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WCC reacts to brutal stabbing of Philippines bishop

WCC reacts to brutal stabbing of Philippines bishop

Poster demanding justice for the killing of Bishop Ramento

11 October 2006

A 10 October World Council of Churches (WCC) pastoral letter to the National Council of Churches and WCC member churches in the Philippines expresses the Council's "deep shock and grief" over the brutal stabbing on 3 October of Philippine Independent Church Bishop Alberto Ramento, and alleges that Philippines government security forces continue "to indulge in victimization, torture and extra judicial killings on the pretext of fighting the terrorist threat in the region" in spite of protests and demonstrations.

Signed by WCC acting general secretary Georges Lemopoulos, the letter recalls Ramento's courageous commitment to and defence of the poor and marginalized of his rural diocese - a position that was "not appreciated by those in power" and exposed him to numerous death threats.

The letter cites a 5 September statement by the WCC central committee condemning extra-judicial killings in the Philippines, calling on the government to disband death squads, private militias and paramilitary forces, and for an independent commission of inquiry into the killings.

Full text of the 10 October 2006 WCC letter to WCC member churches and the National Council of Churches of the Philippines