Hands Off our Prophets!

Hands off Bishop Emelyn Dacuycuy, Rev. Dr. Noel Dacuycuy, Rev. Fr. Arvin Mangrubang and Rev. Fr. Randy Manicap!

“Have nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty”. – Exodus 23:7, NIV

The National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) condemns the vilification and red-tagging of Bishop Emelyn Gasco-Dacuycuy, the first woman bishop of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente of the Diocese of Batac, Ilocos Norte.

On June 3, posters and leaflets maliciously vilifying several members of the clergy and church people were found hanging around Batac City, in Ilocos Norte. These were found in front of their Cathedral and several others were also scattered around Laoag City and in the town of Banna. The name and picture of Bishop Emelyn Dacuycuy were on the posters and leaflets declaring “Mag-ingat sa taong ito. NPA recruiter” (Beware of this person. NPA recruiter).

Bishop Dacuycuy, and her husband Rev. Dr. Noel Dacuycuy, along with two other IFI priests, Rev. Fr. Arvin Mangrubang and Rev. Fr. Randy Manicap were also named in the same posters scattered in their area.

Bishop Dacuycuy has been active in the ecumenical movement and has championed the rights of women and of People Living with HIV and AIDS. She has also been a staunch advocate for people’s rights in the Ilocos Norte Region. Rev. Dr. Noel Dacuycuy, on the other hand, is a respected Theology professor at Aglipay Central Theological Seminary in Pangasinan, and the Chairperson of the IFI Council of Leaders of Priests. He is also a committed human rights advocate along with Reverends Mangrubang and Manicap.

This attempt of defaming and maligning these leaders and priests of our member church has followed the pattern of several red-tagging incidents observed in the past years under President Duterte. It is almost always the case that those who are committed to serving the poor and the least of our sisters and brothers have been red-tagged. Some of them have been jailed or extrajudicially killed. Red-tagging is similar to bearing false witness which our Lord Jesus Christ has commanded us against (cf. Matthew 19:18). Thus, as we straddle between the end of the administration of President Duterte and the beginning of the term of President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., the NCCP condemns this latest case of red-tagging as it endangers the lives and liberty of these members of the clergy and the very communities that they serve.

Red-tagging has no place in a supposedly democratic country, but as long as it continues, the NCCP will continue to work and pray for the protection of our leaders and their ministries for our people.

Signed:

07 June 2022

REV. FELIPE B. EHICAN, JR.
Chairperson

RT. REV. JOEL O. PORLARES
Vice – Chairperson

DR. GAY B. MANODON
Vice – Chairperson

MA. KAY CATHRINE F. ALMARIO
Vice – Chairperson

BISHOP REUEL NORMAN O. MARIGZA
General Secretary

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