Wednesday, December 30, 2015

71.77% of Death Penalty Cases

Acquitting the Guilty - and Condemning the Innocent, the LORD Detests them Both ~Proverbs 17:15 

Wrongful Conviction and the Case for Forensic Evidence in the Philippine Criminal Justice System ‪* Albert Lee G. Angeles

#‎NOTODEATHPENALTY‬

Source: The Ateneo Law Journal
Source: People vs. Mateo 433 SCRA 640 (2004)
Source: http://www.ateneolawjournal.com/Media/uploads/aa90f8e6a3754c2c9a445e3bfa6c8828.pdf

Sunday, December 27, 2015

"Away"


I wonder how it would be like to put up a house over there. I guess water would be a problem. I would have to go down with a bucket in hand, slide down the stones and go to the river farther below. From here, I could trace a path. But then again, everything looks smaller than they probably are. The trees for one, look like they're tiny broccolis. They could be as high as 20 to 30 feet. So getting a bucket of water would probably take half the day. By the time I'd get back up, it would have been useless.

The winds might be too strong. So the house would have to be shaped like an igloo. I came up with the idea after Glenda the typhoon hit us. Oh yes, Glenda. She felled not less than fifteen of our biggest trees. Winds that strong are becoming more common. But that's another life. Right now, is all that matters. Maybe, I'd build a house here. Raise a family and have a job as a writer.

"Tale weaver" does sound better.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Duterte Supporters: You Might as Well Do it Right, Well, Sort of... /s

If you really want a self-professed vigilante iron fist cum dictator ubermensch for president, you might as well do it right, well, sort of... /s

First of all, what you ideally want is a police state under Federalism. At least, that is what I am assuming because what I really see is the anarchical tendencies of espousing vigilantism.

Sa Tagalog, kung hindi anarchy o military dictatorship ang gusto niyo, Police State ang angkop na deskripsyon sa inyong adhikain. Not unless you really want a military dictatorship, which does not make sense because that would mean Duterte has to form his own military junta, if he hasn’t already. Kung gayon, e wag na lang tayo magkaroon ng eleksyon dahil aanuhin pa natin ang Demokrasya kung ganon lang naman pala ang gusto ninyo.

BUT...

Every Writer's Dream Job


A crow visited me again. Fearful though it was, it squawked nevertheless. Obeying the bidding of its master, it came perchance to see my state of affairs. Choice morsels bedazzling its eyes, fear brought it hunger and hunger brought it fear.

Restrained my hand though it was, with calm demeanor I spoke to it. Fire glistening in my eyes. I'd love to see those black come to roast.

But I spoke to it instead.

It squawked.

Wanting, wanting, obeying its master.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Religion in the Top 12 Best - and Worst Countries to Live in the World


  • Where would you like to live?
  • What is the ideal life?
  • Does belief/religion play a central role in answering these questions?

CNN's World's Top 12 Places to Live according to London Based Legatum Index

I added religious information on each country and tried to fit them in one chart. The methodology is very very very crude. This would not pass academic standards by any means. I collated the data on December 21, 2015. Half a day's work of gathering data which is very jumbled and heavily biased (wikipedia).

I strongly suggest that you do your own research. Don't be lazy. Research, verify and form your own opinion.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Mortem Rationis? The End Does Not Justify the Means

Break the Law to Enforce the Rule of Law?

The question is moot and academic as the majority (at least in the polls and in the media) have voiced their antagonizing fanaticism with a resounding 'Yes, crucify him! Crucify him!'.

I can only watch in grave dismay as people even rationalize the very thought. 

Have we really deteriorated, degenerated to such an extent of low level intellectual discourse? Basing from the viewpoints I see on social media and in the dank and putrid comment sections of major dailies, there is not even a hint of 'discourse' to speak of. There's only irrational vitriol, death threats, blind fanaticism and macabre blood thirst. Maybe, this populace has seen too much 'Walking Dead' or 'Game of Thrones'.
"We need 'X' because he loves the country so much."
"X may be a murderer, but X is 'our murderer!"
"We love you X!!!"
I can only bow my head and shudder.  

