Saturday, May 13, 2017

IFI bishop arrested with communist leader in Ozamiz

From MindaNews (May 12): IFI bishop arrested with communist leader in Ozamiz

Bishop Morales (center) surrounded by fellow IFI bishops. Photo from Bishop Morales’s Facebook page

Police arrested an alleged top ranking communist leader in western Mindanao along with a bishop of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI), his wife and their driver in Ozamiz City Friday night.

The IFI is also known as the Philippine Independent Church or the Aglipayan Church.

PNP Northern Mindanao spokesperson Superintendent Lemuel Gonda said a joint police and army team arrested the four at a checkpoint in Barangay Gango.

He identified them as Rommel Salinas, the alleged secretary general of the Communist Party of the Philippines in Western Mindanao; Bishop Carlo Morales; his wife Maria Teofila Losaria Morales; and their driver Isadome Dalid, who was driving their maroon-colored Starex van.

Bishop Morales heads the IFI diocese in Ozamiz City.

Gonda said they found and confiscated from the four suspects a hand grenade, six Nokia mobile phones, battery packs, a map of Misamis Occidental, and P80,700 in cash.

He said the four suspects were brought and detained at the Ozamiz City police office.

Bishop Morales on handcuffs. Photo from IFI-Ozamiz’s Facebook page

The arrest of Bishop Morales ignited a furor among the IFI clergy who immediately summoned members to go to the Ozamiz City police station.

“Those of you who can travel, go now to the Ozamiz police station,” said Bishop Antonio Ablon of the IFI’s Pagadian City diocese.

The IFI posted a photo of a handcuffed Bishop Morales in its Facebook page and said the four were not allowed to make any phone calls for help.

Ablon said Bishop Morales identified himself to the police but despite that, the police still accorded him with poor treatment.

He said Bishop Morales and his three other companions were detained inside a temporary jailhouse along with common criminals.

The IFI issued a strong statement condemning the arrest of Bishop Morales and demanded for his immediate release.

“We find no reason that the good IFI Bishop of Ozamiz will be illegally arrested, handcuffed and illegally detained in jail. He had properly introduced himself as a bishop but was still accorded with maltreatments,” the IFI statement said.

1 comment:

  1. Let's get real here. The IFI/PIC has long had a cozy relationship with Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) clandestine organizations and legal front groups.

    One need only look at the so-called third party facilitators in Mindanao that have been involved in coordinating the release of soldiers and policemen abducted by the New People's Army (NPA), the insurgent wing of the CPP. A number of the facilitators have been IFI/PIC clergy.

    Furthermore, several IFI/PIC clergy have held positions within known/suspected CPP above-ground legal front organizations or have used their facilities to support hunger strikes and serve as rally points for other mass actions carried out by CPP-affiliated front groups.

    Rommel Salinas, believed to be the Secretary of Secom Sendong, Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee of the CPP, was reportedly arrested based on five warrants of arrest for several crimes such as destructive arson, murder, frustrated murder, attempted murder, and robbery in band. So the real question should be what is Bishop Morales doing aiding and abetting the flight of a wanted criminal/fugitive??


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