Church groups still morn for Fr. Lucero’s death; seeks P-NOY action for justice

Manila, September 8, 2010—“Why do we kill prophets and persecute them?” asks the National Clergy Discernment Group (NCDG) in a statement commemorating the 1st death anniversary of Catholic priest and human rights advocate, Fr. Cecilio Lucero.

It was on September 6, 2009 when 30 unidentified armed men ambushed Lucero while he was on his way to the St. Joseph the Worker parish, in Catubig, Samar, where he is the parish priest. Until now, the case remains unsolved.

The NCDG said that they are disgusted on the way that the justice system in the Philippines acts on the cases of human rights violations, just like Lucero’s.

“We condemn this utterly reprehensible act and grieve over the lengths human rights violators would pursue in order to quell the people’s aspirations for a full and abundant life,” read the NCDG’s statement.

Fr. Jose P. Dizon, one of the conveners of NCDG, said that Lucero is not only a priest, but a minister for the people.

”His life and vocation mirrored his deep convictions as disciple of Jesus and servant of the people.  As a justice and peace and human rights advocate, he headed the Catarman Diocesan Human Rights and Social Action Desk,” says Dizon.

“As priests, we lead the ministry to proclaim and establish the reign of God amidst his people – a reign where justice is a reality and peace is the fruit of our labors. This is a prophetic ministry that priests share with all the faithful; and the life that Fr. Cecilio Lucero chose is his way of living the prophetic witness he has received as a mandate from Jesus and the Church. He was an example of somebody who faced the ultimate consequences of following Jesus,” he added.

Dizon, furthered that justice must be served for Lucero and victims of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines.

He also said that his group is asking President Benigno C. Aquino III to act swiftly on the case of Fr. Cecilio Lucero and other politically instigated killings of human rights defenders.

“Prosecute all human rights violators. This is a clarion call for us to stand up and side with the people who pine for justice and peace. The death of Fr. Cecilio Lucero should not go in vain,” Dizon said. (see other edition of this news in CBCPNews.com)