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Change is Coming

Atty. Aurora A. Santiago
Duc in Altum

 

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Roa Duterte, the 16th President of the Philippines, was sworn into office by Supreme Court Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes on June 30 at Rizal Ceremonial Hall of Malacañang Palace. President Rody decided Malacañang as the venue because he does not want to burden the people with heavy traffic should the inauguration be held at Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park (Luneta). Witnessing the oath taking were his children Sara, Paolo and Sebastian while youngest daughter Veronica held for him the Bible of his mother.

Hours earlier, Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Gerona Robredo, the country’s 14th Vice President, took her oath of office before two barangay captains, Ronaldo D. Coner of Barangay Punta Tarawal in Calabanga, Camarines Sur (described as the “smallest, farthest and poorest barangay”) in VP Leni’s home province, Camarines Sur, and Regina Celeste San Miguel of Barangay Mariana, Quezon City where her office is located. She was joined by her daughters Aika and Tricia, while her youngest daughter Jillian held the bible for her.

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In his 5 minutes inaugural speech, Pres. Rody outlined what his governance entails. His speech is direct to the point, no beating around the bush. His sincerity immediately sank in to the mind and heart of the Filipinos that even before he took office, change for the better started; more was observed in just less than a week in office—arrest and surrender of illegal drug users and pushers, curfew hours for youngsters, drinking in streets minimized, cleanliness in Divisoria and Baclaran. He named 5 generals allegedly involved in drug trade. Investigation is going on.

Some of the quotable quotes in President Rody’s inaugural speech: “No leader, however strong, can succeed at anything of national importance or significance unless he has the support and cooperation of the people he is tasked to lead and sworn to serve.”

“I know that there are those who do not approve of my methods of fighting criminality. They say that my methods are unorthodox and verge on the illegal… As a lawyer and a former prosecutor, I know the limits of the power and authority of the president. I know what is legal and what is not… I have no friends to serve, I have no enemies to harm.”

“On the international front and community of nations, let me reiterate that the Republic of the Philippines will honor treaties and international obligations. On the domestic front, my administration is committed to implement all signed peace agreements in step with constitutional and legal reforms.”

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It is true that some finds the unorthodox way how President Rody deals with his war against drugs, criminality and corruption. He described the perspective from which he sees the situation: “I have seen how corruption bled the government of funds, which were allocated for the use in uplifting the poor from the mire that they are in. I have seen how illegal drugs destroyed individuals and ruined family relationships. I have seen how criminality, by means all foul, snatched from the innocent and the unsuspecting, the years and years of accumulated savings. Years of toil and then, suddenly, they are back to where they started. Look at this from that perspective and tell me that I am wrong.”

President Rody is not giving up on the Philippines. In this Jubilee of Mercy he believed that there is still hope for our country. Let us support President Rody as he said “Change must start with us and in us… We have become our own worst enemies, and we must have the courage and the will to change ourselves.”

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Happy 10th Episcopal Anniversary to Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio “Ambo” Siongco David, our beloved Bishop in the Diocese of Kalookan. On the occasion of his anniversary, he launched his book entitled “The Gospel of Mercy According to Juan/a”. The book is a good read for everyone, an outreach of giving hope for our fellowmen, especially in this Jubilee of Mercy.

Here are the reviews made by prominent persons led by His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle: “I consider the present collection of stories by Bishop Ambo and Nina as God´s gift of mercy to us on this Jubilee…Their stories are a testament to the transforming power of God´s mercy… Thanks Bishop Ambo, Nina and your friends, the story-tellers of mercy!”

Fr. Catalino G. Arevalo, S.J., Emeritus Professor of Theology, Loyola School of Theology: “Read between the lines and discover how mercy flows freely at the most unexpected places, in the unlikeliest circumstances, in the company of family, friends or stranger—fruit of Divine love and compassion towards all of creation… A book of many stories— drawn from real life…”

Prof. Randy S. David, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of the Philippines: “True mercy does not discriminate because it claims nothing for itself. It is most profound when the beneficiary is not known or related to the benefactor. Therefore, while charity may begin at home, it never begins with oneself, but always with the Other.”

Ms. Laurice Guillen, Multi-awarded Filmmaker, Actress and Writer: “In a world that has seemingly gone dark, where darkness is in men’s eyes, there is much need of Mercy. “The Gospel of Mercy According to Juan/a” addresses that need, brings us to see how the light of Jesus continues to enkindle the world through those who have received his mercy. In this Year of Mercy, this book is very timely!”

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Happy Sacerdotal Anniversary to the Kalookan Clergy Fr. Antonio Nopasa, Fr. Rey Amante, Fr. Mariano Bartolome, Jr., Fr, Richard Montaner, MSC and Fr. Christopher Tibong, OFM who recently transferred assignment. Birthday greetings also go to Fr. James Anthony del Rosario, Fr. Joey Enriquez, Fr. Kennedy Neral, Fr. Ronaldo Pedroso, Fr. George Alfonso, MSC, Fr. Luis Zapata, IVE, Fr. Rodrigo Salazar, Jr., SVD, and Fr. Joseph Anacleto Mananzan, SVD. Happy Birthday also to my niece, Mary Gretchen Rosales-Castro, the eldest daughter of my eldest sister Violeta Santiago-Rosales.

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