Thursday, March 28, 2013

Funerals, Expositions, Weddings, and Reunions

Every year there are major events that I am scheduled to attend. I usually start the year by attending the International CES, the largest consumer electronics show in Las Vegas, Nevada; followed by the MACWORD/iWorld in San Francisco, California; then, the FOSE, Government-related IT conferences such as Cyber Security, Mobile Government, Cloud and Virtualization, Big Data and Business Intelligence and the GV (Government Video) Expo; Health Summit; and  Book Expo.

Of course, family regular events such as, birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year are included in the pre-scheduled calendar of events for me.

In between the regular events are usually birthdays of friends and other relatives, weddings, wedding anniversaries and unexpected funeral of relatives or friends.

This year, I was able to attend the International CES. Prior to that I also attended the Storage Visions Conference for the first time. The latter was being held also in Las Vegas immediately before the CES expo. I have written several columns on these two conferences in this column.

Unfortunately, I failed to attend the MACWORLD/iWorld this year. My high school class was also celebrating its 50th Anniversary but I also failed to attend the event. My brother-in-law suddenly died but, again, I could not attend the funeral.  All these events were happening within weeks and all held out of town or abroad.  I would have wanted to be present in those events.  Health and other unavoidable circumstances prevented me from doing so.

My physical absence, however, did not prevent me from establishing a virtual presence. In the case of MACWORLD, I encouraged the Press Agents of exhibitors to send me Press Releases and sample products for review. Many of them did. I have been able to write about the products launched and displayed at the event. Furthermore, many of them were also at the International CES just days before.

In the case of our 50th Anniversary High School Reunion, my presence was still felt because prior to the event I filled up a whole Balikbayan box with sample products, bags, pens and other items that I accumulated attending conferences over the years and sent them to my classmates for distribution during the reunion.  My souvenirs became theirs.

Failing to attend the funeral of my brother-in-law, I wrote a condolence letter to his children and a tribute to him which were published online – Google BlogSpot, Asian Journal USA, and Facebook. It was accessible to most of our relatives worldwide via the Internet.  The Asian Journal USA also has an offline/paper edition, copies of which were distributed during the wake and funeral.  Virtually and spiritually, I was as present as my late beloved sister, Perla (his wife) was.

The truth is, there is nothing better than being physically present in any or all of the events. Physical presence represents vitality – demonstration of one’s use of all the sensual organs such as sight, touch, smell, hearing and taste. You get reunited with friends and relatives by seeing them, touching them, smelling them, hearing them and tasting the food and drinks with them. Feeling with them is also a necessary consequence. It could be sadness during the funeral, or upon hearing some bad news, but it is really more joy and fun just by being together sharing stories, laughing, dancing and doing other crazy activities.

Last weekend, my niece, Claudia Maynigo Denton married Greg Rockwood.  It was held in San Diego, California. I described it as a union of two U.S. Air Force Majors – Major Denton and Major Rockwood – survivors of major wars.

I am reminded about the Miss Universe contest about two and half years ago. Miss Philippines failed to become Miss Universe. It is attributed to the fact that when someone asked her about mistakes she had made.  She responded that “you know what sir, in my 22 years of existence, there is nothing major, major, any problem, that I have done in my life, because I am very confident with my family with the love that they are giving to me.”

That answer was considered a major, major mistake.

I always planned to attend Claudia’s wedding. There was a health threat on my part that almost prevented me from going a few days before. A quick action of my wife Tina, and assistance by my primary doctor and cardiologist, immediately removed all threats.

I could not afford NOT to attend Claudia’s wedding. Tina and I were wedding sponsors (Godmother and Godfather). I always admired Claudia who is the only daughter of my youngest sister, Mila Maynigo Denton Goldberg. Claudia is endowed with beauty and brains – traits that caught the attention of two famous Rauls in Philippine political history (Raul Manglapus and Raul Roco) when she was in her teens. Her mother hosted and supported both Rauls’ political campaigns.

Claudia’s father, Claude Denton was a handsome, humble, and soft-spoken Computer and Electronics Engineer. She also studied Computer and Electronics Engineering and joined the U.S. Air Force. She became an Air Force Captain at the age of 28 and has just been promoted to Major. She has been to Iraq twice, was stationed in Germany and Japan, and taught ROTC at UCLA.

Many of us have been dubbed as heroes just for being Overseas Filipino Workers. Claudia actually served during the Iraq wars, risking her life in defense of freedom, our lives, and our right to pursue happiness. My pride and admiration go to her.

