PCEC defends NCCP after being targeted by DND as a communist front
In 2019, the Department of National Defense (DND) included the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) in the list of “front organizations of local communist terrorist groups.” NCCP is an ecumenical federation of churches of non-Roman Catholic denominations.
Baseless and unfounded accusation
In a statement, the NCCP “decries the baseless inclusion of its name in the list. “The NCCP deems these moves as desperate attempts by the authorities to criminalize dissent and weaponize the law against the people,” it said.
NCCP defended its criticism of the government in a letter that said, “…There have been raids, illegal arrests, and vilification. Before this, there were even killings of activists and human rights defenders.”
PCEC defends NCCP, WEA supports the protest
The actions of the Duterte government have been condemned and criticized by CBCP, WEA, PCEC, and NCCP. “We call the government to rescind the accusation. We are unwavering in our confidence that NCCP is not a communist front…” PCEC National Director Bishop Noel Pantoja said in an article with Evangelical Focus.
Likewise, Bishop Tendero, Secretary-General of WEA, supported the government protest. He said in an interview, “Christian churches are relentless in shouting for justice and crying for peace… Last 25 January, a big group of Christians, representing Catholics and Protestants, along with justice and peace advocacy organizations, held a big rally in Metro Manila.”
Church groups join NCCP against the Duterte government
In 2022, the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) were also caught in unjust accusations under the Duterte government. The group condemned the indictment of several of its members for alleged terrorist financing, calling it rabid red-tagging.
Earlier, NCCP, RMP, and the Sisters Association in Mindanao filed a petition and protested outside the Supreme Court against the alleged “terror law” of the Duterte government.
Christians in politics
The politicization of Christianity in the Philippines began during Martial Law. In 2017, the daughter of President Duterte rebuked CBCP’s Soc Villegas and called his organization “delusional hypocrites.” CBCP, NCCP, and PCEC have partnered together to rebuke the government.
Unfortunately, many see the continuous meddling of the clergy as a violation of the separation of church and state in the Philippines. Hence, justifying PCEC’s monicker, “Political Council of Evangelical Churches,” and NCCP as the “National Council for Church Politics.”