More church people become victims of HR violations—Karapatan

MANILA, May 26, 2008—More and more church peoples become victims of various human rights violations since Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s coming into power after the peaceful Edsa People Power 2 in 2001.

In the latest report of the human rights alliance Karapatan, there have been 23 church workers extrajudicially executed from January 2001 up to March 31, 2008.

Most of them are members of Kapatirang Simbahan para sa Sambayanan or Kasimabayan, an ecumenical organization of pastors, priests and religious coming the Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR), the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP), and from churches including Catholics, Aglipayans and Protestants.

Besides the summary executions, there had been one (1) victim of enforced disappearance, according to the report.

Southern Tagalog region has recorded the most number of extrajudicial killings, not only among church workers but other sectors as well, totaling to 163, followed by Central Luzon with 137 victims.

Last month, Karapatan and the newly formed human rights watchdog, UPR Watch, told the media that they will tap the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to look into the matter and if possible, to help them reach the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, and ask the pontiff to personally review the human rights situation in the Philippines. (Noel Sales Barcelona )(CBCPNews)

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