As expected, Claudia’s wedding was officiated by my first cousin, Fr. Vic Arenas Maynigo. He also officiated our wedding over 40 years ago, my sister Mila’s, my daughter Tanya’s, and countless other relatives. Like Papabili Cardinal Tagle, Fr. Vic was also a scholar who studied in Rome and in the United States and a former Seminary Rector. He is currently a Parish Priest at Staten Island in New York City. As far as I know, none of the marriages he officiated ended in separation or divorce. Isn’t that nice?

Indeed, the wedding was full of fun and entertainment. The reunion of relatives from several generations certainly made it a very memorable event! 
Funeral of Demy Torres




Wednesday, March 20, 2013


On October 27, 1976, my wife Tina, 2-year-old daughter Tanya, first cousin Preding Maynigo Bugayong and I, together with a Muslim family – Gerry Jumat, Boots (Ayson) Jumat, kids Lara and Wally arrived in Tawau, Sabah.

We just escaped from the Marcos dictatorship via Kumpit (Pump Boat) coming from Gerry Jumat’s birthplace, the small Island of Sitangkai. I was disguised as a Muslim barter trader named Abdul Julkanain, a supposed descendant of Alexander the Great.

After traveling for several days from Makati passing through Zamboanga, Jolo (Sulu) and Tawi-tawi, the trip from Sitangkai to Tawau was literally a breath of fresh air. Upon reaching the high seas we could not help feeling the excitement of being freed from the clutches of Martial Law and the Marcos dictatorship.

Then, a boat of pirates started chasing us. Luckily, we were escorted by a group of Muslim soldiers with sub-machine guns who chased them back exchanging gunfire that innocently brought excitement to my 2-year old daughter. The pirates went away.

A few hours later a Malaysian Navy ship came to us for inspection. They checked our cases of Coke and several cans of Baguio Oil that we brought to barter. Besides, Abdul Julkanain must have looked quite a credible trader. So, we were let go and proceeded to Sabah. Which direction? With no GPS and no COMPASS, we relied on a BADJAO, a Filipino native seaman to navigate us using the Sun and the Moon. We arrived in Tawau, Sabah safely much later amidst rain and thunder.

We could not get clearance to enter until the Immigration officials went around the small port premises shouting my real name – Benjamin Maynigo. It took a while because I originally came in as barter trader Abdul Julkanain.

We stayed in Sabah for more than 4 months initially under the care of the local Catholic Church whose Parish Priest was Fr. John Lee. Later, we moved to a small inn called Hotel Soon Yee this time under the care of the Malaysian authorities and the Red Crescent (Red Cross).

Earlier, when we first arrived, a debriefing was arranged by the Malaysian Home Affairs Ministry; first, to determine my personal identity – meaning, if I was really Benjamin Maynigo; and second, to determine if I was not a Marcos agent infiltrating Sabah. This was followed up later on with a telephone conversation with then Home Affairs Minister Ghazali Shafie who later became Foreign Minister.

At the debriefing, I was shown some newspaper and magazine clippings that had pictures of me and articles about me by the Scotland Yard-trained investigators. This was because of my involvement in the Student Revolution and in anti-Marcos rallies in the Philippines.

Then, we covered the Sabah Claim. I told them about my limited knowledge of the issue at the time. As a student, I opposed the exposed plan of Marcos to invade Sabah and the resulting Jabidah Massacre.  I mentioned to the investigators the role of retired Colonel Bonifacio Gillego in providing intelligence and research data on the Jabidah Massacre to then Senators Gene Magsaysay and Benigno Aquino, Jr.  They knew that Senator Aquino exposed Marcos’ plan and the corresponding massacre of the Muslim trainees to invade Sabah.

Bonifacio Gillego was the Deputy Secretary General of the Christian Social Movement (CSM) while its Founding President was former Senator and Secretary of Foreign Affairs Raul Manglapus. I was the former head of the CSM youth arm. Heading a group of rebels in the mountains of Bicol, Boni had written to Manglapus earlier about wanting to escape to join him in Washington, D.C. So I knew that he would eventually pass by Tawau, Sabah, using the same route.

Boni subsequently escaped and joined us in Washington, D.C. In one of his memoirs, he recognized that my stories about him regarding the Jabidah Massacre saved him from strong suspicions by the Home Affairs investigators because of his being a former military intelligence officer.

