Friday, February 26, 2010

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


No one can doubt that the Filipino people are very religious, Godbelieving, and prayerful. Most of them expect miracles to happen in their lives as a solution to their problems. And so are the American people. And so are the Latin Americans, the Spaniards, the Italians, and other people who call themselves Christians or Catholics.

As children of God, Christians are supposed to be blessed and endowed with all the necessary things in life. As the Bible said, “there should be no poor among you.” But the said reality is that some of the poor peoples in the world are Christians or Catholics.

One thing that God hates, according to the Bible, is idolatry or worship of other beings or things. The Old Testament speaks of the severe punishment that idolaters deserve that is death by stoning.

A friend of mine once asked me to comment on Rev. Pat Robertson’s statement attributing the recent killer-earthquake to hit Haiti to a past historical episode where the Haitian people were said to have sought the help of the occult spirits in driving away the French colonizers. I refused to remark because I don’t know if it really happened. If it did, then there may be a correlation even to the killer-typhoon Katrina that destroyed New Orleans sometime ago.

We know of the killer floods that devastated lives and properties in the Philippines last year. Now, right now, a killer drought is destroying once productive land all over that country causing shortages of food, electricity, water, and other basic necessities of life. Worst of all, it also started epidemics of all kinds of diseases among the people.

Do you think there is a pervasive influence of idolatry in the Philippines today?

Idolatry is worship or excessive devotion to other beings or things other than God in Heaven. It is categorically written as the second commandment of God in the Bible and the punishment is death.

An episode in a running soap opera titled “Agua Bendita” shown at the Filipino Channel in New York caught my interest. It’s about a Filipino priest who chose to leave his flock and went to hide in the mountain instead of being worshipped other than God.

One Sunday as my wife tuned again at The Filipino Channel to watch some Filipino soap operas, I noticed a Filipino religious leader dressed in a flaming red blazer as he jokingly preached to his thousands of followers while walking to and fro on the stage. Do his followers worship God in Heaven or him as they raised their handkerchiefs and umbrellas for the religious leader’s blessing?

I love my country of birth, the Philippines proudly called “Pearl of the Orient” because of her beauty even surpassing Hawaii or any other Polynesian group of islands in the Pacific. I believe there are more than ten true believers of God living there and I hope God will not destroy her like what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah.


Friday, February 19, 2010

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


I want to share with you one reality of life that is persistent and irrevocable: we live with all kinds of problems and we cannot avoid them. Why?

From the time of conception until delivery, every human being passes through a series of problems, medical or otherwise. As God told Eve in the Book of Genesis after touching the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, “in pain you shall bring forth children.”

And for listening to his wife to taste the forbidden fruit, God told Adam, “by the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

Disobedience to God’s commandment caused all these problems surrounding us as punishment until we all return to the ground. But God is a good God and a God of Justice: He provided solutions for every problem confronting our lives.

Here comes the subject of faith in God’s promise of redemption from the sin of disobedience.

As a Christian, I will talk from the Christian point of view via the following biblical verse in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Now before us lie the cause of the problems of life in this world and the solution provided by the Creator.

We all get sick because our physical body is full of germs and bacteria and constantly under attack by various kinds of viruses. But God has allowed medical science to advance and show the right path for treatment together with His promise “the prayer of faith shall save the sick.”

We all suffer from financial problems because of the “thorns and thistles” that the cursed ground brings forth. But again God has showed ways to solve them such as “saving a penny for a rainy day.”

We all die or return to dust because sin has turned us into mortal beings. But God has promised that “whosoever believeth in Him (Jesus Christ) should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Problems may come and go but FAITH will make us go forever

Thursday, February 11, 2010

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


There is no doubt that Ferdinand E. Marcos declared martial rule in the Philippines in 1972 to remain in power. Yet he tried to justify his means with a vision of creating a “New Society” via a revolution from the top. He tried to impose discipline among the people a la Singapore’s Strong Man Lee Kuan Yew and fought graft and corruption. He even tried to reinvent Philippine history by glorifying pre-Spanish Filipino culture. He failed because the spirit of greed inhabited his soul. He coveted wealth and properties that did not belong to him.

Who among the eight presidential candidates, you think, will be able to withstand the three temptations: lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.

I would urge every Filipino voter to examine each of the eight presidential candidates, Aquino, Villar, Estrada, Teodoro, Gordon, Villanueva, Madrigal, Delos Reyes, and Perlas and put each of them into a simple Greed test.

