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NEVER AGAIN !!!

Friday, April 27, 2007

OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKERS IN REVOLT!

Mahal Kung Kababayan:

This email is a patriotic request by the proponents of sakdal-laya.mysite.com <http://sakdal-laya.mysite.com/> for your nationalistic participation and support in the awareness campaign for the liberation of the country from the abusive and oppressive hold of the traditional politicians (trapos), the Philippine oligarchy and showbiz/sport personalities in the Philippines. The sponsoring website is sakdal-laya.mysite.com <http://sakdal-laya.mysite.com/>, a homogenous, non- political non-structured, non-profit cyberspace mass movement organized and maintained in the USA by Overseas Filipino Workers.

By using extensively the internet email systems and cell phone texting, we plan to disseminate our messages against the present "Ruling Class" domination and subjugation of the entire country.

As an OFW or a supporter, we request your participation by sending out this email to three - five of your Filipino relatives, friends or associates, who will further repeat the same procedure.

The procedure is a proven effective marketing strategy of downward "multi-level" dispersions to reach out to most possible contacts spreading the message exponentially and hopefully reaching millions of Filipinos and supporters around the world.

Our message is: In this coming May 2007 elections, DO NOT VOTE FOR ANY KNOWN TRADITIONAL POLITICIAN, SHOW BUSINESS / SPORTS PERSONALITIES OR ANY OF THOSE WHO BELONG TO THE OLD POLITICAL DYNASTIES in the Philippines. These selfish and uncaring countrymen were responsible for all the economic and political miseries inflicted to millions of Filipinos by their wanton corruption and plundering of the national patrimony. Please log on to sakdal-laya.mysite.com <http://sakdal-laya.mysite.com/> to access the complete information of our mass movement.

Your further active participation and support is welcomed. Please send us your comments, suggestions and ideas about this mass movement. We will keep you informed of our future concerted mass action plans and strategies to sustain our efforts and objectives for a liberated Philippines!

MABUHAY ANG BAGONG FILIPINO!!

Sakdal.laya@yahoo.com <http://us.f635.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=Sakdal.laya@yahoo.com>
Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA


NEW RELEASE:

OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKERS IN REVOLT!

A group of Filipino immigrants in the United States launched a new website (sakdal-laya.mysite.com <http://sakday-laya.mysite.com/> ) targeting the entire and present Philippine political system who they claimed were responsible for the large-scale corruption and grinding poverty in the Philippines. After the Second World War, surviving a devastating Japanese occupation the country was poised to become a leading economic power in Southeast Asia. Unfortunately, during the 60's successive political administrations that started with the dictator Ferdinand Marcos brought the country to brink of bankruptcy by large-scale corruption, rampant cronyism and outright thievery perpetrated by the elite ruling class and oligarchy composed of powerful families who dominated almost all aspects of political and social agenda of the nation. The present Filipino president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, daughter of a previous president and herself the most hated traditional oligarch and politician was suspected of rigging the last presidential elections. Another president before Arroyo, Joseph Estrada, a popular actor turned politician was kicked out of his office by a popular coup-de-etat. Charged with plunder due to his excesses by publicly floating his mistresses, multi-million dollars mansions and "midnight" drinking bouts with his cabinet and shady Chinese-Filipino associates suspected to have looted the nation to the ground.

It is estimated that 8 to 10 million Filipinos are now working and residing all over the world as nannies, merchant sailors, engineers, construction workers and health care providers. Their remittances to families left behind amounted to 12 billion dollars in 2006. For years, these dollar remittances generated economic activities that somehow kept the country afloat.

In retrospect, the Overseas Filipino Workers, sarcastically idolized by the tricky politicians as the new "heroes" are now restive and indignant on the never ending unproductive squabbles and empty showmanship displayed by a typical Filipino politician. The economic reality is that the country is now judged to be the poorest and most corrupt in Asia. The website claimed that both Macapagal-Arroyo and Estrada are the classic unfortunate poster examples of dynastic politicians sustained by corrupted political power and stolen wealth.

The website's message is to boycott voting for the old names (traditional politicians and oligarchies) dominating the Philippine political scene. A continuing and sustained campaign of awareness and information dissemination through the cyberspace and wireless cell phones appears to be an effective media for the social protest, the first organized electronic revolt against what the overseas Filipinos call, the unholy alliance of the ruling class composed of corrupt oligarchies, traditional politicians and entertainment personalities turned politicians who for decades robbed the country blind driving a big portion of it's educated, productive, articulate, yet disillusioned and exasperated citizens abroad.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

EMERGING SYNERGY OF EFFORTS FOR BETTER ELECTIONS

[Apologies for crossposting / please help us reach more people.]

‘Candleflames of Hope’
:
Emerging Synergy of Efforts for Better Elections

During elections in the context of a working democracy, a nation would “divide the house” to choose leaders who can unite us more closely and more strongly for more effective National Synergy. The democratic direction is towards synergy, not towards further division. After all, real democracy is the synergy of wills of self-actualized human individuals. Premises for this include humans being conscious of their dignity and rights and asserting these individually and collectively through effective mechanisms for such assertion and administered by their chosen servant-leaders. Unless it clearly works this way, suffrage just divides us.

In healthy democracies, individual members of the human communities, as various scopes of constituency, consciously and voluntarily synergize their total humanity – their human bodies, their human minds and their human spirit. Minus any of these three, the reality of living democracy is greatly diminished. There can be no real democracy if the people behave like slaves, not thinking for themselves, not making fully-informed decisions especially on how the synergy would best serve the rights of all based on the will of the majority, with due compassion and care for the specific legitimate interests of all the component groups, especially the special groups that are of the minority by reason of non-choiceful circumstances.

Synergy of will, collated and consolidated from an effective synergy of minds through a healthy process, should translate into a consensus of what the whole community should do at any given time. For the national community this would be the national long-range plan that should serve this entire community and its citizens fully. For smaller component communities, whether territorially- defined or otherwhise, there should be equivalent long-range plans. Actually, the plans of these smaller-scope constituencies should be the ones synergized as the basis of the national plan (contrary to what has become the pattern, the national plan should not be based on the order list handed down by foreign creditor institutions, as it has been usual practice!).

The execution of the plans needs the synergy of actions of human bodies, the creativity of human minds and the enthusiasm of the human spirit. The best plan we can come up with collectively deserves to have a realistically effective plan of collective implementation, where groups and individuals would have clearly defined roles to play. Therefore, an important part of planning the implementation of any collective undertaking is choosing which of the co-equal citizens would play which roles to implement that plan.

Choosing Among Candidates
Choosing specifically which individuals would do the overall orchestrating, which individuals would do the very specific planning, and who would lead in implementing the plans, whether by election or by appointment, is definitely an important component of democracy. This is why after the forging of the nationwide consensus on the most important issues and making concrete plans, elections are very important direct acts of the people in a working democracy.

But if all the citizens are just in this focus, if all that the citizens do is to compare among reputations of persons presenting themselves for the various tasks, if all we do is blame all our woes on one reelectionist candidate or be hysterically afraid of what one of the challengers would do if he wins, democracy cannot be a reality. It has become our habit as voters to compare among candidates on the basis their character reputations or even their minor misdeeds. The people should unite on the what’s before they can responsively and productively unite on the who’s. Or choose our who’s on the basis of the what’s that they credibly espouse.

Elections in parliamentary systems are done that way. The parliament can be dissolved upon a big national issue and a new one is created when the people choose their equivalent of congressional district representatives according to party affiliations which imply clear positions on the issue. That way the people themselves are directly voting on that issue. The problem with our situation here in the Philippines has always been that the major political parties are basically identical, and our candidates are generally mum on real issues, on policy and platform issues. They would rather dance, sing, or do acrobatics, and engage in character-assassination, but generally shy away from taking the issues by the horns.

