Kairos mourns partners murdered in Philippines massacre

Published November 28, 2009

Kairos, a Canadian ecumenical social justice organization, has issued a statement expressing its grief, and outrage over the murder of 57 people in a massacre on November 23 in the province of Maguindanao, in the island of Mindanao. 
Two of the victims, attorneys Concepcion Brizuela and Cynthia Oquendo were members of the Union of Peoples’ Lawyers in Mindanao, a precursor of the National Union of Peoples Lawyers, a Kairos partner in the Philippines. Kairos, of which the Anglican Church of Canada is a member, condemned the murders and called for the government in the Philippines to quickly bring those responsible to justice. The majority of victims were women and included the wife, sisters and supporters of Ismael Mangudadatu, who were travelling in a convoy to register his name as a candidate in a coming election. At least 18 journalists were also killed. “The massacre shows a complete disregard for the precious gift of life,” says Connie Sorio, KAIROS’ Asia-Pacific Partnerships Co-ordinator who has recently returned from a trip to the region. “It is a grim testimony to the pervading culture of impunity and lack of respect for human rights in the Philippines.” In its statement, Kairos offered “prayers for the victims and their families, and our deepest solidarity to our partners.” Kairos also urged the Canadian government to call Filipino authorities to express the grave concern of Canadians, hundreds of thousands of whom have relatives in the Philippines, to ensure that human rights are upheld in their country.


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