Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Christ's image on cloth draws thousands in Santa Ana

Veil with Christ’s face’ draws thousands

The Manoppello Image
MANILA, September 16, 2014—Hundreds, if not thousands, of people poured into the Our Lady of the Abandoned Church in Santa Ana, Manila on Monday, September 15, to venerate a framed veil believed to miraculously contain an actual imprint of Jesus’ face, which is in the country for a weeklong tour.
Long queues notwithstanding, each of the faithful patiently waited for his turn to kiss and touch what experts say could likely be, along with the more famous “Shroud of Turin”, the “most sacred object of all”.
A young boy kisses the framed "Veil of Manoppello" 
during its visit to the Philippines (Photo: Raymond A. Sebastián)
“We would love to see it for ourselves. It’s not often that we get an opportunity like this,” shared Denzel Castro who tagged his wife and children along from nearby Santa Mesa.

According to Mylene Nieves of Mandaluyong City, she is blessed to have been able to venerate the veil.
Dubbed “The Holy Face of Jesus from Manoppello”, it is more accurately termed sudarium, a piece of cloth customarily used by Jews of Christ’s time to cover the face of the dead at burial.
It is also called “The Veil of Manoppello” after a place in Abruzzo, Pescara near Rome where it was was housed for 500 years.
Relatively unknown outside of Italy, the image caught the public eye when then Pope Benedict XVI visited the image in his early years as pontiff, attracting pilgrims and tourists to Manopello who were curious about the Veil’s significance in Christ’s public ministry.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was said to have been drawn to Manoppello after reading the book “Face of God” by author Paul Badde.
Badde’s work spans ten years of in-depth studies on the Veil by professors, scientists, iconographic experts, and authorities of the Catholic Church.
The Manoppello image was featured recently in the August-September 2014 issue of Inside The Vatican magazine. - CBCP News

The Manopello Image

According to local tradition, an anonymous pilgrim arrived in 1508 with the cloth inside a wrapped package. The pilgrim gave it to Dr. Giacomo Antonio Leonelli, who was sitting on a bench in front of the church. The doctor went into the church and opened the parcel containing the Veil. At once he went out of the church but he did not find the bearer of the packet. The Veil was owned by the Leonelli family until 1608. Pancrazio Petrucci, a soldier married to a female member of the family, Marzia Leonelli, stole the Veil from his father-in-law’s house. A few years later, Marzia sold it for 400 scudi to Doctor Donato Antonio De Fabritiis to pay a ransom demand for her husband who was then a prisoner in Chieti. The Veil was given by De Fabritiis to the Capuchins who still hold it today. This history was documented by Father Donato da Bomba in his “Relatione historica” following researches started in 1640.
Professor Pfeiffer claims that the image is the Veronica itself, which he suggests was stolen from the Vatican during rebuilding that took place in 1506, before the Sack of Rome. He further suggests it is the cloth placed over Jesus' face in the tomb and the image was a by-product of the forces unleashed by the resurrection, forces he also believes formed the image on the Shroud of Turin. Additionally he has suggested a history of the veil going back to the first Century. His narrative though is unsupported by evidence and is indistinguishable from fiction. There is no official evidence connecting the cloth with Rome. However, some have observed bits of glass embedded in the cloth, suggesting a connection between it and its former glass container in St. Peters, said to be smashed open when the cloth was stolen. Nevertheless, the cloth has received much publicity in recent years and Pope Benedict XVI visited the veil on 1 September 2006. -Wikipedia 

No Writ of Kalikasan for Tubbataha grounding

SC: No writ of kalikasan but US liable for reefs’ damage

Sept. 17, 2014

Grounding of USS Guardian on Tubbataha Reefs, Jan.17, 2013

MANILA, Philippines–Though it said it had no jurisdiction over the case, the Supreme Court cited an international treaty and took the United States to task for its liabilities for the grounding last year of a US Navy minesweeper on Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, a delicate ecosystem in the Sulu Sea treasured for its rich marine biodiversity.

In a unanimous decision, the high court on Tuesday denied a petition for a writ of kalikasan against US military officers, President Aquino and members of his Cabinet, and officials of the military and the Philippine Coast Guard for the grounding of the USS Guardian on Jan. 17, 2013, saying it lacked jurisdiction over the case as it was “deemed to be one against the US itself.”

States are protected from suit under the principle of sovereign immunity.

In the same breath, the court noted during its deliberations that the case fell “within the ambit of Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos),” which held offending states liable for violations of laws and regulations in a coastal state they had entered.