And then we have had the grand cheating arrangements, with the incumbents holding a gigantic, albeit undue, advantage over the opposition. We all know the specifics of what is being referred to here. We have all these “noted!” in our minds (it just remains to be seen what we are going to do about them.) But undeserving candidates have won not really just by cheating, but by employing psychological manipulation. Very vulnerable to such manipulation are a great number of our voters have had the habit of reelecting proven liars, candidates with recycled broken promises and recycled excuses for dismal performance, just because these candidates convincingly appeared winnable. Many of us tend to favor fighting cocks that are llamado. Many of us have apparently lost all devotion to the value of truth and integrity. Many of us have actually been gamblers not voters, even admitting it with amusement or even with a misplaced sense of pride.

We should not limit our democratic right and duty to choosing which politicians we would predictably be blaming later, specifically at the time of the next election period. But are we not doing precisely that? Can’t we break free from this impotent, even harmful, cycle that we dare to claim as “democracy”? Can’t we make democracy work or at least personally behave during elections in a way the next generations would have reason to hold us in admiration and gratitude instead of holding us in contempt?

Candleflames of Hope
There are little candleflames of hope in our midst. The number of these flames of hope has been growing in these past few weeks, despite the apathy or, worse, heckling, that they have been getting from the bigger number of skeptics and cynics around them. These candleflames are the earnest efforts undertaken by those of us who refuse to passively surrender to the seeming inevitability of complete darkness after sundown. They are stretching time, talent and treasure to the very limits, just to be able to do the tasks they had undertaken to perform and to do these really well despite all the historical, socio-cultural and logistical limitations:

Some groups have decided to run as party-list organizations with the earnest intent of serving well the marginalized sectors of society within the halls of Congress. Many others have started campaigning for specific candidates who are running against formidable financial resources, party machineries and armed might.

One group, called “No-Cheats!–Halalang Marangal” seek, collate and publicize precinct-level results (that individual voters can cross-check) even if many of the results have been easily manipulated at provincial, regional and national official canvassing processes. Another group has initiated an instant-info service project to assist individual voters with very specific inquiries on the voting process. The “Gabay-Halalan” project, now on its second run (it was initiated for the 2004 election as a good citizen’s good move), has again drawn in the support of PLDT for toll-free calls to its call center where any on practically any inquiry about the elections (e.g. candidates' profiles and platforms, their stand on issues, where and how to vote, etc.)

And we have had, for sometime now, the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) and also NAMFREL, doing their own voter-education and independent- count operations. For voter education, two organizations of Pamayanang SanibLakas ng Pilipinas have joined the effort. The mainly-academe- based Lambat-Liwanag Network for Empowering Paradigms (specifically its Task Force for the Civics and Democratic Governance Paradigm) has come out with a “Voter’s Scorecard” with an introductory article stressing the importance of every voter’s long-term self-development as persons and as citizens by taking pains to choose well the candidates s/he would vote for, using a weighted computation scheme that would surely be “better than using dice.” For its part, SanibLakas ng Inang Kalikasan (SALIKA) has started campaigning for the environmental agenda to be included in the voters’ considerations in choosing whom to vote for.

Divergent as all these efforts clearly are, they are all worthy of our support. And although perhaps unintended on the part of some, there is a real synergy among them. Our long-buried heirloom, called “bayanihan” is at work here! Many Filipinos may view these as “quixotic” in the face of the well-financed, elite-oriented and unprincipled electoral campaigns and cheating schemes that have characterized elections in this country especially these past few years. But as long as these Candleflames of Hope keep on burning, and multiplying, there is still hope. The Synergy of Light will slowly but surely grow brighter and overcome the darkness of cynicism, defeatism and opportunism. We still have the right to look our children in the eye and whisper to their hearts, “we are doing our best for you, Anak. We love you and we are doing what we can to pass on to your generation a better Philippines!”

-----Ed Aurelio C. Reyes, Lead Founder & Executive Director, SanibLakas Foundation, April 23, 2007

“NoCheats-Halalang Marangal” website: http://halal. interdoc. org, Contact the “Gabay-Halalan” group through lifeacad@yahoo. com or call Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan 426-6101 and ask for "Marj." To contact Lambat-Liwanag, or SALIKA, and/or to post a reply to this statement, please send an e-mail to: saniblakas.foundati on@yahoo. com

[A printable copy of this statement is attached. The Voter's Tool developed by Lambat-Liwanag, with an intro stressing the need for the voters' self-development, is also attached Recipients of this message through email list groups that di not accommodate attachments may email back to request for these to be sent directly to their email addresses.]

About Gabay-halalan, here's an email posting we received:
You dream of a better country...
You dream of an enlightened electorate.. .
...But can you ACT on your dreams?

YES! Be a tele-educator in the gabay-halalan call center that will provide UNBIASED, ACCESSIBLE and FREE election information and education to Filipinos nationwide!

Volunteer at least 3 hours of your time (9am-12nn, 12nn-3pm, 3pm-6pm, 6pm-9pm), any day between May 1 to 15, 2007, to take calls on practically any inquiry about the elections (e.g. candidates' profiles and platforms, their stand on issues, where/how to vote, etc.). The call center will be set-up in Ateneo de Manila University in partnership with Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan and PLDT.

QUALIFICATIONS:
* Fluent in Tagalog (and preferably another Filipino language)
* Computer literate
* Flexible and patient
* Has "word of honor" (shows up on time for his/her shift; delivers his/her commitment)
* Not aligned with or helping a candidate or party

HOW TO VOLUNTEER:
1. Identify 3 preferred shifts
2. Call Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan 426-6101 and look for Marj; or reply to this email
3. Marj will take down your contact info and will confirm your shift
* We also accept lunch contributions for at least 30 volunteers (sponsor any day May 1 to 15) Orientation of volunteer tele-educators: April 30, 2007, Ateneo de Manila.

RATIONALE of this CALL CENTER:
Those who need information the most don't have the material resources, knowledge, skills, and even time to access them in the internet or read them in printed materials. Moreover, most of the information they are fed with are biased for certain candidates or are not relevant to their decision-making. There is a need to get election information and education ON-DEMAND, for FREE, anywhere in the COUNTRY!!! We did this in 2004, we are doing it again. A better country calls for a better way of doing things! This is our contribution.

Umiibig sa Pilipinas,
Iya

Monday, April 23, 2007

MY REPLY PLEASE

Dear Mr Esguerra,

Thanks for your e-mail today! Before I proceed, is it true KOR has no right to use those titles, ranks they (KOR) distribute, based on the e-mail below from Mr Guy Stair Sainty? Is there a law that allows KOR to design and issue them? Can you please cite this law in your reply here in particular? Until Mr Sainty is proven wrong, I simply call you Mr Esguerra and I take out any title upon my name also.

Please understand that I am very straight-forward as this is what I've learned (acquired) to be the most effective method of dealing with discussions in my 24 years here in Europe: direct to the point!

I was born in the Philippines and spent my happy childhood in the country. Fighting Corruption, after my beloved country has been named "Number 1", just became my latest project among many. Corruption eats on valuable resources (money, time) that the poor do not have...! They cannot wait!

Background:

Quiambao has been responsible, partly or wholly, in the IHQ troubles of the past 5 years when there was a squabble between several factions in the IHQ trying to gain control of IHQ leadership. It seemed that his faction gained the upper hand and now holds sway in many/most IHQ decisions. All KOR members I then talked to were so ashamed! How could one quarrel openly over the post of Supreme Commander? Dr Jose Rizal, our teacher, never indulged in that! That fact was insulting and shameful! Yet I kept quiet because I was thinking it would disappear/settle after some months. Well, years passed before the dust settled!

