How clear is GCTA? How true is the conversion?
(The Freeman) - September 12, 2019 - 12:00am

I couldn’t imagine how it’s possible when a head of a subject told the teachers to assess the students’ encounter with Christ through a rubric. Ideally, perhaps it’s good to think of the possible assessment. The core of the catechetical mission of the subject is to let the learners encounter Christ in his/her life. Why not give a try to evaluate if a student does? However, I doubt if someone’s faith can be measured entirely by a number, anyone, or anything because only God can see and measure one’s faith in him through grace.

The Catholic Church believes faith maybe considered both fides quae or objective faith and fides qua or subjective faith. Objectively, because it refers to the revealed truths of God both in scripture and tradition. Subjectively, because according to the Church, it stands for the habit or virtue which we assent to those truths. However, let’s go down a little to the idea of conversion. Faith is one of the factors why someone has changed into good from being so evil.  If it is not a faith in God at least let’s consider faith in something --for a better self.

Let us put the subject in the context of the release of Ariel Balansag, Josman Aznar, and Alberto Caño, who were convicted for the murder of Chiong sisters in 1997. Director General Nicanor Faeldon of Bureau of Corrections granted their liberty through the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) Law after around 20 years of trying to change themselves in prison. But the decision has become an issue now because of the possible selling of GCTA, according to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra.

In her column, Ms. Annie Perez wrote that she’d seen the three convicts. They said that they have changed and it is for the better. They are now old men who want to get back to life with the little time they have left. She met one of them who cried and said that they tried their best to change so they could live a new life.

The case of the three convicts to Chiong’s family is somehow a grave offense against human rights. It’s hard to forget and even a challenge to forgive. There must be a lawful process. But what if the process, the GCTA law, in the course of years and different administrations has not been clearly served? Time is fleeting, how many more would expect clear justice, how many more would expect liberty. How clear is GCTA law? How true is the conversion?

In life, either we talk about God or not, we naturally have faith in someone we believe in. Young learners of today must also learn to deepen this thing. In their own times, in the next generations, in their own place and position in society, may they be more faithful to what is morally good even without a tool to measure their faithfulness. Just do what is morally good.

Edmer John Caballes

Cebu City

GCTA
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