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
Hunger strike farmers collapse
Protesters taken ill after two daysProtesting farmers stage a "die-in" (Photo by Vincent Go)
- ucanews.com reporter, Manila
- December 19, 2012
A group of 12 hunger striking farmers were rushed to hospital today, complaining that they felt weak and had difficulty breathing.
The farmers were among 56 landless peasants who started a hunger strike in Manila on Monday. The group, from Negros, Batangas and Bukidnon provinces, had planned an indefinite hunger strike at the headquarters of the Agrarian Reform Department to demand immediate land distribution.
The remaining strikers, who are continuing their fast, staged a "die-in" this morning in front the agrarian reform building, blocking traffic in the area.
A spokesman said they will remain steadfast in their hunger strike while waiting for President Benigno Aquino to meet with them. The presidential palace, however, has remained silent on the issue.
The protesting farmers are demanding the immediate distribution of 17,160 hectares of land which they say is pledged to them under the government's agrarian reform program, and the dismissal of Agrarian Refom Secretary Virgilio Delos Reyes.
The farmers claim that Delos Reyes had lowered this year’s distribution target of 260,000 hectares to 180,000. In spite of this, only 49,349 hectares of land has been distributed as of December 13.
In Negros Occidental alone, only 1,784 hectares have been distributed to farmers from a government target of 54,172 hectares.