Then came the Lina administration, asking all knights to submit proposals for the Constitution and By-Laws. I worked with two brothers in our chapter preparing our response/submission. I've read about the noteworthy Bonn submission, the great KRRM proposals and of course the one from our own chapter. I was in Manila when those Constitution and By-Laws were ratified. Fact is, I was asked to also attend and give my voice during the supposed "deliberations". Knowing that Europe had Sir Barry, Sir Dr Gunter Hecker and a few more European companions, (I call people 'Sir' because they deserve to be called such for proving themselves to be deserving of being called so, thru their deeds and words!), I still decided to stay away because even if we were 50 from Europe, what IHQ put on the table for ratification will be what will be voted upon! I was right, but I remained quiet.

Indeed, by sheer numbers, overseas proposals were simply heard but totally IGNORED!, amidst the outcry of overseas members attending! Not even one proposal was accepted! Was that an honorable act by Manila? It was the exact opposite! Clearly, some, if not all, the wishes of the overseas members, if IHQ and the Supreme Council wanted to, could have been incorporated in the ratified C&BL. How? Simply by WISELY picking the valid ones and including them in the C&BL to be ratified! But, as proven by IHQ inaction of many years to overseas complaints, written or otherwise, IHQ acted more like the Spanish administration during the time of Dr Jose Rizal, than one that fits into the framework of this 21st century!

I hold Quiambao personally responsible for the Europe upheaval, the flight of many able and honorable KOR members, because he heads the IHQ section dealing on "International" affairs. Europe is international. Clearly his job is to run it smoothly, not otherwise! He failed us all KOR members, miserably! In addition, I see no ground for Sir Hilario to appoint Sir Lucien European Commander, make it known to Sir Hans Schoof, then take the appointment back after 2 weeks(?)! Sir Lucien, from his long years of research work, finding historical mistakes even (details on where Dr Rizal resided here and there for example), clearly deserves the Regional Commander job! more than Paras. But since Paras' name was pushed through, for no Rizalian reason and you now claim this to have been a joint Council of Elders/Supreme Council decision or act, then the Council of Elders, if no one among them voiced any objections, abstentions or reservations to the Spittael/Paras switch, have shamed themselves for so doing! What is Rizalian and honorable in this switch?

I've asked Quiambao to provide documents showing Rizalian principles were observed in the Paras promotion. I marked the date, 26 Apr 07, assuming that IHQ keeps records. The entire Council of Elders could be blamed, if proof is not provided.

Respect:

The word 'respect' is relative. The number of years a person holds the job is irrelevant, when the RESULTS are irresponsible, catastrophic, shameful, not the least respectable! Idi Amin ruled for more than 15 yrs! Marcos was "president" for 20 yrs (1965-85)! Tony Meloto is there perhaps for just a couple of yrs at the helm of Gawad Kalinga, but he might be considered for the Nobel Peace Prize! I submitted his name to the German Parliament members I know.

It appears that the Council of Elders and the SC, on this switching episode, made no respectable, honorable decision! Who pushed for it? Did you? Or Quiambao? Can we please see the minutes of these meetings and the votes counted during the decision-making, if IHQ records, as you wrote, are "open to scrutiny"?

I will ask Sir Barry if he ever saw an independently-audited KOR Books of Accounts during his term of office. I will personally apologize to whoever I have insulted, if my claim about "no independent audit" is proven wrong! My backbone is upright, my character is straight, corruption is my enemy!

Corruption in the IHQ:

It is corrupt to even consider Paras for regional commander, seeing now that he has NOTHING Rizalian to back the exaltation up but his house that took care of Quiambao's son/s. What is Rizalian, honorable, exaltable in his promotion? Even his plan to "unite" Europe was a dismal FAILURE and SHAME with those resignations and his racistic overtones CRIMINAL (Europe will criminalize "racism" soon, if not passed into law yet)!

If my words are "unnecessary" and "unfounded", the squabble for the Supreme Commander post years back plus this Paras exaltation was, in a very mild tone, an OVERKILL! Please consider that I merely REACTED to events taking place here and there! I even waited for years and HOPED, liked the many KOR members, for the IHQ to finally start WORKING on things Rizalian in substance!!!

I asked IHQ several times to revoke or suspend the Paras appointment because it was dishonorable, corrupt and wrong. Can the Council of Elders not see resignations of SHAMED KOR members? I was about to tender my resignation, would have been the very FIRST in Europe. I got stopped by Sir Hilario's election. Even Sir Dennis Barcelona, a principled Filipino trying to hold-out, finally quit when Paras asked attendees at the 24 Mar 07 Brussels meeting to sign a "blank" sheet of paper! That's another corrupt practice that NEVER must be tolerated! What will be on the "blank" paper??? Rest is history.

My writing style:

Had I used nice, flowery words, Arthurian style old English, would I get this letter from you? I doubt it. Sir Don Brennock's writing style is very polite. He said in his e-mail that he wrote 10-12(?) times! He never got a response from IHQ! Our Chapter Commander, Sir Rainer Weber, wrote many times too, all politely-formulated! What did he receive back for each letter of his? Nothing!

Recommendation/s:

I highly recommend ONCE MORE to the Council of Elders, if they are guided by Rizalian ideas, ideals and principles, to revoke the Paras appointment before April 2007 ends. That might appease the boiling tempers of many KOR brothers in Europe. It's 5 past midnight and "correcting the wrong" by IHQ is long overdue. However, I respectfully recommend that IHQ take steps, albeit late. "Better late than never!"

I will not use my own version of NOM for now, as a sign of peace offering on my part. I fervently hope for IHQ correcting this WRONG done upon Europe.


For a Democratic Order
For Pride in the Order
For the Good of the Order

Yours sincerely,

V/R,
Rizal P. Victoria
Heidelberg

"The arrogant one is he who wants to be worshipped, who misleads others, and who wants his will to prevail over reason and justice." - Dr Jose P. Rizal - Message to the Women of Malolos, February 1889

"My ambition is not to win honors or hold positions, but to see what is just, exact and suitable, is done in political matters." - Dr Jose P. Rizal

"No one will be corrupt if we don't let them." - Tony Meloto in his speech before Davao University graduates, 2007

"...Dare to cross boundaries in your minds and hearts! In your strength and courage! In the space inside and around you! Dare to be different! Dare what you never dared before! The highest thing that obliges you is your conscience. Act whatever good forces dictate! Then you are closer to Rizal's ideals than any policy or philosophy could ever be. What he can teach you, you will not understand without Kant's lessons..." - An excerpt of the speech Christoph S. Eberle delivered on Rizal Day in Hamburg, Dec. 2006.

"Some centuries hence when mankind shall become enlightened and redeemed, when there shall be no races, when all peoples shall become free, when there shall be neither tyrants nor slaves, nor colonies nor metropolis, when justice shall rule, and man shall become a citizen of the world, the cult of science alone shall remain, the word patriotism shall smack of fanaticism, and he would boast of patriotic virtues will undoubtedly be confined as a dangerous sick man, as a perturber of social harmony." - (El Filibusterismo, p.43) (The "Filipino Muna" of the appointed European Regional Commander runs contrary to these words of the national hero! Hence, to me, he is a fake commander!).

"We need their attacks, to keep us awake; that makes us see our weaknesses so that we may remedy them." - (Noli Me Tangere, p. 69) (per Prof. Jean Hall, Dr Jose Rizal's reaction to criticisms and how KOR leadership should have responded to reform ideas...)

"Criticize what you don't like; praise what you find good." - Dr Jose Rizal's advise in Carlos Quirino's The Great Malayan, p. 175) (Proof that what we who speak out against Corruption and Corrupt practices by a few KOR scalawags, are on the right path!).




