Even as GMA and her rah-rah boys have vociferously vowed to put a stop to these brutal killings and bring perpetrators to justice, the murder of the innocent and the defenseless has become even more reckless and indiscriminate.
And this time the hapless victim is a Christian Minister, Bishop Alberto Ramento, a former Obispo Maximo of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente – a man well known for his personal gentleness and integrity, his deep compassion for the under-privileged, and his unwavering commitment to social justice and human rights.
On Tuesday morning, his bloodied and lifeless body was found in his convent room in Tarlac, evidently after having been stabbed to death by his assassin(s). The police very quickly declared the gruesome murder as a simple case robbery with homicide.
But we who know him and his ministry have grave doubts:
Bishop Alberto Ramento was a vital and active participant of the progressive Christian movement since the late 80’s. It was as such that we knew and recognized him as a lover of truth, as a staunch defender of justice, as a man of peace, and as a faithful servant of the oppressed, the voiceless and marginalized.
Bishop Ramento was a true and courageous follower of Christ, who was never afraid to condemn the culture of lies and corruption and death that has seized the land.
Bishop Ramento was very visible in the recent proceedings of the Citizens’ Council for Truth and Accountability where he was one of its leading figures. The CCTA was held to investigate and make the government accountable for its numerous crimes against the people.
Is it then so far-fetched to suspect that Bishop Ramento, far from being a victim of a simple case of robbery with homicide, is to be added to the list of victims of the extra-judicial killings that the government still has to answer for?
In the brutal and senseless murder of Bishop Ramento, the church and the Filipino people have lost yet another brother and leader who believed, hoped and worked for truth and accountability, for justice and peace, for salvation and liberation. His legacy shall remain with us.
Bishop Ramento, Maraming Salamat at Paalam.
May your life of service and sacrifice for others renew our hope for a better society – far more democratic, far more tolerant and pluralist and infinitely more humane.
SINAG Ecumenical Movement for Authentic Change
KaalagaD Katipunang Kristiyano, Justice and Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission (JPICC–AMRSP), Urban Missionaries- AMRSP, Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP-AMRSP)
For Reference: Contact Fr. Ben Moraleda