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On the Ignorance of Liberation (A reply to the Eastern Mindanao Command)


The Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR) Southern Mindanao Region wishes that all Christian faithfuls had a happy and meaningful Easter celebration. Both the seasons of Lent and Easter encourage us all to continue to pray, hope, struggle, and pursue our common goal of emancipating ourselves from economic exploitation and political repression.

Last April 4, PCPR-SMR attended and supported the ‘Kalbaryo sa Kabus’ of urban poor federation Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (KADAMAY). (It was an annual protest event wherein contemporary prayers and people’s testimonies, the narrative of protests, were spoken at the offices of Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Energy, Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor, Department of Foreign Affairs, and Davao Light and Power Company for implementing anti-poor policies such as privatization and deregulation that lead to private monopoly control and price hikes.

PCPR-SMR rebukes the statement of Eastern Mindanao Command via Col. Leopoldo Galon Jr. on a news article titled ‘Militants’ protest during Holy Week untimely’ published on Sun Star Davao April 5, 2012. “It's insensitive for this group to try to hijack the Lenten season by organizing a protest march and mobilizing Christians for propaganda activities against the government and Oplan Bayanihan.”

It reveals Col. Galon’s and the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ ignorance of history and unrelenting attacks on the people who are espousing pro-poor principles. Since the military dictatorship, the Kalbaryo sa Kabus has been an established protest of the poor during Lent to depict the message behind the life of Jesus Christ and the historical context of Christianism which is centered on the the Church as the "Church of the Poor."

The Kalbaryo sa Kabus is a genuine commemoration of the suffering and Passion of Jesus Christ, repeated today in the sufferings inflicted on the poor by violent demolitions, landlessness, hunger, economic hardship, and human rights violations condones by the Pontius Pilates in the government and the military, which are the same institutions that Christ has reproached in his times for being instruments of oppression and repression.

Christ was unswervingly biased towards the poor, the meek, and the suffering. He was tortured and crucified because He despised the hypocrisy of corrupt Pharisees and denounced the injustices of His time. He was mocked, crowned with thorns, and nailed to the cross because He proclaimed the Good News of liberation to the exploited, the oppressed, and marginalized.

The prophetic duty of Christians is to denounce these injustices and proclaim the Good News to the poor, exploited, oppressed, and marginalized. This is the central message of Lent and Easter which the Philippine Army and the current government refuse to understand.
The resurrection of Christ is as well repeated in the struggles of the poor to unshackle themselves from the bondage of exploitation and oppression.
This is the prophetic message of our time.


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