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De La Salle Philippines is a network of Lasallians in the Sector of the Philippines established to facilitate collaboration in the Lasallian Mission and the promotion of the spirit of faith, zeal for service and communion in mission that together, are at the heart of the journey of our Founder, John Baptist de La Salle.

De La Salle Philippines is committed to building up educational communities that demonstrate commitment to young people, especially those who are poor, by providing them with access to a human and Christian education that enables them to participate in the transformation of society.

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Pastoral Letter of Br. Jose Mari Jimenez FSC, Auxiliary Visitor for Philippines, LEAD

Admin

OAVC-1718-044
12 May 2018

Dear Lasallians,

We mourn today. The decision of the Supreme Court on the quo warranto case against Supreme Court Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno is in the words of a dissenting justice, a “legal abomination”. The decision is spawned by the petition of a political appointee of the president. The majority of the justices who swore to defend our Constitution instead, have chosen to give assent to the presidential appointee’s plea.

We mourn today and we grieve. The decision is a death sentence for our continually beleaguered political institutions. The Executive who promised change has failed us for under his watch, the mechanisms that would have ensured accountability have been crushed. The only change that has transpired is our downward regression into political disorder. In the Upper House, the president has incarcerated his fiercest critic. In the Lower House, the president using spoils, has created a subservient supermajority. As the Chief Justice echoed the need to subscribe to the law and respect the fundamental rights of citizens, the President publicly declared her his enemy. In response to this unequivocal expression of the president’s desire, his subordinates have taken all steps necessary and in all forums available to ensure that the Chief Justice is eased out of her position.

We mourn today but let our grieving be brave. Some of our justices may shun from their responsibility to protect our democracy - but we will not. Ours is not a battle for or against the president for the matter at hand is far greater than him. We take up this battle for the young people whom we hoped would never have to witness the dark days of authoritarianism. We who have witnessed how past presidents manipulated the law to serve their interests; we who have witnessed how past governments have turned public institutions away from their mandate to protect the people; we will not be so easily silenced and we refuse to give up.

We mourn but not alone. May our mourning give way to solidarity and our solidarity give birth to hope. Let us work tirelessly to raise up men and women who can be principled and virtuous in their service of others. Let us march arm-in-arm for our children so they can live in a society where their fundamentals rights are respected. Let us fight to expose all attempts at concentrating power and in muting legitimate opposition. And even if others will not, let us take this opportunity to stand by the side of every Filipino who cherishes democracy. May our choices show forth the proud Filipinos that we are – excellent and noble and honorable and brave.

Fraternally,

Br. Jose Mari Jimenez FSC
Auxiliary Visitor for Philippines, LEAD

_____________________________________

 

OAVC-1718-044
12 Mayo 2018

Mga kapwa ko Lasalyano,

Nagdadalamhati ang ating Inang Bayan. Isang malaking paglapastangan sa ating Saligang Batas ang pasya ng Korte Suprema ukol sa quo warranto laban sa Punong Mahistrado, Ma. Lourdes Sereno. Hindi maitatago na ang mga kaganapang ito ay tugon lamang ng mga katiwala ng pangulo sa kanyang mga pahayag. Ipinaalala ng Punong Mahistrado sa pangulo na dapat igalang ang batas at kilalanin ang karapatang pantao ng bawat Pilipino. Sa kanyang tugon, binansagan ng pangulo ang Punong Mahistrado bilang kaaway. Malinaw na kagustuhan ng pangulo na mapatalsik ang Punong Mahistrado sa kanyang tungkulin. At ito na nga ang naganap. Tinalikuran ng ilang mahistrado ng ating Korte Suprema ang kanilang sinumpaang tungkulin na itaguyod ang Saligang Batas. Sa halip, kanilang dininig ang petisyon ng katiwala ng pangulo na mapawalang-bisa ang pagkakahirang kay Sereno bilang Punong Mahistrado.

Damayan natin ang ating Inang Bayan. Siya ay binigo ng pangulo na minsang nangako ng pagbabago. Ang tanging pagbabagong nagaganap ay ang unti-unting pagkawasak ng ating demokrasya. Pansinin ninyong sa Senado ay naipakulong ang pinakamatapang na manuligsa sa pangulo. Maging ang Mababang Kapulungan ay walang lakas upang papanagutin ang pangulo. Waring nagkaisa na ang lahat ng ating mga mambabatas na sang-ayunan na lamang ang anumang panukalang nais na isulong ng pangulo. At sa araw na ito, tayo ay iniwan ring ulila ng Korte Suprema. Wala na yatang nalalabing magtatanggol at magtataguyod ng ating Saligang Batas; sa ating demokrasya; at sa ating mga karapatan bilang Pilipino.

Sa panig ng Inang Bayan. Wala tayong pinapanigang pulitiko. Tayo ay nasa panig ng ating bayan, lalung-lalo na sa panig ng kanyang mga kabataan. Tayo na minsan nang dumanas sa pangangamkam ng kapangyarihan ng mga nagdaang pangulo ay hindi na papayag na muling maulit ito. Nais nating ipamana sa ating mga anak ang isang bayan na kung saan sila ay malaya na makapagpahayag at walang takot na makilahok sa pagpapanday ng maayos na pamahalaan sa ating bansa. Huwag nating isuko ang ating demokrasya.

Tumatangis ang Inang Bayan. Tumatangis man tayo ngayon, hindi naman tayo nag-iisa. Magsama-sama tayong magdamayan. Ipagpatuloy nating paigtingin ang kakayanan ng mga kabataan na maglingkod ng dalisay at walang pag-iimbot. At kahit talikuran ng iba ang kanilang tungkulin sa bayan, hindi natin muling isusuko sa iisang tao ang ating karapatan na likhain ang pagbabagong magpapatunay na ang lahing Pilipino ay mahusay, marangal at magiting.

Sumasainyo,

Br. Jose Mari Jimenez FSC
Auxiliary Visitor for Philippines, LEAD

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