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National Day of Prayer and Action for Peace and Human Rights

 

UNITY STATEMENT
June 12, 2017


No to Terrorism!
Lift Martial Law!
Stop Aerial Bombings of Communities!
Stop Extrajudicial Killings!
Defend Human Rights!
Pursue the Peace Talks!

On June 12, Independence Day, we, concerned Filipinos from various faiths, sectors and political affiliations, will come together in a day of prayer and action to renew the call for peace and respect for human rights amidst the rising tide of terrorism, martial rule and impunity that threatens to rip the nation apart.

We extend our solidarity to the victims of the Marawi siege. We condemn the deliberate acts of terror by the ISIS-inspired Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups. We call on all people to come to the aid of thousands of internally displaced persons in Lanao del Sur and nearby areas.

Likewise, we gather to show our opposition to martial law in Mindanao and possibly other parts of the country. We call for an end to the aerial bombardment of Marawi and other conflict areas.

As the Marcos dictatorship showed, martial law is not the answer to the complex problems of Mindanao. A regime that trades Filipinos’ human rights for vague, ever moving law and order goals can only add fuel to armed rebellions and set back efforts to address the roots of the conflict. Martial law will further embolden law enforcers and state-sponsored vigilante and para-military groups to commit even more extrajudicial killings and curtail civil and political rights.

In the last year, atrocities have mounted nationwide. Filipinos are right to protest the murders of thousands in the drug war, as well as the extrajudicial killing of suspected rebels, ordinary farmers, indigenous peoples and Moro people in the counterinsurgency war. It is the poor that bear the brunt of these wars. It is the poor that are killed. It is their rights that are violated. It is their communities that are subject to aerial bombings and abuses during military and police operations.

As the poor suffer, the drug lords, the landgrabbers, big mining corporations, and their protectors in government, continue to get away with their crimes.

We likewise unite against the dangers of reimposing the death penalty and lowering of the age of criminal responsibility. Given the weaknesses and failures of our justice system, such measures will most likely further victimize the poor, weak and powerless.

Drug abuse, criminality, social unrest and rebellion are but symptoms of deep-seated, historical problems that cannot be solved by wars against the poor or the imposition of martial law. We need to address the roots of the problems – massive poverty, social injustice, corruption, and failure to assert national sovereignty and genuine independence.

In this light, we also call for the continuation of the peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). Only by mutually addressing the roots of the armed conflicts can all parties hope to forge a just and lasting peace for our people.

We shall continue to pursue various paths to peace based on justice and the full respect for human rights. It is our hope and prayer that President Duterte and all government officials can still listen and change.


Initial signatories:

Current and Former Members of Congress:

Former Sen. Rene Saguisag                             Former Sen. Wigberto Tañada
Former Sen. Nene Pimentel                              Former Rep. Lorenzo Tañada III
Rep. Carlos Zarate (PL- Bayan Muna)              Rep. Emmi de Jesus (PL – Gabriela)
Rep. Arlene Brosas (PL – Gabriela)                  Rep. Antonio Tino (PL – ACT Teachers)
Rep. Sarah Elago (PL – Kabataan)                   Former Rep. Neri Colmenares
Former Rep. Lorenzo Tañada III                        Former Rep. Teddy Casiño

Religious:

Bp. Broderick Pabillo, D.D.                                  Bp. Godofredo David, IFI
Bp. Joel Tendero, UCCP                                      Bp. Elorde Sambat, UCCP
Bp. Rodolfo Juan, UMC                                       Bp. Ciriaco Francisco, UMC
Bp. Alexander Wandag, ECP                               BP. Redeemer Yanez, IFI
Bp. Ernesto Tadly, IFI                                           Bp. Rudy Juliada, IFI
Bp. Melzar Labuntog, UCCP                                Bp. Antonio Ablon, IFI
Bp. Modesto Villasanta, UCCP                            Bp. Alger Loyao, IFI
Bp. Ronelio Fabriquier, IFI                                   Bp. Manuel Buenaventura, Jr., UMC
Sr. Mary John Mananzan, OSB                           Sr. Maureen Catabian, RGS
Rev. Mary Grace Masegman, IFI                         Rev. Irma Balaba, PCPR
Fr. Ben Alforque, MSC                                         Br. Jun Santiago III, CSsR
Fr. Gilbert Billena, Ocarm                                     Fr. Rolly de Leon, PCPR
Fr. Arvin Bellen, CMF Rev.                                   Fr. Jonash Joyohoy, IFI
Rt. Rev. Jonathan Casimina                                 Rev. Igmedio Domingo, UMC
Rev. Israel Painit, UMC

Lawyers:

Atty. Edre Olalia                                                     Atty. Ephraim Cortez

Artists:

Maria Isabel Lopez                                                Maria Carmen Sarmiento
Gabriela Lluch Dalena                                           Mae Paner

Human Rights Advocates and Sectoral leaders:

Cristina Palabay, Karapatan                                 Dr. Carol Araullo, BAYAN
Renato Reyes, Jr., BAYAN                                   Mark Vincent Lim, CEGP

#StopTheKillings


#EndStateFascism


#PeaceTalksItuloy

National Day of Prayer and Action for Peace and Human Rights. Bonifacio Shrine. June 12, 2017