Global Ministries Co-Executives Express Concern Over Detention of Philippines Medical Workers
So, today, we write with grave concern over the recent detention of Dr. Alexis Montes, a lay leader in the health
ministry of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, as well as the 42 other health care workers who were also
arrested while attending a health training for first responders to emergency situations.
H.E. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
President of the Republic
JP Laurel St., San Miguel
Dear President Macapagal-Arroyo,
We write as Co-Executives of Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ in the USA, which today continues a legacy of two centuries of international ministry with partners such as the United Church of Christ in the Philippines. Our predecessors sent medical missionaries and teachers to the Philippines in the early 1900’s and they founded schools and medical facilities to serve the Filipino people. For example, they founded the Brokenshire Hospital in Davao in Mindanao which today continues such excellent health ministry. We continue to be supportive partners with that hospital and many other excellent and faithful Christian mission projects of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines.
So, today, we write with grave concern over the recent detention of Dr. Alexis Montes, a lay leader in the health ministry of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, as well as the 42 other health care workers who were also arrested while attending a health training for first responders to emergency situations.
We take this detention by the 202nd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army and the Rizal Philippine National Police very seriously. We believe that those who are being detained should have access to legal assistance, visits by family and pastors, and a quick and impartial investigation into the circumstances of their detention so that they can be released quickly.
We well understand the importance of mutual assistance between our two countries. Unfortunately, this kind of incident from the Philippines causes many people in the USA to believe that we should not give military aid to your country and to consider advocating with our government to cease sending aid.
| Rev. Cally Rogers-Witte
Executive Minister, UCC Wider Church Ministries
Co-Executive, Global Ministries
Rev. David A. Vargas
Cc: Gen. Avelino Razon, Ret. PNP, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
Norberto Gonzales, Secretary, Department of National Defense
Atty. Agnes Devanadera, Secretary, Department of Justice
Atty. Leila De Lima, Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights