Photo courtesy of Rev. Joatam Margarata
“But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. (Mark 13:9).
Rev. Dan San Andres Sr., as a servant of the Lord Jesus, is a good, honest, hardworking, and courageous defender of human rights. He is assigned as a Church Worker at UCCP Sipocot, Camarines Sur. His teachings and actions are in accordance with the UCCP’s Statement of Faith, Declaration of Principles, and in fulfillment of its laws, such as the protection of human rights. He firmly believes that protecting and upholding human rights is an imperative based on the UCCP’s Declaration of Principles in Article II, Section 11.
Section 11. In accordance with the biblical understanding that all persons are created in the image of God, the Church affirms and upholds the inviolability of the rights of persons as reflected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other agreements on human rights, the international covenants on economic, social and cultural rights and on civil and political rights, the 1984 Convention against Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and those that relate specifically to refugees, women, youth, children, minority groups and other persons who cannot safeguard their own rights.
Therefore, the ministry of Rev. Dan San Andres Sr., as a servant-leader, in defense of human rights is in line with the UCCP’s belief and teachings. His flocks are not only members of the UCCP, but like Jesus the Good Shepherd, he has other flocks to take care of, including people suffering from oppression and human rights violations (John 10:16).
Rev. San Andres served as Conference Minister of the North Bicol Conference during Bishop Eliezer M. Pascua’s incumbency as Bishop assigned to South Luzon Jurisdictional Area. Currently, he is the Chairperson of the Christian Witness and Service Committee of the Conference. One of the mandates of the committee he is currently leading is to protect and uphold human rights.
As Bishops of the Church, we condemn the accusation hurled on Rev. Dan San Andres Sr. and Jenelyn Nagrampa, who were both allegedly accomplices of the ambush that happened on May 13, 2018, and resulted to the killings of two members of Philippine Army. This accusation are pure lies and fabrication. Rev. Dan San Andres Sr. and Jenelyn Nagrampa were issued a subpoena last October 2019. Through their lawyers and witnesses, these allegations were answered and refuted in December 2019.
According to the members of UCCP Sipocot, Camarines Sur, last May 13, 2018, when the alleged ambush took place, Rev. Dan San Andres was physically present in the Church leading the Sunday worship service and they were celebrating Mother’s Day. It is contrary to the Philippine Army’s statement that he was among the alleged NPAs who ambushed the soldiers at that same time and day.
Fabricated cases like these only show that LIES are the foundation of the system of oppression and injustice. This experience has been happening in our nation over and over again since the dark days of MARTIAL LAW. It seems to be the pattern of the social system –to silenced the truth, those who tell the truth, and those who stand for truth.
Therefore, we, members of the Council of Bishops of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) demand for the immediate release of Rev. Dan San Andres Sr. and Jenelyn Nagrampa. We call on the government to stop the persecution of the Church.
THE UCCP COUNCIL OF BISHOPS
July 10, 2020
Bishop Melzar D. Labuntog
Bishop Joseph G. Agpaoa
North Luzon Jurisdictional Area
Bishop Emergencio D. Padillo
Middle Luzon Jurisdictional Area
Bishop Joel E. Tendero
South Luzon Jurisdictional Area
Bishop Jerome C. Baris
East Visayas Jurisdictional Area
Bishop Feliciana P. Tenchavez
West Visayas Jurisdictional Area
Bishop Ligaya F. San Francisco
Northwest Mindanao Jurisdictional Area
Bishop Hamuel G. Tequis
Southeast Mindanao Jurisdictional Area
Bishop Arturo R. Asi
Bishop Jezer E. Bertoldo
Bishop Isaias L. Bingtan
Bishop Erme R. Camba
Bishop Ebenezer C. Camino
Bishop Constante D. Claro
Bishop Gabriel A. Garol
Bishop Hilario M. Gomez, Jr.
Bishop Marino I. Inong
Bishop Reuel Norman O. Marigza
Bishop Roel P. Mendoza
Bishop Jaime R. Moriles
Bishop Eliezer M. Pascua
Bishop Dulce Pia-Rose
Bishop Elorde M. Sambat
Bishop Anacleto G. Serafica
Bishop Jessie S. Suarez
Bishop Rizalino Q. Taganas
Bishop Modesto D. Villasanta
Please click this link for the downloadable file, STATEMENT CONDEMNING THE ARREST OF REV. DAN SAN ANDRES SR.