By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
MANILA – The Diocese of Pagadian of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) expressed alarm over the “threat, intimidation and harassment” in the guise of robbery against Bishop Antonio Nercua Ablon, who is also the chairperson of human rights group Karapatan-Western Mindanao.
In its statement, the IFI’s National Priest Organization (NPO) said its clerk found their parish office at the Pro-Cathedral Church in Tubod, Lanao del Norte ransacked early morning of Oct. 7.
The CPU of their computer was missing and in its place was a small piece of paper with the phrases “Jejeje! Pagbantay2x ha!(be watchful)” and “Andam2x Ha! (be ready)” written on each side.
“What could be the motive of the robber in taking only the CPU and leaving other more valuable things, such as the DLP (projector)? Information. It is therefore surveillance, in the guise of robbery, against Bishop Ablon,” said a joint statement by Fr. Jerson Nazareno, NPO governor, and Mark Elizer S. Maglines, Diocesan Clergy secretary.
Days before the ransacking, some men came looking for Ablon. They did not introduce themselves when asked who they were.
This was not the first time that Ablon became a target of ransacking and threats. In July 2013, Ablon’s bedroom in the Bishop’s House in the Pagadian Cathedral was also ransacked, although no valuable things were taken.
Ablon is a staunch human rights, peace and environmental advocate. He is also a vocal critic against large-scale mining, the controversial pork barrel system and the presence of US troops in the country.