Tribute to Bishop Tomas A. Millamena

 

June 4,  2014

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Bishops of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente call on President Benigno Aquino III for abolition of pork barrel system the soonest possible time; as they release their pastoral statement today, during the meeting of the Supreme Council of Bishops in Cagayan De Oro City. The bishops further advised that the President must make every effort, at the same time, to recover the trust of the people towards the bureaucracy through persistent efforts to prosecute and punish plunderers regardless of who they are.
From:
http://ifinc.org/ifi-supreme-council-of-bishops-calls-for-abollition-of-the-pork-barrel-issue/


 

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Photos courtesy of B
           
     

Bishop Tomas Millamena at the release of a POW in April 2001 in Mindoro
with Ka Roger Rosal and NDF Legal Counsel Romeo Capulong and Sen. Loren Legarda ▼
 
     

 

 

National Democratic Front of the Philippines
National Executive Committee

4 June 2014

NDFP RENDERS HIGHEST HONORS TO BISHOP TOMAS A. MILLAMENA

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) renders highest honors to Bishop Tomas A. Millamena of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) for his staunch advocacy for a just and lasting peace in the Philippines and his firm pro-people stand against the anti-people and anti-national policies of the US-Aquino regime and earlier reactionary regimes.

We are deeply saddened by his death due to a lingering illness. We convey our heartfelt condolences to his family, relatives, colleagues in the IFI, and numerous friends in the Philippines and abroad.

Bishop Millamena played a significant role in the NDFP-GRP/GPH peace negotiations. He was the mutually accepted Third Party Depositary for depositing the photos for the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG). He was also an NDFP Nominated Independent Observer in the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) under the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).

He fulfilled his functions with heart and soul to the best of his ability. He was present and active participant in the resumption of formal peace talks in Oslo on April 27-30, 2001. He would attend some other formal talks in Oslo thereafter, unafraid to take a principled stand. One clear example is when the GRP delegation walked out after the punishment of notorious torturer Col. Rodolfo Aguinaldo in June 2001. He firmly took the position which he stated to the Royal Norwegian officials that the GRP should not have walked out; they should have referred the case to the Joint Monitoring Committee under CARHRIHL.

Together with the other NDFP Nominated Independent Observer to the JMC, Marie Hilao Enriquez of KARAPATAN, he steadfastly advocated the independent investigation of the numerous extrajudical killings and enforced disappearances and other human rights violations under the Gloria Arroyo regime.

Earlier, as Obispo Maximo of the IFI, he helped secure the release of NPA Commander Leoncio Pitao by receiving him in recognizance

We are also grateful to Obispo Maximo Millamena for standing up in support of Prof. Jose Maria Sison in September 2002. He spoke out on Dutch TV and other international media against Prof. Sison's being placed in the list of terrorists. He was concerned that the slander on Prof. Sison, Chief Political Consultant of the NDFP Negotiating Panel, would jeopardize the peace negotiations with the Manila government.

With his good friend, Archbishop Joris Vercammen of the Old Catholic Church, he organized the successful centenary celebration of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente in 2002. Hundreds of Filipino, Dutch and other participants attended the centenary held in The Netherlands.

Later, when his health weakened, he could not attend the peace talks abroad. But he would send text messages to the NDFP Negotiating Panel expressing his wish and desire for the advance of the peace talks to achieve a just and lasting peace.

He would participate in mass protest actions such as the condemnation of the Pork barrel scandal and in support of the victims of the supertyphoon Yolanda. He would send us text messages requesting solidarity for the mass actions. He was clearly happy to be with the struggling people fighting for justice.

In speeches at various national and international forums, he did not hesitate to expose the role of US imperialism in the exploitation and oppression of the Filipino people.

We shall sorely miss Bishop Millamena's firm solidarity and his friendship. We are certain that his closeness to the struggling Filipino people and his dedication to a just and lasting peace in the Philippines will be a lasting legacy and inspiration to those who continue the struggle for national and social liberation and a just and lasting peace.


LUIS G. JALANDONI
Chairperson, Negotiating Panel
Member, National Executive Committee
National Democratic Front of the Philippines


Website: www.ndfp.net
Email address: ndf@casema.nl

Telephone: +31 (0)30-2310431
Mailing address: Amsterdamsestraatweg 50, 3513 AG Utrecht, The Netherlands


From:
http://www.ndfp.net/web2014/index.php/news/messages/2138-ndfp-renders-highest-honors-to-bishop-tomas-a-millamena



 

"Bishop Millamena played a significant role in the NDFP-GRP/GPH peace negotiations. He was the mutually accepted Third Party Depositary for depositing the photos for the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG). He was also an NDFP Nominated Independent Observer in the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) under the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL)."

     
     
           
     
     
     

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IFI Page Gallery
June 3

Paalam po, Tatay Bishop!

The Iglesia Filipina Independiente deeply mourns the loss of its great leader, humble servant, beloved bishop, mentor, father, friend and comrade, The Most Revd. Tomas Millamena, D.D. , Obispo Maximo X. His Eminence OM Millamena succumb to his illness on June 1, 2014, 10:04 pm at Iloilo Mission Hospital.

