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Church groups call on Filipinos to resist tyranny, dictatorship

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By Leslie Ann Aquino

On the anniversary of martial law, different church organizations have called on freedom-loving people to resist the rising tyranny and dictatorship in the country.

“As we remember the dark period of martial law and celebrate with hope the International Day of Peace, we honor the legacy of our martyrs by sharing the relentless desire of the people for truth, righteousness, democracy, justice and lasting peace,” a joint statement signed by the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines and other groups read.

(Photo courtesy of Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila / MANILA BULLETIN)

(Photo courtesy of Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Let us affirm our commitment to our prophetic task by being in solidarity with our afflicted brothers and sisters. Together, let us resist dictatorship, uphold the dignity of life and strive for peace based on justice!” it further read.

They stressed that our faith implores us to resist the rising tyranny and dictatorship.

The church organizations lamented how the good desired by the people is met with maneuvers for increased control and authoritarian rule.

“Basic checks and balances have been weakened rather than strengthened. All these constitute a semblance of that dark past; looming once again even before its horrors have been truly accounted for,” the groups said.

“As President Duterte affirmed his connivance with the Marcoses and Arroyo, we, faithful strengthen our collective resolve to amplify our desire for genuine freedom and democracy,” read the statement.

They said one must not remain silent in the midst of exploitation, oppression, where majority are left to suffer in despair and poverty and, worst, killed brazenly with impunity.

“The Duterte administration’s widespread and systematic campaigns of blood and violence are undeniable. The streets have been soaked with blood and the cries of the people are for justice,” read their statement.

“Our faith moves us to perseveringly strive for peace based on justice. One that can be attained when the likes of the Marcoses are held accountable. One that is rendered by the healing of both present and past wounds spawned by the many structural and historical injustices in our land,” they added.

The groups also said freedom-loving and peace- and justice-seeking Church people must not move on and simply forget on the basis of lies and historical revision of the Marcoses ushered in, venerated even, by the Duterte administration.

“We cannot ‘move on’ without addressing the oppression and suffering of the many,” they said.

Aside from AMRSP, the other signatories of the statement are the Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas, the Promotion of Church Peoples Response, Religious Discernment Group and Nicodemus.

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