On February 14, coinciding with the Valentine’s Day celebration, Palo Archbishop John Du presided over the observance of Ash Wednesday, signaling the commencement of the Lenten season, during a Holy Mass held at the Palo Metropolitan Cathedral. Ash Wednesday serves as a solemn acknowledgment of human mortality and the imperative for reconciliation with God. It inaugurates the penitential period of Lent, often accompanied by the distribution of ashes, symbolically applied to the foreheads of the faithful, and fasting. (PALO METROPOLITAN CATHEDRAL)

3 execs from Eastern Visayas

TACLOBAN CITY– A new political party, composed of various personalities coming from diverse sectors is expected to join in the 2025 midterm elections.

The People’s Progressive Humanist Liberal (PolPHIL) Party was officially formed on February 10 with three personalities from the region elected in key positions.

These are Councilor Larry Menzon of Babatngon, Leyte, as regional chairman for Eastern Visayas; Nestor Abrematea, named as regional media officer; and Engr. Billy Roseño, elected as vice president for the Visayas.

Elected as the party’s national chairman during its national assembly held at the Bahay ng Alumni, University of the Philippines (UP), Diliman, Quezon City was Rudy ‘Kid’ Cañeda
PolPHIL Party is now currently working for its accreditation before the Commission on Elections for it to fully participate in the crucial 2025 elections and for it to field its own candidates.

“The forthcoming 2025 midterm elections will be PolPHIL Party’s christening, by fielding and campaigning for national and local candidates,” Menzon said.

For his part, Roseño, in echoing the goal of the party said, “whatever the strength PolPHIL Party may build in the midterm elections, the party will harness all these as political capital for the bigger fight in 2028.”

“This will be the party’s reckoning moment on how the change movement will progress,” he said.

The 2025 elections will see the country electing local officials, including congressmen, party-list representatives, and 12 senators.

In 2028, the country will hold a presidential elections.

This early, the PolPHIL leadership said that it is open to have to a coalition or collaboration with other political parties or organizations so long as they have the same advocacies that are aligned with their ‘core principles’ such as environment, political, economic, social, and cultural.

The PolPHIL Party draws strength from its members who have rich experience from genuine and selfless service to the people. A great many of them sacrificed their youthful years, even personal dreams, to pursue their beliefs.

Elected as members of the Council of Elders were Nilo dela Cruz, Edicio dela Torre, Bishop Nilo Tayag, and Rodolfo Salas, all former political prisoners during the martial law era.

de la Cruz was a former chairman of the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Mangagawa ng Pilipinas-Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Bonyacao Brigade and is currently a labor federation consultant.

De la Torre, a former Catholic priest and political prisoner, is a founder and current president of the Education for Life Foundation, a non-government organization that runs a grassroots leadership formation program and co-convenor of ‘Atin Ito Coalition,’ an organization that supports the Philippines’ sovereignty claims in the West Philippine Sea.

Bishop Tayag is a founding member of the National United Front for the Kingdom of God and Filipinism (NUF-KGF) and co-founded, along with the late Jose Ma. Sison, the Kabataang Makabayaan in 1964.

Salas, also known as ‘Kumander Bilog’, chaired the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and headed its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA) until 1987.

Released in 1992 after his six-year detention at Camp Crame, former President Gloria Arroyo named him as chairman of the National Electrification Administration (NEA) and chief executive officer of Pampanga Electric Cooperative.