Letter to Appellate Judge Hearing the Pastor Berlin Murder Case

Letter to Appellate Judge Hearing the Pastor Berlin Murder Case

Letter to Appellate Judge Hearing the Pastor Berlin Murder Case

The UCCP Bishops’ Council again is requesting action on the behalf of Pastor Berlin Guerrero, the pastor accused (the UCCP say, illegally) for murder over one-year ago.  Detailed below is the UCCP letter to the presiding appellate judge the Hon. Conrado M. Vasquez, Jr.

August 20, 2008 

Hon. Conrado M. Vasquez, Jr.
Presiding Judge
Court of Appeals
Maria Y Orosa Street
Ermita, 1000 Manila

To the Honorable Justices of the Court of Appeals of the Philippines:

We, the Council of Bishops of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, appeal for a speedy resolution of the case of Pastor Berlin Guerrero.  It has been almost one year and three months that Pastor Berlin Guerrero has been detained on a trumped-up charge of murder.  On May 27, 2007, Pastor Berlin was abducted while leaving his local church UCCP Malaban, Binan, Laguna.  He was disappeared and tortured, seemingly because he was suspected of being an officer of the Communist Party.  During this time of heavy torture he was heavily beaten and brought close to death by suffocation with plastic bags; Pastor Berlin sincerely believed he would die.  Most strikingly, his torture included no mention of this trumped-up murder charge.  We are certain that he is detained for political rather than criminal reasons. 

Pastor Berlin has continued pastoral ministry in the Cavite Provincial Jail; but, he is suffering under these conditions.  Falsely accused, he is victimized daily with separation from his family, the physical, psychological and spiritual stress of confinement, and the general denial of his liberty.  We pray that the judicial handling of his case can be conducted in the shortest possible time and we appeal for a speedy resolution of the matter before you.  As representatives of the Church, we urge you to prioritize this case as testament to the pursuit of truth and justice in the Philippines.

Pastor Berlin V. Guerrero is one amongst many Filipinos who have been abducted, tortured, disappeared and killed under the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Administration.  We enjoin your efforts to bring justice to the many victims of Human Rights Violations.  Our prayers are with you as you are challenged to address these injustices.  We also include the Court of Appeals in our prayers amidst the recent allegations of corruption; we pray that the court will be a place of righteousness.  As we bishops appeal for a speedy resolution of the case of Pastor Berlin, we also join in the efforts to bring peace based on justice to the Filipino people.

Sincerely yours, 

Bishop Eliezer M. Pascua
General Secretary

Bishop Jessie S. Suarez
South Luzon Jurisdictional Area

Bishop Dulce P. Rose
East Visayas Jurisdictional Area

Bishop Anacleto Serafica
Acting Bishop for Southeast Mindanao Jurisdictional Area
Bishop Emeritus

Bishop Isaias Bingtan
Bishop Emeritus

Bishop Osias Jaim
Bishop Emeritus

Bishop Marino I. Inong
North Luzon Jurisdictional Area

Bishop Ebenezer C. Camino
West Visayas Jurisdictional Area

Bishop Rizalino Taganas
Acting Bishop for Northwest Mindanao Jurisdictional Area
Bishop Emeritus

Bishop Elmer M. Bolocon
Bishop Emeritus

Bishop Erme R. Camba
Bishop Emeritus

Bishop Gabriel Garol
Bishop Emeritus