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
Rights workers claim military harassment
Groups claim threats made via mobile phone, surveillanceHealth workers file complaint of military harassment before the Commission on Human Rights
- Lyn Ramo and Artemio Dumlao, Baguio City
- March 18, 2011
Milagros Ao-wat, 57, health programs desk coordinator of Community Health Education Services and Training in the Cordillera (CHESTCORE), said she wants to get justice for the "anxiety and anguish" brought about by the death threats she receives daily.
Romellia Rasalan, executive director of CHESTCORE, said the threats are "shaking" Ao-wat who reported that military agents have been shadowing her. "She is not having good sleep and has difficulty eating," Rasalan said.
Rosalinda Suyam, 27, a CHESTCORE worker, also reported that she has been receiving messages on her mobile phone accusing her of links to the communist revolutionary movement.
The armed forces denied the alleged surveillance activities.
Suyam, however, said she has been accused of being a member of the communist New People's Army after she joined a village meeting on health issues.
She was later diagnosed to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
"We have been getting similar treatments from military and paramilitary men in Kalinga province," said Rasalan.
She said the incidents of harassment alarmed her organization especially after the killing of Dr. Leonardo Co, a scientist who used to work with CHESTCORE.
Co was killed in alleged crossfire between the Philippine military and communist rebels while conducting research in the province of Leyte.
Lawyer Harold Kub-aron, regional director of the Commission on Human Rights, said his office "will verify these complaints and start investigating."