VP LENI TO 15 GRADUATING SEMINARIANS
VICE President Leni Robredo apparently found more listening ears from the graduating seminarians about her lament over “lies” peddled against her in the social media disguised as truths.
Robredo spoke before seminarians and their parents, priests, nuns and laymen inside the St. John The Evangelist Cathedral here.
She was invited by Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas to deliver the commencement address to this year’s graduates of Mary Help of Christians College and Theology seminaries’ graduation ceremonies.
“The leadership journey I have embarked on has brought me much persecution. There are so many lies behind bandied around and social media has been made it easier to disguise lies as truth,” she said.
She added, “But in the midst of all these vilification, I pray that we will all learn to follow Christ’s example. Focus on the work to be done for the One at a cost of personal inconvenience and even at the risk of losing our status or positions.”
Robredo is facing an impeachment complaint filed by Oliver Lozano and Melchor Chavez for having “committed acts of injustice” when she spread “fake news” about the Philippines with her video message to the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs side event criticizing the administration’s war on drugs.
She urged the people of Pangasinan to build a responsive and caring society and to focus more to the need to give more shelter for the poor, provide more food on their table, create more jobs, encourage entrepreneurship, promote good governance and improve services for health, social welfare, education, transportation and communication.
Little girls dressed as nuns offer flowers to Vice President Leni Robredo at the graduation ceremonies of Mary Help of Christians College and Theology at St. John the Evangelist Cathedral in Dagupan City. Archbishop Socrates Villegas (left) assists the “Little Nuns”. (Punchphoto by Willie Lomibao)
The vice president lauded the Church’s role in the government’s campaign against illegal drugs, saying “Today in the midst of darkness and division, the Church is once again providing sanctuary for our country.”
She said, “Programs to rehabilitate drug dependence are a much-need intervention especially for the poor who can’t afford this very expensive treatments and the role of the Church in this work is crucial because it has been proven time and again that recovery from addiction is only made when spiritual connection is found.”
Robredo said she has also learned of interventions where the Church is giving sanctuary to mothers, fathers and children left behind by those who have been killed in relation to the government’s war on drugs.
She pointed out that “these are things that will save our society from apathy and permissiveness– acts that show our countrymen that we do not forget our people who are suffering”.
Robredo said the church is, and has always been, a sanctuary for herself and her family. She said when her husband Jessie was still alive, they made it a point to always consult the Carmelite sisters in Naga and the priests of the Missionaries of the Poor and other religious orders before they made any major decision.
She recalled that her late husband depended on their archbishop for help in many of his programs when he was still mayor of Naga.
She told the graduating seminarians that they are in a unique position as priests in the future to be the people’s voice in the wilderness.
Meanwhile, there were only 12 graduates of Bachelor of Arts Major in Philosophy and three graduates of Master of Arts Major in Theology. The cathedral was however filled with students from catholic schools. (Tita Roces)