-----Original Message-----
Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2007 1:38 PM
Subject: FWD: RE: Order of the Knights of Rizal

FOR YOUR GENERAL INFORMATION! FEEL FREE TO SHARE IT WITH OTHERS! BY THE WAY, THE PRESIDENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION ON ORDERS OF CHIVALRY (ICOC) GAVE ME A SIMILAR ANSWER.

--- "Webmaster, Chivalric Orders" <webmaster@chivalricorders.org>:

RE: Order of the Knights of Rizal
Thu, 16 Feb 2006 11:01:17 +0100


This kind of recognition is meaningless. If you look at the Philippine constitution and laws on awards, etc, it says nothing about powers to recognize or authenticate Orders. The president is stated to be the head of the state Orders. Unless this was made a Philippine Order it is meaningless.

In fact, if you look at its legal status, it was given under Philippines law recognition as a as "a civic and patriotic organization" on 14 June 1951, not as an Order of Knighthood or Merit. It has no more validity as an Order than the London stage organization called the Order of the Water Rats, or other similar bodies called "Orders".

That its members have assumed titles ("Sir") for example, is rather pathetic, and of course such titles are not in any case recognized in Philippines law anyway.

Guy Stair Sainty



-----Original Message-----
From: virgilio esguerra [mailto:kor002veresguerra@yahoo.com]
Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2007 5:44 AM
To: Victoria, Rizal Mr. DEU USA/USAREUR
Subject: answer (reply)

16 April 2007

SIR RIZAL VICTORIA

Dear Sir Victoria:

In answer to your articles "Reply to Alcoba, Paras and Quiambao" and "Who is Behind this Malady" which reached our office through the internet, we are placing on record the following:

1. Sir Rogelio M. Quiambao, KGCR, a respected five-time
Supreme Commander and an incumbent member of the Council of the Elders, never elevated SIR LINO PARAS to Knight Grand Officer of Rizal (KGOR) in the 15th International Assembly in Jersey City last September 2006. Your allegation is false. I know personally because I represented the Supreme Commander in that Assembly.

2. Exaltation to KGOR cannot be done by Sir Quaimbao. He is
only one of the approving officers in the Council of Elders. To enhance the process, exaltation must have the indorsement of the Supreme Council and approval of the Council of Elders. Here collective responsibility is required. A member of the Council of Elders like Sir Roger cannot exalt a knight. The officiating is performed by the Supreme Council under the leadership of the Supreme Commnder.

3. There is no corruption at the International Headquarters
as we all believe in transparency. It is grossly unfair to compare the Knights of Rizal to the Philippine Government which as the international statistics shows the most corrupt country in Asia. Manila has sent through E-MAIL all over the concerned regions, locally and internationally the financial statement of the KOR. Please see one by Supreme Exchequer and the Acting Supreme Commander copy of the memo dated April 10, 2007 addressed to all brother-knights. Our KOR books of accounts are open to scrutiny by our brother-knights.

Sir Rizal, you are advised to refrain from hurling unnecessary remarks, and
unfounded allegations as these are detrimental to the welfare of the Order.

Non Omnis Moriar.

Fraternally yours,

SIR VIRGILIO R. ESGUERRA, KGCR
Acting Supreme Commander

GMA AWAKENED BY REALITY OF HUNGER, FINALLY!

Dear Editor,

As the election campaign heats up when people in power worry about the threat to their tenuous hold on it, they will use the seemingly vast reservoir of resources of the government at their disposal to assure the victory of those whose support is essential if they wish to strengthen or prolong their stay at the helm.

A great number of Filipinos have been suffering from hunger for years now caused by unemployment, underemployment and the government's inability to provide for its citizens. Surveys after surveys through the years have been finding the number of those suffering from hunger grow but those who have been in control of the highest offices of this land do not seem to see the hungry nor hear the the rumblings of millions of empty stomachs from their insulated and secure mansions and cornucopic tables and pantries.

They are in denial. They do not want to admit that millions of poor people in this country barely have two meals a day or a budget of about 50 pesos for food per person per day but believe rather the doubtful accounts of some selected barangay folks who testify that food is so cheap in their community that people even eat four times some days.

Testimonies such as that only the lazy are hungry jibes well with Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's admonition that the poor should spend less on luxury like cell phone loads and use the money instead on basic needs.

Macapagal-Arroyo listens only to what she wants to hear, even at the sound of her own lies and denials. Until lately when she finally admitted the Social Weather Station survey that one in five families suffer from hunger.

All of a sudden there is money to fund her food-for-school and food-for-work programs which aim to encourage children to go to school where free food is given and the jobless to work by sweeping the streets when there are already enough Metro Manila aides doing the job.

In a country close to China and where millions of Chinese live, she should have learned about the Chinese wisdom that "giving a man fish to eat will make him eat once while teaching him how to catch fish will make him eat all his life."

Now she is cracking the whip on her "Yes Ma'am" cabinet members who dare not court her terrifying tongue lashing public by telling her like it is like the way hapless Education Undersecretary Fe Hidalgo was subjected to.

The glaring reality of widespread poverty that causes hunger and malnutrition can no longer be denied by a leadership which praises itself for what it believes as its successful economic policies which Macapagal-Arroyo daydreams would help make the Philippines a "first world" country in the future.

The tragedy for the Filipinos is that she seems to believe in her fantasy.

Several months have passed since the two destructive typhoons devastated the Bicol region but it is only when relief funds are suddenly available to alleviate the misery of the victims of those catastrophes.

Funds for them will be released just in time before the elections when the "humanitarian" aid, courtesy of the Arroyo administration will be fresh in the recipients' mind by the time they cast their votes.

How long will she keep on fooling the Filipinos including herself?

That one-billion-peso fund to wage war against hunger launch right before the elections is a naked attempt to buy the votes of the hungry millions who may enjoy short a term solution to a very long term problem which a great number of the poor have been suffering from cradle to casket.

Poor people have short life expectancy.

Ramon Mayuga
Essen, Germany

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A LESSON OF LOVE AND PATRIOTISM

MY SHORT ESSAY ABOUT THE PHILIPPINES
by Jaeyoun Kim.

Filipinos always complain about the corruption in the Philippines. Do you really think the corruption is the problem of the Philippines?

I do not think so. I strongly believe that the problem is the lack of love for the Philippines

Let me first talk about my country, Korea. It might help you understand my point. After the Korean War, South Korea was one of the poorest countries in the world.

Koreans had to start from scratch because entire country was destroyed after the Korean War, and we had no natural resources.

Koreans used to talk about the Philippines, for Filipinos were very rich in Asia. We envy Filipinos. Koreans really wanted to be well off like Filipinos. Many Koreans died of famine. My father & brother also died because of famine. Korean government was very corrupt and is still very corrupt beyond your imagination, but Korea was able to develop dramatically because Koreans really did their best for the common good with their heart burning with patriotism.

Koreans did not work just for themselves but also for their neighborhood and country.

Education inspired young men with the spirit of patriotism.

40 years ago, President Park took over the government to reform Korea. He tried to borrow money from other countries, but it was not possible to get a loan and attract a foreign investment because the economic situation of South Korea was so bad. Korea had only three factories. So, President Park sent many mine workers and nurses to Germany so that they could send money to Korea to build a factory. They had to go through horrible experience.

In 1964, President Park visited Germany to borrow money. Hundred of Koreans in Germany came to the airport to welcome him and cried there as they saw the President Park. They asked to him, "President, when can we be well off? That was the only question everyone asked to him. President Park cried with them and promised them that Korea would be well off if everyone works hard for Korea, and the President of Germany got the strong impression on them and lent money to Korea .

So, President Park was able to build many factories in Korea. He always asked Koreans to love their country from their heart.

