Director and Permanent Delegate of the Dominican Order to the United Nations, and General Promoter of Justice and Peace Rev. Fr. Michael Deeb, O.P., met with University of Santo Tomas Vice Rector for Religious Affairs Rev. Fr. Pablo T. Tiong, O.P., faculty members from the Institute of Religion and representatives of the UST SIMBAHAYAN Community Development Office and various organizations on August 23, 2019 at the Tan Yan Kee Student Center.
Fr. Deeb was accompanied by the Promoter of the Commission on Justice, Peace, and Care for Creation of the Filipino Dominicans Fr. Victor Calvo, O.P., and Program Coordinator Ms. Laurence Blattmer.
The meeting took place between Fr. Deeb and Fr. Tiong, together with the faculty members from Institute of Religion, SIMBAHAYAN Community Development Office and its Community Development Coordinators from the different Faculties, Colleges, and Institutes, National Service Training Program (CWTS/LTS), Center for Campus Ministry, and representatives from Pax Romana.
Fr. Deeb’s visit to the University centered on promoting the Salamanca Process, a concept initiated at a time when Dominican friars in the likes of Pedro de Cordoba, Antonio de Montesinos, Bartolome de las Casas, and Francisco de Vitoria engaged with the injustices and oppressions experience among the indigenous people in Latin America during the 16th century. This grassroots methodology starts in listening to the stories of the people from the ground and act in response to their issues guided by theological reflection. It is a two-way dialogue with an emphasis on learning from the people and not disparate to see, judge, act process. To wrap up, he opened the venue for collaboration and determined how the Delegation can support programs of the University dealing with human rights.
Fr. Deeb was in the Philippines for the Training-Workshop on Human Rights and United Nations Mechanisms which took place at the Holy Rosary Prayer and Reflection Center, Molo, Iloilo, City from August 26 to 30, 2019. Representatives of the University in the training-workshop were: Rev. Fr. Tiong; SIMBAHAYAN Director Prof. Arvin Eballo, Ph.D., SIMBAHAYAN Assistant Director Asst. Prof. Froilan Alipao, Samahang Kamanlalakbay President Ms. Merlita de Guzman, and Fellowship for the Care of Creation Association Inc. Executive Director Ms. Mylene Saluta.
As the representative of the Dominican Order to the United Nations, the office of Fr. Deeb works with the marginalized and oppressed people around the world suffering from human rights violation through their advocacy and training program. They provide workshops to strengthen the capacity of Dominicans and its partner communities/organizations on how to utilize the United Nation mechanism. Also, the delegation’s priorities which are divided into two main approaches are the thematic and country approach. Their thematic approach targets the environmental destruction, climate change, and human rights while their country priorities are Colombia, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia-West Papua.