Archive for March, 2011

March 30, 2011. SHENZHEN, China (Reuters) – China executed on Wednesday three Filipinos convicted of drug trafficking despite a flurry of public appeals for clemency in the Philippines, and days after Amnesty International slammed Beijing’s sweeping use of the death penalty.

The three, two women and a man, were caught smuggling several kilos of heroin each into China in 2008. Under Chinese law, the trafficking of at least 50 grams of any illicit drug is punishable by death. “It is a sad day for us, up to the last minute we were doing everything we can to postpone the execution,” Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay said in a radio interview from Qatar. (more…)

When truth stares us in the face, our initial reaction is to deny it with all our might. When our values and beliefs are challenged, especially by those we have come to respect and trust, we go in defense mode. Understandably, as the truth is embarrassing, frightening and much too painful to confront. It is easier to twist it, mangle it for our own convenience rather than rectify it.

Such is the case when I wrote the story about the priest who can’t say mass. “Shock, horror,” said the loyal disbelievers who slipped into a comatose state. How dare me feel so righteous? After all, “a priest is always a priest”? Trust me, of late, the truths I have uncovered have rocked me to my very core, that I now have more questions than answers. (more…)

I have often been suspicious, even disliked, award presentations, especially those awards by politicians. But these NSW Premier’s Awards were so blatantly patronising to our Filipino community it made me puke. How could an intelligent community like ours be conned into taking part in these awards?

Not only were the awards clearly a political gambit by a desperate political party to win votes at the State elections only weeks away, but the manner in which they were carried out was nothing short of farcical.

The umbrella organisation, supposedly given the task of naming award-winners unashamedly presented itself as one of the awardees. And for what, you ask? For keeping the community united in harmony, the award said, or words to that effect. United in harmony? Somebody forgot to tell the Premier about the little wars against another umbrella, and that this award-winning organisation has, in fact, continued to fan the fires of animosity between the warring parties.

I had supported the decision of my school alumni association to join this umbrella a few years ago, against the will of some of my alumni colleagues. I have also voted Labor at many elections. That is why I feel angry about these Premier Awards. They mean nothing. They’re buying our votes cheaply. Yet they are doing damage to the integrity of our Filipino community in NSW.

If the State politicians are listening: Not happy, mate.

When Fr. Ed Panlilio became the Governor of the province of Pampanga, he knew that he had lost his priestly powers – to say mass, to administer the sacraments – hear confession, grant absolution, etc. Although he had remained a priest, he knew very well that the Vatican would not allow him to wear two hats, i.e., as governor of a province and as minister of the Church. He complied with what was expected of him.

Now that Fr. Panlilio is no longer a governor, he had to reapply with the Vatican in Rome to regain his status as a priest and perform normal priestly functions. Until that permission is granted, “Among Ed” as he is popularly known, cannot say mass. When he visited Sydney last year, Fr. Panlilio admitted that he was still waiting for the Vatican to approve his application.

It is has been alleged that Fr. Raul del Prado, for whatever reason, does not have the necessary “faculty” from his bishop in the Philippines to be able to function as a priest in Australia. This allegation appears to be true because Fr. Raul has so far not been recognised as a priest in any diocese in Australia. If it were so, then he should have been assigned to a parish.

Until then, Fr. Raul is not authorised to say mass, anywhere in Australia. But it was learned and reported by many that he has been saying mass left and right, not in churches or in any parish, but in private places such as the Kapitbahayan Cooperative complex in Leumeah, among others.

Without the required faculty or authority from an Australian bishop, the legitimacy of the Eucharist that he performs becomes questionable.

When a priest celebrates mass, there is that portion called “consecration.” It is during consecration that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Catholics call this episode “Transubstantiation” or “Real Presence” when the substance (of bread and wine) becomes the Body and Blood of Christ. Distribution of Holy Communion follows.

Now the question arises: Was the consecration performed by Fr. Raul valid? Some priests say it is, for so long as Fr. del Prado is indeed an ordained priest. If he is not authorised to say mass in Australia, did he have the power to convert the substance of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ? If it were not so, then it follows that those who received communion merely received bread and not the Body of Christ. – ? DMC

(Any comment or reaction to this editorial is welcome and may be posted on the following website or sent directly to

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