Philippines: Carmelites appeal for release of kidnapped activists

 The Order of Carmelites in the Philippines has issued a statement condemning the latest incidents of abduction of two political activists and the attempted killing of a human rights worker on 12 April. They say: 'We demand immediate action of government authorities to order the military to search for Nilo Arado, our former Carmelite Brother who is the current chairperson of Bayan-Panay and National Council member of Anakpawis-Panay, and Ma. Luisa Posa-Dominado, spokesperson of Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at para sa Amnestiya (SELDA-PANAY). We demand justice and pray for immediate recovery of Jose Ely 'Leeboy' Garachico, Public Information Officer of KARAPATAN who was shot and is now in critical condition. 'We are alarmed that the pattern of political repression experienced in Southern Tagalog, Central Luzon and elsewhere will now be replicated in Panay Island. We especially appeal to Archbishop Angel Lagdameo to call on Panay authorities and help the victims' families in the search for Nilo and Luisa. We call on our church leaders to actively support efforts to stop the wave of political killings and enforced disappearances. 'Consistent with the Carmelites' tradition, our Brother Nilo Arado had shown a strong commitment to the struggle of peasants and workers. He chose a life in solidarity with the poor and marginalized. Nilo, Luisa and Leeboy are the latest victims of political repression because of their commitment to fight for the poor and marginalized. 'The ministry of the Carmelites Justice and Peace and Integrity of Creation elieves that the assault on the lives of those who work for justice and peace is an assault against the Church and the whole Christian community. Must the shepherds and prophets of peace be abducted and killed because of their duties in service of the poor? The murderous acts and coward abduction in Panay is the latest manifestation that our human rights condition is getting worse each day despite the national and international condemnation. 'Until when will the victims see justice for those who were felled and disappeared? We enjoin all faithful followers of Jesus Christ to condemn these acts of human rights violations. Our former Carmelite brother and his companion must be surfaced now! Let us continue to denounce the growing militarization in urban and rural communities nationwide. 'There is a cry in the world. It is the cry of every human being. The cry of the families of political persecution is also the cry and agony of the Philippine Church. It is also the cry of the whole creation (Romans 8) God is revealed in the Scriptures as the God who bears the cry of the poor (Exodus 3:8) We call on our Brothers and Sisters in the Carmelite in the local and International Community to join the families of those abducted in campaigning for the immediate surface of Nilo and Luisa. Source: Order of Carmelites

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