Based on their track records and background, consider the following presidential candidates:

Noynoy Aquino. Do you think he will sign a business investment deal in the Philippines with a foreign country such as China or Malaysia in exchange of a fat kickback for him,his elatives, or cronies?

Manny Villar. Will he do it to put more money in his pocket though he already has billions in his other pocket?

Erap Estrada. Is he susceptible to accept millions and millions of bribe money from investors or other unscrupulous gambling/drug lords?

Dick Gordon. Is there any businessman or investor in his province of Zambales who will say he will do it?

Gibo Teodoro. Is he or his extended family immune from the temptation of graft and corruption?

Eddie Villanueva. Would he be able to imitate Jesus against the temptations of the Devil?

J.C. Delos Reyes. Presented with cartons and cartons of bribe money from unscrupulous businessmen, how would he respond being a neophyte in national politics?

Jamby Madrigal. As a woman, how would she withstand the lust of the eyes toward expensive jewelry, clothing, and other material things as symbolized by the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden?

Nick Perlas. How would he use billions and billions of the people’s money available for his disposal? Would he be tempted to use part of it for personal reasons such as running for another elective post after serving his term?

The persistent issues in every presidential election in the Philippines are breakdown in peace and order, rampant graft and corruption in high places, and the vicious cycle of poverty of the masses. I believe Greed is the rootcause of all these problems.

Whoever pass the simple Greed Test, I think, should be the new leader of the Filipino people in this year’s presidential election.


Tuesday, February 09, 2010

By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio


Whenever we speak of wisdom, we usually refer to the wisdom of King Solomon in the Old Testament who is regarded as the wisest king who ever lived.

Solomon' s wisdom is well described in the Book of Kings where two mothers asked him to judge as to who is the true mother of a child. One of the mothers accidentally killed her child during sleep and wanted to covet the other mother's child. The Wise King suggested to have the child be cut into two by a sword and let the two mothers get one half each. One mother cried and agreed to give up her claim to spare the child's life. So King Solomon made his final decision to give the child to her as being the true mother.

The wisdom showed by King Solomon clearly was not predicated by any legal citation or precedent decision. His judgment was based on pure wisdom derived from God and not from some presumably legalistic man-made decision.

Now let me cite two of my immigration cases about two bright graduating college students who came to the United States illegally at a very young age of 10. They were sent away by their parents definitely because of the brutal and inhuman treatment they received from the Chinese government. The young students told me of their frustration with the passage of the Dream Act that somehow would give them some form of legalization in order to use their American education to get a good paying job.

The Act has so far remained just a dream with the failure of the previous Congress to pass the Kennedy-McCain Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill with the Dream Act as a rider.

I could understand the students' predicament about their uncertain future in the United States without any legal immigration documents. One of them is even expecting to graduate with honors. So what? Shall we say, if she cannot work legally. Their American education that effectively turned them into freedom-loving individuals would definitely be wasted. Worse still, they would be possible victims of unscupulous and exploiting employers in the underground economy.

With my legal counsel, Atty. Gabriel de la Merced, I advised them to file for asylum, withholding of removal and protection under the Convention Against Torture. Accompanied by my lawyer, they passed the asylum interview at the Rosedale Asylum Office in Queens.

Wise "Uncle Sam" through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services finally granted asylum to my two student clients that would now enable them to find suitable jobs after their graduation this year.

This coming July they are coming back to my office for assistance in applying for their priceless "Green Cards."

Note that these two college students who were smuggled to the United States when they were minors thought that were already against the wall upon the failed passage of the Dream Act. With their full American education from elementary to college, they have already become virtual Americans without legal documents. They truly love America and really scared to go back to China that has become a strange and dangerous place for them.

The two Chinese college students came to me as a last resort having been told to keep waiting for the Dream Act that has remained to be just a dream for now perhaps due to the persisting bias or lack of wisdom by most members of Congress. Being true to what they feel and believe and what happened to their loved ones back home under the repressive and ungodly Chinese regime, they finally realized their dream last year due the wise decision of a certain asylum officer in Rosedale, Queens.

I think the Asylum Officer never had the idea of the hope and bright future he offered to the desperate Chinese students. He just applied plain wisdom in arriving at his decision.

The essence of wisdom, therefore, is always the triumph of what is right and just.