World heritage site

The USS Guardian’s grounding on the Unesco World Heritage site damaged some 2,345 square meters of reefs—about the size of six basketball courts. It took 73 days to dismantle the vessel and completely remove it from the reef. The US recently promised to settle the fine of P58 million.

The petition, filed by bishops, militant groups, environmentalists and lawyers, had sought criminal, civil and administrative suits against the Philippine respondents and three US military officials: US Navy 7th Fleet Cmdr. Scott Swift, USS Guardian Commanding Officer Mark Rice and Lt. Gen. Terry Robling, commanding general of the US Marine Corps Forces Pacific and US exercise director of the PH-US Balikatan Exercises.

It also sought damages worth 12 times the fine that environment officials had estimated to be imposed on the United States for the incident.

The petition said the ship’s grounding caused continuing damage to the reef park, affecting the provinces of Palawan, Antique, Aklan, Guimaras, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Zamboanga del Norte, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.


While throwing out the petition, the justices “discussed extensively” Article 31 of Unclos, saying the United States must be answerable for damages on the reef park, even while it is not a party to the treaty.

This international treaty lays down the rights and responsibilities of countries on the use of the maritime territories and marine resources, among others.

“[T]he US’ nonmembership in the Unclos does not mean that the US will disregard the rights of the Philippines as a coastal state over its internal waters and territorial sea,” said Te, citing court deliberations that touched on Unclos.

The international maritime treaty was first raised during court discussions by Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, a staunch advocate of international compliance with Unclos, particularly in the case of Philippine territorial claims in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

“The court stated that it expected the US to bear “international responsibility” under Article 31 in connection with the grounding of the USS Guardian which adversely affected the Tubbataha Reefs,” Te said.

The high court said Unclos’ relevance to the case “is beyond dispute.” It noted that while warships were immune from the jurisdiction of coastal states while navigating the latter’s territorial sea, “the flag states shall be required to leave the territorial sea immediately if they flout the laws and regulations of the coastal state and will be liable for damages caused by their warships or any other government vessel operated for noncommercial purposes”.

Damages not granted

While pushing for the United States to honor its obligation under Unclos, the high court said it could not grant damages through the writ of kalikasan suit because such claim should be “made in a separate civil suit” or through criminal action, according to rules on environmental protection and the writ itself.

It instead left the matter of compensation and rehabilitation to the executive branch, given the claims process currently undergoing through diplomatic channels.


In junking the petition, the court also rejected the petitioners’ argument that the US had waived its immunity from suit under the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). It also declined to review the Philippine-US treaty, as petitioned.

The high court also found that applying criminal jurisdiction provisions of the VFA to the impleaded US military officials “would be premature and beyond the province of the writ of kalikasan.”

“The court also declined to review the VFA and to nullify certain portions thereof citing the writ of kalikasan is not the proper remedy to assail the constitutionality of the VFA and its provisions,” said Te. Full story on INQUIRER

Related story:

SC denies Writ of Kalikasan for Tubbataha grounding

The plea for damages and the prosecution of the US Navy officers were contained in a petition for a Writ of Kalikasan filed by a group called Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE).
In a press briefing, SC Spokesman Theodore O. Te said that the petition was denied in a 13-0-2 decision written by Justice Martin S. Villarama Jr. A copy of the decision was not immediately available.
The petition asked the SC to issue a temporary environment protection order (TEPO) for the Tubbataha Reef, determine the fine to be imposed on the US Navy, prosecute the officers of the USS Guardian, and stop port calls by US ships without clear guidelines on environmental protection.
A summary of the decision issued by Te stated that the petitioners claimed that the grounding, salvaging and post-salvaging  operations of the USS Guardian  caused and continue to cause environmental damage of such magnitude as to affect the provinces of Palawan, Antique, Aklan, Guimaras, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Zamboanga del Norte, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi.
The petitioners also said that the grounding, salvaging and post-salvaging operations “violate our constitutional rights to a balanced and healthful ecology.”
They asked the SC to compel the Philippine government to institute civil, administrative, and criminal suits for acts committed in violation of environmental laws and regulations in connection with the grounding incident. - MANILA BULLETIN

Atty. Ralph "bunyag" Bunag on role of lawyers, closure of Marinduque battle

LAWYERS must not be blamed for accepting cases which from the outset don't have even a CHINA MAN's CHANCE of WINNING. I said this because of the general impressions that we, LAWYERS, must be honest enough to be frank with those that trust us by telling our clients the truths, and to just reject summarily those cases that we believe are not worth fighting for, as they are not winnable. That is not our role as lawyers. We are duty-bound by our OATH to defend clients, no matter what. That is the job we have to perform. We are obliged to defend people and leave the judgement or decisions to judges. 

