• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Unfazed of being Red-tagged, San Carlos Bishop Gerardo Alminaza, said that it will never stop his commitment to peace and justice.
Stressing that the demand to pursue peace is an echo of Jesus’ command to love. “As your pastor, I cannot be silent amid violence and injustices,” Alminaza said in a statement he issued.
Alminaza disclosed that he was red-tagged by the SMNI television program “Laban Kasama ang Bayan,” on February 22, by its hosts, calling his advocacy ‘diabolical and demonic.’
The bishop admitted to have spoken of Toto Patigas, Zara Alvarez and Dr. Sancelan, among others, who had dedicated their lives to the quest for a just and lasting peace and whose killings remain unsolved.
Patigas, a former councilor of Escalante City, Negros Occidental, and Alvarez, were activists who were separately gunned down in Negros Occidental in previous years.
We cannot continue the fake model of peace that is one-sided—using pseudo development, that is militarized and highly politicized, Alminaza, who is also the Pilgrims for Peace convenor, said.
We want a peace that is integral and inclusive, benefitting the common good—that uplifts the poor and promotes authentic development, he added.
As this TV program continues to malign and even invoke vicious threats against the work of church-people, bishops and pastors, dedicated activists, and ordinary persons—we should never be afraid, but rather be brave in speaking for the truth on behalf of the victims of injustice, Alminaza further said.*