By Raïssa Robles
We need to know what caused the recent tragedy.
We need to know because a lot of misinformation and disinformation are swirling around over the sudden death of hundreds of Filipinos, buried under tons of mud that cascaded down the nearly bald mountain ranges surrounding Compostela Valley at the height of Typhoon Pablo.
An anti-mining group has blamed large-scale mining.
Compostela Governor Arturo Uy, however, has rejected this explanation. The governor, whom one newspaper once identified as a gold trader, instead blamed a waterfall that collapsed.
Before this tragedy, Comval had everything going for it. See video below:
The surrounding mountain ranges shielded the valley from destructive typhoons. The mountains remain rich in copper and gold, so much so that it is now honeycombed with tunnels made by gold prospectors.
Life was good for residents there. In 2005, a small school called Interface College of New Bataan (ICON) in the town of New Bataan started offering computer courses there.
The graduates formed friendships.
They also learned marketable skills.
I hope they’re alright. I don’t know what has happened to them or to their school, which is located in one of the most devastated towns.
The mass deaths in New Bataan and other towns of Compostela and Davao Oriental do give us pause about mining.
Mining could help lift the entire country out of poverty, according to University of the Philippines economics professor Benjamin Diokno.
One estimate on mining I’ve seen claimed that as much as US$12 billion in foreign investments could pour into the country once the government mining moratorium is lifted.
Behind the dollars and cents, however, are people whose lives are being destroyed by mining operations.
Is it possible to arrive at a negotiated compromise? Sacrifice well-defined sections of ore-rich provinces to mining operations? Officially declare certain areas of the country as “not fit for human habitation” because of mining? And in turn, pour – not trickle – the monetary benefits of mining directly on affected local residents?
The trouble with mining in the Philippines is that only certain people living in Metro Manila’s gated communities benefit hugely from it. When miners in business suits staging conferences in five-star hotels talk of benefiting the local host communities affected by their mining operations, the wealthy miners show slides of their free schools and clinics and sponsored sports fests.
I would be more impressed if they showed local residents dining as well in the ambiance of five-star hotels and sporting degrees from foreign universities just like the sons and daughters of the wealthy Metro Manila miners. After all, the wealth really belongs to them.
The sharing really has to be more equitable. Perhaps the new mining law could specify that whenever a mining company issues new stocks, a portion should be allotted for the purchase by actual residents living in the mining areas. As it is, only those with access to stock brokers can buy them. The new mining law should also have a revenue sharing formula which takes the rise of international metal prices to account.
And as for blaming condoms…
A senior Catholic cleric has hinted heavily that Typhoon Pablo may have been an expression of Divine displeasure over renewed attempts by Congress to legalize the free distribution of condoms and contraceptives to poor couples.
Speaking over Catholic radio station Veritas, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said:
“Ewan ko lang kung yan ay coincidence lang o dahil nga may pinapasabi ang Diyos sa atin na kapag iyan ay pinag-uusapan ng matindi ay parang may mensahe na nangyayari na maraming kahirapan na nagaganap sa atin.” [I really don’t know if that is a coincidence that whenever the Reproductive Health bill is being keenly debated all sorts of suffering occur to us.]
According to ABS-CBN, another senior cleric Fr. Melvin Castro “stopped short of linking” the storm to the RH Bill but quoted the good father as saying:
“Although we would not give other meaning to it, nonetheless God speaks through his creation as well. Nature tells us to respect the natural course of things…Di ko alam bakit ganito (nangyari), wala namang bagyo.” [I don’t know why this happened. There was no storm.]
In the Holy Bible, God punished one pharaoh with a series of plagues after he had refused to allow God’s chosen people to leave Egypt. Our senior clerics are hinting that Filipinos are being punished for trying to disobey God by passing a Reproductive Health Law.
Let’s examine the priests’ premises more closely. The two lawmakers representing the devastated Compostela Valley are Congresswoman Maria Carmen Zamora (1st district) and Congressman Rommel Amatong.
Neither lawmaker signed up as a co-sponsor of the RH Bill or the Committee Report on the RH Bill. So they could be secret supporters or fence-sitters or even anti-RH advocates.
Why would God punish their districts if they could be his stalwarts against the RH Law?
Indeed God works in mysterious ways.
If, as Fr. Melvin Castro said, “God speaks through his creation,” why are we constantly visited by typhoons, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions? What was God trying to tell us during the deadly 1990 earthquake or Mount Pinatubo eruption in 1991? What mortal sins have we collectively committed against God that he would punish us so?
Or is this some form of His cariño brutal?
As a Catholic, I cannot believe that God is quite so capricious. His priests oftentimes are. But not Him.
