Catholic schools in Zambo directed: Invocation first before Nat’l Anthem PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 31 May 2015 14:02

Catholic schools in Zamboanga City have been directed to observe the saying of the Invocation-prayer in all school activities before the singing of the National Anthem.

This was the strong statement of Zamboanga City Archbishop Romulo dela Cruz at the end of a 30-minute meeting at his office at Centro Pastoral with Prof. Ali T. Yacub, Al-Hj., president of the Golden Crescent Consortium of Peace Builders and Affiliates on May 22.

The two leaders pledged to continue with their advocacy of staving off secularists-tendency teachings in the schools in the city as had already demonstrated its disturbing effects last March 2015 in all public schools in the city where the National Anthem was sung first before the invocation, departing from the customary tradition in previous decades of invocation first in all school activities.

GCCPBA Media was briefed by Prof. Yacub, after that short meeting with the highest Catholic Prelate in the city.

It will be recalled that Prof. Yacub had  brought to public attention on April 8 when he criticized the DepEd and CHED for “ordering” the change of the programs of the Commencement Rites in public schools in the city in which the National Anthem was sung first, and the invocation relegated to second number in all the Graduation programs.

As a reaction, the City Council of Zamboanga during its regular session on May 12, 20156 passed Resolution No. 544 sponsored by Councilor Melchor Rey K. Sadain and co-sponsored by Councilor Myra Paz V. Abubakar and Josephine E. Pareja requesting the secretary of the Department of Education “to revisit DepEd policy and to see to it that the prayer should be made first before the singing of the National Anthem.    The resolution was unanimously approved by the council.

Earlier in the week, OIC Schools Superintendent Pedro Melchor Natividad clarified during a radio interview that there was no “written order” that schools were ordered to sing the National Anthem before the Invocation.

In the same radio program later, Dr. Juanito Demetrio, CHED Regional Director of Region 09 made similar denial when queried why the Western Mindanao State University, excluding the private universities in the city had its graduation program with the National Anthem sung first and the prayer/Invocation after the National Hymn which prompted many concerned citizens asking who ordered the change of the good practice in the school system during important ceremonies such as commencement rites

Archbishop dela Cruz and Prof. Yacub called on the people of Zamboanga to shield their children from the secularists and stave off any attempt to relegate God to secondary role in the lives of the youth, who will be leaders of tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology and Zamboanga City Polytechnic State College maintain the tradition of prayer first, followed by the singing of the National Anthem as shown in their graduation programs for 2015. — GCCPBA Media Group