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Elon Musk's Ark Forgot This in His Doomsday Mars Colonization Project


Tech visionary, billionaire, CEO, innovator and real world Iron Man Elon Musk, neglected one crucial aspect of his ambitious and somewhat apocalyptic Mars Colonization project: the humans he would be sending to Mars, well, are still humans.

  • The SpaceX founder is set to unveil plans to Colonize Mars within the year and hopefully, undertake the mission before "radical extremism and World War III" makes it impossible (Daily Mail UK)
  • Musk, along with Bill Gates and Stephen Hawking also believe that Artificial Intelligence pose a big threat to mankind's survival (Observer.com)
  • Musk believes that World War III will set the world back technologically and would therefore make it harder if not impossible to achieve the mission.
The backdrop of several ships carrying millions of people out of Earth amidst a raging nuclear war instigated by radical extremists is reminiscent of a movie with one glaring plot hole: free will and man's destructive nature. Politics is politics whether you bring it to Mars or Pluto.

Don't forget to mention that the whole thing seems like a high tech evolution of the Biblical story Noah's Ark.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Rich Church Poor Church

*Before everything, bagyo nanaman. Expect power failure and water supply interruption. We only have rice until the next two days and vegetables until three days. Our LPG gas has run out sana hindi magbrown out.

Another typhoon another lesson...?

I'm publishing this incompletely because I feel that baka magbrownout. As usual my very slow Internet connection is slowing me down. Don't judge the text before I reach my conclusion. 
----

Were churches ever meant to become this monolithic, influential and rich? 

Some congregations actually feel like they’re “franchised” and "branded" in the same manner as businesses. One moment, there was nothing or just a small 'humble' group, the next pops out a brand new building with all the shiny bells, whistles and air-conditioning. Then another. Then another. Parang jollibee.

But again let’s delve back on the definition of 'church'. News Advent, a ‘Catholic Encyclopedia’ website defines it as:
The term church (Anglo-Saxon, cirice, circe; Modern German, Kirche; Swedish, Kyrka) is the name employed in the Teutonic languages to render the Greek ekklesia (ecclesia), the term by which the New Testament writers denote the society founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Society. Congregation. Assembly. Group of people worshiping and following Jesus Christ.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

When Everyone's a Writer...

Everyone has a story to tell.

As I obsessed about the bleeding of the world on a daily basis, I noticed one thing. It's like a macabre craving. Reading, processing, imagining and falling through the sand pit of making sense with all that's going on right now.

World news doesn't just make sense anymore. We seem to be engrossed with its trappings like a nicotine fix.

Nations rise and fight each other, with sordid tales of horror and macabre transgressions.

Everyone collectively gasps and swipes through every detail. In every swipe you'll find a crime against humanity.

Paris, San Bernardino, Syria...

Meanwhile, life goes on.

Everybody seems to be needing a real estate writer.

How about writing Syrian real estate? Get paid $10. Write a 500 word essay about that. The economy's on the uptick, with all the oil sales. Prospectors are hungry. Arms sales are up. And the Jihadi government is making strides in establishing foreign policy.

A Merry ISIS Christmas.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Is Religion a Business? The Answer May Surprise You


One pleasant afternoon, I was drinking coffee and speaking with the president of an organization.

"Religion is a business you know." the man told me.

I was not able to reply because I knew that I wouldn't be able to go inside the intricacies of the matter. Talking is cumbersome and prone to error. I would not be able to proofread a delicate matter on the fly.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Tribulation






44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

*UPDATED: Citizens Crime Watch Solicitation for Christmas Party


Magandang araw din po,

Maligayang pasko!

