Let the people live in peace: Stop the bombings

(Statement on the recent bombings in Aurora Province)

“Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” – Psalm 34:14 ESV

The National Council of Churches in the Philippines denounces the reported indiscriminate firing and bombing operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in their pursuit against the presumably members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the municipalities of Dipaculao and Maria Aurora, province of Aurora, since May 20, 2024.

According to the report of Karapatan-Central Luzon, on May 21, 2024, two helicopters of the 91st Infantry Battalion, 7th Infantry Division Philippine Army, rummaged around the villages of Diamanen, Toytoyan, Puangi, Dimabuno, Salay, and Sapang Kawayan in the municipality of Dipaculao. It also flew around the villages of Bannawag, Bayanihan, and Cadayacan in the municipality of Maria Aurora and dropped bombs on the rice fields of of the residents in the said villages.

The trembling effects of these bombs instilled fear among residents that resulted in mass evacuations, disrupted school classes, and prevented farmer residents from tending to their fields.

According to the report of Provincial Governor Reymante Amansec Tolentino of Aurora, a total of 275 families or 977 individuals have been evacuated in three evacuation areas (158 families or 500 individuals in Dipaculao Sports Complex, 50 families or 210 individuals in Ipil Sports Complex and 67 families or 267 individuals in Lipit evacuation center).

The National Council of Churches in the Philippines calls on the government, the Armed Forces in the Philippines, and the New People’s Army to spare the lives and livelihoods of civilians in areas of conflict.

As a council of churches, we support and pray for a peaceful resolution in addressing the roots of these long-standing armed conflicts. With this, we therefore continue to call on the resumption of peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) as this will resolve the roots of the deeply rooted socio-economic and political grievances. We also urge both parties to honor the previously signed agreement the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).

In prayer and action, the NCCP is committed to peace. We call upon our member churches in conflict areas to open their doors as sanctuaries and to help facilitate mercy and solidarity missions, providing relief to the communities, families, and individuals affected by ongoing conflicts. As Proverbs 3:27 (NIV) says, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.”


28 May 2024

Bishop Melzar D. Labuntog

The Most Rev. Brent Harry W. Alawas

Ms. Jennifer Ferariza-Meneses

Pastor Jon Dave A. Angeles
Vice Chairperson

Rev. Leonardo R. Morada

Ms. Minnie Anne M. Calub
General Secretary