PHILIPPINES: Another IFI priest brutally murdered 


Urgent Appeal Case: UA-337-2006
ISSUES: Extrajudicial killings,

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) deeply regrets to inform you that another priest of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) or the Philippine Independent Church, Fr. Dionisio Ging-Ging (53), was brutally murdered in Barangay Bajao, Tago, Surigao del Sur on 8 October 2006.

According to our sources, three suspects, hooded with bonnets or balaclavas, shot Fr. Ging-Ging dead just outside his house at around 5am, while he was on his way to Sunday mass. It is reported that the victim was brutally stabbed and subsequently hacked after he fell dead to the ground.

In the aftermath of Fr. Ging Ging’s murder, although the motive of the killing has yet to be established, the investigating police authorities were quick to conclude that Fr. Ging Ging’s murder was the settling of a personal score. At the time of his death, Fr. Ging Ging was described by his colleagues as a “Man of God”. He had been actively involved in helping the poor and fighting injustice.

The killing of Fr. Ging Ging took place mere days after IFI Bishop Alberto Ramento was killed in his convent in Tarlac City on October 3 (Please read our previous appeal: UA-331-2006). Members of the IFI have since been the targets of ferocious attacks, while others have been subjected to continuing threats and harassment. All of whom, however, have not been afforded with any adequate protection by the State.

On October 6, another IFI priest, Fr. Antonio Ablon, started receiving threatening messages to his mobile phone. Four other priests have also either been receiving threats or are being harassed. They are Fr. Terry Revollido of Pangasinan, Fr. Romeo Tagud of Negros, Visayas, Fr. Marco Sulayao of Panay Island, Visayas and Fr. Sonny Teleron of Western Mindanao (Please see our previous appeals: UA-334-2006).


Instead of conducting further investigations into the latest string of IFI killings, the Philippine National Police (PNP) continue to make assumptions even before the investigation is completed, and cause only unnecessary anguish to the families of the victims.

In the case of Bishop Ramento’s murder, police investigators were quick to conclude his murder as a case of robbery and homicide. Police investigators, in particular, the Tarlac City Police Office (TCPO), were quick to reject Ramento’s family’s ardent claims that the Bishop was murdered in cold blood. Instead of providing the Ramento family with routine consultations of the ongoing investigations, the police have instead behaved in a rather confrontational and wholly dismissive manner towards the late Bishop’s grieving family.

The AHRC has expressed its concern regarding this growing trend among police investigators in the Philippines, in shirking their investigative responsibilities, as aptly demonstrated in the case of Bishop Ramento’s murder (Please read our statement: AS-244-2006). The AHRC is deeply concerned that should this practice continue unabated, any investigations into further murders will be neither reliable nor credible.

The AHRC believes that whether these killings were politically motivated or not, the government, the judiciary and the police cannot shirk its fundamental responsibilities to its people, as the protectors and enforcers of the Rule-of-Law. By failing to provide protection to those Priests of the IFI who are still targets of continuing harassment and possible attempts on their life, the Philippine State are failing to fulfill its basic functionary obligations of respecting and protecting the sanctity of the lives of its people. Unless the government takes immediate reformative measures, extra-judicial killings will continue to terrorize the civil stability of the Philippines.

Please send letters to the relevant authorities listed below, expressing your grave concern and ethical denunciation of the brutal murder of Father Dionisio Ging Ging of the IFI. Please also apply the necessary pressure on the Philippine State, in ensuring an impartial and independent investigation into Father Ging Ging’s murder, as well as adequate police protection for those priests of the IFI who are potential and probable targets of further attacks.




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Dear ____________,

PHILIPPINES: Another IFI priest brutally killed

Name of the victim: Father Dionisio Ging-Ging, a priest of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) or the Philippine Independent Church. He was a resident of Barangay Bajao, Tago, Surigao del Sur.
Alleged perpetrators: Three armed hooded men
Place of incident: Just outside his home in Barangay Bajao, Tago, Surigao del Sur
Date of incident: 8 October 2006 at 5am

It is my sad duty to inform you of the tragic and brutal murder of yet another priest of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) or the Philippine Independent Church, Fr. Dionisio Ging-Ging, on 8 October 2006.

