The legacy of the Int’l Eucharistic Congress

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Freeman) - January 28, 2016 - 9:00am

I haven’t written anything yet about the happenings inside the 51st International Eucharistic Congress  simply because there was a mix up in getting my IED ID and it got lost. But I didn’t want to bother our friends or connections at the Cebu Archdiocese because we know they are super busy at this time. In fact my fellow columnist, Atty. Jose Sison, in the Star had the same predicament. He came here thinking that he could get an ID only to be told that the IED wasn’t giving out ID’s anymore. So he returned to Manila.

However I do have my own Eucharistic miracle to write. Last Tuesday I went on my usual adoration before the Blessed Sacrament and I asked the Lord whether it was his will that I should not attend the historic IEC which was now on-going. The next day, a kind soul (a friend who did not want his name to be revealed) texted me about my predicament and told me that he had another ID. So we met at the IT Park on Wednesday at 3:30PM. I returned to my office in MyTV,  and while I was getting out of my car, my cameraman Jefferson Canada was rushing to cover IEC events and since our vehicle had an ID, he dropped me over to the IEC Convention area.

Honestly, it was the first time for me to see that edifice. I have seen photos of it on Facebook, but it really is a huge facility that can handle huge conferences and concerts. Perhaps this building, which was built for the IEC is one legacy of this historic event. As I was going around, my thoughts went to the Cebu International Convention Center, which can no longer be used. Well, might as well sell the CICC to the City of Mandaue so that that edifice can still be useful. This in my book has changed my outlook as far as the CICC is concerned. Call it an IEC legacy!

Incidentally I got great and good comments about the way the Cebu City Traffic Office  has handled the IEC traffic scheme… that traffic, which was expected to be bad, wasn’t really as bad as we thought it would be except in the usual notorious places. The fact that there are no classes allowed during the IEC was a huge plus for traffic management.

A bigger plus was the use of the one hundred Ceres or Mindanao Star luxury buses, which was used on strategic routes for all the delegates. This is the first time Cebu City saw a hundred buses plying their routes everyday. Call it an unexpected experiment, but Cebu City must move forward and start thinking of buses. This is another IEC Legacy!

Finally… that many foreigners were so touched by the faith of the Cebuanos, perhaps because they know so little of Cebu. But nearly 500 years after the Armada de Moluccas of Ferdinand Magellan, the Catholic faith in Cebu is very strong and we’ve seen this year in and year out and in every Sinulog Festival. So if the IEC has allowed the conversion of feeble or cafeteria Catholics and made them believers in the real presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, his body, blood, soul, and divinity in the Holy Eucharist, then it truly is an IEC legacy.

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Many people want to know what did the last Senate Investigation achieve for the country? Well for one, Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile clearly put in place the key role of Pres. Aquino in the planning and the execution of Oplan Exodus, detailing the previous “Oplans” Wolverine 1, 2, & 3 and many other “Oplans” in order to get Abdir Zulkifir alias “Marwan.”

Perhaps the most important revelation of the Senate investigation was that the President showed no leadership when his chief of the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines  top brass could not see eye to eye with each other and worse, they could not coordinate with each other on an important but secret mission like Oplan Exodus. While Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang defended the AFP when JPE accused him that the chain of command had frozen, but this was the reality that we saw and the PNP and the AFP could not help each other.

But on the dark side. JPE failed in his mission to expose the audiotape of a police general in conversation with Pres. Aquino. This was the bombshell and failed to explode. I was watching on live TV the Senate Investigations, but had to leave in the afternoon and I don’t know why the session ended abruptly and why there will be no more sessions.

In short, the Senate investigation in the Mamasapano massacre created only more questions to ask. What is also crystal clear to me is that the President’s allies in the Senate defended the President even if his role in the Mamasapano massacre has been clearly established. So if there are no more Senate investigations on the Mamasapano incident, then we can only hope that the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) under chairman Dante Jimenez would make good their threat that on the first day PNoy steps down from the presidency, he would be greeted with criminal charges.

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