[Statement] Solidarity Statement for Rural Missionaries of the Philippines! -AMRSP

PEACE BE TO THIS COUNTRY

We, the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines, an association of 327 religious congregations in the Philippines, strongly condemn the continued barrage of malicious allegations made on the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines and other human rights and sectoral organizations, by some leaders of the government and the military as communist fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

The Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, a mission partner of the AMRSP, was established in 1969 as a Church response to the plight and unjust conditions of the rural poor.

Fifty years of missionary work speaks for the integrity of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines. Moreover, fifty years of continued presence in the most forgotten places in the Philippines, to accompany the marginalized and poorest farmers and indigenous peoples is by itself a testimony of the fervent commitment of the religious and the Catholic Church to be living witnesses to the good news of just peace and equity to all Filipinos.

Red tagging, accusing individuals and organizations as communist terrorists, is inimical to democracy and respect for human rights. In its most extreme, red tagging, can lead to a warrantless arrest, detention without charges, torture, enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings.

We are already disturbed to the core of our souls by the growing mistrust, division, and animosity among our peoples, unending violence in our midst, the more than 20,000 nameless victims of summary executions and extrajudicial killings. We are also disturbed to the core of our beings by the surrender of our patrimony and our natural resources to the Peoples’ Republic of China, who are in fact, communists.

We long, thirst, hunger and pray for social equity and just peace in our country. Let the members of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines do their jobs where we in the government and church agencies have failed to go to address issues of peace, education, respect for life, freedom, the dignity of persons, good governance and good politics in the far-flung rural areas. Lord, spare our mission partners from deadly malice and give them peace.

“Often, too, the fair speech of friends entrusted with the administration of affairs has induced many placed in authority to become accomplices in the shedding of innocent blood and has involved them in irreparable calamities by deceiving with malicious slander the sincere good will of rulers” (Esther 45:5-6)

8 April 2019

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