His Holiness, Pope Francis
PP.00120 Via del Pellegrino
Citta del Vaticano
Dear Pope Francis,
Our hearts are filled with hope in anticipation of Your Holiness’ visit to the Philippines.
As peace advocates, we are heartened by Your Holiness’ choice of name honoring St. Francis of Assisi, the very first to do so. We are greatly encouraged by your calls in behalf of the poor, hungry and oppressed.
We join you in spreading and living the message of St. Francis that there can only be lasting peace here on earth if there is social justice, equity and freedom.
On Your Holiness’ Christmas message, you spoke about all those who suffer, particularly the refugees, the hostages and victims of brutal conflicts. Our beloved country is no exception.
We have internal refugees all over the country. They are victims of our government’s war against its own people to pave the way for foreign companies to plunder our natural resources. They are victims of natural and man-made disasters; their conditions worsened by government neglect.
For defending their land and livelihood, our farmers and indigenous peoples are subjected to the most brutal forms of violence. Those who already have so much take everything from those who have very little.
As Your Holiness said, “Inequality is the root of social evil.” The great inequality in our society has resulted in a civil strife that brings suffering to the majority, especially the most vulnerable.
We prayerfully implore Your Holiness to include us in your intentions. Hear our yearning for peace. Touch the hearts of those in the peace panels of the Philippine government (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) that they may be able to address the roots of the armed conflict.
May they have wisdom to talk again and work for the good of the poor majority.
For just and lasting peace,
KAPAYAPAAN (Campaign for a Just and Lasting Peace)
Bishop Joel Tendero, UCCP
Sr. Maureen Catabian, RGS
Hon. Satur Ocampo, Makabayan
Hon. Rafael Mariano, Anakpawis