Arroyo regime liable for Bishop’s murder

NDFP International Information Office

[ Utrecht, The Netherlands ]  The National Democratic Front of the Philippines roundly condemned the brutal murder yesterday of Philippine Independent Church Bishop Alberto Ramento and blamed the government of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for his death, saying that the outspoken government critic had received death threats from Arroyo’s military and police forces before he was killed inside his parish church, north of Manila.

NDFP International Information Office

[ Utrecht, The Netherlands ]  The National Democratic Front of the Philippines roundly condemned the brutal murder yesterday of Philippine Independent Church Bishop Alberto Ramento and blamed the government of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for his death, saying that the outspoken government critic had received death threats from Arroyo’s military and police forces before he was killed inside his parish church, north of Manila.

Initial reports show that Bishop Ramento, 69, was stabbed to death around 4:00 am yesterday by two unidentified assailants who entered his bedroom inside the parish church of the Philippine Independent Church in Tarlac City. He was stabbed several times in the back and through his chest. The assailants allegedly entered through a damaged door of the church. Officials of Arroyo’s Philippine National Police were quick to claim that robbers perpetrated the crime.

“The reactionary PNP should be castigated for irresponsibly and absurdly pointing to robbery as the motive, even without thorough investigation,” demanded NDFP Negotiating Panel Chairperson, Luis G. Jalandoni.

“Arroyo’s plotters are obviously using a new dastardly tactic of assassinating staunch critics and making it appear as a robbery,” he continued, “The role of the PNP is to cover the tracks of Arroyo’s death squads, release premature findings, and, worse, blame the New People’s Army for the killings.”

Jalandoni stated that the Bishop knew he was courting the ire and retaliation of the government “for being a staunch critic, for defending the poor and denouncing gross and systematic human rights violations”. He added that the Bishop was receiving death threats from military and police forces long before “this latest abominable crime”.

The NDFP also paid tribute to Bishop Ramento’s “significant role in striving for a just and lasting peace” in the country. He was nominated by the NDFP Negotiating Panel in 1998 as an Independent Observer to the Joint Monitoring Committee of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), one of the major agreements signed between the NDFP and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP).

“The Arroyo regime is all wrong if it expects its murderous frenzy to silence her political critics,” concluded Jalandoni. “It will foment more indignation and fuel bigger mass struggles…the only way to stop these senseless killings is to oust Arroyo and bring her assassins and butcher generals to justice”.  [NDFP-IIO]

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