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Knights of Rizal Canada


MARCH 3, 2007

A big blow to "peace and solidarity"

Enough is enough! Former Deputy Supreme Commander Sir Hans Schoof quits OKR; many more expected to follow

Updated 10:51 a.m. EST March 3, 2007

Manila, Philippines -  Recent "developments and certain aspects of the OKR no longer exemplify Rizal's vision of universal brotherhood and selflessness" was how Sir Hans Schoof explained his reasons for resigning from the Order of the Knights of Rizal last February 18, 2007. 

Made public only on the 26th of February, the resignation comes as a sour note to end  the 16th International Assembly just concluded in Manila the day before. The former Supreme Deputy Commander from Germany is a highly respected Rizalist who's been active in the international brotherhood for over twenty years and his giving up on the OKR has caused  shockwaves throughout the organization.

Sir Schoof's departure dramatizes the brewing troubles of the Order particularly those in Europe where the controversially appointed incumbent Regional Commander (Sir Lino Paras) has been under severe criticism for alleged plagiarism and racism. A persistent and strong clamor by the members to the Supreme Council in Manila to resolve the issue has for the last six months been ignored and is believed to be the primary cause of Sir Schoof's decision.

News of the resignation drew quick reaction from numerous member Knights in various regions such as Canada and and Middle East. The flood of emails expressed sadness over the loss of Sir Schoof as well as indignation  over Manila's inability or refusal to make good on the "ultimatum" set by Supreme Commander Hilario G. Davide Jr. last September to Sir Paras. The former demanded the latter to explain his side of the story within twenty four (24) hours "or else". It has been over three thousand (3,000) hours since then and nothing has been heard of again of the case. Sir Davide himself left on the eve of the Assembly for New York to take his post as permanent U.N. ambassador for the Philippines.

Other "developments" alluded to in the resignation apparently referred to the ongoing bitter conflict in Canada among the members over alleged gross violations of the By-laws and serious criminal and civil offenses by a group of officers identified as having the blessings of some high ranking official in Manila. Coincidentally, Paras of Europe has also been reported as a lackey of the same personality in the Council of Elders.

Speaking on behalf of concerned members who are affiliated with the Knights of Rizal Reform Movement (KRRM), Coordinator Sir Ramon Jun Zerrudo has appealed both to the Supreme Council to address the issues forthwith in order to prevent further damage and to the frustrated members to hold their own decision to resign in abeyance pending response from the Philippines. Manila to date remains silent. 

Canada makes last appeal, will call for general meeting to weigh "options"

Toronto, Ontario, February 28, 2007


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Middle East and Africa Region also in disarray, mass resignation hinted 

First posted 8:06 AM February 27, 2007


Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - Like wildfire, the drastic decision arrived at by Sir Schoof is bearing on other troubled members operating in other regions. 

In the Middle East and Africa, Commander Sir Zane M. Thirlwall of the Eastern Province Community Chapter reports in an email that it "seems the recent resignation of Sir Hans Schoof, KGOR is the start of more problems. In the Eastern Province Community Chapter Saudi Arabia, more resignations will follow. It's not that Knights here are childish in the fact that they just want what they say, but the actions from the IHQ [International Headquarters] just shows that the Order is in serious trouble." 

Sir Thirlwall adds there will be "mass resignation .. if things don't sort themselves out. Knights are serious here and their work and activities had proven this."

The immediate cause of the Middle East members Knights' disillusion is not the same as in Europe or Canada but observers suspect there is a link in their origins. The local membership was first rattled by the sudden revocation of the appointment of very active Regional Commander Sir Bert Layag last February 5, 2007. Arguing that the reason given (through unofficial mediation) by Manila was flimsy and unfair the members were subsequently given a new blow by the following turn of events:

Rather than admitting an error in judgment for the unfounded revocation Manila instead has gave blessings to someone "close" to the powers-that-be not only to take over the leadership but to create new chapters "within" an existing one. Sir Thirwall adds "no system followed, no chain of command followed and above all he's pushing to have expelled Knights put in to Officer positions." 

Sir Thirwall comments "WOW are we in trouble here, and from all information received from Manila, they support him. This will add to the mass resignation and death of our Chapter. For the record the Senior Knight doing this is not from our Chapter he lives 400 KM away but sees the need to divide our chapter if not kill it off."

In reaction to the fiasco Sir Jose M. Velasquez appealed to his fellow members in the Region. He said "Its about time [we] do the formalities and elevate it [to the] IHQ as a common stand. Let us write the manifesto and have all knights signed it as our official and formal stand.

"After then.... BE IT! Let the INACTION/ACTIONS from IHQ take its course!!! I am one of the Knights who will SIGN and RESIGN should IHQ fail to act in favor of our position. If ever IHQ does not give importance to our case, treating us as if we do not mean a lot in the order, let us then make sure that this event will be put on the record as one of the many SAD [episodes] in the History of  OKOR."

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