Zamboanga’s new Archbishop installed on May 14; vows to attend to “bakwits”

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/24 March) – Kidapawan Bishop Romulo dela Cruz, the Archbishop-elect of Zamboanga, has vowed to attend to the needs of the ‘bakwits’ or residents displaced from their homes due to the 21-day standoff between government forces and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in Zamboanga City last September.

Dela Cruz, 66, will be installed as Archbishop of Zamboanga on May 14.

At the thanksgiving lunch after the graduation of the pioneer batch of eight graduates of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Diocesan Seminary last Sunday, Dela Cruz said he is aware of the challenges he would face in Zamboanga, including the problems facing the internally displaced persons or ‘bakwits’ there.

Kidapawan Bishop Romulo dela Cruz, who will be installed Archbishop of Zamboanga on May 14,  delivers an inspirational message to the graduates of Our Lady of Guadalupe Diocesan Seminary during a post-graduation  thanksgiving lunch at the seminary house in Kidapawan City on March 23, 2014. MindaNews photo by Toto Lozano

Kidapawan Bishop Romulo dela Cruz, who will be installed Archbishop of Zamboanga on May 14, delivers an inspirational message to the graduates of Our Lady of Guadalupe Diocesan Seminary during a post-graduation thanksgiving lunch at the seminary house in Kidapawan City on March 23, 2014. MindaNews photo by Toto Lozano

He told the graduates and their parents that in his homily during the morning mass at the Cathedral, he narrated to parishioners about the problem of lack of water at the grandstand-turned-evacuation center in Zamboanga City and how ‘bakwits’ have been complaining they had not taken a bath because of lack of water.

He said as the shepherd he would tell his flock of ‘bakwits’ in Zamboanga “kung baho mo, magpabaho pud ko” (if you smell, I will also smell like you).

Water for  ‘bakwits’ and more

Dela Cruz said that among his priorities would be “to ensure they will have water” and “ensure they will get out of that situation.”

He said he also heard of the problems Badjaos are facing in terms of relocation to a place away from the sea.

“Badjaos can’t live without the sea,” he said.

Dela Cruz told MindaNews after the thanksgiving lunch that he would meet with the city’s officials, interfaith groups and other sectors.

“I would like to listen to various groups,” he said.

A report from the City Health Office in Zamboanga City said 88 deaths had been reported at the Joaquin F. Enriquez Memorial Sports Center, more popularly known as “Grandstand,” and the Cawa-Cawa shoreline, from September 9, 2013 to February 22, 2014.

Forty four or half of those who died were children under five years old; 24 were aged 5 to 59 and 20 were aged 60 and beyond.

Diarrhea was the leading cause of mortality for children under 5 years (41%). Pneumonia (27%) was the leading cause of morbidity among the 5-59 age group.

The report also said 55% of deaths occurred outside health facilities but in the evacuation centers at JFEMSC and Cawa-Cawa shoreline.

Last month, according to the Situational Report Number 4 of the Zamboanga Recovery and Rehabilitation Efforts dated February 18, a total of 26,026 residents were still in staying in 10 evacuation centers and four transitional sites in Zamboanga City as of February 11. Of this number, half or 13,274 displaced persons were staying at the Joaquin F. Enriquez, Jr. Sports Complex while 4,310 were staying along the Cawa-Cawa Shoreline Cluster

From Basilan to Zamboanga

Dela Cruz is no stranger to Zambonga. He was Bishop of Basilan from 1989 to 2001 and Bishop of Antique from 2001 until his appointment as Bishop of Kidapawan in 2008.

He has been serving as Bishop of Kidapawan since June 2008, succeeding Bishop Romulo Valles who was named Archbishop of Zamboanga in 2007 and Archbishop of Davao in 2012.

Archbishop-elect Romulo dela Cruz congratulates a graduate of Our Lady of Guadalupe Diocesan Seminary after the graduation ceremony in Kidapawan City on March 23, 2014. MindaNews photo by Toto Lozano

Archbishop-elect Romulo dela Cruz congratulates a graduate of Our Lady of Guadalupe Diocesan Seminary after the graduation ceremony in Kidapawan City on March 23, 2014. MindaNews photo by Toto Lozano

Dela Cruz said he was called by the Papa Nuncio to the Philippines, Archbishop Guiseppe Pinto, to Manila on February 25 and was told that it is the desire of the Holy Father, Pope Francis, that he would serve as Archbishop of Zamboanga.

