Aseus Villola mvillola at ateneo.edu
Fri Jan 31 01:40:07 PHT 2003


Republic of the Philippines
Philippine International Convention Center
Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex
Pasay City

                                                                                            22 January 2003

Fr. Bienvenido F. Nebres, S.J.
Ateneo de Manila University

Dear Fr. Nebres,


    I humbly call on the Filipino people to take a stand for peace. The world is in danger of imminent war in the Middle East with Iraq at the center stage who braces for a massive attack by the United States and the United Kingdom. It seems imperative that every Filipino pray and work for peace. As a nation, we should not be a disinterested bystander in this possible war. I am pleased to furnish you a copy of my "Call to the Filipino People, Take a Stand for Peace".

    We have planned to hold a prayer rally for peace on January 31, 2003 at Plaza Miranda in Quiapo, Manila from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Filipinos from all walks of life, from various faith and beliefs who yearn for peace in our country and in the world are expected to join the prayer rally, in person and in spirit.

    Through your office, I respectfully urge you to invite your group/community to be in solidarity with us, to be one with all peace-loving Filipinos on January 31, 2003. It will be further symbolic if candles be lighted as dusk sets in so the darkness of war will not engulf us. Wear white ribbons on your collars and car antenna, hang white banners to dramatize your support against the war. Parishes are also encouraged to ring church bells right after the Angelus, as a sign of solidarity for the activity.

    Let us all take a stand for peace. Let us seek Divine Providence. Let us pray that those who seek to wage war from whatever side may have change of heart.

    Prayer is the valued way to divine intervention for Peace.


                                                                                  TEOFISTO T. GUINGONA, JR.


The threat of war in Iraq and its consequences, for us ordinary Filipinos, is growing as the 27th of January U.N. inspectors' report to the United Nations draws near. An attack on Iraq by the U.S. and English forces seems imminent, even without the U.N. Security Council mandate. Their forces are massing by the hundreds of thousands!

Reports from the U.N. estimates that casualties of civilians alone may reach five hundred thousand.

Such possible tragedy seems compounded by the perils facing our OFWs, about one in Iraq proper, more than twenty seven thousand in neighboring Kuwait and about P850,000 in Saudi Arabia, not to speak of further dislocations from their families here.

The impending war will imperil the price of oil, further distort foreign exchange, and devastate the economy. Worse - it may intensify violence and the senseless flow of blood in our own land, especially Mindanao.

Many are resigned to hopelessness. . .of letting things take their own course. The U.S. does not seem to pay attention to the warnings of European and Asian leaders including the plea of the Pope.

We again confront our own mortality against the odds and seek divine assistance in the midst of powerlessness. In such times, we seek Divine assistance. We are challenged to put our faith and trust in God for His protection.

In these coming critical days, I humbly call on people of various faiths, to unite in prayer to seek divine intervention, to let peace reign in our world. We implore God to enlighten world leaders against war.

I humbly ask the leaders of various Religious communities to congregate on January 31, 2003 at Plaza Miranda for an afternoon of Prayer and Peace. People of various faith expressions, Christians and Muslims included, will come together to pray. Peace in Iraq, peace in the Middle East, and peace in our country. JOIN US!


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