Nais ko po sanang ipukaw sa pansin ang isyu tungkol sa Christmas party ninyo. Nawa'y sana ay magkaintindihan tayo at sana'y maging maaliwalas ang ating kuro kuro.

Gusto ko po sanang ipaalam din sa inyo na sa ngayon ay hindi ko alam kung makakapag Christmas party ang aking sariling pamilya.

Ang hanapbuhay ko po ay isang real estate broker ngunit wala pa akong naibebenta. Kasalukuyang umaasa sa tulong ng aking ina.

Anim po ang anak ko. Lima ang babae. Isa ang lalaki.  Lahat sila ay maliliit pa.

Siguro at dahil naimprenta ninyo ang aking pangalan dito sa papel ay kilala ninyo ako bagamat hindi ko kayo kilala.


Bagamat gipit po ang aming pamilya mula ng mamatay ang aking ama na si Atty. Reynaldo C. Garcia, kami'y nangangarap na isaayos itong munting lupang namana namin na sa kasalukuyan ay hindi nasa magandang kaayusan. Maraming kadahilanan, maraming problema.



Nagbabayad po kami ng buwis sa mga awtoridad ng ameliar, sa city hall, sa BIR at iba pa.

Batid ko po na non-government organization po kayo.

Nais ko lamang pong ipaalam sa inyo na kasalukuyang namamalengke ang aking asawa tangan tangan ang 2000 piso.

1000 piso po noon ay para sa pagkain namin sa isang linggo. Ang 1000 pisong natira ay pamasahe ng aking asawa na kasalukuyang pumapasok sa AMA upang sana'y makapagtapos ng Real Estate Management.

Dun sa isang libong piso po na iyon, 100 lang po ang aking kayang ibigay. Sana po ay maintindihan ninyo.

Mahirap po ang mamuhay sa Pilipinas.

Bilang mga kilalang tao, siguro po'y naiintindihan ninyo ang aming sitwasyon.

Ilan po kaya sa inyong mga board member ay may sasakyan?

Ako'y wala pong sasakyan at sumasakay lamang sa tricycle, nagje-jeep at nagbu-bus.

Sa ganitong pagtatapos, nais ko po sana kayong batiin ng maligayang pasko at sana po ay maging maaliwalas ang inyong Christmas Party.


Daniel Andrei R. Garcia


It turns out that there are laws/bills for this pala:

P.D. 1564 - PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 1564 AMENDING ACT NO. 4075, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE SOLICITATION PERMIT LAW
 
Section 2. Any person, corporation, organization, or association desiring to solicit or receive contributions for charitable or public welfare purposes shall first secure a permit from the Regional Offices of the Department of Social Services and Development as provided in the Integrated Reorganization Plan. Upon the filing of a written application for a permit in the form prescribed by the Regional Offices of the Department of Social Services and Development, the Regional Director or his duly authorized representative may, in his discretion, issue a permanent or temporary permit or disapprove the application. In the interest of the public, he may in his discretion renew or revoke any permit issued under Act 4075.
Inquirer.net: Just follow the law 
 

Apostol said even the Ombudsman Visayas had to secure a permit from DSWD when the anti-graft office conducted a solicitation drive for its anti-corruption theatrical play. He then showed reporters a copy of the DSWD permit.
HOUSE BILL 3225: Protect the Public from Unscrupulous Solicitations

There's a proposed law in Congress which seeks to protect the general public from unscrupulous persons soliciting funds for questionable purposes.

[Hon. Josephine R. Sato] "While giving and sharing are virtues to emulate, there are also people who take advantage of people's open-heartedness to pursue selfish personal interests," Rep. Josephine Ramirez Sato lamented.

Rep. Sato is author of HB 3225, to be known as "The Public Solicitation Act of 2013", which would establish the standards and guidelines for organization, agencies, groups and individuals undertaking such solicitation activities.

Public solicitation under the proposed Act refers to any activity or project intended to generate funds, goods, or other assistance from the public sectors for charitable and/or public welfare purposes.

