Ang Kapatiran Party’s Faith Journey
It was in 1996 when Nandy Pacheco, Kapatiran founder, and JC de los Reyes, 2010 AKP standard-bearer for President, first met in Elim’s National Renewal Movement (NRM). They religiously attended the Saturday meetings at Rolling Hills Subdivision, Quezon City to plan and prepare for the 1998 national elections. The NRM was a movement organized by Bro. Willy Nakar as a response to the call of the Catholic Church to “renew politics” in accordance with Gospel values.
JC de los Reyes was a new politician who was elected at the age of 25 in the 1995 elections. He ran under the Nacionalista Party but the party never bothered to brief him about its platform and principles. He was just a member in name but not in heart. He entered politics with a theology degree from one of the most conservative Catholic universities in the world, the Franciscan University of Steubenville. He was also the son of Antonio “Sonny” de los Reyes, 9-year National Council of the Laity president and founder of Bukas Loob sa Diyos Community.
Councilor JC de los Reyes
JC de los Reyes entered public service but was disappointed. President Ramos’ men were ramming down charter change as his term was to end in 1998. De Venecia’s Rainbow Coalition was the source of patronage and power. Also during these times, there was fear and uncertainty for an Estrada presidency. This was the backdrop in which the National Renewal Movement was organizing.
Prior to this, Nandy Pacheco’s NATURE/Gunless Society has been working hard lobbying for stricter gun control to no avail. In 1992, in a space of one week, Maureen Hultman and Eldon Maguan were brutally gunned down. President Cory Aquino, who declared the 1990s as the Decade of Peace, sent an urgent message to Congress to consolidate the two bills into one and urged its immediate passage. Drafted by Nandy Pacheco, the gun control bills were filed separately by Senators Nene Pimentel and Alberto Romulo and the late Congressman Boni Gillego. The Senate responded favorably to the call of the President Cory, but the House version was gunned down by the President’s brother Peping Cojuangco who was the chair of the House committee on public order and security. “A gun control law will never see the light of day unless there is at least one political party that is committed to it,” Nandy said.
Nandy Pacheco, as member of the welcome and reception committee for the Pope’s visit in 1995, objected to the proposal to give the Pope a 21-gun salute, arguing that “that there are a thousand and one ways of welcoming the Pope, but why in heaven’s name do we have to greet him with gunfire. The question was referred to the personal representative of the Pope for resolution. When the welcome and reception committee met again, its chair Ambassador Tita de Villa announced at the meeting that there would be no 21-gun salute.
Moreover, the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP-II)) approved in 1991 a decree asking all sectors of the Church “to put an end to the production and manufacture of the technology of death and the arms trade as part of the Church’s vision of peace.”
In the meantime, PCP-II called on the lay faithful “to participate actively and lead in the renewing of politics in accordance with values of the Good News of Jesus.” The CBCP in 1997 issued a Pastoral Exhortation on Philippine Politics, wherein it said: “If we are what we are today – a country with a great number of poor and powerless people – one reason is the way we have allowed politics to be debased and prostituted to the low level it is now.” (In the year 2009, another pastoral document was released by the CBCP, “Lay Participation in Politics and Peace.”)
The National Renewal Movement was pinning their hopes on Aquilino Pimentel for President in 1998 but for some reason, he ended up running for and winning as senator under Erap’s party. It was Santi Dumlao and Nandy Pacheco who stepped up to run for President and Vice-President, respectively, under Bago Party supported as well by the Elim community. In 1998, JC did not run for reelection out of disgust for patronage/trapo politics and zealously campaigned for Santi Dumlao and Nandy Pacheco. Unfortunately, they lost but the fire and zeal obviously did not end there. It was after this that intense prayer and discernment for a genuine accountable and responsible political party was seen as the missing link for real reforms in Philippine Politics.
Kapatiran sa Pangkalahatang Kabutihan (KPK)
In August 2002, a political movement called Kapatiran sa Pangkalahatang Kabutihan (KPK) headed by the indefatigable and unsinkable Nandy Pacheco was formed along with a group of citizens and ordinary lay faithful who can no longer sit idly by while they saw the betrayal of public trust by elected & appointed public officials, man’s inhumanity to man, the poor and the marginalized exploited by unscrupulous politicians to promote selfish ends, the deterioration of public & private morality, the decline of the family, high crime rates and increased corruption in government, and who want to put an end to dirty politics.
KPK’s mission was two-fold: political education and political action.
Because election of good leaders depends on the kind of voters we have, education was given the highest priority for action. The education component and objectives are: COMMON GOOD; CHARACTER BUILDING; CONSISTENT ETHIC OF LIFE; VALUES FORMATION and BASIC POLITICAL EDUCATION including good citizenship.
On political action, the movement KPK drew up its list of people’s aspirations in the hope that existing political parties will adopt the same in their platforms. Unfortunately, not a single political party responded.
In late 2003, Norman Cabrera for Central Luzon, JC de los Reyes for Northern Luzon and Fr. Leonardo Polinar for the Visayas and Mindanao gathered the needed signatures for the accreditation of Alliance for the Common Good or Ang Kapatiran Party. It was finally accredited by COMELEC on 8 May 2004 or 2 days before the 10 May 2004 elections.