Thursday, August 30, 2007

Tony Meloto Speaks

Tony Meloto finally deals with the issue head on. This article in the Philstar covers the sentiments within GK and the issues surrounding the FFL and GK.

GK head breaks silence on Couples for Christ split
By Patricia Esteves
Thursday, August 30, 2007

Gawad Kalinga founder and 2006 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee Tony Meloto said yesterday the split in the popular Catholic lay organization Couples for Christ (CFC) would not hurt GK’s housing projects for the poor.

“The breakaway group, CFC Foundation for Family Life, is just a small group that left CFC. Those who left are not even involved in Gawad Kalinga (GK),” Meloto told The STAR yesterday.

“Those who left CFC may have their own priorities but greater majority of CFC are on the same ground, the work of GK will not be disrupted,” Meloto assured.

He said the CFC breakaway group’s accusations against GK enraged thousands of volunteers, partners, universities and corporations.

“There is an outpouring of outrage from the thousands of volunteers, partners, students who are deeply involved in GK work. Gawad Kalinga is the fruit of their sacrifice and when you attack or question the credibility of GK, you are dishonoring the thousands of volunteers, benefactors, partners here and abroad who have sacrificed everything to help build homes for the poor. Even the poor beneficiaries of the homes are upset about this,” Meloto said.

Ironically, volunteers have become more passionate in helping GK as a result of the controversy, according to Meloto.

“At GK, the rich and poor are involved, the civic society, corporations, the students, even foreign embassies support us. So many people from the United States come here to build houses,” he said.

“When you attack GK, the credibility of the organization, you attack the volunteers and they will not easily let the small group of people destroy what they had worked for the poor,” Meloto said.

The CFC breakaway group has accused GK of mismanaging the donations for the poor and for shifting its focus from spiritual to social activities. The group also accused GK of partnering with corporations that promote the use of contraceptives.

“I support the mission of the Catholic Church. Contrary to what they say, we don’t promote contraception in GK, we partner with the organization that wants to help the poor,” Meloto explained.

The CFC breakaway group also demanded an accounting of GK funds.

In 2006, donations to GK reached P600 million. The amount is expected to swell to P1 billion by the end of this year.

“We are partnering with 300 corporations who exercise due diligence and a number of them hire their own people to manage GK partnerships,” he said.

GK executive director Luis Oquinena, for his part, said the Vatican and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines upheld the June 2 election of the new seven-man CFC council. The elected council members are sympathetic to Meloto.

“That means they recognize the leadership of the seven-man council elected last June,” Oquinena said.

The spiritual adviser of CFC has appealed to the two groups to settle their differences, saying the rift, if allowed to continue, would cause division in parishes and dioceses nationwide.

“The division in the CFC is not just an internal affair. CFC is present in most of our archdioceses and dioceses in the Philippines. If the CFC is divided, our parishes and dioceses will also be affected,” Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes said in a letter to CFC officers dated July 12, 2007.

Reyes also said he was wrongly perceived to have supported the June 2 election of CFC council members because of the way one of the elected officers reported – in a letter – the outcome of their meeting with him.

Reyes, who also heads the CBCP Commission on Laity, said that while it was true that the seven council members visited him on June 24, the letter written by Bro. Joe Tale did not mention his and other prelates’ disappointment with the holding of the election. – With Edu Punay

I believe it speaks for itself. I wish there were more coverage on the election, but I guess that is up to us to take on.

Update: I just found it ironic that they are demanding an accounting of GK funds when they should be demanding an accounting of pre-February 2007 CFC funds to clear THEIR name.


Anonymous said...

Baka meron na namang magalit sa article ng Philstar - GK founder na naman ang ginamit. May mga tao kasi na ayaw masapawan

Anonymous said...

Na mention na namang GK founder si TM. Baka meron na namang magalit kasi ayaw masapawan

Ruel said...

This is to inform you that the election is held in June 22

Anonymous said...

We must acknowledge that the press is the press - they print what they want and all too often get things wrong.

It's a popular conception they simply repeat. I don't think it's anything for me to get angry at...

Anonymous said...

You know the media is the one branding Meloto as founder, father whatever and then he is condemned for this, eh ano ba ang magagawa sa mga taong na-i-ing-git lamang. Aba, matakot na lamang sila sa Panginoong Diyos at ginagamit pa ang pangalan ng Diyos sa kanilang mga gawing hindi maka-Diyos. Nakakahiya ang mga asal nila! Patawarin sila ng Pnaginoong Diyos.

Passing bird said...

A number of people asked me about what I thought of bong austero's column in the Manila Standard Today last Wednesday. Here's the link: I think he raised valid commentaries about our inability to prepare ourselves for what happened. Nakakahiya talaga at disappointing na ang ating mga leaders ay may feet of clay pala. Pare pareho lang sila puro pansarili ang iniisip. Dapat isipin naman nila ang kapakanan ng lahat, hindi lang ang kanilang mga ego at pride.

GK said...

Tony Meloto launched his new book “Builder of Dreams” saying it was a result of his journey in life, inspired by the good deeds and patriotism of Ninoy and Cory Aquino.