The following email was received a few minutes ago from Jaime Bantolo, Grand Master of the Independent Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippine Islands (IGLPI).
Dear Brothers in Freemasonry,
Fraternal Greetings to all and those who may read this and to those you may wish to pass this on. Yesterday afternoon The Most Worshipful Independent Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippine Islands (IGLPI) based in Cavite was formally organized and constituted. Initially seven (7) century old and old Lodges, some antedating the GLP, formally declared their INDEPENDENCE from the GLP and united to form the new Grand Lodge asserting their time immemorial inherent rights to form Grand Lodges without the need of approval from any Grand Lodge for reasons and justifications emanating from past and recent events affecting the Lodges and the District. The members of the affiliated Lodges together with brother Masons from other Lodges joined in a parade from vicinity Josephines Resort to the President General Bro Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine in historic Kawit, Cavite, where the ceremonies were held. The program included an Invocation, National Anthem, Pledge to the Flag, Opening and Welcome Remarks, Reading of the Declaration of Independence, Turn-in of Old Charters, Lowering of the Lodge Standards, Oath Taking of the Interim Grand Lodge Officers, Constitution Ceremonies of the New Grand Lodge, Presentation of New Charters to the 7 Lodges, Presentation of the New Grand Lodge Seal, Inaugural Address of the Grand Master, Keynote Speech of the Guest, Singing of the new Grand Lodge song.
We had a new Constitution, a seal, a song, a set of officers. The Charters are beautifully printed. The seal very symbolic with the tenets in tagalog — Kapatiran, Kalinga, Katotohanan (KKK). Our theme is "A Fresh Start for True Masonry"
All duly made MM in a legally constituted Lodge obligating before the altar where the VSL is with the Graet and Lesser lights should be proud of brothers progressing in Masonry. Regardless of origin, creed, color, religion etc, we are all BROTHERS.
When we assembled to petition to be constituted in a GRAND LODGE ACCORDING TO OUR FREE WILL, we also exercise our time immemorial inherent right for our Lodge to join other Lodges to form a new Grand Lodge on our own FREE WILL, WITHOUT SANCTIONS, and without NEED of APPROVAL of the previous Grand Lodge.
The past weeks and days, as the D-Day was approaching, there were many efforts; tame, intimidating, threatening at each Lodge to dissuade them from forming a new Grand Lodge. The PGMs were all over us persuasively. From suspensions to expulsions, to declaring clandestine; to offers of positions, to filing of charges, The Grand Master Yu wielded all his absolute powers, against normal judicial process, to effect discipline and impose obedience. Last July the Board of General Purposes visited Cavite and talked with the WMs and me and asked for time and patience to find solutions to the problems. We have not heard from the Board. The problem is too deep, not an inch to bulged, reason for reason, principles fpr principles, morals to morals. But the empowering ABSOLUTE POWERS beyond question or constitutional boundaries are too enormous and weilded to Cavite. We thought the age of Dictators whom the Masons fought yesterday are gone. We cannot prolong our stay in GLP where all the powers are vested in the GM alone. The DGM, GSW and GJW are powerless. Our efforts for reconsiderations, our resolutions for trials and justice, our resolutions for reforms did not deserve any action or reply. Punishment was swift.From the past to the present to the future, we forsee little or no hopes for TRUE MASONRY to thrive. We have to craft our own Constitution to surgically excise the errors of the past. We had to leave but are not allowed to leave safely, not even a safe conduct pass.
We will send soonest copies of our Declaration of Independece and our democratic Constitution.
To the GLP please give us a warm and brotherly departure to carve our history. We are Masons forever, a Brother, a friend to all. To those belonging to another Grand Jurisdiction, we are not clandestine.
Please find our attach Circulars as reference to know us and our first judicial acts to correct a mistake.
Please pass to Cavite Masons particularly to those whose Lodge are now affiliated with us. We will respect present member status. Thank you very much.
Jaime V Bantolo
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