Rouse: A Statement of Solidarity with the Falsely Accused of Sedition
We, the SEMNET (Seminarians’ Network of the Philippines), an assembly of diocesan theology seminarians from across the country, are both disheartened and disturbed at the filing of sedition and other criminal charges against our fellow Filipinos, including Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan, Bishops Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan, Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao, Teodoro Bacani Jr., Bishop-emeritus of Novaliches, some priests, religious, and laypersons.
We are disheartened that these people who are known for their moral integrity and genuine service to the poor and the oppressed, are the objects of unfounded allegations. We are also disturbed that many people of goodwill are unconcerned with the trampling of truth and justice, and the persecution of people who champion basic human rights. Nonetheless, we are gratified to see that the accused, rather than losing heart, choose to continue their mission and persevere in advocating every Filipino’s right to life, to rehabilitation, and to due process, in the midst of the ongoing violent War on Drugs.
As seminarians “diverse in charism but united in mission”, we are edified by their prophetic witnessing for truth against the propagation of falsehood, accountability against the abuse of power, preservation of life against its destruction, and active non-violence against coercion. Moved by the Gospel values, we joyfully share in the same mission to promote the fullness of life and to participate in an inclusive nation-building based on respect, dialogue, and stewardship.
Inspired by their witnessing, let us awaken the courage and passion within us to herald the truth despite the fear and confusion. Let us also rouse the hearts of others to be compassionate to victims of unjust social structures. Finally, let us be vigilant in safeguarding the truth and steadfast in upholding the dignity of those unreasonably condemned.
We, therefore, express our SUPPORT and SOLIDARITY for and with those who are falsely accused but have been pursuing deeper truth and authentic justice through peaceful means. We call for UNITY and HARMONY among Filipinos, as we hope that everyone begins to see each other as a child of God rather than irredeemable sinners. We implore the Holy Spirit to bring out the truth and put an end to the continuing violence and moral decline in our society. We entrust all our prayers to God through the help and intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose birth we remember today.
08 September 2019