Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Disarming the Church

The on-going Senate hearing on the controversial donation of PCSO to some Catholic bishops is an evidence that the current Malacanang occupant is determined on its all-out war against the Catholic Church. And Noynoy Aquino and his horde of yellow army has stacked ammos of smears and lies fired against the bold Church.

Never in its long history has the Philippine Catholic Church been subjected to such direct assault. The ferocity with which the Aquino regime is devouring the institution surely makes the Marcos dictatorship look tame and benevolent. Why, not even the Marcoses never had the gall to antagonize even more the Church that never waiver on its opposition to the dictatorship.

So why then, is Noynoy hell-bent on attacking the religious institution? Why is this government covertly and overtly launching malicious attacks on the Church?

Why? It is because the Catholic Church is the only remaining group capable of offering serious challenge to the Aquino regime. After traditional politicians traded off their green, red, orange and blue hats and donned the yellow one, the Catholic Church still stands firm on its social commitment. After the political capitulation of the Left, cause-oriented and civil society groups to Noynoy and the absence of a credible and cohesive opposition, the Catholic Church has no other choice but to stand its ground and become the voice of dissent.

The Church is no stranger when in comes to this predicament. During the dark years of martial rule it tirelessly educate and organize the people. Its exploits through its social action centers are admirable and almost legendary. Pastoral workers and priests' organizing efforts in Tondo culminated in the strike of La Tondena workers at a time when such labor actions was outlawed. PECCO organized communities and mobilized them even when martial law prohibited public assembly. Thanks to the Second Vatican Council.

After Vatican II Countil, the Catholic laiety and clergy were envigorated and emboldened with the relatively fresh and novel concepts of liberation theology, social pastoral works and total human development.

The Philippine Catholic Church began its journey towards becoming a true church of the people. Suddenly it was immersed in social and political issues, preaching not only spiritual salvation but also, social emancipation. It even adopted the provocative Medellin Document as it denounces social inequities and oppression of man by capitalism, feudalism and Marxist materialism. The Catholic Church enshrined the conviction that man is the center of creation.

Its social pastoral works both widened and deepened. It established social action centers organizing basic sectors and providing them with trainings and services. Church workers even reached far-flung rural areas organizing basic Christian communites and parish-based pastoral councils.

The Church possesses the organization, the means and above all, the fervor to mount serious opposition and advance its causes like agrarian reform, among others. In fact, immediately after the presidential election of 2010, the Church called on Noynoy to resolve the agrarian issue that is Hacienda Luisita. This is the main reason why Noynoy wants the Catholic Church politically disarmed. Noynoy wants to discredit the Catholic Church, even tie its hands to a point where it is politically weak.

Fortunately for Noynoy, he found ravenous lapdogs willing to do the barking and the biting for him. First there's Beth Angsioco of Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP) who portrayed the Catholic Church as anti-poor because it does not support the contentious Reproductive Hell Bill. To make her point, she repeatedly and should I say maliciously, ran in her Manila Standard Today column the list of the Church's stockholdings. Angsioco didn't even bother to note that many of the shares that the Church owns were donations.

Another attack dog of Noynoy's is Margie Juico the current chairman of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO). She maliciously told in a press conference that some Catholic bishops requested for luxury cars that later turned out to be second-hand utility vehicles. The SUV's were requested by bishops not for their personal use and comfort but for the apostolate works of their respective diocese.

If the last name Juico rings a bell, it's because Margie is the wife of Popoy Juico, Cory's DAR secretary who figured in the infamous Garchitorena land scam. Margie herself was accused by former PCSO chairman Mita Pardo de Tavera as involved in a milk-feeding program.

Supporting Margie Juico in the smear campaign is the holier-than-thou Director Aleta Tolentino. I thought that readers of this blog would be interested to know how clean Dir. Tolentino really so here is the NBI charge sheet against Tolentino for swindling and estafa.

No one can ascertain the extent of damage the Catholic Church sustained from the blows Noynoy dealt upon it. Bishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz said he's afraid that these attacks against the Church could boomerang. The dirty scalawags that Noynoy commissioned to politically disarm the Church are now on the defensive. As a matter of fact, Margie already called for a truce. Ain't karma a bitch?

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