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“Stop red-tagging our bishops and our ministries, instead, seek ways that shall make peace”

A statement by the Ecumenical Bishops Forum (EBF) on the red-tagging of Bishop Gerardo Alminaza
March 6, 2023

Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of the Diocese of San Carlos City was maliciously red-tagged by SMNI hosts Jeffrey Celiz and Lorraine Badoy in their program “Laban Kasama ng Bayan” on February 22, 2023, calling the bishops’ peace advocacy and appeal for the resumption of the peace talks between the GRP and the NDFP diabolical and demonic.

These utterances are not only malicious but are utterly despicable and malevolent. The SMNI as a network and its hosts Celiz and Badoy are known to have been in the business of badmouthing rights defenders, church peoples, pastors and priests, peace advocates, and even activists. These malevolent acts of willfully spreading lies through their media platforms to serve their masters in high offices of the government only promote devastation, that endangers the lives of the very people that truly promote truth, justice, and peace. Ultimately, these also belittle such meaningful efforts that would take us closer to peace.

The lies that the SMNI spread in bad mouthing people tell of the fullness of their heart as Jesus said, “For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”-Matthew 12:34.

Peace advocacy is integral in the ministry of the Church. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” The call for the resumption of the GRP-NDFP Peace talks is a Christian imperative with the end in view of resolving the roots of armed conflict and ushering just peace in our land. Bishop Alminaza’s call to peace-making and ministry is something that the people of the land needed. Therefore, it should be heard and heeded.

Peace makers are children of God. Calling Bishop Alminaza’s appeal for the resumption of the peace talks, “diabolical and demonic” betrays Celiz’ and Badoy’ true selves.

No amount of red-tagging and badmouthing will deter peace advocates to pursue the path that shall make for peace. The Church will never abandon her task in peace-making no matter what, because her Master and Lord said, “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”-Matthew 5:11-12

In this breadth, the Ecumenical Bishops Forum (EBF) fervently supports Bishop Gerard Alminaza’s peace advocacy and call for the resumption of peace talks. The call towards peacemaking is an action that is most needed in our society, most especially when people’s safety and lives are at stake. We vehemently denounce the bedeviling and outright irresponsible and malignment by SMNI television hosts Celiz and Badoy.

Issued and signed on the day, 6th of March 2023.

(Sgd.)BISHOP Emeritus Ciriaco Q. Francisco, UMC
Co-chairperson, EBF

(Sgd.) THE RT. REVD. Emelyn Gasco-Dacuycuy, IFI
CO-chairperson, EBF

(Sgd.) THE RT. REVD. Dindo de la Cruz Ranojo, IFI
General Secretary, IFI

(Sgd.) BISHOP Emeritus Joel E. Tendero, UCCP
Treasurer, EBF

(Sgd.) BISHOP Emeritus Deogracias S. Iniguez, Jr., DD.
Auditor, EBF