Press Release
January 3, 2013


Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan lamented the passing of Fr. James Reuter, SJ, a well-loved Jesuit priest, communicator, and advocate, who had stood up for the rights of the marginalized the oppressed throughout his rich, nine-decade life.

Fr. Reuter died of lung and heart failure on December 31, 2012. He was 96.

According to Pangilinan, "Fr. Reuter was a bright light that shone for the rights of children and the marginalized. He was instrumental in bringing together child rights advocates to reform our justice system and bring restorative justice to our children and minors."

"Like us, he believed that children and minors should not be in the same prison cells as hardened criminals, and he believed in the power of community to restore and reform those who had lost their way."

In 2006, Pangilinan and the community of child rights advocates pushed for the passage of Republic Act 9344, otherwise known as the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act, which sought to offer different intervention programs for children in conflict with the law (CICL) as opposed to putting them in the same prison cells as hardened criminals. The law has been hailed by the international community as a "landmark" piece of legislation that put the Philippines at par with other progressive nations.

"In his life and work, Fr. Reuter showed how much he loved us Filipinos--and how much he loved people, in general. He had a deep respect for humanity, and had inspired generations of Filipino families through his openness, his generosity of spirit, and his passion to serve. His legacy lives among those of us who wish to carry on his mission. He is a true treasure of the Philippines who will be sorely missed," Pangilinan concludes.

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