Many Korean scientists and engineers in the USA came back to Korea to help developing country because they wanted their country to be well off. Though they received very small salary, they did their best for Korea. They always hoped that their children would live in well off country.

My parents always brought me to the places where poor and physically handicapped people live. They wanted me to understand their life and help them. I also worked for Catholic Church when I was in the army. The only thing I learned from Catholic Church was that we have to love our neighborhood. And, I have loved my neighborhood. Have you cried for the Philippines? I have cried for my country several times. I also cried for the Philippines because of so many poor people.

I have been to the New Bilibid prison. What made me sad in the prison were the prisoners who do not have any love for their country. They go to mass and work for Church. They pray everyday.

However, they do not love the Philippines. I talked to two prisoners at the maximum-security compound, and both of them said that they would leave the Philippines right after they are released from the prison. They said that they would start a new life in other countries and never come back to the Philippines .

Many Koreans have a great love for Korea so that we were able to share our wealth with our neighborhood. The owners of factory and company were distributed their profit to their employees fairly so that employees could buy what they needed and saved money for the future and their children.

When I was in Korea, I had a very strong faith and wanted to be a priest. However, when I came to the Philippines, I completely lost my faith. I was very confused when I saw many unbelievable situations in the Philippines. Street kids always make me sad, and I see them everyday.

The Philippines is the only Catholic country in Asia , but there are too many poor people here. People go to church every Sunday to pray, but nothing has been changed.

My parents came to the Philippines last week and saw this situation. They told me that Korea was much poorer than the present Philippines when they were young. They are so sorry that there are so many beggars and street kids. When we went to Pagsanjan, I forced my parents to take a boat because it would fun.

However, they were not happy after taking a boat. They said that they would not take the boat again because they were sympathized the boatmen, for the boatmen were very poor and had a small frame. Most of people just took a boat and enjoyed it. But, my parents did not enjoy it because of love for them.

My mother who has been working for Catholic Church since I was very young told me that if we just go to mass without changing ourselves, we are not Catholic indeed. Faith should come with action. She added that I have to love Filipinos and do good things for them because all of us are same and have received a great love from God. I want Filipinos to love their neighborhood and country as much as they love God so that the Philippines will be well off.

I am sure that love is the keyword, which Filipinos should remember. We cannot change the sinful structure at once. It should start from person. Love must start in everybody, in a small scale and have to grow. A lot of things happen if we open up to love. Let's put away our prejudices and look at our worries with our new eyes.

I discover that every person is worthy to be loved. Trust in love, because it makes changes possible. Love changes you and me. It changes people, contexts and relationships. It changes the world. Please love your neighborhood and country.

Jesus Christ said that whatever we do to others we do to Him. In the Philippines, there is God for people who are abused and abandoned. There is God who is crying for love. If you have a child, teach them how to love the Philippines. Teach them why they have to love their neighborhood and country.

You already know that God also will be very happy if you love others.

That's all I really want to ask you Filipinos.

----------

FOR THE LOVE OF OUR COUNTRY, PLEASE PASS THIS MESSAGE

"No life is so hard that you can't make it easier by the way you take it." -- Ellen Glasgow

ACCEPT differences until difference makes NO difference at all.

Friday, April 20, 2007

A RIZALIST FROM GUINEA



A true champion in every sense of the word

Sir Bea Diallo, KR, to fight "World Champion" May 5, 2007 to cap extraordinary career in sports

Exemplary Knight holds a Masters degree in Economic Sciences, a former member of Brussels Regional Parliament, an advocate of social activism against violence and racism, and a successful businessman

Waterloo, Belgium - April 18, 2007

Six times International Boxing Federation Middleweight Champion, Sir Bea Diallo is a true champion in every sense of the word who brings special pride to every Knight of Rizal of any race. His well-earned and well-deserved medals, trophies and accolades underscore the meaning of personal achievement. And he is not finished yet.

The Chapter Commander of Lions Chapter in Waterloo, Belgium - Sir Jean Jacobs, KCR - announced in a press release submitted to KOR News the upcoming fight of the Liberian-born Guinean for the title "World Champion" on May 5, 2007 in Liege, Belgium.

Now a highly respected Belgian citizen, Sir Bea is characterized by Sir Jean as an immigrant who understands the value of personal enterpreneurship, the will to learn and inventiveness in business and credits that understanding as reason for his success in reaching 'high goals'.

Sir Bea Diallo started his political career in 2000 and became a member of Belgium's Regional Parliament Commission for Financial Affairs, Budget, Public Services, External Affairs and General Affairs. In 2006 he was elected Alderman for Ixelles.

The sportsman/politician/businessman is also involved with the community through his advocacy of non-violence in marital relationship and against racism in sports. He is idolized by many young people and looked up to as a role model. He is active both in Belgium and in Guinea.

Sir Jacobs did not say when Sir Diallo was initiated into the Order of the Knights of Rizal but amid the raging controversies in Europe particularly about issues of moral character and racism, Sir Bea Diallo's quiet presence brings honor, dignity and pride to the tarnished image of the fraternity even as he continues to show by action what Rizalism is all about.

According to Sir Jacobs the scheduled fight for this one-of-a-kind Knight of Rizal will be his last bout. Though not officially confirmed it is believed the pugilist plans to retire from the ring after that.


Who is Bea Diallo ?

Bea Diallo is a boxing champion, elected Sportsman of the Year 2003 in Belgium. This young Belgian, Guinean by birth, manages his own security firm and oversees an association known as 'My Choice' (dialogue with young people from less privileged districts). But Diallo is also active in Guinea, where he manages a premier division football club. He encourages the most talented players to compete to join Belgian teams, paying their travel and accommodation costs. Bea has also set up an urban transport company in Conakry that provides work for more than 250 Guineans.

Bea Diallo was elected to the parliament of the Brussels-Capital Region in June 2004.

(courtesy of : mediajfs.info)

SIR BEA DIALLO FIGHTS FOR THE WORLD CHAMPION TITLE

Gentlemen,

Concerns: Combat for the World Champion Title of Sir Bea Diallo, KR

I have the pleasure to announce a very important event to all our friends and brothers in Rizal.

Every man of honour and sense knows that Belgium - a former Spanish colony, as well as the Philippines – provided to number of immigrants a very good global welfare, decent and respectful conditions of life, access to a strong social security system, a sharp medical infrastructure, a free high education level for their children, and the access to nice real estate property.

All sincere immigrants are proud to have been taken in Belgium and to have received the Belgian nationality.

Of course, as in every place of the world, in Belgium above the standard welfare, success depends of personal entrepreneurship, the will to learn the national languages and to be inventive in Business. Everybody knows that without these personal efforts, people will stay in basic levels of employment.

The ones who understood this could, as every Belgian citizen of origin, gain ground and reach high goals.

That is the example of Sir Bea Diallo, KR, member of the Knights of Rizal, Lion Chapter, Belgium.

Born in Liberia, from Guinean African origin, he studied in Belgium at ULB, where he obtained his master in economic sciences; he opened his own company, and trained as boxer. He became in 1998 IBF intercontinental champion in middleweight, title he challenged 5 times afterwards.

He started politics in 2000, and became deputy, member of the parliament of the Brussels region in 2004, and was elected as alderman of Ixelles, Brussels, in 2006.

The Lion Chapter of the Order of the Knights of Rizal is proud to announce that Sir Bea Diallo, his challenging for his farewell, the last boxing combat of his career, the title of WORLD CHAMPION, in Liege, Belgium on May 5th.

Fraternally yours,

Sir Jean (John) Jacobs, KCR
Lion Chapter Commander

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

KAIINGAT KAYO!

