Council of Bishops
19 March 1986
The Council of Bishops, United Church of Christ in the Philippines, in a meeting held on March 18, 1986, at its National Offices, Quezon City, discussed and reflected on recent events and the present situation in the light of the UCCp Statement of Faith. The UCCP Statement of Faith affirms, among other things, that man is created in the image of God, sinful but destined to live in a community with God and fellowmen; entrusted with God’s creation and called to participate in the establishment of a meaningful and just social order.
In the light of recent events particularly that which happened on February 22-25, 1986, we have seen clearly the people power expressing the aspiration of the Filipino people for a change that will give meaning, justice, and peace to their lives. The Filipinos aspire not only for a stable and peaceful nation but also for a just international community. The Filipinos are aware that there are alien forces which are at work in the country which tends to destroy their freedom and their sovereignty as a people and undermine their search for self-reliance and self-determination.
After thorough reflection then, we reached the conclusion that the apparent and constant U.S. intervention in Philippines affairs is a matter of grave concern because it runs counter to the Filipino people’s aspiration to have genuine freedom and independence. Therefore, as Filipino church leaders who realize the detrimental effects of such intervention upon our nation and people, we do strongly express our sentiment of protests and call for action:
1. We affirm the sovereignty of the Filipino people and their right to self-determination, free from any external interference, particularly from the United State of America.
2. We abhor and reject the U.S. interventionist policy towards the Philippines. We are aware of the prevailing U.S. domination in the economic, political, military, cultural and religious aspects of our national life. The economic and military dependence of the Philippines on the U.S. has brought us to a miserable situation that is being exploited and taken advantage of by the–U.S. government and its international partners. We deplore the strong colonial mentality of our people.
3. We pledge support to the present government under President Corazon C. Aquino and we call upon it:
a. to be cautious of U.S. economic and military aid, investments, and loans, especially those coming from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB);
b. to be discriminating in accepting foreign aid; only those aids which in the long run may redound to the welfare of the Filipino people should be accepted; others which have onerous conditions should be rejected;
c. to opt for not renewing the RP-US military bases agreement when it terminates in 1991, so that our nation may be free from the devastating U.S. domination and probable nuclear annihilation;
d. to declare a revolutionary government if borne by a serious study of its meaning and implications, in order to hasten the dismantling of the vestiges of dictatorship, fascism, and imperialism, embedded in laws, decrees, and treatise which legitimized the interests of local and foreign capitalists and their cronies over and above the interests of the majority of the Filipino people;
e. to facilitate the immediate adoption of a new constitution that will hasten the establishment of a truly democratic and nationalist government, resistant to any foreign intervention.
4. We also call upon our church people and other Filipinos to be alert and vigilant in defending our newly found freedoms from the danger of new forms of dictatorship, imperialism, and totalitarianism, be they religious or secular, which may arise again this country. We further call upon our people to actively participate in the building of national and international community that is just, participatory and sustainable through the following:
a. continuing education on the prevailing situation and on the disciplined and responsible use of people’s power;
b. organizing the people at the grassroots level for the empowerment and for vigilance;
c. engaging in productive endeavors and activities for self-sufficiency and self-reliance.
5. Finally, we call upon our partner churches and our ecumenical solidarity groups abroad, particularly in the United States of America to support our continuing efforts and struggles for self-determination and genuine independence by:
a. conducting massive educational activities among their people to enlighten them on the problems and aspirations of the Filipino people;
b. helping influence in the reshaping of their government’s policies towards respect for the sovereignty and independence of the Filipino people.
In closing we reiterate our protest against U.S. interventionist policies towards our country; we are a sovereign policies towards our country; we are a sovereign people and we aspire to be free from external domination. May the Lord of life and history reign supreme in our land as we continue to establish a nation that is responsive to the demands of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Done and approved on the 19th day of March 1986, at the UCCP National Offices, Quezon City Philippines.