Public welfare purposes refer to activities or projects relative to health, education, peace, social welfare and protection, environmental safety, rights, security and safety or citizens and similar circumstances or conditions.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Love is Not Possible Without Free Will: Atheism, Religion, Christianity

"We've known each other for how long?" I asked. 

 "Ever since I met your father and I saw you mopping the floor in his office." 

"I know it sounds a little off-character, and I do understand it will affect our relationship, but I need help. Anyway, the Bible says, 'Seek and ye shall find, ask and it shall be given...' So, I'm just asking, I just need to buy a few goats, maybe some sheep and a grass cutter so I can fix the farm. I need help, and I'm asking you to invest in the farm." 

"Yes, the bible says that. But, I'm sorry, it's just not there, I'm sorry." he said.
"Have you ever tried this dish?" 

"Nope." I said. 

 "It's called, 'fool' a Mediterranean dish. Would you like to try it?" 

Life is complicated
We can only know the things that we have been made to know. We usually think in terms of A + B + C = D where:
  • A is equals to "thing/event/knowledge" we know for sure 
  •  B is equals to "thing/event/knowledge" we know a little about 
  • C is equals to something we don't know about 
  • D is what we think is happening now 
  •  The rest of the alphabet and beyond are the things we do not know. 

And D is rarely the complete truth of "the now". Most of the time, the formula is more complicated, far beyond we can put or represent in mathematical terms.

News: Britain no longer a Christian nation

Unfortunately, life, social life, thoughtful life is not like physics or math...

Read: Coming out as an atheist

When does a person actually become an atheist? The truth is, it's complicated. There's no ceremony for that.

That's why religion makes use of ceremonies - baptism, mass, sacraments, etc. It formalizes the whole "identification" thing. You have been baptized as a Catholic, so you are Catholic. You stick with that group, you talk, you think, you act like them. You exist in their system of beliefs, so everything you do should be in that realm.

But it's rarely as simple as that.

Even though the Philippines is 80%-90% Catholic Christian, a lot are actually pagan-like. A lot actually don't believe. But they do so in secret. A lot actually, do not understand and do not even read the bible.

They're just afraid.

Superstition is a powerful fear maker
Coming out openly and challenging God in public is just plain bad luck. Bad luck for business, bad luck for life. And it's not just superstitious bad luck. It's real world bad luck. People have feelings and if you say things that make them change their world view - you create uncertainty inside of them. People will never buy from people who make them feel scared.

Then we go back to Duterte, who cursed, maybe not at the pope - but in the same sentence.

Rodrigo Duterte is a Presidential candidate in the Philippines who is known as the tough talking (and maybe) tough acting Mayor of Davao City. He currently leads the polls. 

At 70, he has nothing to lose. I believe that he is coming out with his truth now that he is old. I believe that all the things that he is saying, are all the things genuinely in his mind. His Veritas. He admitted having been sexually abused by a priest when he was young. He admitted to killing. Would he have said the things he is saying as a nobody like me? Most likely no. Lest he incur the wrath of 80% to 90% of 100 million people.

As macabre, scary, inhuman as it sounds - it's beautiful. The truth is beautiful.

Free Will, God and the Religion of Churches 
From my own perspective, belief and submission are necessary in social and political life.

Outside religion, we are not yet in a stage in our collective existence, where we have the answers to everything. We don't.

This uncertainty is problematic when you have various social and political groups that are vying for the same scarce resources. Who gets to say the right thing, who is right? Who gets to lay down the law?

Without a supreme Being that everyone obeys, this becomes a problem. More often than not - it is the politically strongest - and that is problematic to Democratic societies.

Take a look at nations like China or North Korea, communist/socialist nations where the majority is atheist. Where religion is forbidden. Laws are made by whoever has power. So if your leader is Kim Jong Un, his status is almost demi-godlike.

He says, "kill this man". The man gets killed, no due process, no investigations, no nothing.

Scary huh?

