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Philippine News Digest 84

October 6, 2006 · 

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Contents:
1. Children’s Month Celebration

2. International Day of No Prostitution

3. Ramento’s murder angers fellow bishops

Children’s Month Celebration
October 2006

The month of October of every year has been declared as National Children’s Month per Proclamation No. 267 and DILG Memo Circular 2006-61 that urged local government units in all levels to conduct activities in observance of the Children’s Month.

Furthermore, DILG as an advocate of child’s rights and child friendly movement supports the 14th year celebration in recognition of the Filipino children as the most valuable asset of the nation.

PREDA had a one day sports fest on October 1 to start the celebration of children’s month. Many participated including its clients like the youth from the streets, rescued from the jail and scholars which enjoyed various activities.

International Day of No Prostitution
October 5, 2006

OCTOBER 5 is the International Day of No Prostitution (IDNP). It is a day when no one should buy or sell anyone for sex.

The celebration of IDNP started in 2002 in San Francisco. The celebration is part of a much larger struggle for an end to violence and oppression based on gender, race and ethnicity, class, religion, disability, age, size, sexual orientation, nationality, and species.

All oppressions must be fought in order to end prostitution. Prostitution must be stopped because of the harm inflicted on those who are involved in it. While prostitution continues, there is no possibility for a world that is not based on abuses of power.

Republic Act 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 defines prostitution as any act, transaction, scheme or design involving the use of person by another, for sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct in exchange for money, profit or any other consideration.

For women’s rights groups, prostitution is the buying and selling of women and children’s bodies for the benefit and pleasure of men and sex exploiters. It is a system whereby bodies and sexuality of women and children are “commodified” and exploited for men’s sexual satisfaction. It is a human rights violation.

Ramento’s murder angers fellow bishops
Inquirer, October 06, 2006
Christian V. Esguerra

THE cold-blooded killing of Aglipayan Bishop Alberto Ramento has angered fellow bishops from the Roman Catholic hierarchy and other Christian denominations.

The Ecumenical Bishops Forum, which Ramento used to co-chair, came out to criticize the Arroyo administration’s purported ‘lack of political will’ in the face of extra-judicial killings in the country.

“We are gravely concerned of the governments’ lack of political will to put a stop to these killings which now include Bishop Ramento,” the group said in a strongly worded statement.

The EBF is co-chaired by Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez, head of the Catholic Bishops “Conference of the Philippines” Episcopal Commission on Public Affairs.

The group also includes bishops from the Iglesia Filipina Independiente, whose Supreme Council of Bishops was headed by Ramento, United Church of Christ in the Philippines, United Methodist Church, and the Episcopal Church in the Philippines.

Like their peers, the EBF bishops were convinced that there was more to the killing of Ramento than plain homicide. Police said two men stabbed him dead at the rectory of the San Sebastian parish in Tarlac last Tuesday.

“We are outraged by the violent manner by which our esteemed co-chairperson was killed,” read the statement signed by Iñiguez. “It was an assault that cannot be dismissed merely as another case of robbery and homicide as the police reported.”

Besides being a bishop who was “neither extravagant nor ostentatious in his lifestyle,” Ramento was a vocal defender of civil liberties and critic of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, according to the EBF.

The group hailed Ramento for his “courage in denouncing all manner of falsehood” and said “subtle machinations emboldened him to declare that the state bears responsibility for the unceasing political killings.”

It said Ramento was also convinced that the effort to amend the Constitution was “a brazen attempt for political survival rather than the interest of the people if not a covert action to open the floodgates for the rapacious foreign exploitation or our natural resources.”

The bishops said that Ramento also believed that the “scandal after scandal that has rocked the government of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has eroded any moral ascendancy in her regime.”

“The systematic attempts to suppress the truth behind the elections, behind corruption in high places, and behind schemes to obliterate all legitimate opposition to her regime in the name of defending the state are contemptuous of a government who claims adherence to transparency and democracy,” the statement said.

“The killing of Bishop Ramento is the dawn of a new resolve to fight for justice and peace,” the EBF said. “His death is the birth of a quickened determination to sweep away the paragons of hypocrisy and the harbingers of misery and human deprivation in this country.”-End

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