NQC organizes a panel to settle a historical issue

Posted on 04 February 2019
By NQC Admin

Front row, from left: Church historian Fr. Antolin Uy, SVD; National Artist and Historian Dr. Resil Mojares; Dr. Rene Escalante, NHCP Chairperson; Engr. Shiela Eugenio, NAMRIA. Second row, from left: Dr. Francis Navaroo, ADMU History Department; Fr. Albert Cecilio A. Flores, Director, Manila Archdiocesan Archives and Museum; Fr. Milan Ted Torralba, Executive Secretary, CBCP Permanent Committee for the Cultural Heritage of the Church; Sch. Amado T. Tumbali, Jr., SJ, Assistant Jesuit Province Archivist; Dr. Danilo Gerona, Partido State University; Dr. Carlos Madrid, University of Guam; Dr. Jose Victor Torres, DLSU History Department; Fr. Antonio de Castro, SJ, ADMU History Department; and Dr. Mario Aurelio, UP NIGS. NHCP/JOVAN SORIANO

The National Quincentennial Committee (NQC) convened in Cebu City on 12-13 December 2018 a panel of historians to review the site of the 1521 Easter Sunday Mass in the Philippines.  Named as the Mojares Panel, the said panel is in fulfilment of the NQC’s aim to settle historical issues and problems related to the commemorations of the 500th anniversary of the Victory at Mactan, the introduction of Christianity in the Philippines, and the circumnavigation of the world in 2021.

The Mojares Panel is named after historian and National Artist for Literature Dr. Resil Mojares, the panel’s chairperson.  Other members are historian and Magellan-Elcano expediton scholar Dr. Danilo M. Gerona, Acting Director of Partido Studies Center of Partido State University in Goa, Camarines Sur; historian-paleographer Dr. Francis M. Navarro, Assistant Professor, Ateneo de Manila University: historian Dr. Carlos Madrid Álvarez-Piñer, former Instituto Cervantes de Manila director; and historian Fr. Antonio Francisco B. De Castro, S.J., representative of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). Historian Dr. Jose Victor Z. Torres, Associate Professor of De La Salle University, is the panel’s secretary.

The NQC made a statement last October 2018 that “notwithstanding the possibilities that reopening this controversy may open old wounds or even create new ones, the NHCP (National Historical Commission of the Philippines) and the NQC want everyone to be somber, respectful and professional.” The committee continued: “Moreover, all must follow the basic rule of doing historiographical studies, i.e., every assertion must be supported by credible, authentic, and verifiable primary sources. Second, everyone should be guided by the fact that no one has a monopoly on truth and all must be given equal opportunity to articulate his position on this issue. Lastly, we should be prepared to accept the possibility that the NQC may not be able to settle this issue conclusively because of the unavailability and ambiguity of the sources.”

The panel will convene next in February 2019. No definite timetable has been set for the release of their deliberation.

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