Philippines churches campaign for general amnesty

Philippines churches campaign for general amnesty

The Rev. Rex R. B. Reyes, Jr, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines, has asked friends in the international ecumenical community to support a general, unconditional and omnibus amnesty to all political prisoners in the country.

Fr Reyes said, “The declaration and pursuit of justice in the Philippines is a continuing apostolate of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines, for as long as people are unjustly vexed.

“We recognise the importance of relating with church bodies in countries similarly situated. We value immensely the solidarity of people and church agencies advocating the upholding of human rights everywhere.

“A violation of human rights anywhere is a violation of human rights everywhere.”

He issues an appeal for ecumenical friends to stay on course with the NCCP by signing a signature campaign.

“Our similar endeavors in the past contributed enormously in upholding peace and justice.

“We are calling for the general, unconditional and omnibus amnesty to all political prisoners in the country. It has been done before it can be done again.

“In the name of the 354 political prisoners as of June 2011, and in the name of all that is just and peaceful, we sincerely covet your support.”

Demand for a general, unconditional and omnibus amnesty

The campaign says it is addressing an ongoing, protracted armed conflict in the Philippines with deep socioeconomic and political roots.

There is also much social discontent and political dissent that has been met with repression by all governments since the US granted the country its “independence”.

“Political prisoners are slapped with murder, multiple murder, frustrated murder, arson, kidnapping, robbery in band, illegal possession of firearms and others. These are all non-bailable offenses meant to keep them incarcerated while court hearings proceed at snail’s pace …

“They are all victims of political repression and state terrorism which are the government’s reaction to dissent, criticism, political activism and defence of human rights.

“Political prisoners, their families, people’s organisations, human rights organisations, lawyers’ groups, legislators, as well as international human rights networks persist in their efforts to rectify the injustice against political prisoners and other victims of human rights violations.

“They demand freedom for all political prisoners.”

See the petition here.

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