By the way, Boni also provided the research work and data on the Marcos Fake Medals under the auspices of Raul Manglapus’ Movement for a Free Philippines.

FAST FORWARD.  It is the early 1990s. Cory Aquino was President, and Raul Manglapus was Secretary of Foreign Affairs. I was earlier awarded a Master of Laws Degree in International Law. In one of my trips to the Philippines, I was approached by a Muslim group who supposedly belonged to the Kiram family and were heirs to the Sultan of Sulu. They asked for my legal assistance. I was provided with some documents.

An American International lawyer friend from Washington, D.C. who also happened to be the brother of the then U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines was also visiting Manila. I decided to arrange a meeting between the American attorney and the representatives of the heirs. I joined them at the lobby of the Manila Hotel. It was a fruitful meeting and I promised to get back to them later.

When we were back in Washington, D.C. my American lawyer-friend sought the help of Georgetown Law interns to do the research work on the Sabah Claim. They did it one entire summer and came up with a legal report resulting from data and information gathered and accessed from Washington, D.C. sources. Over a luncheon, the report was discussed with my lawyer-friend and me. All the documents were turned over to me. I read them with great interest and excitement. In my next trip to Manila, I brought the very large folder containing all the documents, and arranged meetings that included the Secretary of Foreign Affairs Raul Manglapus and the heirs of the Sultanate.

The Sabah Claim is a legitimate claim under International Law. The proprietary rights of the heirs of the Sultanate are pursuable under the right conditions. Philippine sovereignty claim over the territory has already been filed, and as of today, has not been withdrawn.

Senators Salonga and Sumulong equally made good arguments when the Sabah Claim on behalf of the Sultan of Sulu was discussed at the Senate in the 1960s.

I think that there is a possible solution to the problem. I will discuss my recommendations then, and now as a result of our study on the matter in my next column.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013



There are some subplots to our Sabah Saga. One is the role of the Jumat family and their own story. Two are the stories of the other famous escapees who used the same route. Three is the significant participation of famous U.S., Malaysian, and International personalities and institutions that figured. Fourth is the Jabidah Massacre itself. Each one could be subject to separate and longer articles or even books.


Gerry Jumat is the head of the Muslim family who escaped with us.  Gerry baptized our first child, Tanya as a Catholic. How did that happen? Fr. Gerry was one of the only two known Muslims who became Catholic priests at the time. He was raised and educated by the Oblates in Cotabato who ran the Notre Dame University. He became a very close assistant to Bishop Nepomuceno of the Cotabato Diocese.  Boots Ayson of Pampanga is a niece of the Bishop. She became famous for working with Manglapus in the Ora Bantay case that toppled the Crisologo dynasty.

The Bishop was a close friend of Tita Maring Feria who was the central figure in the planning, communications, and financing of all the escapes that started with my Mother-in-law Pacita Manglapus and brothers-in-law, Raulito, Bobby, and Francis. Tita Maring, the Bishop, Fr. Gerry, and Boots worked together in the execution of the first escape.  Fr. Gerry and Boots, who was disguised as a Nun, became very close and fell in love. Gerry got out of priesthood and married Boots. Lara and Wally were born before our own escape.

Why were the Malaysian authorities looking for Benjamin Maynigo at the Tawau, Sabah port? This is because Home Affairs Minister Ghazali Shafie had instructed them to look for me. He was earlier called by Senate President Ong Yok Lin to help us upon the request of some important people in Washington, D.C. The former was the Malaysian Ambassador to the United States during the Kennedy Administration.

Why did we have to stay in Sabah for more than 4 months? In fact, our daughter already started speaking Malaysian, and I read 50 + novels and self-studied stenography. The main reason was the Ford-Kissinger Administration, which was sympathetic to the Marcos regime, rejected our application for political asylum. We had to wait for Peanut Farmer Jimmy Carter to become President and be a beneficiary of his Human Rights policy.

Why were we under the care of the Red Crescent? Our Christian Democratic friends in Europe got us certified as political refugees under the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR). We were not unlike the Vietnamese “boat people”. We were paroled into the United States under UNHCR auspices.

Another interesting note – I was not only disguised as a barter trader, I was also disguised as a Special Assistant to the Malaysian Prime Minister. To apply for political asylum, we had to do it at the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. At the time, to travel to K.L. from Sabah, you needed some papers and a Visa. I had none, so the Home Affairs agents arranged my disguise.


