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US Church Leaders Condemn Political Killing of a Filipino Bishop

by AJLPP-USA Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2006 at 8:06 PM

Justice for Bishop Alberto Ramento! Justice for all 756 victims of political killings including church workers, peasants, union officials and organizers, journalists, women, student activists, lawyers, doctors and peace advocates who, in their pursuit of justice for the poor and oppressed, have been felled down by the military death squads of the government of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Alliance for a Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines (AJLPP) USA

Stand Firm against the Persecution and Senseless Killing of Church People and Other
Social Justice Activists in the Philippines!

Justice for Bishop Alberto Ramento! Justice for all 756 victims of political killings including church workers, peasants, union officials and organizers, journalists, women, student activists, lawyers, doctors and peace advocates who, in their pursuit of justice for the poor and oppressed, have been felled down by the military death squads of the government of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Bishop Ramento, the former Supreme Bishop of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI Philippine Independent Church), died in his convent early morning from multiple stab wounds inflicted by a cowardly assassin. The Ecumenical Bishops Forum (EBF), of which Ramento was a co-chairperson, is calling for an immediate and thorough investigation because he was a staunch peace and human rights advocate. Shortly before his murder, Bp. Ramento often mentioned that he had been receiving death threats in connection with his advocacy.

Ramento was a convenor of the Pilgrims for Peace and the Movement of Concerned Citizens for Civil Liberties (MCCCL), and was a staunch supporter of the striking sugar workers of Hacienda Luisita. Military assassins also claimed the life of Fr. William Tadena of IFI after holding a service for the striking workers on a Sunday.

Being a supporter of civil liberties and human rights, Bp. Ramento earned the ire of US- sponsored Arroyo government and her military in his constant condemnation of the unabated political and extra-judicial killings targeted against legitimate opposition.

To us peace advocates in the United States, this is just another attempt to sow fear among the Filipino people in order to stop them from organizing and mobilizing to achieve genuine change in government policies. The Philippine military that is armed and trained by its US counterparts has extended its counter-insurgency campaign to the senseless killings of unarmed civilians and church people.

After Bishop Alberto Ramento, Fr. William Tadena, United Church of Christ Conference Minister Ed Lapuz, United Methodist Church Isaiah Sta. Rosa and so on, who comes next in the assassins list?

We will not be cowed by violence against church people and unarmed civilians. We stand firm in the path of righteousness and justice as we extend our solidarity to the Filipino people in their unyielding faith to struggle for genuine peace.

Stop the Political Killings! Uphold Civil Liberties!
Resume the Suspended Peace Talks between the Philippine Government and the National Democratic Front (NDF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)!

Initial Signatories:

Rev. H. Wilson Deocera
Daly City United Methodist Church*
San Francisco, CA

The Rev. Steven J. Sprecher, Chair
Peace with Justice Work Area, General Board of Church and Society*,
The United Methodist Church- Lake Oswego, Oregon

Rev. Timothy Phillips
University Baptist Church*
Seattle, Washington

Fr. Toting Tronco
Ecumenical Fellowship for Justice and Peace*
Los Angeles, California

Most Rev. John B. Reid, Ph.D.
Orthodox Catholic Diocese of
Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino Counties*
Western Rite, Southern California

Rev. B. David Williams
United Methodist Missionary to the Philippines (retired)*
Seattle, Washington

Rev. Richard Rubio-Bowley
Evangelical Lutherans in America*
San Francisco, California

Franco Arceval
Laity Catholic Church*
Los Angeles, CA

Rev. Diane Schmitz
United Church of Christ*
Seattle, Washington

Rev. Beverly Spears
University Baptist Church*
Seattle, Washington

Rev. James Campbell
Broadway United Church of Christ*
New York, New York

*for personal id only
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