The philosophical implications of whether there really is a God or not be damned because the physical world will limit us individually but most importantly socially.

That: If God is not real, then where does the church (any church) derive its authority? 

Nowhere.

That is the reason why politicians grovel at various church leader's feet. That's why INC, the Catholic church and other various Christian sects are frequent stops of politicians.

It's not about them giving credence or worship to God, it's about the number of people who follow these religious leaders. Consequently, the number of votes and implied political support through the influence of these leaders.

That is the real blessing patted on the head of any political candidate.

Uncertainty is scary for many
Do you have kids? How do you feed them? Where do you work? What's your business? Who pays you? Who buys your goods?

Religion has also established their own micro-economic systems within the bigger framework of secular civic life.

Let me repeat that.

Religion has also established their own micro-economic systems within the bigger framework of secular civic life. 

That's why trade, fairness, social justice are intrinsically part of the bible. Secular society just evolved the other rules to adapt them to fair trading and charitable behavior. But as long as it keeps the peace, then it should be the prevailing framework. The status quo of orderly society is preserved.

Look at churches and schools in the Philippines. They are mostly located in good business spots, in the central business and political districts of any Filipino city.

Look at our traditions and the system of holidays. It centers mostly on religion and tradition, absent which, you will feel left out and not part of the group. And those are all important facets of life. To the unthinking majority, that's the norm.

That's just life.

But I'm not the majority. 

I'm at a stage where I don't really know if there really is a God. I just know that an anthropomorphic omniscient God is necessary for a civilized society. My emotions want me to have a God, who will or has sacrificed for me.

Different societies, different reactions, different effects (remember life is complicated) Some secular nations are doing just fine, the current complications of radical religion notwithstanding.

But take this for instance, why is it that when I began to question (like in my previous post - 'Yes God We Are Daring You'), that life suddenly began becoming more difficult for me? Suddenly problems, (that are most likely caused by humans) are happening.

And these problems, are made known to me by certain people who control my finances, my livelihood. 

In the same way that when I do 'right' things, (like TITHE 10%) for instance, then these right things and wrong things still happen, but wrong things get solved by somebody (miracurously)?

Bad luck??

It's sad.

Maybe I have fallen outside the grace of this micro-economic enterprise by doing what? Stopping tithing and start questioning? But don't you get it?

THAT IF THERE WAS REALLY A GOD, THAT I SHOULD BE ABLE TO EXERCISE MY FREE WILL?

BECAUSE IF THERE WAS A REAL LOVING GOD, WHO LONGS TO BE WORSHIPED AND LOVED THEN THAT GOD SHOULDN'T MIND THAT EVERY NOW AND THEN I THINK AND QUESTION ESPECIALLY WHEN HE DOES NOT MANIFEST?

LOVE IS NOT POSSIBLE WITHOUT FREE WILL.

Monday, December 07, 2015

The Road to Calvary

Bless them that curse you - Matthew 5:44


44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, 
bless them that curse you, 
do good to them that hate you, 
and pray for them which despitefully use you, 
and persecute you;

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Now More Than Ever...

Matthew 5:44

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[i] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 

Matthew 5:44 

~ image from unsplash.com

Saturday, December 05, 2015

There's a Duterte in All of Us

...and why it must be stopped.



Pain. Rage. Anger. Fury. Justice.

They are familiar companions. As I lit a huge fire made of dried twigs and leaves, I shouted at the top of my lungs at the darkness. My throat hurt and my voice grew hoarse, the flames emboldened. Smoke from the fire I made went inside my lungs. Fury demanded an answer. This was its moment. Time passed, the embers glowed.

Still nothing replied.

The darkness smirked silently with its eyes aglow at the display of raw anger, pain and vehemence. Yet it did not dare to come and show itself.

I doused some more gasoline on the fire, the flames roared. The skin on my body tingled with searing heat. That was the angriest moment of my entire life.

