PARAÑAQUE City, Sept. 12, 2015 – The Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (C.Ss.R.) in Baclaran, Parañaque City has recently joined the growing multi-sectoral clamor to end what it decries as the military-backed harassment and extrajudicial killing of Indigenous Peoples (IP) in Mindanao, demanding that an independent and transparent probe on all alleged 68 cases of extrajudicial killings under the Aquino administration be made.
“In the name of God, the author of all life, the Redemptorist Vice-Province of Manila, is moved by the demand of justice and Christian moral ethics for the defense and protection of the weak and powerless, issues this strongest opposition and denunciation for this continuing and escalating senseless killings,” says the Redemptorist Church’s Permanent Commission on Social Mission Apostolate in a statement.
In particular, the Redemptorist priests and brothers of Baclaran denounce the “summary execution” of Lumad leaders Dionel “Onel” Campos, Aurello “Bello” Sinzo, and Emerito “Emok” Samarca.
Immediate, total end
They express horror that the victims were brutally slaughtered in front of their own people in Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur on Sept. 1, 2015 by Magahat/Bagani Forces, a paramilitary the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) itself had trained.
“We hold the government of the Philippines responsible for these crimes, and we demand for the immediate and total end of these killings,” they explain.
According to the Redemptorists, Campos, Sinzo, and Samarca collectively are the 68th victims of extrajudicial killings of indigenous peoples under the current Aquino regime.
“Thus, we urgently appeal to all Christians, other denominations, and people of moral principle and good will, to rally with us in support of our call to STOP THE KILLINGS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES IN THE PHILIPPINES!” the Redemptorists add.
IP rights violation
Aside from the need to end what they assert are the widespread militarization of IP communities and blatant violation of IP rights as well as an independent and transparent investigation of the 68 extrajudicial killings under the Aquino regime, the Redemptorists urge government to do as follows:
- Justice for the 168 extrajudicial killings under the Arroyo regime and all victims of human rights violations. Arrest, prosecute, and punish all perpetrators of human rights violations.
- End the counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan, which victimizes innocent and unarmed civilians.
- Pull out military and paramilitary troops from indigenous communities. Dismantle the Sanmatrida, Salawakan, Triom, Task Force Gantangan, Bulif, Alamara, Magahat, Bagani Force, and other paramilitary groups and private armies.
- Revoke the Executive Order 546 which legitimizes the formation of paramilitary groups.
- Stop all destructive projects in ancestral territories. Review all permits of large-scale mining, energy and hydroelectric plants, agri-business plantations, and commercial logging
- Uphold the IP rights to land and self-determination.
“We pray that may the liberating power of God sustain and strengthen us in this struggle! And, in behalf of the Redemptorist Vice-Province of Manila, and the thousands of devotees of our Mother of Perpetual Help, also our Lady of the Magnificat – Icon of social liberation, intercedes for us, Amen,” the Redemptorists add. (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)