The National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Bishop Carlo Morales, his wife Maria Teofilina, and their company from their illegal detention. Bishop Carlo Morales is the Bishop of Ozamiz City of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente, a member church of the NCCP. Maria Teofilina is a public school teacher of good standing, a Vacation Church School writer of NCCP and an active member of the Teatro Ekyumenikal, a cultural-liturgical ministry of the NCCP. We condemn this act of harassment to God’s workers who earnestly work for peace and justice in our land.
The good Bishop serves as a shepherd and a prophet not only within the confines of his church and to IFI constituents but also to the local ecumenical movement in their region.
We also condemn the treatment of the military and the Ozamiz police who detained them along with common offenders and will possibly face charges of illegal possession of firearms and ammunitions. The fabricated charges are intended to keep them under the government’s control and scrutiny. These also manifest the continuous fascist strategy of the state forces against church leaders who are actively advocating for the advancement and protection of the rights of the oppressed and marginalized sectors in the country.
According to reports, they had been arrested, handcuffed and placed in a detention cell without warrant yesterday, May 11 for being in the company of an alleged NPA member. They are held until now by the military and are subjected to continuous tactical interrogation.
We are calling all member churches of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines, the Regional Ecumenical Formations, and the international ecumenical community to express utmost support to our beloved Bishop and his wife and their companions as we strongly condemn the state perpetrated violation of their rights.
We also call our friends from media to visit the military station in Ozamiz City where the Bishop and his company are being held in order to hear the side of the illegally accused and not just rely on the information reported by the Philippine National Police in custody to get an impartial and fair report.
We call for the immediate and unconditional release of Bishop Morales and his company.
Dr. Rommel F. Linatoc, Ph.D.
Program Unit on Christian
Unity and Ecumenical Relations
Tel. No. (02) 929-3745