Furious at these... sorry excuses. They who did things in dark corners. They who brag about their travails of darkness. Everything about them repulsed my being.

As Duterte said, "I can see no redeeming factor - not a single iota of redemption..."

Of this, I can write nothing good, I know. But this was the truth's stand. For long it has slept and shackled itself. The Word bound it.

I saw humanity with no rules except it's own desires. 

Indeed they like their dark corners.

Sometimes, they can appear like a weak and kind old man, smiling with a gentle voice. People get easily taken by these. Surely, old men with gentle voices can do no harm.

I hear stories of them. They in their tiny shanties and of the little children they keep. I see these men going to church. Atoning for their sins maybe, atoning for their weakness. In their frailty hides a demon so maleficent that you would not notice it.

The stronger among them, plot in the darkest corners. They spew their intoxicated, twisted and convoluted apprehension of reality.

They twist the truth with medieval effort. They claim righteousness and the crowds cheer for them. Oh how the crowds applaud for the things they hear.

Flies swirl around their food as they pick from it.

But when the light of fire comes, they go scampering away.

...Eager to stick to a benefactor that abides by their twisted tongues, they praise the name of the bellicose and the corrupt. To the ears of the un-hearing, everything sounds good and righteous. But always the case, that it is in the darkness that they plot.

Their weapon of choice is treachery, they will befriend you. They will try to make your heart feel at ease with stories that can break your heart. Of these, they always have somebody to blame.

There has to be another way other than Duterte.

There are many who badly need fixing. Broken jars beyond the repair of any man.

I've seen most of their kind.

Yes. I've seen most of their kind.

Alas, redemption, has not yet shown it's face.

God has not answered.

Sometimes I ask myself if Duterte should indeed be unleashed.

That debate goes on in my mind incessantly. The answer almost always comes out as "No. Lest we turn into monsters like them. No, lest the darkness binds us too."

Friday, December 04, 2015

The World Spiritual Crisis

Religion is about control over people's beliefs. 
**Hello..... I am not anti religion!!!!

So, if any entity wants to punish me for writing go ahead. Take away my land. Take away my home. Take away all the 'blessings'. Take away all the things that prevent the scourge that plagues my crops. Go ahead and starve me. My children. My future and their future. Go ahead.

I am writing because it's the truth. It's my truth. If you want to punish me for doing that, THY WILL BE DONE.
---
Belief is the most powerful thing on Earth.

It can push people to do amazing wonderful good works / "miracles" / sacrificial charity. But it can also push people to become suicide bombers - soldiers willing to kill and die for something.

That's the sole reason why it is being used by groups like ISIS.

Wars and conflicts are not solely caused by religion. I repeat, wars that sounded like they're about religion is not solely about religion.

Religion was meant to be a tool. Get people to believe that they'll see paradise if they blow themselves up and you have a formidable fighting force. ISIS points that out by making fun of the American soldiers and how many of them commit suicide.

The underlying assumption is that - these American soldiers have killed, committed atrocities and have asked themselves what they killed for, and if they do not believe in a God that would forgive them and reward them for it, they would have killed and died for nothing.

They would have killed and died for the riches of some politician, some vague notion of 'freedom', some oil businessmen. Add depression and post traumatic stress disorder and you have the phenomenon of American soldiers committing suicide.

Wars are about land, power, wealth and ultimately - control over how people live. 

Again, I am not anti religion.

I am writing this primarily because of the Duterte issue. But I am also writing this with thoughts about ISIS, Philippine politics, Duterte, religion, the shootings in the US and some personal things that I am experiencing.

Yes, I can relate all of them. Because they're all about the Philippines' silent spiritual crisis.

They're about the world' spiritual crisis.

All of them.

The NY Daily News Cover After the Wake of the San Bernardino Shootings


Read: Duterte is like Religion by Rigoberto Tiglao in the Manila Times

The more familiar quote from Marx on religion, however, is that it is “the opium of the masses.” Our metaphor here breaks down a bit, and we have to amend it.

