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ON TRUTH AND BATTLES | The Official Statement of Holy Angel University

September 29, 2020

And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
– John 8:32

Dear Holy Angel University Community,

Holy Angel University (HAU), as a Catholic institution of higher learning, places itself at the service of Truth, truth not merely as a concept but as a person in our Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6). Truth is the teaching of our Lord; any deviation therefrom is a disservice to Him. HAU, at the service of this truth, continues to holistically develop students to become more conscientious, competent, and compassionate. Forefront to this is the preaching and living of the Truth, a relevant aspect of the moral fibers of society.

Recently, Facebook took down 155 accounts, 11 pages, nine groups and six Instagram accounts for violating its policy against foreign or government interference, which involve trolls and fake accounts including posts about the red-tagging of schools, HAU included.

It is in this sense that the University strongly decries the use of the University's brand and image on the red-tags that surfaced on social media recently. These posts cite "Holy Angel Academy [sic] Pampanga," along with two other higher education institutions as recruitment basins of the Communist Party of the Philippines–New People’s Army (CPP–NPA) in Central Luzon. The red-tagging of HAU, with a reference to “Holy Angel Academy Pampanga,” appears to be based on an article in the Manila Times dated 8 October 2018 that Mr. Rigoberto Tiglao wrote. He writes that “the claim by an Army general that the CPP has been recruiting students in the country’s universities to join it and its NPA is nothing new,” and cites Bernabe Buscayno, the first commander of the NPA, and his associates Nilo Tayag and Rodolfo Salas as HAU alumni.

While the University recognizes them as part of its roster of alumni, recruitment or any other communist-related activities is not happening in our watch. Rather, HAU continually educates and forms its students to practice vigilance and prudence in joining organizations. As a recommended Catholic college of the Cardinal Newman Society for faithful Catholic education, our Code of Conduct prohibits “membership in any organization which is anti-Catholic, or whose philosophy is in any way contrary to the ethical or moral teachings of the Catholic Church.”

. The world today faces the father of lies—Satan—who. since there is no truth in him (John 8:44), sows disinformation and discord. As seekers, we need to sow and speak the truth, an act of charity for one another. Pope Francis himself echoed that sowing fake news is a grave sin, as in against charity (Pope Francis, Speech to the Catholic Media, 2017).

HAU, being a partner for the propagation of truth, likewise urge the government to shed light on the fake accounts purportedly connected to the Philippine military and the police. While we believe that as a Catholic institution it is our duty to obey and respect authorities (1 Timothy 2:1-3), we expect no less commitment from our government that it may continue its moral ascendancy to govern. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1900-1903).

The University continually dedicates itself to being an agent of truth because, like our bishops, it believes that a just society depends on truth (CBCP, Consecrate Them in the Truth, 2017).

Finally, HAU echoes the exhortation of the CBCP:

  1. To refrain from patronizing, popularizing and supporting identified sources of “alternative facts” or “fake news.”
  2. To rebut and refute falsehood whenever they are in possession of facts and of data.
  3. To refuse to be purveyors of fake news and to desist from disseminating this whether on social media or by word of mouth or through any other form of public expression.
  4. To identify the sources of fake news so that our brothers and sisters may be duly alerted and may know which media and which sites to shun.

Let us pray that we may all be consecrated in the Truth (John 17:17). For the greater glory of God! Laus Deo semper!

Standing (Eph. 6:14),

Luis María R. Calingo, Ph.D.
University President

September 27, 2020
Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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