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High Blood

The seniors speak

I have mixed emotions about the present administration. There are rage, disappointment, and frustration, but what can I do considering the limitations of age?  My participation so far has consisted of comments on Facebook which I consider limp, for if I wanted to say it all, an imitation of the expletives of President Duterte would have sufficed with full satisfaction, for it would have leveled the playing field. But I feel it unbecoming to hurl lewd, bawdy expletives toward anyone, much less a representative of the president of our beloved country.

Asuncion “Sony” Maramba, in a commentary in the Inquirer, asks: “Is it time for a militant Church?” (Opinion, 9/17/17). It was encouraging, for it drew attention to the timid participation of our Church in addressing the political anomalies that have now become uncontrollable. We had for a long time awaited a more aggressive Church reaction, for as Sony said, lighting candles and tolling of bells are responses too soft to address the acts of impunity flaunted with such hubris. In the decades past, the sacred rituals of the Church supposedly hindered satanic influences, but not anymore, for evil has become more inventive, callous and inhuman. Today the devil’s advocate and his cohorts rule.

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Several seniors in my group have come up with their lamentations and have decided to give voice to their frustrations. Dita Domogalla, one of our “junior” seniors, has this to say: “How did our current political leaders incite the Filipino to become so vicious, angry and devoid of morals? Yet these leaders cannot remain in power without the support of so many of our people. We are desperately in need of a leader. Who else to look to but our Church leaders? We need our Cardinal to step out of his gentle manner and lead us with courage. We are ready to heed his call, for to wait is to allow evil to win.” Indeed, support for Mr. Duterte remains high in spite of the gruesome killings encouraged by no less than himself.

But Iding Llamas begs to differ. She opts for a more tolerant attitude toward the Church’s lack of aggressive support, saying that Cardinal Chito Tagle’s “deliberation” mirrors the Church stand that “an aggressive militancy may not be right at present.”

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Addressing the Church hierarchy with an impassioned plea, Marcia Sandoval wonders: “Where is the Catholic Church in this very critical problem of our times?  The Church has stated that they are the Guardians of the Poor, and it is the poor who are now most oppressed. They are waiting; they do not need church bells, candles, or endless rosaries! They need to be guided by a leader ingrained with the spirit of a Cardinal Sin; the poor need to be helped desperately. Cardinal Tagle and the entire Church hierarchy, please give our poor a stronger touch of concern and compassion!” I sense much impatience in Marcia’s response.

In one of the many pocket rallies of Sept. 21 to mark the anniversary of Ferdinand Marcos’ declaration of martial law 45 years ago, Gloria Alcuaz narrated what was for her a very touching experience when she attended a Mass at San Agustin Church celebrated by Bishop Ambo David, an activist. She was impressed by the heavy turnout of members of families of victims of extrajudicial killings and of religious congregations, many dressed in “fiery red,” the color of anger and dissent. She said they were “gathered to fight an oppression by a president and government officials who have turned against their countrymen in blind loyalty, or for fear, power and money.”

We had anticipated that by this time in our lives we would be sitting in the comfort of our wheelchairs watching the world go by, content in the thought that we have indeed “been there and done that.” But not yet, for we have to join voices with the clamor against EJKs, blatant lies, and an attempt by the Marcos family to change history.

Till then, the seniors speak.

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Carmelita Roxas Natividad, 86, describes herself as a retired mother and active grandmother who likes to write, garden and bake, in that order.

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TAGS: Asuncion Maramba, Carmelita Roxas Natividad, High Blood, militant Chruch
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