[Statement] Justice, not only for the Gregorios, but for all victims of violence at the hands of those in power -AMRSP


He comes. He ever comes.

This succinctly summarizes the reason for this merriment and celebration of this Christmas season. Despite the fact that we are living in a time of pandemic, as Christians, we are forever anticipating to celebrate the birth of Christ in our world.

In the midst of all our preparations, our senses are jarred with the brutal and cold-blooded murder of Sonya and Frank Gregorio. In the video clips circulating on social media, we witnessed their fate at the hands of Police Senior Master Sergeant Jonel Nuezca, who, without hesitation, brandished his power as a law enforcer and shot both mother and son. This reminds us of Lamech, known in the Old Testament for his reckless killings:

“Lamech said…: “Hear my voice; … listen to my utterance: I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for bruising me” (Gen 4, 23).

It pains us to see how cheap life is valued by many in power nowadays. Equally disturbing is to hear how others defend this brazen act of injustice.

As Christians, our primary duty is to protect and respect all life, from conception to natural death. Did not our Lord say that He came to earth to give fulness of life to all? (cf. Jn 10,10). This duty should be more solemnly felt this season. We cannot afford to repeat Herod’s penchant to murder even his wives, his children and other relations on the basis of suspicion. We cannot afford to repeat his ordering to murder the innocent children in pursuit of the life of the newborn Baby Jesus.

The Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines expresses our condolences to the bereaved family of Sonya and Frank Gregorio. We will keep their souls in our prayers. At the same time, we also express our concern for all those traumatized and shocked by what we saw in the videos.

We also join the many calls for justice, not only for the Gregorios, but for all victims of violence at the hands of those in power. As one nation, may we find ourselves united in breaking the prevailing culture of violence, impunity and injustice. We re-affirm our commitment for life and for peace.

As we wait for the coming of our Savior, we say:
“Halina, Hesus, aming Mananakop
dusa ng ‘Yong bayan, masda’t abut-abot.
Sa pag-ibig, salat; katarunga’y kapos.
Tangi kang pag-asa, O Hesus!”
Come, Lord, heal our minds. Heal our souls.

For the AMRSP:
Sr. Malen A. Java, RC
Fr. Cielito R. Almazan, OFM

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