Cal Nevada Churches urged to share the stories of Filipino Martyrs
By Jeneane Jones
During a Sunday program at Pinole UMC at the edges of the San Francisco Bay Area, the Rev. Linda Prendergast retells the story of a young woman, her photo on a nearby screen, “...hooded gunmen barged into her home… and, while she and her children watched from the dinner table, the men shot and kill her husband at the table. His crime was that he was working to bring better conditions to the farmers…”
The fact finding team of 17, including California-Nevada Bishop Beverly J. Shamana, traveled to three different regions of the
The Rev. Arturo Capuli, one of the members of the team, says he’s clear why people of faith have been targeted. “They are leaders for one thing, They awaken people. They enlighten people, they encourage people to stand up for their rights.” Just one day earlier, Saturday, June 9, another person of faith paid the ultimate price for helping people. Filipino papers reported a young seminarian stabbed to death in
While the team’s trip was needed, it was also a dangerous mission. In Mindinao, the Rev, Capuli was with members of the team who were stopped and searched.
“We had a big gathering that night in the town. We noticed we were being videotaped by the military people. Then we were told that instead of staying the night in that town we would be in danger so we traveled about five more hours [in another direction] in order to be safe.” The retired pastor was also quick to add that the danger was no less than what Filipino people are facing daily.
The Rev. Arturo Capuli says it is not only the Philippine government that must be held accountable for the violence, but the U.S. Government as well. “We should persuade our government not to send any military aid [to the
The government of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has said it has conducted an investigation into the more than 800 killings. At meetings this week in
Laddie Perez-Galang, another fact finding team member said, “we heard today the military is changing their M-O. Now they’re abducting people and arresting them. After they abduct them they come up with some kind of charges.
The Rev. Capuli and the team says it will continue to offer churches a chance to listen to their stories – the stories of victims of abuse. At Annual Conference Session June 20-24 the fact finding team will introduce a resolution to allow them to extend their work permanently and, according to Laddie Perez-Galang they will have legislation to, “place additional pressure on the