or the completion of our creation as image and likeness of God is first of all a fruit of divine power and not of our own effort, though we are expected to do what we can to cooperate.

We know that our cooperation can only go so far. But at least, as long as our cooperation is done with faith, trust and love for God, then God’s divine power can work wonders in us. He can transform us into his image and likeness.

This truth is somehow affirmed when St. Paul said in his first letter to the Corinthians: “When all things are under his (Christ’s) authority, the Son (Christ) will put himself under God’s authority, so that God, who gave his Son authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything everywhere.” (15,28)

Another translation of that passage expresses it more vividly: “…the Son himself will be made subject to him who put all things under him, so that God may be all in all.”

So what we have to understand is that while we do what we can and we do them as best as we can, we should not worry so much if our best efforts cannot solve all our problems due to our sins. It can only prove that the damage due to our sin, which is an offense not only against ourselves but first of all is against God, is beyond our nature to repair. It can only be repaired by God himself with our cooperation.

That is why we can consider ourselves as our own co-redeemer, with Christ understood as the sole redeemer. Our role as co-redeemer does not compromise in any way the truth that Christ is the sole redeemer of mankind. But Christ somehow involves us in the work of redemption precisely because we are supposed to be like him who is the pattern of our humanity.

We have to see to it that whatever situation we may be in, especially when we have problems, we should identify ourselves with Christ, because it is only through him that everything is resolved. Even our death, our biggest unsolvable problem, will be solved!

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Tempting 30 pieces of silver https://mindanaogoldstardaily.com/tempting-30-pieces-of-silver/ Sun, 21 Apr 2019 20:10:51 +0000 https://mindanaogoldstardaily.com/?p=95917 Uriel Quilinguing . WHATEVER was the basis in setting the schedule of elections in the Philippines must be convincing enough for the framers to clearly state it in the 1987 and 1935 Constitutions. In both versions, national and local elections have been explicitly fixed, except barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections which were repeatedly postponed and ...

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Uriel Quilinguing .

WHATEVER was the basis in setting the schedule of elections in the Philippines must be convincing enough for the framers to clearly state it in the 1987 and 1935 Constitutions. In both versions, national and local elections have been explicitly fixed, except barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections which were repeatedly postponed and reset in the past.

As provided for under the 1987 Constitution, elections for the members of Congress and local positions occur every second Monday of May every third year, hence the forthcoming midterm elections on May 13, 2019. Presidential elections are also held on the second Monday of May every six years and all terms of office end and start June 30 of the election year.

Obviously, the month of May is within the country’s summer season when, aside from the lack or absence of rain, teachers need not rush for classes and classrooms are unoccupied by learners. The situation augurs well for the conduct of the electoral exercises in schools and engage the services of teachers since the Commission on Elections do not have enough manpower.

This could have been in the minds of the framers of the 1987 Constitution in the resetting of the election period from what was previously practiced, as provided for under the 1935 Constitution which, admittedly, was patterned after the Constitution of the United States of America. As such, from 1949 to 1971, national and local elections were held every second Tuesday of November of every fourth year starting 1951. This was so because Americans cast their votes too in the month of November.

After the 1986 People Power Revolution, it was but fitting that some vestiges of American dictates should be shed off, one of which was the conduct of elections in the same month. In a similar practice, the observance of Independence Day was first set July 4 since Americans have theirs on this day, too until it was reset earlier to June 12.

Even if the proponent of moving the conduct of elections from November to May failed to explain why, this column entertains the notion that Filipinos’ observance of All Souls’ Day has something to do with it. It was during these years in Philippine history when observers in political exercises claimed even the souls cast their votes; when votes counted surpass the list of registered voters, and when even the dead are still in the list of voters. There were glaring instances when there were those who voted on behalf those long gone.

For those who get elected in the November election, celebrating their successful bid in December, before they assume their respective posts in January the following year, would be fitting. But for those who lost, it would difficult for them to find joy in Christmas.

Now, this column does not believe it’s only by coincidence that elections are to be held every second Monday of May since 1992 since comes after Lent. This time, elections are set May 13, 2019—barely less than a month after Holy Week when Christian believers reflect on the life and passion of Jesus Christ.

Perhaps it was the intention of the authors of the Constitution that elections must be preceded by a period where those seeking public office and the electorates can have honest-to-goodness soul-searching and reflect on the qualities leaders must possess.

They must have been intended this period for candidates to reexamine their lives, whether they have been true to themselves, and their intentions beyond personal motives. There might be instances, once one gets into public office, when 30 pieces of silver could be so tempting, for one to ignore the dictates of one’s conscience.

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