ICC withdrawal is a problem
"What will the President do if prosecutors come?"At 91, I cannot help reminiscing the chapters of my life. I recall that after obtaining my Bachelor of Arts in 1950 from the old Ateneo de Manila at the Padre Faura ruins, our teacher Jesuit priest Fr. James O’Shaughnessy asked me and my classmates to a meeting. It must be something important, I said to myself, thinking I was lucky to be included. Fr. James told us he knew of a woman who had visions of the Virgin Mary, and he would like us to see her. The woman, whose husband was serving a life sentence, said the Virgin told her to form cells composed of young graduates of exclusive schools to fight the growing threat of communism. At that time, the Hukbalahap was being infiltrated by the Mao Tse Tung type of communism under Luis Taruc. There were students from La Salle, St. Theresa’s, Assumption, Santa Escolastica and even the University of the Philippines. I had my doubts but I joined anyway because I truly believed fighting communism was a great cause. We formed what was called the Paco Club. It was at that time I entertained the idea of being a Jesuit missionary. Every product of the old Ateneo wanted to be one. As members of the Paco Club, we took a vow of celibacy and obedience. We had our early morning prayers, went to Mass every day, and said our night prayers too. It felt like we were getting ready for the priesthood despite the presence of beautiful kolehiyalas around us. This in fact was the reason I volunteered to help with the Oblates’ publication The Mindanao Cross in Cotabato City. I recall that one of my missions was to promote awareness of the communist threat in the country. I took the occasion to meet with parish priests to organize youth movements against the Red Terror. In fact, during my first year in Cotabato City, I tried to organize a group similar to The Paco Club. But then, I met my future wife. She was an 18-year-old student of Philippine Women’s University. I must have forgotten about my vow of celibacy because from then on, I wanted to get to know her better! After seeing her often during Mass, I mustered enough courage to approach her. “May I walk with you?” I asked.
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