SPIRITUAL ADVICE OF PILOSOPONG KALABAW

Dear Sir Choy,

My son, "BRAVO" at least you show your courage of love of country (the Pinoy) being oppressed and insulted by these group. Don't be affraid with them coz you know what will happen to them. If they give insults they will be insulted in return. The Noli Me Tangere was written to expose and fight the oppressors. You know who are these. This are the group of Father Damaso. And you can now see in a clear view who are the Damaso's by their words actions and the color of their skin. There is one character where I can't see a red Pinoy blood running in his veins. His heart is on the right side and the throbbing is irregular, he is abnormal or most probably sick. There is a proverb saying "Tell me or show me your friends and I'll tell you who you are". Their end shall be near, the accusers, scornful abusers and oppressors shall be wiped out or finished soon. I'll give you some words to live by as a patriotic Filipino:

1. I will love my country above all things

2. Strive to help my country at all times, and if necessary die for her.

3. Keep the country for myself, for my children, and for my children's children until the world is no more.

4. Defend my country and race against insults.

5. Help to expose traitors, spies and other enemies and cooperate in defense measures against them.

6. etc. etc. and many more.

Always take the role of Crisostomo Ibarra and surely you will win. Never follow the steps of father Damaso and the friars.It seems that the European Tennis Tournament game started. You have to return the ball of fire to your oponent fast and accurate as much as possible. Don-t give up, I ganna give you more fire balls, even cannon balls to defeat enemies.

Resignations. It is the right of every member of the KOR and it should be accepted immediately coz nobody is indispensable in the organization. If they are occupying higher positions they should be repalced the soonest. If only a member, let it be, and good for them. I am sure they are not like dogs that swalow and eat their own vomits. If you do this you are a men without honor, dignity, sel -respect and decency. You are like an apple full of worms in a basket so that when the owner saw this, the rotten apples with worms shall be removed immediately not to contaminate others and they shall be thrown to the garbage to be eaten by pigs.

Perhaps next time I'll give you a powerfull sword that will cut their branches tounges, hands and heads to end this despute.

Your spiritual adviser,

Skyline Pegeon White
Pilosopong Kalabaw

Sunday, April 15, 2007

FROM HIS MASTER'S VOICE...

Dear Cesar Alcoba,

I have now withdrawn the title of Sir from your name as everything you are doing is neither Noble, Chivalrous or worthy of being a member of the Knights of Rizal.

You are picking on anyone who is not a Filipino therefore you have become the most Racist person I have known since the demise of many others who thought along the same frame of mind as yours .. Why you are a Racist is beyond me. You come from a country of wonderful people and you are drawing down the good name of Filipinos everywhere by your wickedness and intolerable behaviour and bad language you are resorting to use.

You did not write to me direct. I had to get your letter second hand from Sir Lucien and you don't even have the decency to write direct.

Let me tell you a few home truths with regard to your letter.

1) I have always wanted to settle in the Philippines because my wife and Children live there who are Filipinos.

2) You stated that I only joined for the honour of being a Knight and that I could not be called Sir anywhere else. Well my friend you do not know about me. THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND, QUEEN ELIZABETH AND HER HUSBAND THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH INVITED ME TO DINE WITH THEM AT A PRIVATE LUNCHEON.This was for my Charity work in Cancer. Do I use the title Sir when in their Royal presence... No the title Sir is a Filipino one and can only be suitably used in the proper context.This was confirmed by the Foreign Office.

3) You have told me that if I don't obey the byelaws I should resign. Let me tell you Cesar Alcoba KCR that you are addressing a KGOR, a Lifetime Member, Medal of Merit holder who does not get told by anyone to resign especially you.

4) You mention in your pathetic letter that Filipinos are doing the work no one else wanted. If you didn't want to demearn yourself doing something you think lowly, No one forced you to go to any other country. It was entirely your own doing. It is also more money than you would have earned in the Philippines, so kindly do not take that attitude. Most Filipinos are able to support their families, educate their siblings and give their parents a better living by being abroad.

5) I would also point out that you have broken every law in the book. You have disrepected the National Hero by trying to cower behind his name as you insult everyone you can. Dr Rizal was a man who was respected by everyone and was classed as the same as Ghandi, Karl Marx, and many other inspirational men of their time. You are not in the same league. You are not a credit to yourself or your family by taking this kind of stand against everyone who is not Filipino.

6) It is not my job to reply insultingly to you but when you bring Racism so blatantly to accost brother members then I am afraid that there is no respect left anywhere for you. You have gone down the road of the lowest of the low where you cannot find anything else to write. I feel sorry for you because you have turned against the law of the Knights of Rizal.

We do not bring RACE COLOUR OR CREED OR RELIGION into our daily lives but unfortunately you have. This means that you are against the decent people who want the best and you are trying like many others before you to bring them down. All I can say to you, the more insults you throw the stronger the others will get and you will be a solitary figure not knowing which way to turn.

Filipinos are very clever and they can see right through your wickedness. They want to live in peace and harmony. It looks to me as you have made a few of the past evil leaders your idols but let me remind you that all of them have perished at the hands of their own people.

I do not wish to write any more to you as I find that to educate the unbeliever is a job for a much higher Power than I could ever hope to be The bible, Dr Rizal and others have always stated even today that the greatest gift man can have is Love each other and always be a friend to all. What has happened to you?

At this point in time, you now owe me an apology for the insulting way you have written and I will expect nothing else than a full written apology by return

Yours in Rizal
Sir Barry Bowman KGOR
Former Regional Commander for Europe
Lifetime Member
Medal of Merit
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Message of 10/04/07 17:30
From : "bhoy2amyalcab alcoba"
Subjet : RE: "number of our European brother knights who are racists" - Alex Mushake


Dear Sir Barry,

Thank you for your e-mail dated 08/04/07. I am happy to know that you are now feeling better and fit to play golf one again which I read from your previous emails. I am sure that you and your wife Lady Ana are enjoying the good weather, hospitality, good food and RESPECT from my country men. In other words and honestly speaking you are treated well as a foreigner in my country, the Philippines.

I have read your e-mail with such interest. It is true that RACISM is now considered a crime against humanity as you have said and that is why some other countries and most especially Europe have been condemned by the U.N and Human-rights Tribunals, right.

We the immigrants (specially Filipinos) here in Europe don't get the same treatment as you are now having in the Philippines. Some of us are professionals but because of RACIAL DISCRIMINATION, WE ARE OBLIGED TO TAKE THE MEANEST JOBS THAT ARE AVAILABLE TO US as domestics, drivers (as mentioned by Sir Lucien Spittael in his e-mail) etc. etc. Its is also true that Filipino nurses are welcomed and loved by their patients because of their sincerety in caring for them. The truth is they are well praised because nobody in your country wants to do the job anymore and in other words, WE ARE DOING THE DIRTY JOB FOR YOU.

May I now ask, why in the first place did you want to become a member of our prestigeous Order of the Knights of Rizal? I'll tell you why. 1) Because being a member of the Order you become noble and called "Sir" in which you can never obtain in your country. 2) Being a member of the Order gives you prestige and honor. 3) Being a member Order gives you access and respect in all aspects. 4) Being a member of the Order gives you knowledge on the Ideals and teachings of our hero Dr. Jose Rizal that makes you a better man. But some people who become members only wanted this for their own advantage. An advantage for their businesses and their own personal hidden agendas.

It is also true that there are a lot of honest and good man in the Order and I salute them and respect them. Our Supreme Council members and Elders, this are the honest, good man, well-educated and respected people in our country and should also be respected by everyone.

If you can not abide and obey the by-laws and the decisions of the Order of the Knights of Rizal, why stay? why don't you just resign and leave us in peace.

And finally, all that we are asking is to be respected, we respect you so give us back this respect. Give us the chance to prove ourselfs. You have done your time, let us do our time in peace. Let us reconcile and be true brothers in the spirit and memory of our great national hero Dr. Jose Rizal. Is this difficult for you to do?

