[Blueboard] Life

Office of the President [OP] president at ateneo.edu
Fri Jul 29 08:43:40 PHT 2016

​[image: Inline image 1]

29 July 2016

Memo to         :           The University Community

Subject            :           Life

On the early evening of July 18, Emmanuel Jose “Em-J” Magno Pavia, Ateneo
alumnus and teacher, was shot to death on his way home to Barangka,
Marikina. His death has brought untold pain to the entire Ateneo community,
especially his parents, longtime Ateneo High School faculty, and his
brothers. Though official investigation continues, under no circumstances
can the killing of such a young and dedicated teacher be spared
condemnation in the strongest terms.

Em-J’s death and the recent spate of killings in our country and in the
world compel us to examine our situation and to respond in the light of our
common faith in a loving God.

We acknowledge the primal feelings of frustration, anger and fear unleashed
by the violence that continues to stalk our people, particularly those who
subsist at the margins of our society.

We are all too aware of drug-related violence and the entrenched networks
of drug production, distribution and consumption, all of which destroy the
life of individuals, families and our nation.

We recognize the willful efforts of government, the private sector and
civil society to rid our communities of this drug menace and to institute
measures that protect persons and property from such violence.

However, Christian faith tells us that Jesus came so that all may have life
and have it more abundantly (Jn 10,10). Because of the fundamental Gospel
value and sanctity of each person’s life, the death of anyone regardless of
virtue cannot but diminish us, and any society or culture that encourages
and multiplies death cheapens life for everyone.

We join our voice with other sympathetic voices in civil society. We find
resonance with the sentiments of our friends from the La Sallian community
on this pressing concern (

And we call upon members of the Ateneo community to:

·         Promote reverence for life, respect for human rights, and
restorative justice;

·         Espouse best practices in crime prevention and control;

·         Watch over the enforcement of equality before the law, due
process, and mandated judicial processes in instances of criminal arrest;

·         Lobby against the potential reinstatement of capital punishment
and the lowering of the age of criminal liability;

·         Develop and protect transparent modes of truth telling in mass
and social media as well as in pronouncements of government and civil

·         Address the root causes of violence, including all forms of
addiction and bigotry, and help develop effective campaigns and programs
against these.

At the advent of a new administration, the hope of authentic social change
and personal transformation is raised before us once more. These cannot be
truly achieved with fear as primary motivation or retribution as auxiliary
deterrent. If real change is to happen, it can only come when we hold
before us the value and sanctity of every person’s life.

The Prince of Peace lived among us to proclaim the life-giving news of
God's universal love and to establish the peace of the Kingdom in our
midst. On his cross, there is only it seems callousness and savagery. With
the eyes of faith however, we see differently. At times however dimly, we
see love and mercy given in return for our cruelty. By his wounds that are
our wounds, by his peace that is our peace, we are changed and at last


Jose Ramon T Villarin SJ


Office of the President
Ateneo de Manila University
Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights,
Quezon City 1108
Tel No: 63 (02) 426 6001
Fax No: 63 (02) 426 6079

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