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“The family members of the thousands killed under the previous Duterte administration are still working for justice and accountability but have few legal options in local and national courts,” reads a World Council of Churches statement on the human rights situation in the Philippines.
For 12 days in February, 10 travelers came together in the Philippines and Hong Kong to learn about the root causes and current challenges of forced migration and labor trafficking. Both the group’s itinerary and the combination of participants made for a unique and uniquely powerful experience
During a Tuesday evening webinar, two bishops — one retired from the United Methodist Church, one Episcopal — used their lived experience under martial law enacted by former Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos to urge viewers to be wary of what Marcos’ son, BongBong Marcos, the nation’s 17th president, could bring about for the nation of nearly 116 million people.
In the days before the Rev. Cathy Chang, a mission co-worker serving in the Philippines, was red-tagged having been accused of supporting groups perceived as terrorists through stickers and a tarpaulin affixed at her home in Quezon City, she spoke on the scourge of human trafficking with the hosts of “A Matter of Faith: A Presby Podcast.”
On Wednesday night, people of faith from around the world gathered by Zoom to pray for the dignity of the Filipino people, including that a just and fair election will be held throughout the Philippines on Monday. Mission co-worker the Rev. Cathy Chang was among the featured speakers.
The Rev. Cathy Chang, a mission co-worker serving in the Philippines since 2015, was shocked on April 11 when she found stickers and a tarpaulin with her photo affixed to the front gate of her home with accusations that she is a “Supporter of Terrorist CPP-NPA-NDF” and threatening her to “get out of our country.”
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) and the Presbytery of Plains and Peaks are responding to wildfires that impacted the area between Boulder and Denver, Colorado in the last days of 2021.
Last September, the Youth Advocates Through Theater Arts, a group of thespians I work with, organized a webinar titled HIV HIV Haway (Haway is a local term that means “leave”). YATTA had partnered with the U.N. Population Fund, the Center for Health Solutions and Innovations Philippines and Y-PEER Pilipinas to promote HIV Combination Prevention. The initiative came with the assessment that the Philippines had one of the fastest-growing HIV epidemics in the world, mostly affecting young, marginalized people not easily reached by mainstream health services and programs.
Roland is now in high school and is among a group of student panelists presenting on the topic “Social Economic Reforms for Sustainability,” organized by the National Christian Youth Fellowship. The invitation to be a panelist is merited by outstanding academic achievement and each of the panelists performed exceptionally on this day.
As in many other places in the world, the global pandemic has pushed millions of Filipinos and their children further into poverty. But a global partner of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), The United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP), has responded in creative ways not only to feed the children’s bodies but to deal with their psychosocial needs as well.