LTE: Justice for Fr. Fausto Tentorio

LETTER TO THE EDITOR
October 25, 2011

The Christians for National Liberation (CNL), the revolutionary organization of clergy, pastors, sisters and formands from Catholic and Protestant churches join the multitude who cry out for justice for Fr. Fausto Tentorio.

As Fr, Fausto, a foreigner who has learned the language, immersed in the culture and lives of the people he loved is laid to rest, we salute him for his dedication and devotion to the poor and marginalized especially the Lumads of Mindanao that led to his eventual martyrdom. Articulating his own aspirations and actual practice, he once quoted the Prophet Micah: “O mortals, you were told what is good, what God requires of you. Do justice, love, mercy and walk humbly with your God.”

His merciless killing is but a manifestation of the pattern of brutal violence and culture of impunity that have been carried out by the state on those who side with the expolited and oppressed.

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We have witnessed this pattern in the thousands who have been killed, disappeared, displaced all over the country under the former regime’s counter insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya and continued by the current regime under its Oplan Bayanihan with at least to date 54 victims of extrajudicial killings.

Even as thousands were grieving Fr. Tentorio’s death, a peasant Ramon Batoy, who dared defy the military’s brutality, was gunned down in his own home. More alarmingly the military has stepped up the recruitment for the paramilitary group Bagani among indigenous people, sowing hostile divisions within tribal communities.

Will justice be rendered Fr. Tentorio, Ramon Batoy, and the thousands who have been killed, disappeared, displaced? Not if we examine the state’s dismal record in arresting and bringing to court suspected perpetrators of human rights violations.

As revolutionary Christians, we in CNL believe that justice for Fr. Tentorio, Ramon Batoy and the thousands who are victims of the regime’s counter-insurgency program will be given only under a societal system that caters not to the greed and violence of foreign and local elite. Rather justice will be upheld under a system that addresses the dignity and empowerment of the downtrodden and provide them the opportunity for a better life.

More than four decades have been devoted by hundreds of thousands in the pursuit of these goals thru a national democratic revolution with a socialist perspective and we in CNL have been an active participant since 1972.

In the decades to come we vow to continue our adherence to and involvement in this revolution. We also strongly believe that many more from different sectors and faiths will follow the countless heroes and martyrs of the revolution who devoted their lives in the service of the people.

Justice for Fr. Fausto Tentorio! Justice for all victims of oppression and exploitation!

Long live the national democratic revolution with a socialist perspective!

Renmin Malaya
Chair
National Executive Committee
Christians for National Liberation

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