"LET THE TRUTH SPEAK FOR ITSELF"

NOM

Sir Cesar Alcoba, KCR

Friday, April 13, 2007

CHRISTOPH S. EBERLE'S SPEECH

Dear Mrs. Sommer,

Thank you for your email providing the background and clarification of the “First Filipino“ policy. In your position as secretary, I assume you wrote on behalf of the Bonn Chapter of the Ladies of Rizal.

I regret that we never met personally, but your points are respectfully taken. I agree with you entirely that there is, in fact, an urgent need to clarify actions we did not mean to happen, but they did.

Again, I respectfully take the points you raised in your open letter from the “Philippine” point of view. It is understandable that a former Philippine president would adapt a policy in order for its citizens to feel nationalistic pride, but is this policy necessary in a fraternity whose members are citizens of the world? I am sure your points will be open for discussion and debates. Anyway, we can only adopt opinions based on our own experience and we must all strive for objectivity, like Rizal did once, like many Rizalists now do and did on both halves of the globe. Through objectivity can we then be closer to the truths that are universal, valid for all times, and valid for all people.

Today I only speak for myself and my family. I had the chance to stay in the Philippines several times, and we tried to adapt by understanding the Philippine mentality. Since I entered Philippine soil I sincerely adjusted to and showed respect to local customs, rituals, ways of life and thinking. Like Rizal I studied the language of the country, which I visited as an interested guest. Knowing its language is a door to the soul of a country. However, what I received back from me and my family’s goodwill were insults and betrayal. This was justified in the name of “utang na loob, and pakikisama.” I was even accused of lacking in understanding and respect towards Filipino culture. I still have close Philippine and Philippine-American friends who know about my personal experience. Each of them can assure you that I do not tell stories. Because of this very personal experience, do you really think I still need to put any more effort to understand and to show respect towards Philippine culture than I had already done? I have reasons to demand that nobody should lecture me on that anymore -- not from anyone in the Philippines and especially not from anyone in my own country!

There is a limit to impertinence one must cross. Unfortunately, It is true, it is true that in all those past official and semi-official letters concerning matters of the Knights of Rizal courteousness to those addressed has somewhat lessened of late. Personally, I never insulted any Filipino by referring to “Filipino Muna”, and I expect you to refrain from claiming that I or others did. On the contrary, I had witnessed often how Filipinos use their very own sentiments as weapons to accuse non-Filipinos of being racist. Nothing is easier done. To accuse others of racism is to play with fire and that which leads to disaster. One question should be asked: How can anyone demand more respect and understanding if he himself does not at all understand or respect those from whom he demands understanding? Each nation wants to be understood and respected. And if I go abroad I am required to adapt to that environment without abusing the hospitality. As member of the German society and as a child of the big European family I simply expect the same from the millions of foreigners who come to us as guests, especially from those who stay with us forever. Three hundred fifty million Europeans have the legitimate right to say: “Those who come to us, and to our house must pay respect to our custom and law here without having to remind them to do so.” Nobody can expect trust if he does not give it in turn. Respect can only be earned, not ordered. And if both is broken, there are no more bonds, in which we can put hope.

Dear Mrs. Sommer, your email focused mostly on the "Filipino Muna" term. You find that it is misused. President Garcia's doctrine was intended to instill national pride, and to mobilize Filipinos to create a great nation. From the nation-building perspective, Garcia's doctrine is no different than what other countries had done andare doing. Unfortunately, this thinking could also lead to "ethnic cleansing" as what was happening in some parts of the world. If a Filipino could be confident of his/her identity like Rizal, then that Filipino would carry his pride of who he/she is without disrespecting or disregarding other peoples' identity. True greatness is not based on degrading others. In this way, "Filipino Muna" policy has no place in any international organization made up of individuals from different cultures. And their advocates have no future. My generation put its trust in the Filipino youth, “the fair hope of the fatherland”.

You refer to a very popular German idiom by saying: “Patience is also another key word. Good works/deeds need time”. If you read the lines above, you may sense that my patience is gone, and I have reasons for that. Does your meaning of “patience” imply that I should say “thank you” to each insult directed at me? You can be sure that I am well aware of the fact that the Philippines is still a developing country, though this status is changing. But do you really want me to believe that it takes months for Manila to respond to requests from Europe? Or that a simple email is too difficult to click and send? About which islands do we speak? It does not take much for me, or for anyone else to realize that no Manila Knights of Rizal decision-maker had any intentions to talk to me or to respond to me as a member. It is that simple. This is not a matter of technical infrastructures or communication network, but of what Manila regards as important and what member is to be taken seriously.

I tried to do my best to be objective and to be straight with the facts. But too much has been kept in the dark or has been tried to keep hidden from the members in Europe as well as in the Philippines, perhaps because what is being hidden is the undesirability of “cronyism.” As I go about my daily business, my daily duty, and my professional ethos, I am ruled by logic and I cannot find any reason for justifying such lack of transparency in decision-making, in professionalism and communication network as I observed in this Order that bears Rizal’s name. If you can give me any reason I can understand as to why I should accept these practices, not as a German, not as a European, but as a human being, I am eager to learn. This fraternity that was founded in honour of José Rizal has become insignificant in my eyes. If those who bear responsibility in its ranks will not stop propagating Philippine nationalism (no matter how it is defined), as opposed to Rizalian cosmopolitanism, the Order of the Knights of Rizal will disappear definitely, wherever it still may exist.

You asked why some of us Knights of Rizal did resign. Have you read carefully the resignation letters? Why did all these lifetime members, out-and-out admirable Knights of Rizal decided to resign? Do you really believe it is because “there are differences in race due to our different way of thinking, our upbringing, the way we tackle problems, our concept of time”? Do you think it is appropriate to call to make a stand, e.g. in case of the Hack-Ulmer family, who were the recipient of an official decoration of the Republic of the Philippines? Dou you truly believe such a
recipient “has given up on the people for whom Dr. José Rizal died for”? And do you believe the system will change? Those who resigned have worded their reasons well, though it is not necessary to explain such free decisions. Each of us also joined this fraternity with our own reasons. Although we are citizens of different nations, believers of different religions and supporters of different political and philosophical opinions, we accepted and embraced the Code of Ethics that unites us as Rizalists. Our acceptance of this Code of Ethics does not contradict with the principles, laws and circumstances that oblige us elsewhere. As Rizalists we remain part of an international community that holds a common responsibility in its endeavour for common aims, regardless of the professions we practise.

Rizal's strongest ideals encompassed democracy and equality: did the Order that bears his name, as an international organization, practise these ideals? If important position appointments were made, and were suspect, and the process of appointments did not include consultation with other members (and was against the Constitution), then this Order is not a democratic institution. Appeals were made to the Manila headquarters, but were ignored. If members joined because of their expectation of a democratic institution, then those expectations were not met and therefore wrong, then that by itself is grounds for resignation. However, if after this discovery, the knights tolerate this action, then assume that it could happen again and again, which leads to the second argument: equality.

When members joined the organization, there was an unspoken assumption that at the minimum, each one would be treated equally and with respect. Again, the position "Filipino Muna, Filipino Lang" does not fit the ideals of Rizal and cannot be a policy used by an organization in honour of him. You are so right in pointing out that this term was misused, but not by Europeans. It was misused to popularise a sophisticated concept that is close to fascism and racism. Are you aware of experiences such concepts caused in European history? Rizal himself called for Filipino unification, but he did not say uphold your culture, nation and race above others. Quite the opposite: Rizal learned the cultures and languages of the people he interacted with first before interacting with them. Doing so proved that Rizal understood human nature, that by studying their language and culture, he not only complimented them but also showed respect towards cultural differences.

