Tuesday, September 29, 2009

LETTER FROM SIR DR. LITO L. ASTILLERO, KGOR

Dear Sir Voltaire,

Thank you for the info you provided about the International Federation of the Knights of Rizal. I would appreciate further if you can provide me e-mail addressess of the right brother knights managing the federation. It gives me interest in finding the true nature of their discontents about OKOR IHQ in Manila as in my view those who resigned from the Order have good reasons as IHQ is no by means the Order we hope to be. We are looking a possibility that perhaps we could join hands in reviving the morals of the Order as I can see it, the Headquarters are being made an office of the business of interest by people managing and operating the IHQ in Manila.

NOM!

SIR DR. LITO L. ASTILLERO, KGOR
Riyadh, KSA

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Dear Sir Dr. Lito,

The best person to talk to about IFKOR is Sir Jun Zerrudo -- its current chair. Although Sir Jun and I founded different Rizalist organizations, IFKOR had a far more terrible time suffering all kinds of unfounded accusations from the Order of the Knights Of Rizal.

My organization, the Rizal Society of Ontario, tried to keep our autonomy by telling the Order that the RSO is a parallel organization just like the Kababaihang Rizalista but without any ties of any sort to the Order. Perhaps that is the reason why we don't appear threatening to the Order.

So in Ontario we have these 3 organizations. There may be more. Who knows?

  • the Order of the Knights of Rizal which has worldwide chapters
  • the International Federation of the Knights of Rizal which is internationalin scope as well
  • the Rizal Society of Ontario which is local.
For brevity, I shall refer you to these organizations by their bolded designation -- Order, Federation, Society.

This email has to be brief and in broad strokes because I will have to go back to my notes going back to 2005 for a more detailed history.

At the time that Sir Jose Lina was entrusted to rehabilitate the Order sometime in 2005(?) which was then split into 3 factions, some members of the Order in Canada were also struggling to achieve reform in the Order.

They wanted a measure of autonomy from the HQ in the Philippines. Their leading spokesman was Sir Popoy Cana, then our regional commander. Fully supporting him was Sir Jun Zerrudo and members of the Scarborough Chapter -- the only chapter to do so under fire from the loyalists -- and knights from other chapters including myself.

Keep in mind though that most members were content to leave things well enough alone.

By the end of 2006, Sir Popoy was deposed and Sir Ka Miling brought back from retirement to oversee the transition. For many, it was the last straw. Knights in Canada held Sir Popoy in high esteem and deeply resented the Order's arbitrary and irrational decision to oust Sir Popoy.

Sir Davide assumed the top post in the Order in 2007. That year also witnessed a number of international resignations from the Order -- many of them high-ranking commanders. What is bothersome is that Sir Davide is not really active in his post. He is too busy in his job at the United Nations. I suspect he also wants to distance himself from personalities in the Supreme Council.

The Society was already organized in 2005 as a parallel organization. The founders included Sirs Mogi, Guy Camacho and Voltaire. Being completely a distinct organization, it has no ties to the Order and its members to not address each other as 'Sir' or 'Knight'. But they can also keep their membership to the Order as long as most of their work is for the Society. Its membership is limited to Ontario.

I resigned from the Order in 2007 but have yet to see the acceptance from my chapter commander now the Order's pursuivant Sir Jimmy Marasigan, an officer and gentleman.

The reformists-- Sir Jun Zerrudo et al -- embarked on a radical organizational shift. Sir Jun said the Federation did not separate but declared that because the Order had conducted itself in any number of ways that violate the ethos and its own constitution, the current Order is no longer the true inheritor of the original order that was legislated into existence in 1951 by Republic Act 646.

The Federation, therefore, is the true inheritor and establishes itself as such. Federation member knights can be found in Canada, U.S.A. and Europe.

You will have to check with Sir Jun for accuracy but I think I have it right.

Personally, I don't think much of the Order. When Claro M. Recto was fighting for the Rizal Bill to be passed making Rizal's novels required reading in college, he was opposed by the Church and 'Soc' Rodrigo , Recto could only count a few as his friends in that battle. I think it was Sir Joe Luzadas who told me that the Order was not one of them.

If you can, get acquainted with the Federation members there -- especially Lazir, Barcelona and Brennock.

In Rizal,

Voltaire
RSO

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Dear Sir Voltaire,

Please, provide me more info about the International Federation of the Knights of Rizal. I myself is not happy the way our IHQ is manage. There are several long un-explained problems which has no tangible solutions and the people which are managing the affairs of the IHQ are involved in questionable activities making our international office as their business center.

NOM!

SIR DR. LITO L. ASTILLERO, KGOR
Founding Regional Commander,
Middle East and Africa Region.

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