I find the debate between the two intellectual giants very interesting.  Here was a battle between two Bar Topnotchers who earned graduate degrees in International Law from Ivy League law schools: Salonga from Yale and Sumulong from Harvard.

Both supported the proprietary rights of the Sultanate and its heirs but they differ in so far as their sovereignty rights are concerned.

Salonga contended that the Sultanate retained its sovereignty rights because they never lost it until its transfer to the Republic of Philippines. The latter did file the claim. In UN International bodies only States have the legal personality to file, appear, try, and have cases adjudicated.

Sumulong, on the other hand, believed that it was too late to fight for sovereignty rights – that the Philippines should instead concentrate on working with the neighbors including the new Federation in the fight against the growing threat of Communism in the region and to give the inhabitants of Sabah freedom.

Indeed, documents support the contention that the Sultan of Sulu never transferred title or ownership of Sabah to any entity. Evidence only supports a continuing “lease”, payment of which is made up to this day.

Besides, there is jurisprudence adjudicated in the 21
st Century by the International Court of Justice rejecting Malaysia’s claim of inheriting sovereignty by virtue of a “chain of title” that stretches from the Sultan of Sulu to Spain to the United States to Britain to Malaysia. (Pulau Ligitan and Pulau Sipadan Case).

This could be the reason why Malaysia refuses to be a party to any litigation before the International Court of Justice. It could LOSE! And as Salonga contended, the Philippines could WIN.

On the other hand, there is also the contention that by virtue of the “effectivities”, Malaysia could claim sovereignty based on activities evidencing an actual, continued exercise of authority over the islands. Furthermore, as a result of decolonization, SELF-DETERMINATION had become the controlling doctrine – that Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them. Records in the United Nations would show that a Report made by a UN-sanctioned Commission determined that the desire of the inhabitants in Sabah was to join Malaysia.

This could be the reason why the Philippine Government has not been pursuing the Sabah claim more aggressively. It could LOSE! And as Sumulong believed, Malaysia could WIN.

In our research, we found out that some British officials who were sympathetic to the Philippine cause had actually warned the Philippines about Britain’s plan to grant independence to Malaysia. In fact, it suggested that Filipinos, more particularly Ilocanos, should start going to Sabah via Mindanao so that when the time comes that the inhabitants in Sabah are surveyed as to what they desire – staying with Malaysia or be under the Philippines, they would answer the latter.

In my last conversation with my classmate Mayor Rod Duterte of Davao City, he had high praises for the hard working, loyal and courageous Ilocanos in Mindanao. Bishop Nepomuceno had a similar impression. I am just wondering if the Ilocanos decided to stay in Mindanao instead of proceeding to Sabah as suggested by our British friends.


  1. NOT to withdraw the Sabah Sovereignty Rights Claim; and
  2. Pursue the Proprietary Rights Claim of the Heirs more aggressively.
Subject to the following considerations:

            a. A unified Sultanate. All the heirs must be identified and declared. There has to be a JUDICIAL determination as to who are the real heirs. Right now there are too many competing heirs. If DNA tests have to be administered as ordered by the court, let it be. Anybody who claims to be an heir should register, show proof, get tested, and, once identified as a legitimate heir, must agree to be one of the claimants.
            b. All judicially recognized heirs must elect their representatives to work with the Philippine Government.
            c. Proprietary rights accrue to the heirs. There is no doubt that the Malaysians would recognize those rights. They are paying only $5000 annually because that is the payment term. They are not paying the just compensation because there has not been a transfer of title through sale or eminent domain (expropriation).
            d. The amount and manner of payment is negotiable. Malaysia had earlier indicated that it is willing to pay the heirs.
            e. The price or value may differ depending on whether it is paid in Cash, Installment, other manner of payment or a combination of all.
            f. Of course, Malaysia would probably want the Philippines to give up the sovereignty rights claim that the heirs had already given up anyway.

There are other negotiating angles available that could benefit the Philippines, the heirs and even the Malaysians.

  1. Aside from Cash, can a major Reclamation Project in Sulu to be owned by the Sultanate but funded from the sales proceeds and developed with foreign grants and investments be made?
  2. Aside from Cash, can some public lands in Mindanao be allocated to the Sultanate paid for partly by the sales proceeds and to be developed either as farmlands or for business development projects in joint ventures with foreign investors? The heirs may choose to invest part of the compensation or sales proceeds in these ventures.
  3. Can the Sultan of Brunei as Chair of the ASEAN and the donor who gifted Sabah to the Sultan of Sulu participate in coming out with a final deal? After all, Brunei’s gift was in appreciation for Sulu’s help in time of Brunei’s need. Sulu failed to enjoy the gift over the years. Perhaps, with Brunei’s help, this time the heirs would.
  4. The Sultan of Brunei may also want to invest either in the major Reclamation project or other business and development projects involving the Sulu Sultanate.