I mentioned this, in anticipation of a FINAL RULING from the HRET, better known as House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal, which I expect to be handed down any time soon, I think, by that body, declaring WITH FINALITY, that CONGRESSMAN, ATTY. LORD ALLAN VELASCO is our DULY ELECTED REPRESENTATIVE for the lone congressional district of my beloved PROVINCE of MARINDUQUE. 

Some criticized the Professor of the College of Law of the University of the Philippines, ATTY. HARRY ROQUE, for handling the election case of my expected loser of this protracted congressional disputes, ATTY. REGINA ONGSIAKO REYES. But, they are barking on the wrong tree, as I already mentioned above. Besides, how can we even recover all the expenses incurred by our parents (including my older brother, SERGIO, after my father's death, in my particular case) for our education, if we prejudge those cases brought before us without even receiving our attorneys' fees for services rendered. 

With the expected closure of the election contests in Marinduque, I now REITERATE my HEARTFELT CONGRATULATORY MESSAGE to our TRULY CONGRESSIONAL WINNER, Atty. Lord Allan Velasco, as our RE-ELECTED Representative. GOD bless. 

- (Atty. Ralph "bunyag" Bunag, for the TRUTHS, JUSTICE and good governance under GOD, consistent with the provisions of our fundamental law, the Philippine constitution).

Photo: RALPH "bunyag" Bunag, delivering his WELCOMING SPEECH as GUEST SPEAKER during the swearing-in ceremony of close to 400 new Canadian citizens, representing 178 countries, before the Citizenship Court presided over by the Honorable Judge ROBERTO ROBERTI. Ordinarily, the OATH-TAKING Ceremony is being held in an ordinary hall, but on special occasion, such as this, which is Canada Day, July 1 where a large crowd is expected to witness, the solemn occasion is held in a much bigger place, like this Delta Hotel attended by some government officials; Mississauga City, Ontario, Canada.

RALPH "bunyag" Bunag, a native of Boac, Marinduque (in photo) delivers his WELCOMING SPEECH as GUEST SPEAKER during the swearing-in ceremony of close to 400 new Canadian citizens, representing 178 countries, before the Citizenship Court presided over by the Honorable Judge ROBERTO ROBERTI. Ordinarily, the OATH-TAKING Ceremony is being held in an ordinary hall, but on special occasion, such as this, which is Canada Day, July 1 where a large crowd is expected to witness, the solemn occasion was held at the Delta Hotel and attended by some government officials; Mississauga City, Ontario, Canada.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Filipino victory over Americans, 9/13-1900

 "Pulang Lupa ay tuluyan nang di napigil
At damdaming makabayan ay nagising
Nang di magpatuloy ang likong landas
Ng dayuhang mapang-api!"
(Awit sa Pulang Lupa, Eli J. Obligacion)

Video on this famous battle celebrated in Marinduque each year and a dance-drama presentation of "Awit sa Pulang Lupa" mounted by this blogger under the auspices of Teatro Balangaw seven years ago (2007) at the historical mountain site in Torrijos, Marinduque. Original music and lyrics of the song with the same title also composed by him.

Titik at Musika: ELI J. OBLIGACION

May isang kahapong nagdaan
Kasaysayang di malilimutan
'Sang kahapong di maiwawaksi
Diwang Makabaya'y naisilang.

May isang kahapong nagdaan
Kasaysayang di mallimutan
May kahapong di maitatanggi
Ang kahulugan ay Tagumpay ng Lahi.

Sa Pulang Lupa, kawal na bayani
Gubat ay tinahak ng buong sidhi
Ang mahal sa buhay, inalo't iniwan
Nang ipagtanggol ang ating bayan.

Dito na namuno si Kapitan Abad
Kapitang namuno ng buong lakas
At naging kasama si Kang Alapaap
Siya na mapusok at puso'y marahas.

Isang madaling araw
Sa buwan ng Setyembre
Sinagupa nila ang kaaway
Sa gitna ng kabundukan.

(Mga Hiyaw/Mga putok ng baril/riple/Mga

At dahan-dahang nagapi ang kaaway
Kahit kay lakas pa ng dalang armas
Ang dugo sa lupa, na di na rin mahupa
Ang nagbigay lakas sa kanilang diwa.


At pagsapit ng hapon
Naganap ang pag-urong
'Merikano'y tuluyang sumuko
Sa gerilyang pinuno.

