On January 30, 2017, we published the “Death penalty opposition in the Philippines” statement of Bohol Friends Worship Group. Bohol Friends are under the care of the Asia West-Pacific Section of Friends World Committee on Consultation .
We welcome this update from Friend Boni Quirog, who holds a Ph.D. in Human Resource Management and serves as Secretary to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Council) of Bohol.
Philippines unprogrammed Quakers derive inspiration from Australian and New Zealand Quakers.
Tina Montiel spent years in Australia, where she encountered Quakerism.
Boni Quirog was invited to the Australia Yearly Meeting in January 2010. There he learned to appreciate first-hand Silent Worship and Meeting for Business the Quaker way.
Marjorie Angalot was sponsored by New Zealand Quakers to attend the 2012 World Conference of Friends in Kenya. Since then Filipino Quakers have developed friendships with Aussie & NZ Quakers.
The FWCC Asia West Pacific Section also gathered resources for disaster relief during the October 2013 Earthquake on Bohol island, as well as for the victims of Yolanda (international code name Haiyan), the most devastating typhoon ever, less than a month later on the nearby island of Leyte.
Today, we all hear of ISIS-influenced terrorists wrecking havoc in parts of Mindanao where martial rule has been declared by President Rodrigo Duterte. The President himself was quoted to have dared these terrorists to attack Mindanao early in his term of office.
While supporting his pro-poor social programs and initiatives to hold peace talks with rebel groups, unprogrammed Quakers here have taken a stand against Duterte’s policies to reimpose death penalty and the rampant extra-judicial killings.
Unprogrammed Quakers based in the nation’s capital, Metro Manila, have actively participated in nonviolent demonstrations. Mike Tan who is the chancellor of the University of the Philippines is shown here with Mila Aguilar, joining the commemoration of the peaceful EDSA (“People Power”) Revolution last February. Mila is a former communist leader-turned-nonviolent Christian activist.
Most recently, Tina Montiel and Mike Tan attended the conference-forum of democratic forces in the country who have expressed deep concern over the seeming strong-man rule of Duterte. The conference, held June, was called “Defend Democracy Summit 2017.”1
In Bohol Island, where regular Sunday Silent Meeting for Worship is held by Marjorie Angalot, Ludwig Quirog, and Boni Quirog, a series of Alternatives to Violence Project workshops were held under the auspices of the University of Bohol, where Ludwig participated as a senior trainer. These recent AVP workshops were led by Kins Aparece of the Student Catholic Action of the Philippines, and also assisted by Indonesia-based American Friend Nadine Hoover and Australian Friend Valerie Joy.
Still, in Bohol months ago, a group of eleven terrorists also disturbed the peace of one of its towns. This was quelled by military troops after weeks of fighting.
Bohol Goodwill Volunteers, a non-government organization founded by local Quakers, assisted in providing psycho-social assistance to the affected communities who took shelter in evacuation centers.
We highly appreciate the moral support of Quakers throughout the AWPS, who expressed their concern for our plight through email and Facebook.
Let there be Light!
1 People from various sectors of the Philippines gathered for Defend Democracy Summit 2017 (Pagtitipon at Paninindigan para sa Demokrasya at Kalayaan”) on Monday, June 12. The event took place at the University of the Philippines Diliman School of Economics Auditorium. See Highlights of the Summi and UP Chancellor Michael Tan’s opening remarks.