Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Davao pioneers anti-discrimination law
Minorities applaud tough new rules
- Kerima Bulan T. Navales, Davao City
- December 13, 2012
Davao yesterday became the first city in the country to outlaw discrimination over faith, sexual orientation or physical appearance with offenders liable for possible prison time.
Vice-Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, known locally as a tough enforcer of laws, said the new ordinance represented natural progression for a society hoping to avoid violence and disorder.
“We have to put a stop to this social scourge,” he said.
The new legal measure sets fines of 1,000 pesos (US$24) for first-time offenders rising to 5,000 pesos plus 15 days in prison for those found guilty of discrimination for a third time.
Although the measure was widely heralded by the gay community in Davao City, Duterte said the ordinance was just a tool to correct society.
“It is you and you alone who can earn respect and acceptance for yourselves. If you want to be respected then be respectable,” he said.
Pidot Villocino, a member of Ang Ladlad, a gay group which has registered for previous elections, called the new measure “historic” and a boost for the cause of lesbians, gays and transvestites.
Dr Jean Lindo, a women’s rights activist, also applauded the new legal measure.
“What is being laid down by this ordinance is something that is supposed to be organic in our culture and consciousness,” she said.
Wadiyyulkhaer Ibn Mohammad, a Muslim entrepreneur in Davao, said he was proud the city had pioneered measures to tackle discrimination in the Philippines.
“This law mirrors what is being taught by Islam, that there is supposed to be tolerance and respect for all,” he said.