We, the students, faculty and staff of St. Vincent School of Theology, are in solidarity with the whole nation and the entire world in condemning in the strongest sense the massacre that happened last November 23, 2009 in Maguindanao which claimed 57 precious lives as of the last count—lawyers known for their human right advocacies, media practitioners, political candidates, mothers, and innocent travelers.
We know that this election-related violence was perpetrated to preserve the interests of ruling warlords who have impoverished and systematically denied people their rights for a long time now. But we also know that these local warlords are close allies of the President and have been instrumental in stealing the results of our part elections in order to put her and her administration in power.
We mourn with the families of the victims who are left behind. We know that no word is enough to comfort them in their affliction. Together with all people of peace, we cry out to the heavens that they may receive justice and that the persons responsible will be punished.
Even as we mourn, we are also angry. We are angry because media practitioners who are our heralds of truth were not spared from the violence. Who would now inform the world when tribes of messengers fear for their lives? We are angry because peace advocates and human rights lawyers were systematically murdered in broad daylight. But we are most angry because they have murdered innocent people—pregnant women, peace-seekers and mere passers-by—who are so defenseless in the hands of political warlords and their private armies who have no respect of the law and have totally lost their basic sense of humanity.
We call for an end to violence and death in Mindanao and the whole country. At the end of the day, it is the poor who are the real victims of all the violence of the rich and powerful.
We call on the National Government for an immediate action on this issue and to resolve it with decisiveness and transparency. Justice must be served even if the persons concerned are political allies. In the same way, we call on the present administration and the whole political establishment to end all systems of political patronage which only breed violent warlordism, corrupt political structures and abject poverty in the majority of our people.
As we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, we also light up our candles in solidarity with the family of the victims and all people of goodwill. We pray that the culture of impunity will end and that a new hope will shine in our darkness
27 November 2009
Feast of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
St. Vincent School of Theology
221 Tandang Sora Avenue, Quezon City
The St. Vincent School of Theology is part of the Adamson University and Vincentian Family community.