IN THE KNOW | Inquirer News


/ 04:24 AM June 17, 2011

Established in May 1948, the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) was called a “front organization” of the Communist Party of the Philippines in a military intelligence report leaked to the media in 2004.

The Protestant group decried the accusation and said that even if a few individuals within the UCCP tended to be sympathetic to the Left, they did not represent the entire group.

In 2007, the UCCP met with police authorities to complain that some of its pastors and church workers were under some kind of surveillance and that it had been going on “for a long time.” The church workers reported seeing men on motorcycles circling their neighborhood.


The UCCP had earlier accused the military and former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of culpability in the extrajudicial killings and abductions of its pastors since 2001.


Among the murder victims were:

Jemias Tinambacan, 49, who died in an ambush on May 9, 2006. He was on the way to Oroquieta City when four men on two motorcycles fired on the van he was riding in. He was the chair of Bayan Muna in Misamis Occidental province.

His wife, also a UCCP pastor, was wounded. She said she recognized one of the assailants as one Mamay Guimalan, an alleged military informer.

Felicisimo Catambis, 60, who was riding a motorcycle when he was shot dead by an assassin also on a motorcycle in Abuyog town, Leyte province, on Jan. 23, 2008.

Catambis had nine gunshot wounds in the back, according to police.

Edison Lapuz, Raul Domingo and Joel Baclao, whose kin are representing them in a suit filed on Thursday by the UCCP against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.


On May 27, 2007, Berlin Guerrero was abducted in Laguna, blindfolded and later interrogated.

He said he was tortured by police who shackled his hands, covered his head with a plastic bag and clubbed him on the back.

Authorities later said Guerrero was arrested on the strength of a 1992 warrant for a murder case.

Guerrero was jailed in Cavite province until Sept. 11, 2008, when the Court of Appeals dismissed the murder charge against him. <em<Eliza Victoria, Inquirer Research

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Sources: Inquirer Archives, Karapatan, UCCP

TAGS: Military, Protestant

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