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Another Human Rights Defender Falls
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Wednesday, 09 September 2009 00:00

AMRSP’s Statement on the Murder of Fr. Cecilio Lucero,
a Catholic priest of the Diocese of Catarman

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.” (Proverbs 31:8)

A dedicated human rights defender and follower of Christ has fallen victim to the forces of repression.

Fr. Cecilio Lucero, head of the Human Rights Desk of the Diocese of Catarman was ambushed Sunday morning while on his way to the capital town.

We join the entire Diocese of Catarman and all people of goodwill in grieving and we denounce this senseless killing of another dedicated and staunch human rights defender. His dastardly murder is a blot that will forever stain the hands of those in power. No less than the bishop of Catarman suspects that it is the human rights advocacy of Fr. Lucero that led to his murder.

There are reports that no less than the commander in chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines who publicly branded Fr. Lucero as a “communist priest”. Death threats have been received by the priest prior to his murder that is why he had a police escort.

It is ironic that a man who worked for justice, peace and human rights would now become a victim of such violence. But that is the path we take if we are to be true followers of Christ – to work for the least of our brethren, to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (proverbs 31.8) and to defend the oppressed and the needy.

Fr. Lucero truly lived a life in the footsteps of Christ. And like Christ he paid the ultimate price – his martyrdom for the cause of human rights, justice and peace.

We who remain shall carry on the unfinished tasks. We who remain shall stand for the rights of our people. We who remain shall light a candle for justice. A candle that will burn brightly till justice is done.


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