Accessory follows the Principal. The Philippine Government may want joint exploration of the natural resources of Sabah as part of the deal. The Philippine Government should be able to take care of itself.

What it wants should be a free flow of goods and people along the seas between Muslim Mindanao and Sabah as Abdul Julkanain and other barter traders had done for hundreds of years.

It does not want WAR!

Monday, March 4, 2013

TAGLE: People Power Pastor Who Would Be Pope

In my last two weekly columns, I have shown why Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle COULD and SHOULD be POPE. Now I will show that based on my analysis, he WOULD be the next POPE.

There are no surveys and no interviews on Papal preference. There are only historical facts and voting patterns that can be used. The Cardinal electors (CARDS) as expected all place their “cards” close to their chest. They are supposed to rely on the HOLY SPIRIT for their choice.

In an interview with Vaticanisti John Allen, a Cardinal elector, after the election of Pope Benedict XVI had this to say, "I was never whapped on the head by the Holy Spirit. I had to make the best choice I could, based on the information available. There are too many contrary instances of Popes the Holy Spirit obviously would have picked!”

This is still an election. Numbers cannot be ignored. So, I based my conclusion on numbers, information, and rational human behavior of the decision-makers and of course, divine intervention.

"Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation" (Mk 16:15)

"Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; hold not back, lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your descendants will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities" (Is 54:2, 3).

We currently live in a challenging and changing physical and digital world.

Physically, we have a planet populated by more than 7 billion people – 4.2 billion from Asia accounting for over 60%; 1 billion in Africa or 15%; 733 million in Europe or 11%; 600 million in Latin America and Caribbean regions or 9%; 352 million in North America or 5%; and 35 million in Oceania or .5%.

Jesus Christ is Asian. Christianity began in the Middle East-North Africa region. Yet, of the 2.2 billion + Christians, 99% live outside of the region – 12% in North America; 26% in Europe; 24% in Latin America and the Caribbean; 24% in sub-Saharan Africa; and only 13% in the Asia Pacific Region.

Currently, 58.8% of the world’s population is in the Asia-Pacific region and home to majority of the world’s other religions – home to 99% Hindus and Buddhists, 62% Muslims, and 76% unaffiliated religions.

What happened to the Catholic Church’s mission, evangelization and Faith propagation?

The Church’s task is one and the same as from the beginning, but the mission has to assume a new form and method to face the “rapid changes in today’s world”. There is a need for a New Evangelization targeting new places and new people; and most especially, a need for a young, energetic and charismatic new Pope.

It is also a digital, virtual, and mobile world.  The latest data shows that there are about 2.5 billion Internet users. Of these users, 44.8% live in Asia; 7% in Africa; 3.7% in the Middle East; 10.6% in Latin America/Caribbean; 1% in Oceania; 11.4% in North America; and 21.5% in Europe.

At the end of 2011, there were 6 billion mobile subscriptions, as estimated by The International Union. This is equivalent to 86% of the world population.  2.9 billion of these are in Asia; 433 million in Africa; 349 million in the Middle East; 399 million in the Caribbean States; 969 million in The Americas; and 741 million in Europe.

It is now obvious that to "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel” and to "Enlarge the place of your tent” the Church must use social media communications in reaching the digital virtual world for the New Evangelization.

Physically, 89% of God’s children DO NOT live in Europe. Virtually, 78.5% of the digital world IS NOT in Europe. 87.65% of mobile users ARE NOT Europeans.

Yet, 100% of the past Popes have been Europeans.  In the coming Conclave, 61 Cardinals or majority are Europeans; North and South America having 33; Asia, Africa and Oceania have a total of 23. Under normal conditions, the election is stacked in favor of a European becoming Pope again.

But Pope Benedict XVI changed the dynamics. First, by Papal edict he required that the next Pope should obtain at least 2/3 of the votes. Second, by his resignation, he impliedly added a new requirement namely: that a Pope who is of an advanced age, of deteriorating strength; not of strong mind and body; and no longer capable of fulfilling his ministry, should resign; and third, majority of the new Cardinals were his appointees and are assumed to share his views and desire to institute real Church reforms.