He said he was given a day to write his response. The next day, he wrote the Papal Nuncio that “in fear and trembling,” he was accepting the new assignment.

He said he added in this letter “In Confido Domino” (I trust in the Lord) and “Misericordias Domini in aeternum cantabo” (I will sing the mercies of the Lord forever).

Vatican Radio announced Dela Cruz’ appointment on March 15, a day before he celebrated his 26th anniversary as Bishop.

Mindanao has four Archdioceses – Cotabato under Cardinal Orlando Quevedo, Davao under Archbishop Valles, Ozamiz under Jesus Dosado, and Zamboanga. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)

URL: http://www.mindanews.com/top-stories/2014/03/24/zamboangas-new-archbishop-installed-on-may-14-vows-to-attend-to-bakwits/

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  • http://www.facebook.com/JORPee Rltr. John R. Petalcorin

    MNLF RIGHT OF REPLY to “Zamboanga’s new Archbishop installed on May 14; vows to attend to “bakwits””

    - Meron din palang relihiyosong tao na nagpapa-epal. Sa gitna ng paghihirap ngmga tao, nakuha pang magpasikat sa sarili. Forgive me, father. The voice of those people says: “They are killing us slowly by keeping us here,” said Jalnari Hadjirul, a 61-year-old Badjao leader at Cawa-Cawa. “I think they should send us home now, or we will all die.” Can’t you hear their voice, father?

    - In this article, we read again the repeated, continuing, and sustained propaganda against the MNLF. we have to post a canned RIGHT OF REPLY again. Have you ever made a count on how many articles were published with a message that says “Misuari MNLF attacked Zamboanga”? There are hundreds already, including your article. The message is running everyday even until now since September 2013. this message is no longer news, it is already a propaganda, a paid propaganda. The mainstream media should put it in the paid advertisement section — not in the news section.

    - There should also be dialogue to discuss the issue of using catholic-memorized prayer “The Lord’s Prayer” or “Our Father” as entrance password in the evacuation camp. This practice of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) that no less than Mar Roxas orchestrated, is a prejudice against Muslims.

    - The writer forgot to mention who and what Nur Misuari is. Do you have any idea what a Nobel Peace Prize is? Please be informed that Nur Misuari, the leader of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) is a United Nations Peace Prize Awardee and a Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. This is Misuari’s greatest achievement and he is not stupid to terrorize any town in Philippines. Nur Misuari is not a terrorist — he is the one who is terrorized, he is horrified by the prejudice of the GPH.

    - The MNLF follows the peaceful process of attaining political objectives set by the Mindanao Independence Movement (MIM). The MIM prospectus and brochure is available online, just ask for the URL by sending a message in MNLFpage in Facebook. The MNLF condemns and does not subscribe to all forms of terrorism because we don’t want to establish a new nation that uses terrorism as a means of achieving political change. Try checking out YouTube video titled “Mindanao Independence – Signing of Declaration” and you will see the big issue here that your news network is turning a blind eye. Signing of the Mindanao Declaration of independence is a very successful ongoing activity — the people of Mindanao really wants secession from Philippines in a peaceful methodology.

    - The notion of “MNLF Faction” is just a propaganda. There is no such thing as “MNLF Faction” — there is only one MNLF. The MNLF is not a participant in that chaos in Zamboanga City on September 2013. Since day one of that September 2013 chaos in Zamboanga City, we have maintained a statement that Malik, Misuari, and the genuine MNLF are not participants in the planning and execution of that squatter demolition. No MNLF was killed, injured, or arrested in that incident.

    - That chaos was purely a squatter demolition operation by the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and simultaneously a “False Flag Operation” of the GPH to smear dirt on the face of MNLF and the Mindanao Independence Movement. The implementers of the squatter demolition merely used MNLF actors (counterfeit MNLFs) to act as running rabbits to ignite chaos that would provide reason for the squatter uprooters to move into the designated demolition zone. It is an open secret in Mindanao wherein GPH Military and GPH Police manufacture counterfeit MNLF uniforms, recruit poor uneducated boys, and ask them to wear the MNLF uniforms to do dangerous money-making activities such as extortion, squatter demolition, false flag operation, and even stage-play armed conflict in order to get AFP Medals or PNP Medals (for example: search the internet for article titled “Army officer na nagpapagawa ng MNLF uniform, iniimbistigahan”).