Can God Intervene?: How Religion Explains Natural Disasters
by Gary Stern
Archbishop Palma just said: “Our society needs law to unite rather than divide. We need law to affirm and protect the truth about the dignity of the human person, who has been created in the very image of God; the sanctity of the family, the basic social unit which even our Constitution recognizes as the foundation of the nation; and the inviolability of the social institution of marriage, which the Constitution likewise recognizes as the foundation of the family.”
Why did the archbishop stop there, he should have continued “ therefore we have to fight the rapidly increasing teen pregnancies, the overburden on poor families due to unwanted pregnancies, we have to give the poor women access to contraceptives to plan their families as all my female relatives do and all other wealthy women. The division that divides women today is unacceptable.”
Our banana farmers are now beggars! They lost all of it. They need gov’t help. Will our gov’t financing institutions like DBP and Land Bank lend them capital as fast as Ongpin was given hundreds of million pesos in 24 hours? Here’s the link of the the news
And will our gov’t assist the small business people who needs to rebuild? Now is the time and not years from now!
Aurora Pascua says
Do you think DBP will trust the farmers to lend them money ? I don’t think so ? And the great depression make by Pablo in the compostela Valley cause by the mining big company .!!!!!!! He he
The Children of Israel
Is God playing favorites when he decreed that his chosen people are the Israelites? How about us, the whites, blacks, browns or even the yellow race? Are we not entitled to become God’s children?
Or has God purposely decreed that his chosen people are the Children of Israel for a hidden plan that will be only revealed in the right time? A plan that will fulfill his promise of uniting the people of the world into One God and One Church congregation. It is a plan that will refine the third of the world’s population into believing who really God is and what is his true name
Now if we want to become Children of God then we must become the Children of Israel. How can we become the Children of Israel if we do not come from the offspring of Jacob? Unless if God’s name is also Israel then by all means we are all entitled to be called Children of Israel
But how can the name of God be Israel when in fact it was the name given to Jacob by an angel of God. This is the wonder of God’s plan. He also changed the name of Abram to Abraham but did not call his chosen people to be the Children of Abraham.
Israel is God’s real name and he gave it to a worthy person, one who has defeated his angel. Jacob is like a junior to him. Jacob is his first born so just like all first born they are worthy to bear the name of their father.
Exodus 4:22 exactly states;
“Then say to Pharaoh, ‘This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son,” (NIV)
An angel gave the name Israel to Jacob and God has decreed that his name is with an angel as provided in Exodus 23:20-21;
“See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion, since my Name is in him.” (NIV)
If God’s people are called the Children of Israel and if God’s name is indeed Israel then the are really called by God’s name as stated in 2 Chronicles 7:13-15
“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. (NIV)
Since their land is called Israel then it follows that their land is also called by the name of God. This is well-given in Jeremiah 25:29, to wit;
“See, I am beginning to bring disaster on the city that bears my Name, and will you indeed go unpunished? You will not go unpunished, for I am calling down a sword upon all who live on the earth, declares the LORD Almighty.” (NIV)
Now, if the people are called the Children of Israel and their land is Israel, therefore, the people and the land should bear or called by the name of God. If indeed his name is Israel there must be a biblical support to jointly establish this fact. Let us read Daniel 9:19:
“O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For your sake, O my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.” (NIV)
With all these proofs, our belief is now being refined. Shall we continue to believe what the religions have taught us before or shall we start calling on the true name of God? We are not asking you to believe on this outright but you should begin studying and refining your beliefs. Calling on his true name will make us his people. Calling him Lord God Israel will truly make us a Child of Israel.
Only a third of the world’s population will believe this new revelation of the true name of God. When that number is achieved, Lord God Israel will redeem the world and once again dwell among his people. This is given in Zechariah 13:9;
“This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.’” (NIV)
are you going to lead a prayer rally soon? will it have a brass band?
@jundel…are you one of the many pastors of Manny Pacquiao? How’s he?Tell me where you can find this: “Trust no more in man, he has but a breath in his nostrils. How much is he worth?”
Off Topic, sort of, kind of, but a growth forecast of 85 million Filipinos over 6 decades. WOW!
Martial Bonifacio says
Doctors, nurses, midwives rally behind RH bill
Personally i cant wait to see how they (legislators) will vote on RH bill this wednesday. I wanna know if our country is already mature enough or we still live in rizals time where in shackles of the catholic church and the vatican country is prevalent which imposes on our sovereignty.
Will the legislators listen to the healthcare professionals or will they listen to the priest?
If ever CBCP wins then i would suggest to every legislators TO VOID EVERY BOARD EXAMS and the LICENSE’S of MD’s, NURSES and MIDWIVES.
What’s the point of studying for 4-6 years being a health care professional kung ang masusunod din lang naman ay ang simbahan, edi sa mga susunod na generation na doctor at nurses from PH ay dapat manggaling na lang sa seminaryo since they know alot more than licensed healthcare professionals.
Malaking grupo ito at hindi pwede ipagwalang bahala ng congress at senate. at di tulad ng mga ordinaryo na tao ay mulat ang kaisipan kaya di pwede takutin (wrath of God) o palusutan.
