Bishop's Statement on the Killing of Bro Sta Rosa
As Bishop of the United Methodist Church – Manila Episcopal Area, I condemn in the strongest possible term the killing of Brother Isaias Sta Rosa in Malobago, Daraga, Albay. Brother Sta Rosa used to be a local pastor of the United Methodist Church in Daraga and is presently serving as consultant to various non-government organizations, including the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Bicol (KM-B). He is an affiliate member of the Legaspi United Methodist Church in Legaspi City.
Ten armed men stormed his house last August 3, 2006. He was taken from his family and brought at the back of his house where he was shot dead.
Brother Isaias Sta Rosa adds up to the already long list of persons killed under the present regime. He is the twenty first church worker/member to be killed since 2001.
We regret that while President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo condemned in her State of the Nation Address the spate of political killings, such act continues to happen almost everyday.
We challenge the government of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to prove its sincerity and commitment to end political killings by ordering an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation on these cases and hold responsible those persons who committed such acts.
We reiterate our call for the immediate stop of all these extra judicial killings, which are attributed by most witnesses and families of victims to be perpetrated by the military or police. We also join our voices with the call of our ecumenical and international partners to conduct an independent investigation to be done by respected members of our society representing different sectors.
We offer our deepest sympathy to the family of Brother Isaias Sta Rosa. We pray that the Spirit of the God of Justice and Peace and the fellowship of our brothers and sisters in the church shall be your comfort and strength in these most trying times. May Brother Sta Rosa’s legacy of service and commitment to God and the people be a light that will guide and inspire us in our continuing quest for an abundant life for all.
Bishop Solito K. Toquero