    - The chaos of in Zamboanga City of September 2013 was a squatter demolition that was long planned by the LGU of Zamboanga City under the leadership of Mayor Climaco, in line with real estate development in Zamboanga. They are also hoping to rake in millions of humanitarian donations.

    - If the evacuation was a result of a real armed conflict, a ceasefire that we proposed through Vice President Binay should have been applicable, but it was not applicable because it was no real armed conflict. If the evacuation could have been a result of a real armed conflict, the uprooted people who are temporarily sheltered in evacuation camp in the Zamboanga City Grand Stand should have long been allowed to return to their lands after the supposed armed conflict. What is going on in the evacuation center now is like a Nazi Concentration camp, over 100 evacuees have already died by diseases. It’s like a Philippine style death wake where cadavers are displayed in the coffin for months to extend the opportunity of asking wake alms and donations.

    - Even on this date of commenting, the uprooted people (Badjaos and Muslim minorities) are being disallowed to return to their lands — the human rights violation issue in relation to the uprooting is what the mainstream media and the Philippine government is turning a blind eye or perhaps hiding.

    John R. Petalcorin
    Director for Communications, MNLF
    Executive Director, Mindanao Independence Movement (MIM)
    Admin, FB/MNLFpage

  • http://www.facebook.com/JORPee Rltr. John R. Petalcorin

    MNLF RIGHT OF REPLY to “Zamboanga’s new Archbishop installed on May 14; vows to attend to “bakwits””

    - Meron din palang relihiyosong tao na nagpapa-epal. Sa gitna ng paghihirap ngmga tao, nakuha pang magpasikat sa sarili. Forgive me, father. The voice of those people says: “They are killing us slowly by keeping us here,” said Jalnari Hadjirul, a 61-year-old Badjao leader at Cawa-Cawa. “I think they should send us home now, or we will all die.” Can’t you hear their voice, father?

    - In this article, we read again the repeated, continuing, and sustained propaganda against the MNLF. we have to post a canned RIGHT OF REPLY again. Have you ever made a count on how many articles were published with a message that says “Misuari MNLF attacked Zamboanga”? There are hundreds already, including your article. The message is running everyday even until now since September 2013. this message is no longer news, it is already a propaganda, a paid propaganda. The mainstream media should put it in the paid advertisement section — not in the news section.

    - There should also be dialogue to discuss the issue of using catholic-memorized prayer “The Lord’s Prayer” or “Our Father” as entrance password in the evacuation camp. This practice of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) that no less than Mar Roxas orchestrated, is a prejudice against Muslims.

    - The writer forgot to mention who and what Nur Misuari is. Do you have any idea what a Nobel Peace Prize is? Please be informed that Nur Misuari, the leader of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) is a United Nations Peace Prize Awardee and a Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. This is Misuari’s greatest achievement and he is not stupid to terrorize any town in Philippines. Nur Misuari is not a terrorist — he is the one who is terrorized, he is horrified by the prejudice of the GPH.

    - The MNLF follows the peaceful process of attaining political objectives set by the Mindanao Independence Movement (MIM). The MIM prospectus and brochure is available online, just ask for the URL by sending a message in MNLFpage in Facebook. The MNLF condemns and does not subscribe to all forms of terrorism because we don’t want to establish a new nation that uses terrorism as a means of achieving political change. Try checking out YouTube video titled “Mindanao Independence – Signing of Declaration” and you will see the big issue here that your news network is turning a blind eye. Signing of the Mindanao Declaration of independence is a very successful ongoing activity — the people of Mindanao really wants secession from Philippines in a peaceful methodology.

    - The notion of “MNLF Faction” is just a propaganda. There is no such thing as “MNLF Faction” — there is only one MNLF. The MNLF is not a participant in that chaos in Zamboanga City on September 2013. Since day one of that September 2013 chaos in Zamboanga City, we have maintained a statement that Malik, Misuari, and the genuine MNLF are not participants in the planning and execution of that squatter demolition. No MNLF was killed, injured, or arrested in that incident.

