November 28, 2009
We, members of the Evangelical community, convey our deepest sorrow and share the enormous grief and anguish of our fellow citizens in Mindanao, the whole nation, and the international community, for the tragic and untimely loss of brothers and sisters who were mercilessly murdered in broad daylight last November 23, 2009, in the municipality of Ampatuan, Maguindanao Province. There is no adequate expression of what we feel and carry in our hearts. It is a most unfortunate event.
We condemn in the strongest possible way this senseless act of carnage against unarmed and helpless civilians - women of the Mangudadatu clan, women-lawyers, media practitioners, indigenous peoples representative(s), and other members of the delegation - all were there in their line of duty, including unborn children and innocent travelers on that ill-fated day.
We lament because of this mass killing. It is a barbaric and savage act, with complete disregard to the rule of law, human rights, dignity and even sanity.
We are one with the families of the victims and all people of peace who cry for immediate justice.
We ask our government to use all its powers to apprehend all the perpetrators and apply the full force of the law to address this heinous crime.
We join others in calling for the creation of an independent body to conduct a thorough and timely investigation of the Maguindanao massacre and to recommend prosecutions and such further actions required by law.
We ask for churches and other faith groups to open their premises to serve as "sanctuaries" or "safe space" to all those who are helping in the process of uncovering the truth of this incident who may likely be under attack and may need protection.
We call on all for sobriety, to continue to pray for peace, a transformation of the hearts and minds, the ending of the cycle of violence, and the healing of our land.
We pray that more people will get to really know the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who taught us to "love your enemies", "love your neighbors as yourselves" and who on the cross, prayed for those who killed Him and said: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing."
Signed: Board of Directors
Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches
November 27, 2009
For more information, please call Bishop Efraim M. Tendero
at tel. no.913-1658; fax nos. 913-1655 to 57 (local 601);
or email us at [email protected]