The elevation of Bishop Orlando Quevedo on reminds me of the murder of Fr. Fausto Tentorio, which reminds me of the murder of Fr. Tulio Favali, brutally “salvaged,” on April 11, 1985.
DOJ Prosecutor Tirso Velasco and human rights lawyers, Greg Andolana, Sol Jubillan, Merlin Bello, Orlando Dano and I, prosecuted in Kidapawan the Manero brothers, et al., who would appear in court, bald, with only a heart-shaped tuft left. (One Manero answered back his mother – nagdabog; his pop shot him to death, and buried him at home sa silong, below the dinner table.)
Every trial date, I would take the PAL 2:00 a.m. Bulilit flight to Davao, and board a bus for two hours to Kidapawan, with Bishop Quevedo, as gutsy host who stood up to lost military commands.
PIME (Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions) in Zamboanga answered for my travel expenses. Fr. Geremiah, the real target in April 1985, would drive me around; nuns would escort me back to Davao late in the day for my flight home. s
I played but a cameo role and quit after snap polls prez candidate Cory asked me to be her spokesperson in late April to December, 1985, was not along long while around for the conviction of the paramilitary murderers who looked at those serving the people as subversives. I was then in the Cabinet.
Incidentally, Tirso courageous also fought to get justice for Evelio Javier, gunned down on February 11, 1986. Greg became a congressman and yelped when he saw one convicted Manero a free man in the 90’s (Mabini member Hessie Mallilin said a Manero acted as security of a prominent couple; hmmm).
Sol was a victim of reckless driving, like my ever-loving wife.
But this one’s in tribute to the new outstanding Cardinal who this week said he was surprised over his appointment by Pope Francis last Sunday. I did not even think that this was happening until Cardinal Tagle sent me a message that the Pope “had chosen me to be a cardinal,” he said over Church-run Radio Veritas. “And I still did not believe it because I was not thinking at all about it. So, that was my feeling of being surprised. God’s gift always has a surprise and makes one humble before God,” he added.
The 74-year-old Quevedo is among 19 new cardinals named by Pope Francis from around the world. Sixteen of them, including Quevedo, are under 80 and can enter a conclave to choose a new pope after Pope Francis dies or resigns.
A ceremony to elevate the new cardinals, known as consistory, will be held on February 22. Quevedo will be the first Filipino Cardinal from Mindanao and the eighth from the Philippines. “I pray that I can contribute to the good of the people here in Mindanao and to the peace and dialogue being undertaken by the people of various faith in Mindanao. “I thank the Holy Father for recognizing the people in Mindanao specially the places where there are great problems of peace and to recognize also the poor people of the Philippines,” said Quevedo. Aside from Quevedo, the only other active Filipino cardinal is Tagle. There are two more Filipinos who are members of the College of Cardinals but they have reached the age of 80 and are now retired. They are Ricardo Vidal (82) and Gaudencio Rosales (81).
We hail all these great spiritual leaders who have also show the way by deed. I was not surprised to Bishop Quevedo’s well-deserved elevation.