Philippine church seeks support for probe into bishop’s murder

| October 12, 2011

[Ecumenical News International] A homegrown Philippine church is seeking international backing to help pressure the government to re-investigate the unresolved murder of a bishop five years ago.

"We continue to ask our partner churches — such as the Anglican, Episcopal and Old Catholic Churches — in the international community for solidarity and support for the case," Bishop Ronelio Fabriquier of the Philippine Independent Church told ENInews in an interview in early October.

On Oct. 3, the church commemorated the fifth anniversary of the death of Bishop Alberto Ramento of Tarlac province, who was found stabbed at his rectory. Three days later, the Tarlac police declared the case solved, claiming it was a simple case of robbery and homicide.

Ramento's kinfolk and parishioners claimed otherwise. They said shortly before his killing, Ramento, a noted farmers' and human rights advocate, had been receiving death threats.

"We hope to build international and local pressures (to continue to persuade the courts to reinvestigate the case)," said Fabriquier, chair of the South-Central Luzon Bishops Conference.

Global church organizations such as the Geneva-based World Council of Churches have condemned Ramento's killing, issuing statements and urging Philippine government agencies to investigate. The WCC and other church organizations also had sent fact-finding missions to the Philippines and met with the agencies.

"The international call for a review of the case must be sustained as we expose the military and police's attempt to downplay Ramento's murder as a simple petty crime rather than extra-judicial killing," the Rev. Ferdinand Anno of Union Theological Seminary told ENInews on Oct. 6.

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Category: Church Security

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