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
Rebels pay compensation for grenade attack
Bishop calls gesture "a rare event"
- Kerima Bulan T. Navales, Davao City
- September 19, 2012
At least 50 victims received 5,000 pesos (US$120) each through the help of religious institutions, lawyers and journalists acting as third-party facilitators.
Bishop Modesto Villasanta of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines said the rebels' move was a "rare event," especially after the NDF issued an apology to the victims.
In addition to the payments, victims received counseling and medical assistance from a team of volunteers.
Bishop Villasanta said his group was assessing whether "full indemnification" would follow.
One of the victims, who asked not to be named, said the people are glad that the rebels issued a public apology.
"Having us hurt is something that they must be answerable for," he said in the local language. "It has affected us, caused us trauma and left an impact on our livelihood," he added.
Major Jacob Obligado, chief of the civilian-military office of the Army's 10th Infantry Division, however, said compensation alone was not enough to make up for the attack.
"You canâ€™tÂ right the wrong committed by giving out money to the victims," Obligado said.
He said there is no way that the rebels can ever indemnify the victims, adding that the indemnification "is meant to pacify the outrage of the community."
On September 1, rebels lobbed a grenade at a military detachment but it bounced off and exploded near a gymnasium, wounding people gathered for a show.
Five days later, the rebels issued a statement of "self-criticism" on the incident and apologized to the public and families, vowing to take "concrete measures" to indemnify the victims.
It also declared that it would hold an internal investigation and would take appropriate courses of action, â€śincluding disciplinary actionâ€ť on the responsible unit.
Government authorities, however, said the rebels should "surrender their responsible unit" for prosecution in court.