May isang kahapong nagdaan
Kasaysayang di mallimutan
May kahapong di maitatanggi
Ang kahulugan ay Tagumpay ng Lahi.


Pulang Lupa ay tuluyan nang di napigil
At damdaming makabayan ay nagising
Nang di magpatuloy ang likong landas
Ng dayuhang mapang-api


Di ko na malilimutan sa 'king isip
Pulang Lupa ay hindi mawawaglit.

(Uulitin ang Koro hanggang sa "likong landas")

At sa oras na mangailangan ng
Lakas ng puso at tapang pa
Pulang Lupa'y bubuhayin ko!
Bubuhayin ko!
Bubuhayin ko!


Men of the U.S. 29th Volunteer Infantry wading ashore in Laylay (Boac), April 25, 1900.

After months of hiding, Abad in only a few hours eliminated nearly one third of the American garrison on Marinduque.

On 11 September, Shields decided to take advantage of a visit by the gunboat U.S.S. Villalobos. Leaving Lieutenant Wilson and forty-one men to hold Santa Cruz, he loaded fifty- one enlisted men, a hospital corps-man, and his black servant onto the gunboat and sailed to Torrijos, disembarking that evening. The next day he had his first contact with Philippine forces since his company had been on the island, dispersing a band of twenty guerrillas and destroying their cuartel.

On the thirteenth, Shields led his detachment into the mountains with the intention of returning to Santa Cruz. Well informed about Shields's movements, Abad had concentrated nearly his entire force of approximately 250 riflemen and 2,000 bolomen along a steep ridge overlooking the trail. Shields walked right into the ambush. A fire fight ensued for several hours before Shields ordered a retreat into a covered ravine. 

What began as a slow withdrawal quickly turned into a race down a rocky stream bed, as the Americans scrambled to escape the pincers that were moving to surround them. After retreating for about three and a half miles, the beleaguered detachment entered a rice field near the barrio of 'Massiquisie', (Masaguisi, bordering Sta. Cruz and Torrijos where the actual surrender took place, see Battle of Masaguisi). Here renewed fire from the local soldiers forced the Americans to take cover behind some paddy dikes. Shields fell seriously wounded.

After ordering that a message be passed to the senior NCO, Sergeant James A. Gwynne, to lead the command out of the closing trap, Shields raised a white flag to surrender himself and the other wounded. The revolutionists thought the flag meant that the command was surrendering. So too did Gwynne, who later claimed never to have received the escape order, and thus the entire force lay down its arms. All told, the Filipino soldiers, all from Marinduque's six towns, killed four Americans and captured fifty, six of whom, including Shields, were wounded. Shields later claimed that the Filipinos lost thirty dead, though this number was never confirmed. After months of hiding, Abad in a few short hours had destroyed nearly a third of the entire American garrison on Marinduque. 

Accounts of the Battle of Pulang Lupa could be browsed on Curt Shepard's website here and here.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Solar storm heading for Earth

Solar storm heading for Earth

Doyle Rice, USA TODAY

A solar flare that launched off the sun Wednesday afternoon could wreak havoc with communications systems and power systems on the Earth, as well as with satellites in orbit, in coming days.

Forecasters with NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center said the flare already "caused impacts to high-frequency radio communications on Earth today," according to NOAA. "A coronal mass ejection (CME) associated with this event is likely, but further analysis is necessary to determine whether it will produce geomagnetic storming on Earth."

A coronal mass ejection contains billions of tons of energetic hydrogen and helium ions as well as protons and electrons ejected from the sun's surface.

If a CME occurred, Earth's magnetosphere will likely be disturbed and a geomagnetic storm could result in the next few days, NOAA reports.

NOAA space weather forecaster Bill Murtagh said that scientists will know more about when and where the impacts will be when more data comes in later Wednesday and early Thursday.

The flare is on the high end of the solar flare scale. One nice side effect of the solar storm is an expansion of the photogenic aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, across Canada and the northern U.S.

The Northern Lights appear when atoms in the Earth's high-altitude atmosphere collide with energetic charged particles from the sun. They usually appear as shimmering green waves of light in the nighttime sky in polar latitudes. Much more rarely, they can be red and even blue.

