International Ministries

CPBC Statement on the Maguindanao Massacre

December 8, 2009 Journal

CPBC Statement on the Maguindanao Massacre

Benjamin Chan

December 8, 2009


The Convention of Philippines Baptist Churches (CPBC) issued a statement on the Maguindanao massacre. Rev. Job Santiago, CPBC General Secretary, asks International Ministries to share the message and for the solidarity of US churches on pursuing justice and peace-building.


CPBC Statement on the Maguindanao Massacre

and the Declaration of Martial Law in Maguindanao


The Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches shares the anguish of the families of the 57 people, including 30 media workers and 21women (who bore evidence they were sexually assaulted), brutally murdered in Maguindanao.  But while we share in the mourning for those victims, we feel outraged by the impunity by which this atrocious act was committed.  This vicious and ruthless act is spawned by this government’s agenda that bows to the dictates of foreign interests, encourages warlordism and factionalism using government funds and equipment to sow fear and terror among a people that are crying for good governance so that the least among Christ’s sisters and brothers may have a chance for a life of dignity. 


This act adds to the long list of the wrongs of history that demand justice.  This is the height of human depravity, of wanton disregard for the sacredness of human life—God’s breathe of life snuffed viciously by those who thwarted any way they want the mandate to serve the people.  They have crossed the line that keeps us all human, created in the image of God, worth respecting, worth protecting, worthy of life in its fullness.  We believe that God’s mercy and justice go hand in hand, and where justice needs to be exacted, it should be done with swiftness and fairness, so that mercy and forgiveness may find their way into the fabric of our people’s lives, and the pathways to genuine peace may be trod.


Most importantly, while we demand immediate justice for the victims of this murderous rampage, we do not believe declaring martial law in the Maguindanao area can bring this about.  To the contrary, with the evidence pointing to the very same government’s military arm being responsible for the arming of this political warlord-clan,  the government’s propensity to use its armed might to get what it wants, especially that the national elections is less than six months away, the worse can only be expected.  The horrible experience of the dark years of martial law can never be erased from our people’s collective memory, even with the ousting of the dictator. 


We call on all our churches and institutions to encourage everyone to remain vigilant of their God-given rights, to always uphold the dignity and sanctity of life, to unwaveringly stand for truth and justice everywhere, but especially for the peoples in Mindanao and the least of our sisters and brothers elsewhere, and to demand honesty, transparency and accountability from the government because our people deserve no less. 


“If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—…”  Luke 19:42a.


Rev. Job A. Santiago

General Secretary


Pastor Rodolfo C. Bernal

Acting President