The difference with opium

Duterte is totally unlike the effect of opium on the psyche: drowsiness and dreamless sleep after a brief euphoria.

Duterte is more like shabu, or methamphetamine, and the Wikipedia description fits Duterte: “Elevated mood, increased alertness, energy in fatigued individuals, reduced appetite and weight loss.”

Translate that individual feeling to a political one, read his fans’ delirious Facebook postings praising him, and the picture that emerges: Duterte has stimulated an elevated political mood and alertness in the body politic, and a renewed sense of hope for people so sick of our political and social system.

But shabu is shabu and it is an artificial, even dangerous, chemical that creates illusions.

As shabu obliterates the past, Duterte totally obliterates civilization’s past with his boasts of killing kidnappers and rapists as soon as they are captured.


Again, I implore you to read the whole thing from the Manila Times. It makes the most sense.

Duterte symbolizes the epitome of a civilization bereft of any moral limitation. A civilization with no God to make the rules. Absolute freedom. He boasts about killing, he boasts about womanizing, he boasts about disrespecting the pope, he openly uses vulgar language but most of all he boasts - of his power. No lawyer or police officer can touch this Presidential candidate.

You would think that the majority would collectively gasp at this notion of absolute freedom. No, they cheered him on. They hooted and they howled to their delight. I have seen this collective behavior before.

The masses are so tired of the same dance in politics, that bring about no real change, that they so desperately crave a man of action, a man who speaks what they have been whispering - afraid that they would get retribution from a powerful unseen entity whether it's God or the Church - any church for that matter. They do not want to offend. So they adore Duterte.

A man so passionate that in his anger, no bounds are present. These crowds run parallel to the ancient Roman crowds in the Coliseum, shouting as gladiators and lions massacred each other.   

As Archbishop Socrates Villegas laments, "I grieve in great shame."


On the Other Hand... 
We have hypocrisy in the church - all churches, whether it's sexual molestation of young boys, rich churches with politicians and celebrities flaunting a gospel of prosperity with fake Christianity, powerful churches that wield tremendous political influence, churches that spend money on dwelling in the riches of this world. We have terrorism promoted by some religions. We have bigotry, discrimination and all of these things that have corrupted all churches.

On the Other Hand... 
We have political hypocrisy. Leaders claiming to lead the way to the 'straight path' while making sure their land holdings and wealth are secured through other means. To that man, I tell you, Repent. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Give away your land. You are already rich beyond most of our wildest imaginations.

The US Shootings, Syria and ISIS 
I see America in two ways. One as an admired innovator - a peak into the future and another as a man very similar to our Duterte. It's very hard to write from a third perspective thinking that I would offend either the conservatives or the liberals, the Democrats or the Republicans. I know that I run the risk of offending both.

America is intoxicated in its own beauty and power. 

You should not have invaded Iraq and set the pace for retribution and vengeance. Vengeance begets vengeance. As you are now learning today.

Christ was right, "Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword." Matthew 26:52 

Read: Former Isis hostage says airstrikes on Syria are a trap

"He said: “For every single Syrian killed since the beginning of this conflict by Islamic State, between seven and 10 have been killed by the Syrian regime. We have to understand that these two parallel disasters for the Syrian people, they depend one on the other, and one cannot fight one without fighting the other.”
Hénin said the summer refugee crisis had been a propaganda blow to Isis. Images of refugees fleeing the Muslim “dreamland” and being welcomed in the lands of “unbelievers” had given a lie to their message of western hatred towards Muslims, he said. “And that is why they probably tried to manipulate the public during the Paris attack, to make us close our borders, and maybe, even more importantly, to close our minds.” (TheGuardian)

It is not to be taken literally, although it 'manifests'. The victims of the shootings were innocents and unarmed, killed by potential radical extremists. But so were your victims America, so were your victims in the Middle East and elsewhere. In your thirst for revenge and power, you have incited their anger.

