The California-Nevada Philippines Solidarity Task Force (PSTF) calls for congregations to support the week of action now taking place from September 15 to 24, "In Solidarity With the Philippines."
PSTF, as members of National Ecumenical-Interfaith Forum for Filipino Concerns (NEFFCON), and in conjunction with Nor-Cal’s chapter of the International Committee on Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP,) invites pastors and congregations in the California-Nevada Conference to express their support for people in the Philippines through sermon, announcements, prayer, and/or action.
On the 26th anniversary of the historic termination of the US-Philippines military bases treaty and the 45th anniversary of the declaration of martial law by dictator Ferdinand Marcos, we call on all people who believe in a just and lasting peace to support the Filipino people’s demands for national sovereignty and an end to killings, impunity, and U.S. intervention and militarization in the Philippines.
In President Duterte’s “War on Drugs”, more than 12,000 people have been slaughtered in their homes and on the streets in the Philippines without due process of law. In addition, President Duterte implemented “temporary” martial law in Mindanao that still continues; now he threatens to expand martial law to rule the whole country.
The U.S. continues to exploit this situation to its advantage. The U.S. has committed to giving $32 million to the Philippine National Police in the form of training, weapons, and services, and President Trump has even commended President Duterte for his drug war. After the declaration of martial law, the US quickly pledged its support to "counterterrorism efforts" in the Philippines.
This month, more than ten congregations across the Northern California region have already pledged to host presentations or give sermons to address the killings, militarism, or martial law in the Philippines. Berkeley Methodist United; Tracy UMC; First Congregational Church Oakland; Buena Vista UMC, Alameda; Christ Church UMC, Santa Rosa; El Sobrante UMC; Park Presidio UMC, San Francisco; Richmond First UMC; Bethany UMC, San Francisco; and Lake Park UMC, Oakland chose to support the effort through concerts, sermons, reports or by leafleting at street fairs.
Please take time to explore the situation in the Philippines, and encourage your congregation to learn more, advocate, and pray for the Filipino people in solidarity against injustice. For sermon starter suggestions or to request a speaker from the PSTF, contact the Rev. Jeanelle Ablola, lead pastor at Pine UMC, firstname.lastname@example.org. For background information visit our page on Facebook for regular updates, click here. To pledge support and request more information, click here.