    - That chaos was purely a squatter demolition operation by the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and simultaneously a “False Flag Operation” of the GPH to smear dirt on the face of MNLF and the Mindanao Independence Movement. The implementers of the squatter demolition merely used MNLF actors (counterfeit MNLFs) to act as running rabbits to ignite chaos that would provide reason for the squatter uprooters to move into the designated demolition zone. It is an open secret in Mindanao wherein GPH Military and GPH Police manufacture counterfeit MNLF uniforms, recruit poor uneducated boys, and ask them to wear the MNLF uniforms to do dangerous money-making activities such as extortion, squatter demolition, false flag operation, and even stage-play armed conflict in order to get AFP Medals or PNP Medals (for example: search the internet for article titled “Army officer na nagpapagawa ng MNLF uniform, iniimbistigahan”).

    - The chaos of in Zamboanga City of September 2013 was a squatter demolition that was long planned by the LGU of Zamboanga City under the leadership of Mayor Climaco, in line with real estate development in Zamboanga. They are also hoping to rake in millions of humanitarian donations.

    - If the evacuation was a result of a real armed conflict, a ceasefire that we proposed through Vice President Binay should have been applicable, but it was not applicable because it was no real armed conflict. If the evacuation could have been a result of a real armed conflict, the uprooted people who are temporarily sheltered in evacuation camp in the Zamboanga City Grand Stand should have long been allowed to return to their lands after the supposed armed conflict. What is going on in the evacuation center now is like a Nazi Concentration camp, over 100 evacuees have already died by diseases. It’s like a Philippine style death wake where cadavers are displayed in the coffin for months to extend the opportunity of asking wake alms and donations.

    - Even on this date of commenting, the uprooted people (Badjaos and Muslim minorities) are being disallowed to return to their lands — the human rights violation issue in relation to the uprooting is what the mainstream media and the Philippine government is turning a blind eye or perhaps hiding.

    John R. Petalcorin
    Director for Communications, MNLF
    Executive Director, Mindanao Independence Movement (MIM)
    Admin, FB/MNLFpage

    • ISLAM

      Tama ka dyan Bother John.. Matagal ko na pong hinihintay na may kasama ng ako sa posting about Zamboanga September 2013 Incidents.. Totoong totoo po ang kahat ng pinag sasabi ninyo.. kaya lang po bukod sa english na di maintindihan ng mga Muslim-Bajao ay wala po silang internet connection.. sana po ay maipamigay sa mga taga Rio Hondo ang ganitong sinasabi upang malamn ng mga taga Zamboanga na di totoo na may nag hasik ng kagolohan sa Zamboanga noong September 2013.. Pawang kagagawan po lahat ng iyon ng mgga gustong kumuha sa malawak na Public Lands ng Rio Hondo at iba pang lugar na apektado dahil mahal na mahal(Expensive) na po ang halaga ng Lote sa City ng Zamboanga ngayon… Yan po ang lahat ng pangunahing dahhilan kung bakit nakipag laban ang mga Muslim sa Governo ng Pilipinas dahilan po lahat sa kalupan na inaagaw ng mga Kristiano sa Kamusliman lalo na po dito sa Mindanao..Kapag mag alisan na po ang mga apekted na tao sa lupang ma barilan ay ang susunod na dyan ay rehabilitation efferts kuno ng governo.. ipagbawal na po ng governo ang pagbalik ng mga tao na nagbakwit sa isang lugar na mag barilan na nangyari at bibigyan kuno ng relocation ang mga Badjao ng relocation na di naman nila magugustohan..Yan po.. isa na pong may utak sa ganyang strategies ay ang mga PARE.. or Kristaian Relious leader.. matulad po yan sa Davao ngayon na nahaharap sa reklamo ngayon ng mga Lumads ng Davao si Father Kiboloy na sa usaping bumibili ng mura sa lupaing pagaangkin ng mga Lumads na di nakakaalm sa batas.. Maawa na po kayo mga Pare na gustomg aangkin ng lupain ng Mindanao sa mga Bajao… Pangalawa pa nilang strategies ay ang ang pamimigal ng maga pagkain, gamit, etc sa mga pobre upnag sila ay kagiliwan ng mga pobre para kahit kunin nila ang mga lupain ng mga pobre ay di makapagreklamo ang pobre dahil inuna na nila ang pamimigay sa mga pobre ng kunting bagay or pera dahil sa kagustuhang magkalupa ang mga Pare at magyaman na namn dahil ipabili na naman nila sa mga Foreigner upang lagyan ng Simbahan og grotto retreat center or religious Center.. TAMA KA DYAN BROTHER.. ARAW ARAWIN MO ANG GANYANG COMMENTO.. SALAMAT