Eleazar to ex-Lipa archbishop: ‘Nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa’
MANILA, Philippines — The commander of the Joint Task Force COVID Shield on Friday reminded former Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles that the public still has to do their part in preventing the spread of the coronavirus disease as the latter earlier said people need not wear face masks if they have faith in God and if they love one another.
“We fully understand the personal opinion of former Archbishop of Lipa Ramon Arguelles as one of the former leaders but still an influential personality of the Roman Catholic in the Philippines. As a Roman Catholic myself, I believe that the Almighty God is the Great Healer and the reason why our nation continues to stand its ground despite the adverse impacts of the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19),” Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said in a statement.
“But your Joint Task Force COVID Shield is also guided with the time-tested Filipino proverb: “Nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa,” he added.
In his September 23 homily at the Parish and National Shrine of Saint Padre Pio in Sto. Tomas, Batangas, Arguelles said that with God’s love, face shields and physical distancing may also not be needed by the public.
“Tayo din naman ay mamamatay. Pero hindi kamatayan ‘yan, mapupunta tayo sa walang hanggan. Pero kung nagtutulungan tayo, gumagawa nang mabuti, hindi na kailangan ng mask. Hindi na kailangan ng face shield, hindi na kailangan ng distancing. Bakit? Mahal tayo ng Diyos at mahal natin siya, at mahal natin ang isa’t isa. We will only do good,” Arguelles said.
(We will all die but it is not death because we will be brought to eternity. But if we help each other, if we do good, we don’t need a mask. We don’t need face shields, we don’t need distancing. Why? God loves us and we love him and we love each other. We will only do good.)
But Eleazar noted that regardless of religious beliefs, the JTF believes that “the responsibility of protecting ourselves, protecting our families, protecting our community and protecting our nation as whole from the COVID-19 still lies in our actions based on the scientific points of view and recommendations of health experts who are the persons in authority when it comes to this pandemic.”
“Science and religion are not enemies and therefore, must not clash on the aspect of protection from COVID-19. Instead, both science and religion should serve as our shield and armor as Filipinos and as a nation to fight, to win and to heal as one,” he also said.
As commander of the task force, Eleazar leads the enforcement of minimum health protocols as part of the government’s efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque also earlier urged Arguelles to “stick” to his role in society and refrain from discouraging people from wearing face masks. He said prelates should instead use their influence to encourage people to weather face masks to protect themselves from COVID-19.
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