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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Panawagan sa Harap ng Digmaan (Cry for Help Amidst War)

Mga kablog dito sa Pagod Ka Na Bang Maging si Juan? eto po ang isang panawagan na naming ipaabot sa inyo at sana ay mapakinggan ninyo at mabigyan ng tugon. Sa harap ng kaguluhan sa Mindanao ang pinakamalaking talo dito ay ang mga karaniwang mamamayan na ni hindi man lamang kasama sa labanan o maaaring hindi alam ang nangyayari. Eto po ang panawagan ni Fr. Rhodius, isang paring Katoliko mula sa San Isidro Parish Kalamansig Sultan Kudarat...

To all who respect the rights of the children,

I am Fr. Rhodius, a Catholic Priest from San Isidro Parish Kalamansig Sultan Kudarat. I am writing this concern because of my desire to help the poor people (Christian, Muslim and Lumad) who continue to experience inhuman condition and hostility. I am most concerned about the condition of the children who consistently get traumatized because of the terrorism wrought by the group of armed men. We desperately need the help of NGOs or concerned institutions who can bring meaning in the miserable conditions of the people. I am also begging the media institution to give us some focus so that the Filipino would know that there is a paradise here inhabited mostly by forgotten poor creatures and surrounded by lurking demons ready to devour (As a researcher, I can give more facts about this).

I held with me the drawings and writings of at least 400 students from Paril and Sangay (Part of Kalamansig) who experienced two instances of evacuation, an exodus of turbulent fear from the hostile intimidation of armed bandits. As to date, they have not had any assistance to respond to their disturbed well-being. They still cuddle their fear, day-in and day-out.

People in Kalamansig would say that they can withstand their being poor but they can no longer endure the continuing spread of terrorism. Fear is not only in Paril and Sangay, it is like a virus that contaminated the paradise. Appalled by the situations, surrendering, people see themselves in a very helpless condition. This I find difficult to pay no heed to.

I have done little movement to assuage the misery not only in my capacity as a priest but also as a researcher, psychologist, community organizer, and above all, as a person . I have done consultation among 30 poor communities in Kalamansig ( I have my data about this.), planned for disaster with communities affected by armed men invasions, counseling and group process among children, and mobilization with leaders. I simply cannot work alone. I need your help. We need your help.

It is my hope that this concern will spread among the people who have a heart for the poor especially the children. Let not hostility contaminate their innocent spirits.

I am fully aware that I put myself at risk in doing this move but I am more convinced of the urgency to respond to the poor conditions of the children and liberate them from fear and poverty.

Currently, for the third time (October 3, 2008) the people are still on their way to evacuation center. It started yesterday. The first evacuation was February and the second was August. We have not received any assistance yet. The children are again reburdened of the terror of evacuation process. They have not fully recovered and here they are again.

Please listen to our cause. There are over 1000 children in the said place.


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