QUEZON City, Sept. 11, 2015 – The Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP) on Tuesday, Sept. 8, sent a letter to President Benigno S. Aquino III, enjoining him to act as a leader on behalf of Lumads killed in Mindanao recently by dismantling the paramilitary group tagged for their murder, and by helping people displaced due to the conflict.
“Mr. President, your ‘bosses’ in these areas are calling on you for protection. As Commander-in-Chief, can you not order that the Magahat-Bagani Force militia be officially disbanded and their firearms surrendered to the AFP?” asked AMRSP
The religious group went on to urge President Aquino to order government agencies to respond to the needs of the dislocated families in these areas, believing that his administration can still be effective in responding to the needs of the affected population.
“We unite as one body for the prophetic action as credible witnesses of God’s mercy and compassion. Mr. President, pursuant to our ‘Cry for the Earth and Cry for the Poor’ statement, we strongly call on you to take immediate action regarding these killings of gunmen of the Magahat-Bagani Force Militia,” AMRSP declared.
According to the Catholic group, the deaths of Dionel Campos an Aurelio Sinzoi, executed at Kilometer 16, and of Emerito “Emok” Samarca inside the compound of the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (Alcadev), both in Sitio Han-ayan, “cry to the heaven for justice.”
In the letter, the AMRSP also denounced the mass evacuations of residents of the Lumad communities of Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur.
The missive was signed by Sr. Eden Panganiban, SSpS, AMRSWP chair; Fr. Gerard Francisco Timoner, OP, AMRSMP vice-chair; Sr. Michaela Gotangco, FdCC, AMRSP executive secretary; and Sr. Crescencia Lucero, SFIC, AMRSP-JPICC. (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)