The average age of the last 62 Popes is 62.39 years old. Anybody below such an age and with a strong mind and body would indeed be ideal.

To be elected, the new Pope needs 77 votes.  How will Cardinal Tagle get these votes? First, he is Asian. He could rally the support of the Asian Cardinal electors. Second, he belongs to the Third World. As Vaticanisti Magister said, “he is the most viable candidate from the Third World capable of attracting votes. Third, he is a Filipino and part Chinese educated in Europe as well as in the United States. A mix of the Western and Eastern cultures influenced him. His language is not just Malayan but Hispanic as well. He will obtain votes from a substantial number of non-Italian Cardinals.  On later balloting, he would also get votes from some of the Italian Cardinals.  After all, in some places in Italy, there are more Filipino churchgoers than Italians.

Translated into numbers, I see the votes for Cardinal Tagle to come from the following: 23 from Asia, Africa and Oceania; 33 from North and South America; 29 from non-Italian European Cardinals; and 9 Italians.

Optimistic? Of course I am, but with valid reasons.  

Quantitatively, the Church’s New Evangelization mission means reaching the greatest number in the shortest possible time. This further means, as I pointed out, giving as much priority to the Third World (Asia, Africa, Oceania & Latin America) where the numbers are, both physically and virtually.

Qualitatively, the Cardinal electors (CARDS) would be looking for somebody to lead and personify this New Evangelization targeting the greatest mass of people.  They seek one like Cardinal Tagle who, as John Allen described, “incarnates the dramatic growth of Catholicism outside the West, putting a face on the dynamic and relatively angst-free form of Catholicism percolating in the southern hemisphere.”

The CARDS would choose a great and effective communicator and a new evangelist who impressed them at the Synod of Bishops as he equated the New Evangelization to a Catholic Church that’s “humbler, simpler, and with a greater capacity for silence.” One who knows how to use the social media (Facebook, Twitter, You Tube), TV and Radio Broadcasting, and other means of net connectivity to reach the Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants, and Netizens.

The CARDS would see in Tagle a grounded Vicar counting on his experience as a People Power Parish Priest, Teacher, Rector and, most importantly, a Pastor who knew his mission and ministry as a former Bishop of the poorer Imus Archdiocese, and that of the richer and larger Archdiocese of Manila.

He has been exposed to the Vatican bureaucracy first, as a student, and second, as an appointee to certain strategic and responsible positions in Rome. He developed good relationships with many of the bureaucrats and the current CARDS. He is familiar with the institutional problems and possible solutions.  He will continue to have access to Pope Benedict XVI, his benefactor.


Listening and learning is part of his management style. This gives more room to hearing what the Holy Spirit desires to impart. At the age of three, he learned to pray the rosary memorizing all the mysteries. As a student he obtained the highest grades in school history earning him the title,SOBRESALIENTE (excellent, perfect, straight A). In college and graduate school, he earned his degrees, SUMMA CUM LAUDE – in fact, two of them.

While his talents were God-given, he had to learn by listening and was tested, measured and graded. His answers and grades were perfect – the closest thing to infallibility; most likely with the aid of the Holy Spirit. This striving for perfection he would bring to the PAPACY.


The specific objections to the other frontrunners for the Papacy are quite compelling.  I am sure the CARDS are familiar with them as discussed byVaticanists Allen and Magister.

But the ones against Cardinal Tagle are weak. In fact, they could be turned into an additional advantage.  Being young at 56 is not necessarily a liability. The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI reinforces the need for a younger, healthier and more energetic Pope.  Saying that he would “make a great Pope someday” is like delaying the type of ministry required at this point in history. Let me repeat, Jesus Christ started his ministry at the age of 30. In these modern times, we have had leaders like Kennedy, Clinton, and Obama in their 40s and Aquino in his 50s. In the corporate digital world, brethren like Zuckerberg, Jobs and Gates were in their youth when they made their mark.

Not being a Vatican “insider” is no argument either. Tagle is better at instituting changes coming from the outside provided that he listens and uses the enormous powers vested upon him.


The process of electing the Pope is democratic. But technically, once elected, his powers are absolute. While there are legislative, judicial and executive powers delegated to certain institutions, the final say is still with him. In fact, on certain matters, he is infallible.

For this reason, the right Pope would be able to make the right changes and use the right tools and resources for the New Evangelization as he fulfills his ministry as Vicar of Christ.

That right Pope is Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle! With the help of the Holy Spirit, it is in the CARDS’!