IEC opens in Cebu
SEARCH FOR TRUTH - Ernesto M. Maceda (The Philippine Star) - January 25, 2016 - 9:00am

Signaling the start of the quadrennial event,  the eight-day 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) opened Sunday in Cebu City, with a high mass celebrated at the Plaza Independencia by 66-year-old Papal Legate Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Myanmar, an official representative of Pope Francis.

Delivering a powerful homily before 350,000 people, Cardinal Bo called on Catholic devotees to reach out to the poor. The Myanmar prelate said the Eucharist calls for a commitment to a third world war against poverty.

Cardinal Bo lauded Filipinos for their religious devotion, but urged their faith outside the four walls of the churches.

Concelebrating with Cardinal Bo were Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle of Manila, Cardinals Gaudencio Rosales and Ricardo Vidal, Archbishops Jose Palma of Cebu and Socrates Villegas, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president.

12,000 delegates from the Philippines and from over 70 countries around the world are expected to attend the said event, which has a theme of “Christ in you, our hope of glory,” reminding us that each one of us because of Christ in us carries hope, not just for ourselves but for others.

Aside from Papal Legate Cardinal Bo, 3 papal nuncios, 20 cardinals, 30 archbishops and 100 bishops are attending the IEC.

The weeklong IEC will end on January 31 with another pontifical mass in the Statio Orbis (“The World Stops”) or Misa ng Mundo at the South Road Properties to be presided by Cardinal Bo. One million faithful are expected to attend the final mass wherein all masses in parishes will be cancelled.

The “Piso Para sa Misa ng buong Mundo,” a fund-raising project to cover the IEC event, generated around P30 million, way bigger than the targeted amount of P20 million. But according to the project’s coordinator the said amount still cannot cover the total cost for the entire religious event.

The 33rd IEC was first held in Manila in 1937. It is held every four years to promote awareness of the central place of the Eucharist in the life and mission of the Catholic Church.

In reverence to this year’s global fellowship, the group for Global Cancer are appealing for a smoke-free all week long. Cebu police are urged to apprehend cigarette smokers in IEC.

Aside from visiting some selected inmates of the Cebu provincial jail, the Papal Legate would also visit the Don Bosco Training and Youth Center in Pasil.

Participants of the IEC should expect surprises from Pope Francis during the week-long Congress as the Holy Father could make statements through live feeds or taped videos, according to the IEC’s communication department.

City councilor shot dead

Malabon City 2nd District Councilor Merlin Mañalac was shot dead in front of his house by two motorcycle-riding-gunmen.

Mayor Antolin Oreta has offered a P200,000 reward for anyone who can provide information that would lead to the arrest of the killers.

Investigators found a letter which bore the name “Partisano,” a leftist group that owned up to the killing of Mañalac.

Reyes out, Velasco in

The Supreme Court (SC) has ruled that Lord Alan Jay Velasco is the legitimate lawmaker for the Lone District of Marinduque, ousting Regina Ongsiaco Reyes who had been disqualified as a congressional candidate by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in the 2013 election on the ground that she failed to prove her Filipino citizenship. She also failed to meet the one-year-residency requirement for congressional candidates.

Two prominent lawyers, former Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) President Vicente Joyas and former University of the East (UE) Law Dean Amado Valdez said Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. should honor and implement the high tribunal’s January 12 decision, granting Velasco’s petition for mandamus, a judicial writ issued as a command to an inferior court or ordering a person to perform a public or statutory duty.

Valdez said the SC ruling is final, noting that Velasco can take his oath and assume the position.

Agreeing with Valdez, Joyas said Congress must follow the SC decision, stressing that their members are vested by law to implement the order of the High Court.

Belmonte, however, said he would not follow the SC but would implement instead the decision of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET), which is to keep Reyes in her seat.

Joyas warned that disobeying the SC could lead to a contempt case and could be penalized with a fine or imprisonment.

Mamasapano anniversary

On the occasion of the 1st Anniversary of the Mamasapano Massacre, President Benigno Aquino III finally awarded medals to the 44 dead Special Action Force (SAF) commandos.

Tomorrow, the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs will reopen its probe of the Mamasapano incident, upon the request of Minority Floor Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, who announced that he has new information to prove President Aquino’s inaction which led to the deaths of the 44 SAF members.

Retired Chief Superintendent Diosdado Valeroso also came forward to say he has a recording of a conversation by a ranking government official and a police officer confirming the lack of action of the President to send reinforcement to the fallen 44 SAF personnel.

 

ACIRC ANNIVERSARY OF THE MAMASAPANO MASSACRE ARCHBISHOPS JOSE PALMA OF CEBU AND SOCRATES VILLEGAS ATILDE CARDINAL CARDINAL BO CARDINALS GAUDENCIO ROSALES AND RICARDO VIDAL CATHOLIC BISHOPS IEC POPE FRANCIS VELASCO
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