I am amazed at the boldness of the Metropolitan Archbishop and Suffragan bishops of the ecclesiastical province of Cebu in taking up at an episcopal conference a matter concerning the constitutional duties and prerogatives of the officials and branches of the government of the Commonwealth.
I had so far ignored charges made to the effect that the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in the Philippines had instigated and was behind the movement for the enactment of the bill regarding religious instruction in the Philippines. But the pastoral letter is incontrovertible evidence that we did face at the last session of the legislature, and we do face now, one of the most menacing evils that can confront the government and people of the Philippines, namely, the interference of the Church in the affairs of the State…
It seems that the Archbishop and bishops who have written this pastoral letter are blind to the lessons of history including our own during the Spanish regime. Being myself a Catholic, I am no less interested in preserving the independence of the church from the state than I am in preserving the independence of the government from the church.
It should be unnecessary to remind the ecclesiastical authorities in the Philippines that the separation of church and state in this country is a reality and not a mere theory, and that as far as our people are concerned, it is forever settled that this separation shall be maintained as one of the cardinal tenets of our government. They should realize, therefore, that any attempts on their part to interfere with matters that are within the province of the government will not be tolerated.
On matters purely ecclesiastical, the Catholic bishops may speak for the Filipino Catholics; but when it comes to expressing the will of the Filipino people as a political entity on any matter concerning legislation or governmental measures, the Catholic bishops, some of whom are not Filipinos, are assuming too much when they pretend to speak for our people as they do in the pastoral letter when they say that the majority of the Filipino people are demanding the enactment of the bill which I have vetoed. The fact that the majority of the National Assembly voted for the said bill does not necessarily prove that the majority of the people are for it. It only proves that the majority of the members of the National Assembly were for the bill.
If I were inclined to interfere in the affairs of the church, as the Catholic bishops are attempting to do with the affairs of the state, I would tell the Archbishop and the bishops of the ecclesiastical province of Cebu that it is their lack of Sunday schools and catechists to teach the Catholic religion that is mainly responsible for the deplorable ignorance of their own religion that is found amongst the Catholic youth.
- President Marcos delivered the Most SONAs. He delivered 20 SONAs.
- President Sergio Osmeña delivered the least number of SONAs. He delivered only 1 SONA, in 1945.
- President Elpidio Quirino was the only President not to deliver a SONA in front of Congress when he was confined in Johns Hopkins…
K to 12 reform is about to be undertaken through one of the most difficult types of changes possible — transitional change. And while its proponents can expect us to understand and call on us to sacrifice, it will fall on our leaders to manage this change in the best way they see possible. They’ll get some things right, some things wrong — but that’s politics.
This change isn’t going to be easy, and personally I have several opinions on it whether you ask the citizen, the policy wonk, the student, or the teacher in me. I’m sure others will come to it from other perspectives, too — as parents, as administrators, and as the policy makers, too.
All I can say is that I’m approaching this in the mode I can best participate in — as a teacher. And as a teacher there is only really one fundamental question I have to keep in mind — It’s whether what I do in the classroom, along the halls, and for my institution contributes to the well-being of our students.
As we navigate these newfound waters, our students are our North Star — as they should have always been, and always will.