Keep the Martyr’s Memories Alive
“But let justice roll on like rivers,
and righteousness like a mighty stream.” (Amos 5.24)
We commemorate today, October 3, 2019, the martyrdom of Bishop Alberto B. Ramento, 9th Obispo Maximo of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente.
Thirteen years have passed since that fateful morning when his lifeless body was found bathing in his own blood in his rectory at San Sebastian Parish, Tarlac City. Our hearts were consumed with indignation when we started to unearth pieces of evidence indicating that Bishop Ramento’s death was politically motivated. We raised our voices in protest but, strangely, our prayers for justice were never heard by those who are in power.
We persevere in our quest for justice for the killing of Bishop Ramento, and for those thousands of victims of human rights violations under the past and present administrations. We lament the gross human rights violations that run unabated to this day under President Rodrigo Duterte’s government. Political killings are carried on with impunity as the president created a culture where anyone can kill or be killed. Our country has become a dangerous place for our people as human rights are trampled upon on a daily basis.
As we pay our respect to the memory of a bishop who dedicated and offered his life for the service of God’s people, we express our continuing commitment to the cause of justice and peace as church people. It is our hope that as we commemorate Bishop Ramento, we come to give concrete expression to our Christian faith that stand with the oppressed, marginalized and underprivileged, one that cannot remain silent in the face of injustice and inhumanity.
Let us keep Bishop Ramento’s memories alive by continuing the struggle for social justice for which he has laid down his life.