On October 11 we honour the memory of Bishop Alberto Ramento

Bishop Alberto Ramento of the Philippine Independent Church (IFI) was assassinated three years ago this October. I remember it well since we were in the Philippines at that time and our Tagalog teacher received a text messsage which caused her to stare at her cell phone screen in disbelief. An active member of the IFI who knew the Bishop well, she was naturally very upset by the news of his brutal killing. She told us how Bishop Ramento had been on the front lines to support workers' rights and was a staunch advocate of basic human rights for the Filipino people. But instead of being honoured, he had been stabbed to death. Over the next few days thousands came out to pay their respects... and today back in Montreal we continue to honour his memory. MG

Commemoration for Bishop Alberto Ramento
and other vicitims of human rights violations in the Philippines

When: Sunday, October 11, 2009, from 5 pm to 8 pm
Where: St Paul's Church, 3970 chemin Sainte-Catherine, Montréal QC H3T 1E3 (near Metro Côte Ste-Catherine)

Ecumencial Service led by Fr. Art Calaycay: 5 pm - 6 pm
Community pot luck supper and program (film and cultural presentations): 6pm - 8 pm

Bishop Alberto Ramento of the Philippine Independent Church (IFI) was brutally murdered on October 3, 2006 in his parish in San Sebastian, Tarlac City, Philippines. Before his murder he was categorized as an "enemy of the state" and listed in the "order of battle" of the military and that he received death threats by text messages for opposing the charter change campaign of the Arroyo regime condemning the extrajudicial killings and supporting the workers and peasants flighting for their labor rights in Hacienda Luisita.

Bishop Ramento is one of many church people who have died during the ongoing wave of politically motivated killings and forced abductions in the Philippines.

Fr. Dionisio Gingging of the Philippine Independent Church (IFI) was killed in Surigao del Sur.

Fr. William Tadena was shot and killed in the morning of March 3 2005a victim of 93state persecution94 and was killed because of his support to the workers of Hacienda Luisita and for discharging the church's mission to the poor and the oppressed.

Roman Catholic priest Father Cecilio Lucero of the diocese of Catarman parish priest of Catubig Northern Samar was a member of the Promotion of Church People's Response (PCPR) and also chaired the Committee on Human Rights and the Task Force Peace and Order of the Diocese of Catarman. He was gunned down by some 30 men in San Jose Northern Samar last Sept. 6 2009.

In May last year three of the priests suffered direct attacks from suspected military agents. Fr. Quince was waylaid by gun-wielding men as he arrived home at his church in Paniqui Tarlac but he managed to evade his assailants.

Armed men knocked on the door of the home of Fr. Lacanera in Pangasinan in the dead of the night. Also in May, 2008, the chapel of Fr. Garcia in Gerona town was surrounded by soldiers as they slept. Only the presence of family and parishioners prevented what the priests described as clear attempts on their lives.

Karapatan the human-rights group has documented 1093 victims of extrajudicial killings 209 victims of enforced disappearances and more than a thousand victims of torture under the present government of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Come and join us in commemorating Bishop Ramento, while at the same time honouring the heroism and dedication of these church people who opted to be with the people they serve and stand with them in their struggle for justice and as well the men, women and youth, journalists, medical personnel and community leaders of peasants and workers who have perished at the hands of the current regime.

An ecumenical service will be held at the St Paul's Church, 3970 chemin Sainte-Catherine, Montréal QC H3T 1E3 on Sunday, 11 October, 2009 at 17h00 to be followed by pot-luck supper and program from 18h00-20h00. All welcome.

We Commemorate their untimely and senseless deaths
We Condemn the Regime and hold it responsible for these killings
We Cry for justice and say Stop the Killings in the Philippines

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