Praying for President Duterte/ JDV seeks reconciliation

FROM THE STANDS By Domini M. Torrevillas

President Rodrigo Duterte is invited to lend his presence as special guest of honor at the 42nd anniversary of the Philippine National Prayer Breakfast Foundation Inc., to be held on Thursday, Nov. 23, at the Manila Hotel’s centennial hall, from 7:30 to 10 a.m.

I think it’s correct to say that the President needs praying over in view of his being saddled with problems and challenges to make this country free from corruptive forces and move on to be great again. The prayer foundation has featured as special guests and/or speakers, national and international leaders.

The theme for this year’s celebration is, “Doing right brings honor to a nation, but sin brings disgrace” Prov. 14:34 (CEV). “All who call out to the Lord will be saved” Romans 10:13 (CEV).

The guest speaker will be Sen. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao and the spiritual speaker, Bishop Noel A. Pantoja. Sen. Pacquiao is an interesting study of spiritual reformation even as he continues to knock out opponents in the ring.

The public is enjoined to pray for the President, the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruben Reyes, who is the present PNPBFI president, sent me a message, saying that “In the hustle and bustle of hectic living today, people are apt to take for granted the NEED for prayer. They remember to pray only when faced with danger, when in deep trouble, when disaster strikes, when accident happens, when they suffer serious ailments, when all their human efforts to cope with personal, family and financial difficulties prove unavailing. Then they turn to God as if God functions only in case of emergency. An agnostic soldier during a war typified the attitude. When bullets and bombs began raining over his head, he jumped to the foxhole and uttered a prayer: ‘Oh, God, if there is a God, please save my soul, if I have a soul!’”

But prayer, to be powerful and effective (James 5:16) cannot be resorted to in spurts or spur of the moment, Justice Reyes chides. “St. Paul urges Christians to pray for ALL those in authority, that we may lead peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and dignity. This is right and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (I Tim. 2:1-4). While Jesus favored private prayer in secret, he did not frown upon sincere prayer in public places for the public good, for God’s glory.

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ON ANOTHER FRONT, former Philippine Speaker Jose de Venecia said Philippine national hero Jose Rizal, considered the “Pride of the Malayan Race,” which includes the peoples of Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia, had “Fujian, Chinese roots, and if alive today would be in the forefront of seeking inter-Asian reconciliation in the South China Sea.

De Venecia delivered that message in Fuzhou, Fujian’s capital city, during the 110th anniversary of Fujian Normal University before hundreds of members of Filipino-Chinese and Asian alumni in attendance.

The 81-year-old de Venecia is President Rodrigo Duterte’s Special Envoy for APEC and Intercultural Dialogue.

He told newsmen at a conference in Fuzhou that, with the recent decision in ASEAN to begin the drafting of the China Sea Code of Conduct, key principles would include free navigation, open skies, common trade, tourism, hopefully joint exploration and joint development of petroleum resources, to be equitably shared, and taking into account contributions to oil drilling and development costs.

De Venecia, five-time Speaker of the House of Representatives, and former president of the Petroleum Association of the Philippines, said under Presidents Xi Jinping and Rodrigo Duterte Philippine-Chinese relations “had improved considerably and major Chinese investments are beginning to flow in the Philippines and major Filipino-Chinese entrepreneurs have established branches in various cities of China.”

In 2005, joining then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s state visit to China, then Speaker de Venecia proposed in Beijing a “tripartite oil seismic agreement in the South China Sea among the Philippines, China, and Vietnam which was approved by the three governments,” led to the launching of a commonly financed three-nation seismic ship survey which he said found a “number of drillable structures in the South China Sea.”

In his speech the other day at the Fujian Normal University anniversary rites, de Venecia said the great Chinese and Asian leader Deng Hsiao Ping said at the time that “we must consider suspending the issue of sovereignty” and proceed to drill for the region’s most urgent energy requirements and share the fruits of oil production. He said President Duterte and Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano have been successful so far in improving the situation in the South China Sea.

He said the recent APEC and ASEAN Summits in Vietnam and Manila had further improved Philippines-China and US relations.

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The Association of Women Legislators Foundation Inc. (AWLFI) headed by Deputy Speaker Linabelle Ruth Villarica will hold another fundraiser billed as “PamasCONG Handog: Garage Sale for a Cause Part 2” on Nov. 22-23, at the Southwing Lobby, House of Representatives. 

Proceeds from the sale will go to help families of the fallen troops in Marawi. The event will feature well-loved preowned items from members of Congress as well as bazaar exhibitors who will showcase and sell a variety of products.

Celebrity guests Pop Fernandez, Shaina Magdayao and Alden Richards will open the event on November 22.

“PamasCONG Handog: Garage Sale for a Cause Part 2” is chaired by Rep. Juliette Uy and Malou Acosta-Alba.

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Help the hearing impaired by partaking of a lunch for a cause themed “Listen with the Ear of Your Heart”. The event on November 25 will be held at the conference hall of the Philippine School for the Deaf (PSD) on FB Harrison St., Pasay City.

The activity aims to raise funds to support the Philippine Registry for Interpretation of the Deaf’s ladderized sign language program and mobile training program to enable qualified interpreters to provide assistance to the deaf in the legal, educational, medical, religious, cultural, rehabilitation and vocational settings.

Ms. Marita Capadocia, PRID president, says lunch will be prepared and served by hearing- impaired senior high school students of PSD who will show what they can do in terms of cookery and fine dining on a shoestring budget.

A lunch ticket costs P500.

For tickets and inquiries, call PRID at telephone 8316431.

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Email: dominitorrevillas@gmail.com

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