BY RHEE TIMBANG (Obispo Maximo, Iglesia Filipina Independiente)
(Continued from March 2, 2019)
WE HAVE JUST to look at the manner how they staged fake surrenderees all over the country, apprehended peace advocates and bestowed them with stupid ranks and titles to implicate them with the NPA’s, and transmortified our military to become monsters against our people instead of being servants and protectors! They are the same people who railroaded Duterte’s goverment peace efforts.
We ask President Duterte to direct his hubris to them, curse them to the end until they thaw in ignominy.
Why doen’t he show instead his braggadocio to the Chinese incursionists of our national sovereignty and territorial integrity, to the US government for its interventionist policy in the Philippines in order to kowtow us in their business interests and make income of the sale of their war materiel!
We want President Duterte to know that we are furious with this red-tagging and communist scare because it serves as green light for the neutralization and termination of all those ridiculously marked and identified by his state security forces and their rogue elements as wrongly as terrorists. We are angry because labelling endanger the lives of our clergy and partners; we are aghast because they are simply playing the lives of these innocent persons.
We ask President Duterte to make history by standing for his people, by directing the GRP Peace Panel to resume the peace talks and resolve the basic problems of our society that breeded out insurgency.
We ask the Congress to call for a prompt and speedy investigation on these continuing red-tagging and labelling, make the military account for its excesses in the name of the war against terrorism, suspend the DND budget in the exercise of Congress oversight on public funds, and call the US Congress to withhold the support of their state funds used by the Philippine government and its military to trample people’s rights of the peasants, fisherfolks, workers, urban poor, lumad communities and Moro people.
We call on the Filipino public and people of goodwill to be worried and concerned with the deteriorating situation of human rights and widespread poverty and injustice! It does not follow that since we are individually safe and enjoying relative convenience, all are safe and conveniently benefit the laws of the land. The laws and state forces are used to disadvantage the many among us and it takes only the public silence and indifference for the real enemies of the state to prosper their evil intent!
We ask the IFI faithful – lay and clergy alike – to be vigilant on the national situation and be militant on advocating issues that affect our national life. We need to be persistent in our prophetic witness, social advocacy and solidarity and engagement with our mission and ministry to people marginalized by its own government as demonstration of our clear and matured faith in the Lord Jesus and of our fidelity and adherence to our historical heritage as a nationalist and revolutionary church. We have to continue our courageous journey towards faithful witness as fired up by the Holy Spirit to concretize our theme-prayer for the triennium: God, by your grace, renew your church for faithful witness.
May we continue to persist and persevere in the Lord Jesus and his church, overcoming evil with good, conquering darkness with light, for we now are light in the Lord, and let us walk as children of light (Eph 5:8)./PN