According to the information I have received, Fr. Ging Ging had just come out from his residence on his way to hold Sunday mass service when he was attacked. Three armed men, hooded with bonnets, shot him dead and repeatedly stabbed him as he fell dead to the ground. He sustained fatal stab and gunshot wounds to his body.

As you are aware, this is the latest in a string of politically-motivated attacks on religious leaders of the outspoken IFI or PIC. The brutal killing of Father Ging Ging took place not long after IFI Bishop Alberto Ramento was brutally killed in his convent on October 3, and another IFI priest Fr. Antonio Ablon of Cagayan de Oro started receiving threatening messages on his mobile phone. Four other priests have likewise been either receiving threats or have been harassed in separate incidents.

Once again, I am extremely shocked and deeply disturbed by this most recent of atrocities committed against the Church, and the intimidation attempts of a number of priests within the IFI. I am greatly disappointed and appalled by the government’s inability, lack of concern and inadequate action in ensuring the safety and security of these priests, in particular those who fear for their life. The relentless killings and continuing threats against religious leaders, in my interpretation, is a clear manifestation of a collapsed Rule of Law.

When innocent persons are murdered for merely exercising their fundamental right to freedom of expression and opinion, the State that has been assigned to protect, is very clearly failing in all aspects of its duty and obligation. Even though the Philippine domestic legislation accommodates the Witness Protection, Security and Benefit Act (RA 6981), what we are seeing here is an evident failure of legislative implementation.

Also, I am extremely disappointed by the manner in which the ongoing police investigations into the recent spate of IFI murders are being conducted; which has included pre-mature assumptions and conclusions. The police play a central and most vital role in any and all criminal investigations; but by making unnecessary and completely unfounded statements to the public and media when one is not in a position to do so, only creates further civil discontent and causes added anguish to the grieving families of the victim.

I therefore urge you to ensure that an impartial and independent investigation is conducted into Fr. Ging Ging’s murder. The police authorities responsible for these investigations must however refrain from making unnecessary statements to the public, unless a thorough investigation has been completed and concluded. This is essential in finding out the truth and in bringing Fr. Ging Ging’s murderers to justice. The police should likewise look into whether or not this is part of the ongoing spate of extra-judicial killings that has been plaguing the Philippines of late. They must take all appropriate action if it is so.

I trust that you take immediate action in this case.

Yours sincerely,



1. Director General Oscar Calderon
Chief, Philippine National Police (PNP)
Camp General Rafael Crame
Quezon City
Tel: +63 2 726 4361/4366/8763
Fax: +63 2724 8763

2. Mr. Raul Gonzalez
Department of Justice
DOJ Bldg., Padre Faura
1004 Manila
Fax: +63 2 521-1614

3. Ms. Marilyn M. Pintor
Regional Director, CARAGA Region
Commission on Human Rights
2nd Floor, First Consolidated Bank Building
J. Rosales Avenue
Butuan City 8600
Tel. No.: +63 85 815-2247 / 342-5280
Fax No.: +63 85 815 2247

4. Dr. Purificacion Quisumbing
Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quezon City
Tel: +63 2 928 5655 / 926 6188
Fax: +63 2 929 0102

5. Ms. Hina Jilani
Special Representative of the Secretary General for human rights defenders
Attn: Melinda Ching Simon
Room 1-040
1211 Geneva 10
Tel: +41 22 917 93 88

6. Mr. Philip Alston
Special Rapporteur on Extra-judicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions
Attn: Lydie Ventre
Room 3-016
1211 Geneva 10
Tel: +41 22 917 9155
Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (

Document Type : Urgent Appeal Case
Document ID : UA-337-2006
Countries : Philippines,
Campaigns : Stop extra-judicial killings in the Philippines
Issues : Extrajudicial killings,