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ICC Note: More information about the murder of 2 Christians in Philippines

Aglipayan Leaders And Faithful March “Against Murder Of Their Brothers”

by Santosh Digal

10/13/06 Philippines (AsiaNews) – Leaders and faithful of the Philippine Independent Church*, also known as Aglipayan Community, gathered yesterday afternoon for a ceremony and “silent march” to condemn the killing of one of their leaders and a pastor. The Christians walked in silence for three hours until they reached Manila ’s City Kiosk.

In an official statement presented during the event, the Church leaders said the murder of the president of their Supreme Council of Leaders, Alberto Ramento, (killed in his home in Tarlac City on 3 October) was part of a wave of “extrajudicial killings of our brothers”.

According to police, Ramento was killed by four robbers who broke into in his home, but his colleagues and friends have pointed fingers at “other forces” who wanted to punish the religious leader for his criticism of the Arroyo administration and for his human rights work.

A few days after Ramento was killed, another pastor of the same community, Dionisio Gingging, was stabbed and then shot by three unidentified attackers. This killing is also being considered as political.

The Aglipayan leaders “called for an end to these killings, which have claimed the lives of local leaders and journalists”.

The police said they were “ready to listen to any hypothesis” and although they refuted church members’ allegation of political motives for the crimes, they said they would provide another pastor, Antonio Abbona, with an escort as he had received death threats.

* This community belongs to the Old Catholic tradition that groups together faithful from Germany , Austria , Switzerland and the Netherlands , as well as Poland , Czech Republic and the United States . These are churches of Catholic origin but they reject papal infallibility and obligatory celibacy of priests and they accept the ordination of women. The Philippine Independent Church (IFI) is not a member of the Utrecht Union. It is in Eucharistic communion with the Anglican and Episcopal Churches of the USA and Canada and with those of the Utrecht Union.

Asia News