No Citizen in this Country is Safe Anymore
statement on the violent killing of
The Most Reverend Alberto B. Ramento, D.D.
ECUMENICAL BISHOPS FORUM
Posted by Bulatlat
Ecumenical Bishops Forum (EBF), the fellowship of bishops in the Iglesia
Filipina Independiente (IFI), United Church of Christin the Philippines (UCCP),
the United Methodist Church (UMC), the Episcopal Church in the Philippines
and the Roman Catholic Church mourn the brutal killing of The Most
Reverend Albert B. Ramento, D.D., bishop of the church and co-chairperson
of the EBF.
outraged by the violent manner by which our esteemed co-chairperson was
killed. It was an assault that cannot be dismissed merely as another case
of robbery and homicide as the police reported. Bishop Ramento was a
well-known man of the cloth who lived simply and took public
transportation in his diocese where he was murdered. He was neither
extravagant nor ostentatious in his lifestyle. His living quarters in
Tarlac was devoid of the comforts of a man worthy of his office as a
bishop. It was just sufficient to lay his tired limbs, another mark of his
concerned very much by the breakdown of law and order in this country. We
are gravely concerned that people are assaulted in their very homes or
inside the haven of their sanctuaries. We are gravely concerned that the
series of killings of ordinary people, courageous human rights and peace
advocates have not been resolved and perpetrators not brought to the bars
of justice. We are gravely concerned with the government's lack of
political will to put a stop to these killings which now include among
their victims Bishop Ramento, a bishop known here and abroad for his
staunch support of civil liberties, human rights, national sovereignty and
peace. As the Obispo Maximo of his church, he was nominated as an
independent observer in the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) of the
Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International
Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) in September 1998. The murder of Bishop
Ramento sends an ominous message: no citizen in this country is safe
anymore and the state is no longer capable of protecting its own citizens.
not unknown to us in the EBF that Bishop Ramento was a fearless and
unwavering prophet and teacher. All his actions and declarations were
directed at that one common theme: God's righteousness and justice
fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Bishop Ramento's abiding faith in this divine
reality enabled him to provide hope to the hopeless, strength to the weak,
comfort to the bereaved and determination in the struggle against all
manner of manifestations of evil. His courage in denouncing all manner of
falsehood and subtle machinations emboldened him to declare that the state
bears responsibility for the unceasing political killings, that the
initiative for charter change is a brazen attempt for political survival
rather than the interest of the people if not a covert action to open the
floodgates for the rapacious foreign exploitation or our natural
resources, that the scandal after scandal that has rocked the government
of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has eroded any moral ascendancy in
her regime, that the systematic attempts to suppress the truth behind the
elections, behind corruption in high places, and behind schemes to
obliterate all legitimate opposition to her regime in the name of
defending the state are contemptuous of a government who claims adherence
to transparency and democracy, and that the church must at all times be
one with the people in vigilance, exposing and denouncing anything that
would hurt and demean God's creation, suppress the truth and oppress
killing of Bishop Ramento is the dawn of a new resolve to fight for
justice and peace. His death is the birth of a quickened determination to
sweep away the paragons of hypocrisy and the harbingers of misery and
human deprivation in this country. His death is as the flash of lightning
that should jolt the passive to the painful reality of injustice and
social crisis in this land. His death is as the eagle's wings that should
make us soar with the passion to be free. His death is as the arrow of a
mighty warrior piercing the enemies of peace. His death is as wings of a
hen brooding over her young that should make us more resolute in preaching
God's promise of redemption, of the filling of the hungry with good things
and the sending away of the rich empty handed, of the casting down of the
mighty from their throne and the lifting up of the lowly.
Rejoice, Mother Earth, that a dutiful son now returns to you!
glad, Father of Creation, of this son must worthy of your name and welcome
him into your courts!
mighty wind, blow away the evil that surrounds us on every side and banish
the bitter taste of wickedness!
sun of righteousness and cast your light on the forces of darkness and
dispel the gloom of obscurity!
you sons and daughters of this country and possess the freedom and dignity
God has given us from the beginning!
(Sgd) The Most Reverend
Deogracias Iñiquez, Jr. D.D.
Co-Chairperson, Ecumenical Bishops Forum
Posted by Bulatlat
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