Victin Luz says
Payag ako dyan ,…kaya lang…. It might be better if the priest to take oath as medical practioners,…… Mas maganda siguro. He he
May problema ako na bakit ang mga pari tinatanggap ng bayan na maging “marriage counselors” eh wala naman silang experiensiya diyan dahil bawal silang mag-asawa.
@victin luz…pag wala ng mga doktor at healthcare profs, ang mga pari na ang pag papa-anak sa kababa-ihan! Gusto nila yun! Makaka-hilamos sila ng feces din!
@fed-up…i-ito lang ang counsel ng mga pari…DO NOT DIVORCE. DO NOT SEPARATE. DO NOT ANNUL. DAMIHIN NYO ANG MGA ANAK! Ang Diyos ma AAWA sa inyo!
Victin Luz says
@mam Leona tama k dyan, ……kaya lang ,…..kadiri sila sa pagpapaanak nyan he he they rather do ala Padre Damaso,…. ” ihang, balang,ineng,… 5 years na pala kayong kasal ng asawa mo ay wala pa kayong anak. Ganito ,tuturuan kita papaano gumawa ng bata bukas ng gabi sa convento mga alas sais, buksan kulang ang pintuan ng kwarto ko ha doon kita tuturuan tayong dalawa ,diretsong kakausap kay lord. wag na wag mung sasabihin sa ASAWA mo at kahit kanino , kung hindi ay hindi tayo pakikinggan ni lord. ” Nauwi ang 2 Kung sacristan pag lines ng gabi anak , kaya taimtim tayong magdadasal sa kanya , within 28 days pangako ko sa iyo, bunts ka.
Aurora Pascua says
Dahil silay naturingan pari basbasan ang may sala o Gawa ?
conversely, masasabi kaya ni bishop na “Ewan ko lang kung yan ay coincidence lang o dahil nga may pinapasabi ang Diyos sa atin, anti-RH si Manny. Ayan tuloy, natalo.”
Aurora Pascua says
Talagang talo dahil too much active kono sa religion of change ?
Martial Bonifacio says
Regarding naman kay pacquiao:
Did Pacman really lose? or he just beat the system that failed him in his last fight against bradley? Check the KO from birds eye view.
Remember 9-1 ang odds last saturday in favor of pacquiao :)
Di kaya nadapa sya at sinalo nya/sya ng malakas ng right ni marquez? pwede ba paki-explain kasi di ako marunong sa mga technicalities ng boxing.
Aurora Pascua says
Tinapakan ni Marquez ang foot kaya di nakabuelta ng suntok ? Kita mo mabuti .?
Shall the COMELEC allow a party-list for SQUATTERS? Here is a link it might…
Yes, off-topic again. But very confusing for me. Squatters are law violators. These class occupies gov’t and private lands without consent by the owners. They occupy even public roads, set-back areas along creeks, river banks and other navigable rivers. Law v iolators! Now, should this class be accredited with a party-list by the Comelec body?
When or who is the next bunch of law violators to be accredited? Detention prisoners? Convicted prisoners in Bilibid? The rebels or seccessionists NPAs, MNLF, MILF, atbpa?
What or where are our laws on this? One of the qualification of a voter is residency. Are these classes with legal residency and by law allowed to vote in elections? I say no. They have no legal residency in the lands they are squatting on. Illegal sila. Tolerated unlawfully by politicians! With that tolerance, legal na?
This system now is a sign that our gov’t appears not to know anymore what to do to correct things. Just because squatting has been long in existence, now it has become acceptable and legal, etc. SUSMA!
oo, vowing to defend their rights daw. right to steal public and private lands, right to endanger everybody else by clogging and polluting waterways, right to harbor criminals within the community. oo, rights nga talaga.
Martial Bonifacio says
Filipinos should really hunt EVERY communist rebels. Dapat ituro na ng mga tiga mindanao at visayas kung sino sino ang mga terorista na yan.
After Pablo hits the visayas and mindanao, inatake naman ng mga NPA ang mga sundalo doing the search and rescue operations.
Kahapon sabi ng NPA tigil putukan daw.
Tapos biglang patalikod na inatake na naman nila ang mga sundalo.
I hope noynoy brands the NPA as a terrorist ng maintindihan ng international community na sila ay mga terrorista at walang ginawa kundi manira ng mga kagamitan ng mga investors sa pilipinas lalo na pag hindi nagbigay sa revolutionary fund.
Sila (NPA) din yung mga taong parating nagrereklamo sa mga human rights group at humihingi nga tulong samantalang sila din yung mga pumapatay sa mga sundalo ng patalikod.
Aurora Pascua says
You are totally correct, sila ang terrorists sila ang killer sa soldiers, sila ang against the government at sila habang sila ay buhay ?