We, the Christians for National Liberation – Metro Manila (CNL-MM) joins the Filipino people in acclaiming the leadership and lay faithful of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) or Aglipyan Church as this nationalist church celebrates its 116th Proclamation Anniversary.
The “Ama sumilang nawa ang aming pagsasarili” is a call to national liberation in the context of the US colonialism in 1902 until 1946 and neo-colonialism until now. This message can be found encrypted on a stone on the base of the image of the Birhen Balintawak propagated by IFI. May this call continue to challenge the clergy and lay people of IFI to remain faithful to its stand along with the Filipino people in demanding and fighting for national sovereignty and national patrimony.
The fight for the protection of human and democratic rights of the Filipino people cannot be realized if our country will remain a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society. The fight for genuine and lasting peace cannot be completed if the comprador-landlord class will continue to rule over the Filipino people. The fight for the propagation of a nationalist, scientific and mass-oriented culture cannot be achieved if the feudal and neo-liberal culture will continue to dictate and dominate the everyday life of every Filipino even in religious celebrations and practices.
Along with the other Christian churches in the Philippines, IFI can carry on a ministry of reconciliation, ecumenical life and partnership with the organized sectors of the society through faithful witnessing and solidarity. Through dialogues and consultations, IFI can help in forging a broader unity among Churches, Christians and church people against Rodrigo Duterte’s charter change, federalism, tyranny and dictatorship.
The IFI shall assert its role in supporting the struggle of the workers against contractualization and the promotion of the national industrialization; the struggle of the peasants for genuine land reform and rural development; the struggle of the urban poor and the homeless people for job, dissent housing and rights; and, the struggle of the national minorities and Moro people to ancestral domain and self-determination. These struggles and the struggle of other sectors like the women, youth and student, children and LGBTQ is being supported by IFI through its clergy, mandated organizations and ministries.
In casting out the evils in the present time, can be made easy if the unity and solidarity will not be limited among Churches and Christians. The IFI which has the history of linking with the basic sectors in our society can propagate an openness, mutual respect and cooperation. The CNL-MM is willing to be part of this endeavor and mission.