Filipino Christians threatened

In March last year the Synod Justice and International Mission (JIM) unit requested Uniting Church members write to Filipino authorities following the murder of Jimmy Liguyon.

Jimmy Liguyon (right), a government official and United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) member, was murdered after refusing to sign papers allowing the increase of local mining operations.

His murderer, Alde ‘Butsoy’ Salusad, remains at large, despite a warrant for his arrest being issued on 30 March. Salusad has stated that he will murder all members of the UCCP within the local village, Barangay Dao. Local people continue to be subjected to similar threats and harassment from paramilitary groups aligned to the Philippines army.

The government official who replaced Jimmy Liguyon has since approved increased mining activities in the area. Local tribal leaders have been threatened for refusing to provide the consent required by Philippines Department of the Environment and Natural Resources to approve logging permits allowing logging in 3,000 hectares of forest.

The National Council of the UCCP has called for the immediate arrest of Salusad and his accomplices in the murder of Jimmy Liguyon, and for the disbanding of para-military groups in the area. The Uniting Church has a formal partnership agreement with the UCCP.

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