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Cebu ship collision: no radars?


LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “…‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me…‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me…Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life’…” (Jesus Christ, our God and Savior, in Matthew 25:40, 45-46, the Holy Bible).

COLLIDING SHIPS IN CEBU: NO RADAR SYSTEMS? Tell me if I am wrong, but isn’t it a fact that boats, ships and other vessels plying our sea waters are required to be equipped with even the most primitive of radars systems to enable them to avoid collisions with other ships or boats, especially during stormy and rough weathers?

Did not the MV St. Thomas Aquinas of 2GO Shipping and Sulpicio Express Siete have these radar systems when they collided with each other on Saturday, August 17, 2013? If Thomas Aquinas and Sulpicio Express Siete did not have those radar systems, was it right for the Philippine Coast Guard to have allowed them to sail even if they were ill-equipped to navigate the waters in Cebu?

These questions must have to be answered by 2GO Shipping, Sulpicio Lines (which is now named Philippine Span Asia Carrier Corporation) and even by the Philippine Coast Guard, to give justice to the 32 (and still increasing in number) dead passengers, and the hundreds of those injured in Saturday’s collision. But then, wouldn’t that be asking for the impossible?

UNFAIR REACTION FROM THE CHURCH: The attempt of the Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church in Manila to distance itself now from the on-going P10 billion pork barrel scandal involving Janet Lim Napoles obviously is a consequence of the widely-publicized teary reaction of Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle to the issue the other week.

But, with due respect, any such attempt at this stage to distance the Archdiocese from the pork barrel issue, which came out after a former priest of the Quiapo Church in Manila admitted being a part of a foundation set up by Janet for her mother which is being linked to the scam, is largely unfair. The fact is that, the Church benefitted from the former priest’s association with Janet Lim Napoles and her foundation, especially in its projects to feed the poor.

Surely, the Church has the duty to accept funds from anyone who would want to help it in its projects aimed at alleviating the lives of destitute Manila residents, especially where, as in this case, there was no indication yet, at the time that the funds were being given to it, that they came from dubious transactions. The priest must be lauded for his efforts, and not stabbed in the back, now that he is out of his position.

CONCRETE MANIFESTATION OF FAITH: Indeed, all these talk about having faith and believing in God is useless, if we do not do something concretely to really help the poor, the destitute, the hungry and the thirsty in our midst.  In fact, we are told: “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?

“Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, `Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead...”

In the same manner, Jesus Christ, our God and Savior, explained that whoever fed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, visited the sick and the detained, welcomed the stranger into their homes, and gave clothes to the needy, actually helped Him, and would therefore receive the greatest reward of all, which is eternal life in Paradise, in His presence.

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