MANILA, July 24, 2015—Almost a year after it was launched, Fr. Atilano “Nonong” Fajardo remains as passionate in the fight against what he sees as the “culture of thievery and dishonesty” in the country with the “Huwag Kang Magnakaw” t-shirt campaign, and expresses hope that more people will live out the call for “values-based cultural transformation.”
“I look forward to a time when commuters will no longer have to worry about pickpockets … when those attending Mass will no longer have to hold on jealously to their belongings … when there will be honesty stores everywhere,” shared the Vincentian missionary, who also heads the Public Affairs Ministry of the Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM), in a recent interview on TV María’s “Know The Truth” program.
Aware that what the movement aspires for cannot be achieved overnight, Fajardo exhorted the public to take seriously the message of the Seventh Commandment, given that this is no less than the Word of God Himself (Ex. 20:15, Deut. 5:19
Call to everyone
“No. This is not just about people in power stealing. This is all about us, each and everyone of us, who have been guilty of dishonesty one way or another. Everyone of us has to change … This is a long-term commitment,” he explained, noting this could be the first time in history when a Bible verse is used specifically to bring about change in society.
Echoing the late Archbishop Leonardo Z. Legazpi, the Dominican former head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), the priest went on to lament that corruption and dishonesty have become too common a practice among Filipinos that the country has virtually become a “nation of thieves.”
“All of us are thieves. Hence, no one trusts each other anymore,” he said.
Good vs. evil
In line with this, Fajardo stressed the need for priests and pastors like him to lead their flock in this “moral battle” of good against evil.
According to him, “Huwag Kang Magnakaw” is the Philippine Church’s response to the invitation of the Lord to a life worthy of His “Promised Land.”
Gift of faith
“This campaign is also our way of expressing gratitude for the gift of the faith to the Filipino people, especially since the Catholic Church in the Philippines is set mark its 500th year in 2021,” said Fajardo
“It is time we reclaim the stolen dignity of our people,” he added.
To join the movement, interested parties may visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Huwag-Kang-Magnakaw/940390972644341?fref=ts. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)