So this message I have for you America, UK, France and the other World Powers, Repent. For the Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent for your atrocities lest you drag the entire world into a bigger quagmire. 

What does it take? I don't know. What does it take to console a grieving son, father, daughter, sister, brother who saw his entire family bombed to pieces? What does it take to heal the pain of torture in Abu Ghraib? Your developmental money cannot heal wounds. Your technology and science cannot heal emotional pain. You created ISIS - by planting the seeds of blind hatred.

I pray that it's not too late for all of us.

P.S. I will leave this at this. I do not have the answers. Why should a technologically and intellectually superior nation like yours believe me and turn back to God?

Because unbelief cannot exist in a vacuum.

The emptiness of atheism, technology, wealth, power and money will be replaced by something else!

What will you replace it with? 

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Part III of "The Day God Got Bored" - "This is Justice"


I've started practicing my hand on fiction. I don't know what genre to put it on, so I just put it at random. The general gist of the story is existential and thoughtful. It's part of my spiritual journey as I grappled with some things in my personal life - and some truths that I have seen. 

Basically the idea is yes, God got bored. If you think about reality in terms of the universe, you'd know that there are no mistakes mathematically. We're just beginning to master the laws of physics and right now I can see God as the ultimate astro-physicist, programmer, chemist and all. So, in the millions of stars in the supposed to be perfect universe - there lies a problem: man. 

Why is there evil? 

Free will right? 

Why were we given free will in the first place? 

I hope you join me in this journey as I begin to piece together 'things' in my head.

 

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Praying for You Digong Duterte



I know what it means to seek absolute justice, I know how it is to seek a God that does not answer. I know how it is to seek Veritas - the truth when all vestiges of it cannot be found.

You were angry as a child. Abused by men of God. They were preaching His laws, preaching His good Word while they did what they did in the dark corners of their churches.

You grew powerful as a man. Rove the streets seeking justice. Became a lawyer. Could not find justice still.

You realized, human justice is an illusion.

So you took it in your own hands. You became justice personified. The bringer of death to those whom you deem to be evil. 

Because I know, you wanted to ask the rapist, the thief, the murderer, the drug pusher, why they did what they did. You did not get a reply. No bright trumpets heralding the arrival of the truth you so desperately craved.

You only saw animals begging for your mercy. There was no God in that scenario. You were god in that scenario.

Still you looked and asked for God, where was justice? Where are You God as I am about to execute this animal? It is not even evolved. Will you send angels to prevent me from doing so?

There was no answer.

You did not find the answer even as a lawyer, even as an executioner.

You became a politician. You grew powerful.

You had the ultimate power to kill.

Saw more of the filth that is humanity. You understood: You controlled your own destiny.

There was no God who will go to earth and bring these criminals to justice. There was only you.

Now you are old, maybe sick, maybe dying - and yet you still seek the same answers to the same questions - you still seek the truth.

Is there a God?

Your foolish supporters, cajoled you into running for the Presidency and you know that most of them just want to use you. They thought that you can bring justice back in the land.

Eto gusto niyo? Siguro sabi mo sa sarili mo. Aba, ambot.

Doing this, you took the ultimate challenge. Maybe becoming President will dismantle the group that you so abhorred for their hypocrisy.

"I would trace them to my younger years in the Ateneo. It will destroy the church and the present status of so many priests and what they are doing," you said.

I guess you did not really want the Presidency. Kinulit ka lang, desperado na ang mga tao e. Akala nila, alam mo at natagpuan mo na ang tunay na hustisya. Akala nila, alam mo kung paano aayusin ang kasiraan nila. They just want revenge, they just want vengeance. You and I both know that.


I only have one message for you.


Repent. The kingdom of God is at hand.


Justice is not yours to dispense.

Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.

Romans 12:19

You Shall Not Murder

Exodus 20:13

But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!

Amos 5:24

My father's words, are below.