Rev. Msgr. Oso challenges grads to be on the side of the truth

Rev. Msgr. Oso challenges grads to be on the side of the truth

“Proclaim the truth, stand by the truth, and die for the truth.”

This was the battle cry of Rev. Msgr. Meliton B. Oso, Director of the Jaro Archdiocesan Social Action Center (JASAC), during his message at the Baccalaureate Service for the graduating students of UP Visayas, Class of 2022. 

Rev. Oso revealed that the Archdiocese of Jaro still mourns the passing of Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo, whose life is marked by selfless devotion for truth, justice, and equity. In his message, he honored his mentor. 

He recalled that the Archdiocese of Jaro, under Archbishop Lagdameo’s leadership who was then new to the Archdiocese, was the first to respond to join the call for RIO (resign, impeach, oust) of former President Joseph Estrada after he was accused of illegally accepting pay-offs from various sources, including jueteng. 

He narrated that there were only about 200 of them during their first RIO rally for fear of possible reprisal from the President and his supporters. He also pointed this out to the Archbishop. The Archbishop’s reply was, “Truth is not dependent on numbers. Let us go!”

“This country is fast becoming, if it has not already become one, a country of liars because of fake news and disinformation that inundate cyberspace,” Msgr. Oso pointed out. 

Another narrative that he shared about Archbishop Lagdameo was how surprised the latter was at how “landed” the Archdiocese of Jaro is, such that when the SOS Children’s Village in Iloilo came to the Archdiocese for help, Archbishop Lagdameo’s response was, “That’s embarrassing. Give it away.”

Lastly, Msgr. Oso also shared how Archbishop Lagdameo stood by him when he was leading the opposition against the Power Purchase Adjustment, which in short, covers increases and decreases in the cost of power bought by the National Power Corporation and other power suppliers. This included systems loss, actual used power of the supplier, and the 2% percent franchise tax, which were passed on to the consumers. 

After receiving death threats due to his advocacy, he shared that Archbishop Lagdameo offered to literally shield him from bullets that will come for him. 

Msgr. Oso ended his message by urging the graduating class, who will soon join the professional world, to be accountable for one another as brothers and sisters and to take care of our world. “Protect your brothers and sisters from fake news and outright disinformation by proclaiming the truth, standing by the truth, and dying for the truth when the time calls for it.” 

“Do not fail your Alma Mater. Above all, do not fail God to whom you will be accountable,” he added.

The love offering during the Baccalaureate Service amounting to PhP 11,130  was turned over to the JASAC after the activity.

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