Contributing: Beth Weise, USA TODAY; Associated Press

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Active cover-up on Regina O. Reyes, Marinduque non-candidate in Elections 2013

cover-up is an attempt, whether successful or not, to conceal evidence of wrongdoing, error, incompetence or other embarrassing information. In a passive cover-up, information is simply not provided; in an active cover-up, deception is used.
The expression is usually applied to people in positions of authority who abuse their power to avoid or silence criticism or to deflect guilt of wrongdoing. Those who initiate a cover-up (or their allies) may be responsible for a misdeed, a breach of trust or duty or a crime. - Wikipedia

"... to avoid or silence criticism or to deflect guilt of wrongdoing". Those who initiate a cover-up (or their allies) may be responsible for a misdeed, a breach of trust or duty or a crime."

Remember how Marinduque students were fetched from various points in Marinduque on June 3, 2013, for their application for "tunay na scholarship"? Only to realize too late in the day that the gathering was really designed and directed to force another issue that exploits their presence in a "rally" against Lord Allan Velasco?

At the said point in time the Supreme Court has not received any petition from Regina O. Reyes. Yet placards in the said rally were already critical of Velasco and his father who serves as SC magistrate, and the placards, likewise, pushed for HRET jurisdiction. But days later she would file her petition before the SC. Failing to get a favorable ruling she would then accuse the magistrate who has inhibited from, and took no part in the case, of "wielding his influence".

Regina Reyes (LP), her lawyer Harry Roque and Rep. Reynaldo Umali (LP, Or. Mindoro), are at it again, in a bid to oust three SC justices sitting on the HRET. The other members are six lawmakers that reportedly includes a former Ateneo Law School classmate of Reyes, who, even as Reyes does not belong to the Visayan block in the House has sponsored her adoption as a member of the said group - Rep. Jerry Trenas (LP, Iloilo City).


What happened in Marinduque on June 3, 2013?

'Deception' is synonymous with “beguilement, deceit, bluff, mystification and subterfuge that are acts to propagate beliefs that are not true, or not the whole truth (as in half-truths or omission).”

Deception may be easily applied to an impressionable, even gullible crowd, particularly young people gathered for an announced purpose (Scholarship hinahandog ni Gina Reyes), supposedly for their benefit. This happened in Boac, Marinduque on June 3, 2013. Coming in full force, it was too late for the hopeful students to realize that the gathering was really designed and directed to force another issue and exploit their presence in a "rally".

Tarp declares "Ang Pagbabalik ng Tunay na Scholarship para sa Marinduqueno... taos pusong handog sa inyo ni Congresswoman-Elect Ate Gina Reyes"
Fresh high school graduates and college students from all over Marinduque were picked up (with free transportation and lunch), to gather at 7:00 am on June 3, 2013, at the would-be District Office of Regina O. Reyes, “Congresswoman-Elect”. The said address is just across the Boac Covered Court.

Suddenly there were Reyes placards in the venue that read: "HRET hindi COMELEC!", "Wag mong hadlangan ang aming kinabukasan"

June 3, 2013: More placards read: "Ate Gina kasama mo kami", "Justice Velasco wag kang makialam". Reyes has yet to file her SC petition at that time.
Then from a Velasco supporter was received the following text message on that same day that apparently tells it all:

“Akala ng mga tao me scholarship na apamigay si Gina sa munisipyo ng Sta. Cruz at yun ang pamalita, pinasama pa mga magulang, un pla, inakalap lang sila at papunta sa Boac at gapa  rally, nauto na naman ang mga tao. Kelan kaya sila matututo? At para saan ang rally? Mababago ba ng rally ang desisyon ng enbanc? Ang pagiging American citizen nya? Maski baliktarin nya ang buong lalawigan di pa rin magbabago ang katotohanang dinaya ang pagpo proklama sa kanya dahil hindi sya karapatdapat na kandidato dito sa Pilipinas… Patuloy pa rin nila tayong iniinsulto at tinatarantado sa ating bayan. Tinatanga nila tayo sa pang gagago nila sa atin! Kelan ba tayo magigising Marinduque?!! Tigilan na natin ang pagpapagamit sa kanila!” 

Eventually, the High Court upheld with finality the Comelec decision cancelling Reyes' COC. Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno was prompted to write a Separate Concurring Opinion that states: 

"The proclamation of a non-candidate cannot take away the power vested in the COMELEC to enforce and execute its decisions. It is a power that enjoys precedence over that emanating from any other authority..."


I've said it before and I say it again:

... there must really be something about schemes to deliberately delay resolution of one's citizenship, to grab a patently illegal and hasty proclamation, be instantly 'recognized', feed the media with half truths and half lies, and prolong the protest. Something intrinsically evil.

Active cover-up that uses deception without letup.

God Bless Marinduque !!!