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A New Venue For Their Evangelization

In His Steps Radio Program

SFC and YFC leaders of Metro Manila have found a new venue for their evangelization. They now anchor “In His Steps”, an hour-long radio show aired on DWDD (1134 kHz) everyday from Monday to Friday at 12 noon. The first broadcast was aired last June 12, Philippine Independence Day.

Maricar Gatchalian of SFC Manila heads the anchor team. Five groups composed of five persons each group rotate anchoring duties every day and discuss different topics culled from SFC and YFC formation talks.

Mid-year Provincial Councils

CFC Philippine Mission Director Roquel Ponte conducted midyear provincial conferences in the different regions. The conference featured workshops for every talk and reports from the ensuing group discussions.

The Visayas conference was held in Boracay, Aklan; the Northern Mindanao conference in Valencia, Bukidnon; the Southern Mindanao conference in Kidapawan, North Cotabato; and the Luzon conference in Limay, Bataan. The conference had three talks: “The Vision of CFC for the Future”, “Leaving a Legacy” (covering the Family Ministries) and “Total Human Liberation: the Thrust of the Future” (covering the Special Ministries).

COOPS for Christ Elects Officers

The COOPS for Christ elected its officers during a General Assembly Meeting held at the Santuario de San Jose Parish.

The new officers are: Domy Gregorio as Chairman, Bernie Cuevas as Vice-Chairperson and Education Committee head, Oland David as Finance Committee head, Thelma Hizon as Livelihood Committee head and Ponet Ladrido as Business Development head. Frank Padilla sits in the board as representative of the CFC Council while Charly Reyes is Executive Committee Head.

The COMELEC at the STMA Forum

Harriet Demetriou was the guest speaker during the STMA forum at the Casa Nila Restaurant. She spoke on “Philippine Elections”, focusing on the topics of electoral reforms, heinous crimes, the party list system, absentee voting, volunteer work and putting NGO's to work for elections.

Ms. Demetriou disclosed that for the elections, the COMELEC had been given a budget for the automation of 45% of the electoral system. This figure covers the computerization of the NCR and the entire Mindanao region. She also informed the assembly that buying and selling of votes is now classified as a heinous crime under new Philippine election laws, punishable by heavy penalties and imprisonment.

She also disclosed that two bills have been filed affecting the electoral system. One proposes the scrapping of the requirement of 2% of total votes to get a party list seat in Congress. The other requires overseas workers to register in the country they wish to vote from in order that their votes may be counted as absentee votes.

Ms. Demetriou enjoined CFC to help in the Precinct Mapping and Verification Project and proposed that CFC be an accredited volunteer organization to help COMELEC perform its duties during the coming elections.

Demetriou serves as Vice-President of the Council of Catholic Prison Missions and as Legal Consultant for the Episcopal Commission on Prisoners' Welfare of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.

STMA Fields Volunteer Lawyers

When STMA pledged to uphold, defend and promote the dignity and fundamental rights of every human person - not excluding the “least of our humankind”, the poor - it realized that it had to make available free legal assistance to those in need, despite the difficulties.

A group of Spirit-filled and inspired lawyers from among the brothers and sisters in the CFC community took up the call, volunteered their various expertise in the legal profession and formed a loose/informal “pool” of lawyers. Attorney Nides Respicio calls this group (which he heads) the STMA's Lawyers' League. In Metro Manila, the league relies completely on the enthusiasm exuded by the rest of the group consisting of Attorneys Tom Prado, Rod and Canyl Bustos, Fred Bathan, Joe Ramos, Nes and Myrna Hilario, Jun Farcon, Rolly Erenio, Joe Dy, and Totoy Bacani.

The members of the league are kept busy providing free legal assistance to CFC members who are in need and referring clients to equally Spirit-filled CFC brother-lawyers in the provinces who have likewise volunteered to be part of the legal assistance network. They assist the CFC Prison Ministry on selective basis, and helps even non-CFC persons or groups in “special” cases that promise to significantly impact on the STMA mission. The group also hopes to participate, though indirectly, in the fight against crime, pornography and anti-life forces.

The league of lawyers has been meeting regularly. Realizing that there indeed is a lack of volunteer lawyers and paralegals, they plan to train brothers and sisters in the CFC community to organize and administer the legal aid program and systematically monitor cases. They are also currently drawing up the guidelines and qualification standards for eligibility in the availability of legal aid.

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