Holy Angel University: No involvement in recruitment or communist-related activities | Inquirer Opinion

Holy Angel University: No involvement in recruitment or communist-related activities

/ 05:01 AM September 30, 2020

The Holy Angel University (HAU), as a Catholic institution of higher learning, places itself at the service of Truth, truth not merely as a concept but as a person in our Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6). Truth is the teaching of our Lord; any deviation therefrom is a disservice to Him. HAU, at the service of this truth, continues to holistically develop students to become more conscientious, competent, and compassionate. Forefront to this is the preaching and living of the Truth, a relevant aspect to the development of the moral fiber of society.

Recently, Facebook took down 155 accounts, 11 pages, nine groups, and six Instagram accounts for violating its policy against foreign or government interference, which involve trolls and fake accounts, including posts about the red-tagging of schools, HAU included.

It is in this sense that HAU strongly decries the use of the university’s brand and image in the red-tagging that surfaced on social media recently. These posts cite “Holy Angel Academy [sic] Pampanga,” along with two other higher education institutions, as alleged recruitment basins of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) in Central Luzon. The red-tagging of HAU, with a reference to “Holy Angel Academy Pampanga,” appears to be based on an article in the Manila Times dated Oct. 8, 2018, that was written by Rigoberto Tiglao. He wrote that “The claim by an Army general that the [CPP] has been recruiting students in the country’s universities to join it and its [NPA] is nothing new,” and cited Bernabe Buscayno, the first commander of the NPA, and his associates Nilo Tayag and Rodolfo Salas as HAU alumni.

While the University recognizes them as part of its roster of alumni, recruitment, or any other communist-related activities, is not happening on our watch. Rather, HAU continually educates and forms its students to practice vigilance and prudence in joining organizations. As a recommended Catholic college of the Cardinal Newman Society for faithful Catholic education, our Code of Conduct prohibits “membership in any organization which is anti-Catholic, or whose philosophy is in any way contrary to the ethical or moral teachings of the Catholic Church.”

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The world today faces the father of lies — Satan — who, since there is no truth in him (John 8:44), sows disinformation and discord. As seekers, we need to sow and speak the truth, an act of charity for one another. Pope Francis himself said that sowing fake news is a grave sin against charity (Pope Francis, Speech to the Catholic Media, 2017).

HAU, being a partner for the propagation of truth, likewise urges the government to shed light on the fake accounts purportedly connected to the Philippine military and the police. While we believe that as a Catholic institution it is our duty to obey and respect authorities (1 Timothy 2:1-3), we expect no less commitment from our government, that it may continue its moral ascendancy to govern (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1900-1903).

The University continually dedicates itself to being an agent of truth, because, like our bishops, it believes that a just society depends on truth (CBCP, Consecrate them in the Truth, 2017).

Finally, HAU echoes the exhortation of the CBCP:

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To refrain from patronizing, popularizing, and supporting identified sources of “alternative facts” or “fake news.”

To rebut and refute falsehoods whenever people are in possession of facts and of data.

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To refuse to be purveyors of fake news, and to desist from disseminating this whether on social media, by word of mouth, or through any other form of public expression.

To identify the sources of fake news so that our brothers and sisters may be duly alerted and may know which media and which sites to shun.

Let us pray that we may all be consecrated in the Truth (John 17:17). For the greater glory of God! Laus Deo semper!

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Dr. Luis María R. Calingo
University President
Holy Angel University

TAGS: communist recruitment, Holy Angel University, Letters to the Editor

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