The Duterte Government continues to employ the barbarity of the state forces to address the pandemic; manifested by the killings of ordinary citizens and activists during the crisis, continued harassment on far-flung communities; the unfounded accusations of NPA attacks, the red-tagging on legal pro-people organizations, the criminal pricing of rebel leaders and just recently the threat and red-tagging of Rev. Fr. Raymond Ambray, a priest of the Diocese of Tandag; and active in his ministry working for the self-determination and education rights of the Lumads.
His dedication to his ministry, is summarized in his statement for his red-tagging: “My involvement with these Lumads is beyond anthropological but more evangelical than theological. As a priest, I consider it my duty to bring about the integral salvation, bought by Christ on the cross, among the Lumads. It means leading them to their full potential as people or persons. It means dialoguing with them or learning also from them. Knowing their oppressive situation, I consider them as the least, according to the gospel-imperative. Hence, it is so unchristian to leave them in their sufferings.”
This threat of the state forces, of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is serious; we call our people to protect Fr. Raymond Ambray; and boldly denounce the malicious propaganda and barbaric atrocities of the AFP.
Aware that after the release of the propaganda poster against Fr. Ambray in social media last May 10, 2020; a day after, President Rodrigo Duterte announced during his COVID briefing the reward of ₱2 Million for anyone who can kill or capture a communist leader. This type of warning, is an automatic death sentence issued by the despotic president in coordination with the state forces. Thus, we seriously call for the protection of Fr. Ambray. In the words of Fr. Ambray himself: “Only the military would do this.. blame AFP for my death…”
The ultimate logic of this barbaric threat is the person running the government, Rodrigo Duterte himself. ###