Those who adopt all these so pathetic titles within the Order of the Knights of Rizal should have practised this and learned from the man, whose authority they claim for. KOR representatives themselves have set examples how this concept was transgressed and failed to be exercised.

While our hopes were burning, we tolerated the insults. Nobody among us needs to be lectured about our promised responsibility. We had taken this responsibility seriously, while we observe those who gave it just lip service. We internalized what the virtues truly mean on which the Order of the Knights of Rizal has been founded upon. In becoming members, we were fully aware of the mandate given to us by a sovereign decision of the Philippine Congress in 1951.

This corporation that was chartered under Republic Act 646 of the Philippines does need Rizal, but Rizal does not need this corporation that bears his name. It has failed, because it turned away from pursuing its objectives of promoting the ideals of Rizal and gave way to party politics. Because of this, its titles, ranks and decorations, which are purely fraternal, have become absurd. Since they do not rank with any sovereign accolade in any nation of the world, their merit has lost meaning in this current situation. Deprived of their genuine sense, misused for an entirely different purpose, they are now to used mainly to satisfy individual’s vanity; to award imagined merits; and to compensate gaps of ability and achievements. Undoubtedly, the Order of the Knights of Rizal operates outside its own laws and good customs. Acting against its own Charter, the latter’s reputation, as juridical personality, is at stake as never before.

You know of course that the Kababaihang Rizalista Inc. (Ladies for Rizal) is regarded as an affiliate organization of the Knights of Rizal according to the latter’s By-Laws. Therefore you are involved, directly or indirectly, in matters that affect the Order, and I guess that is why you have written your position out of your concerns. However, be assured that there are many ways to learn from and to teach Rizal’s life and legacy without being a member of the public institution in the Philippines that was named after him. Yes, you can be Rizalist without serving in the ranks of the Knights of Rizal. The more Rizalists all over the world will collaborate on making Rizal public beyond his status as Philippine national hero, the more he will be noticed as he should be: a great historical personality like Gandhi or Martin Luther King. I am sure this can be achieved in the end, if we who work for that also take in mind what I stated on the occasion of the commemoration of Rizal Day 2006, and let me quote myself:

“…Dare to cross boundaries in your minds and hearts! In your strength and courage! In the space inside and around you! Dare to be different! Dare what you never dared before! The highest thing that obliges you is your conscience. Act whatever good forces dictate! Then you are closer to Rizal’s ideals than any policy or philosophy could ever be. What he can teach you, you will not understand without Kant’s lessons…”

Sincerely,
Christoph S. Eberle

BRAINSTORMING!

Dear Brothers and Ladies in Dr Jose Rizal,

Perfect! Suggestions of Sir Dennis and Sir Jun to form a strong counterweight (worldwide!, not just against Manila) is, I'd say the best that could happen to Rizalists everywhere! The Federation should be the umbrella! Sir Jun can again please forward the organization he envisioned, where groups form the federation!

My recommendation is to use Sir Jun's "International Federation of Rizalists", where women and men (Rizalists) can all have equal say! Further recommend that we brainstorm without preconditions and remove doubts ("ohne wenn und aber" or no ifs and buts)... ! Rather, let's talk together to MAKE it happen, to MAKE it work. Let's talk as women and men with a noble goal ahead of us. Let's accentuate the POSITIVE and dispense of the NEGATIVE!

From now on, we can just think of Manila or IHQ as a "unit", comparable to a "chapter". This is no joke, as Wilhelmsfeld/Heidelberg chapter was not in "good standing" the entire year 2006! yet Cote de Azur was!

I think there wouldn't be any rivalry between La Liga, Rizal Society of Ontario, and this proposed Federation. If any, it should be the quality and/or standards in practice of how we uphold Dr Jose Rizal's teachings.

We should FINE TUNE the Constitution and By-Laws of these (all) groups, so we all see eye-to-eye and in a greater spirit of Rizalian Brotherhood. If not, we would sink, even before we've begun the ship launching? We would be worse than the KOR we complained about all these months! That makes IHQ happy, not us!

Think democratic, think proud, think good!

My 2 centavos please. (Kindly excuse me if I forgot something else.)

v/r,
Rizal P. Victoria
Indio Bravo from Heidelberg
or "the coward" who called IHQ a spade!


"The arrogant one is he who wants to be worshipped, who misleads others, and who wants his will to prevail over reason and justice." - Dr Jose P. Rizal - Message to the Women of Malolos, February 1889

"My ambition is not to win honors or hold positions, but to see what is just, exact and suitable, is done in political matters." - Dr Jose P. Rizal

"No one will be corrupt if we don't let them." - Tony Meloto in his speech before Davao University graduates, 2007

"...Dare to cross boundaries in your minds and hearts! In your strength and courage! In the space inside and around you! Dare to be different! Dare what you never dared before! The highest thing that obliges you is your conscience. Act whatever good forces dictate! Then you are closer to Rizal's ideals than any policy or philosophy could ever be. What he can teach you, you will not understand without Kant's lessons..." - An excerpt of the speech Christoph S. Eberle delivered on Rizal Day in Hamburg, Dec. 2006.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

TIME TO MOVE ON, TIME TO RESTRUCTURE...!

Dear brother Knights and Ladies,
It is time to move on and forget our travails - under a new corporate arrangement/structure. After careful analysis of what has befallen the Orderof the Knights of Rizal it appears it has simply outgrown itself. The following editorial in the Scarborough website (http://www.rizalcanada.org/<http://www.rizalcanada.org/> ) explains this view:

Editorial
Reality check: the time to struggle ends, it is time to re-structure

There are some among the ranks of 'illustrious' members of the Order who have recently tried to pontificate about giving Acting Supreme Commander Esguerra and his Council the benefit of the doubt and joined him in his appeal for calmness and sobriety among warring 'knights'. After three weeks of non-action following what initially seemed like a noble effort on the part of Sir Esguerra, these people who for so long were in deep slumber and who were seemingly oblivious to the reality of the organization's slow self-destruction process should now be fully awakened to the utter hopelessness of Manila's ability to manage a multicultural fraternity.

If the Order of the Knights of Rizal were a business enterprise it would fit the description of a multinational corporation active in various countries around the world. But given the current state of the corporation it would be a failing venture as the losses and liabilities continue to dramatically grow. What profit there is would be padded and deceiving. Worse, it is now breaking apart in some places even without the threat of a hostile takeover. The people, the members themselves are taking over.

Once considered a positive impetus, even reforms such as originally advanced by the Knights of Rizal Reform Movement have also now become irrelevant because of that hopelessness. The Reformists themselves need to redirect their efforts. Just as Rizal's own reform agenda did not work out due to Spain's indifference and belligerence against the indigenous people of the Philippines, so is the attempt of the KRRM to restore honor and dignity to the Order after the 2002-2005 'war of attrition' among factions in Manila. Both the Supreme Council and the Council of Elders have proven to be not only grossly ignorant, they have also shamefully manifested callousness and arrogance. To the gallant 'defenders' of these honorable men note that the issue is not about anybody's personal honor. It is simply about their incompetence and indifference, as the facts attest.

Assuming there was an honest effort on the part of the leadership to recognize the need for true and meaningful changes, five years is long enough to wait for those to take place. To their discredit there was no such effort. They did not know what to do then and they do not know what to do now. The time therefore has come to face and recognize the reality - the reality that on its 96th year of existence the Order of the Knights of Rizal has simply outgrown itself and that international leadership for all practical intents and purposes can no longer be confined and limited to those who are in the Philippines. As it nears its centennial year, the time has come to re-structure and move on to a new stage in its corporate life. The time is ripe to consider federalization.
. . . . .

Your reaction to the preceding will be greatly appreciated.

In Rizal,

The Editor