The Most Revd. Tomas Millamena was born on 24 January 1947, and a native of Sibalom, Antique. He pursued his Bachelors and Masters degree at St. Andrews Theological Seminary and started his diaconate in 1970. He was ordained to priesthood on 19 April 1970 at the National Cathedral, Manila. He was consecrated to the Episcopate in 1982 at the Parish of Saint Michael, Culasi, Antique. His dedicated service and deep commitment has elevated him to be the Supreme Bishop of the Church as he was elected as the 10th Obispo Maximo on May 1999 and served as such until 2005. His Eminence was the Obispo Maximo during the Centennial celebrations of the Church. He led the Iglesia Filipina Independiente congregation in the national celebration of the church’s Centennial Celebration held on August 2-3, 2002 at the Quirino Grandstand, Luneta, Manila. His centerpiece program was embodied in the Ten-Year Strategic Plan of the Church that was approved in 2002. Obispo Maximo Millamena worked towards the strengthening of Church leadership bodies through an intensified education campaign. Episcopal study-conferences, regional clergy convocations, and lay congresses were held to consolidate the leaders of the Church’s and the national leadership as well. He, likewise, pursued the implementation of important policies to improve the financial and property management of church assets. [Aglipayan] After serving his term as the 10th Obispo Maximo, His Eminence served as diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Laguna where he formally retired from the ministry in July 2012. Despite the retirement, he chose to serve as diocesan bishop in the Diocese of Iloilo until the time of his death. Recently he published a book, Ecumenical Journey towards Shalom, a compilation of articles, sermons, and biblical reflections that Bishop Millamena had written throughout his service to the Church.

As a leader of the Church, whose mission is Pro Deo Et Patria (For God and Country), he stood firm on national issues concerning human rights (workers’ welfare, migrants and lumads), peace (as nominated observer to GPH-NDF peace talks and braving mountains for the release of POWs). He always believed that “There can never be peace unless the root cause of poverty are eliminated, basic social services are delivered, human rights are promoted and upheld, the rights of the indigenous peoples for self-determination are respected and unfair treaties with big foreign countries are terminated.” Our dear bishop led a life well-spent for the people’s struggle and shared the trails on a journey towards shalom.

Bishop Millamena is fondly called “Tatay” at the National Cathedral, especially by the youth group then who claim that the dear bishop was very instrumental in the formation of a more bonding relationship among them. His encouragement and support has made that batch of young IFIs more knowledgeable, more involved and committed to the life and ministry of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente. The National Cathedral and the entire IFI can only be grateful to the Almighty for sharing Bishop Millamena to the IFI. His legacy will always be remembered.

OM Millamena is survived by wife Letty, children Dakila, Faith and Hope, sons and daughter in law Menchu, Ronald and grand daughters Kristin and Giana.

For those who want to know the details of his interment, please coordinate with Rev. Franz Foerster @ 09474894744 or look for Iloilo Diocesan Staff: Cristina/MJ &Rev Gemma Gregorios at (033) 320-04-68 or 320-32-67. Arrangements are yet being made if and when his remains will be brought to the IFI National Cathedral.

Source:
http://ifinc.org/sharing-the-trails-on-a-journey-towards-shalom/

 

Photos from the Facebook IFI Page Gallery
           
     
     
     


NDFP Peace Consultants and Political Prisoners Render Highest Tribute to IFI Obispo Maximo Tomas Millamena, Staunch Advocate of National Liberation, People's Rights and Lasting Peace
(5 June 2014)

We, detained peace consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), together with other political prisoners in Camp Crame, Camp Bagong Diwa, and New Bilibid Prison deeply mourn the death last June 1, due to a long-lingering illness of Obispo Maximo Tomas Millamena of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI), and convey our heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones, colleagues in the IFI, and numerous co-fighters and friends in the Philippines and abroad.

He fought a continuous battle against cancer. Cancer killed his body. But his valuable lifelong contributions in the battle against social cancer and for national liberation, justice, equality, social upliftment and lasting peace in the life of his beloved people continue even after his physical passing away.

We render the highest tribute to him for his sincere, persistent, courageous, significant efforts and contributions in the promotion of the interests of the mass of the Filipino people, including his admirable tireless advocacy for a just and lasting peace in the country, his consistent pro-people stand on issues and his staunch principled opposition to anti-people and anti-national policies of the past up to the present reactionary ruling regimes. He was very clear about the evils of our present subjugated society that have long since urgently needed to be radically changed. He berated the role of U.S. imperialism and its local tools for keeping the mass of the Filipino people exploited and oppressed and the country backward and poor. He strongly advocated the urgent need to reverse all these. He devoted all he could in life for the interest of the people, for true liberation, for lasting peace and for the future of the country.

Bishop Millamena was a firm and vigorous advocate of efforts towards just and lasting peace. He particular played significant roles in the NDFP-GPH peace negotiations. He was an NDFP-Nominated Independent Observer in the NDFP-GPH Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) for the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). He strongly pushed for decisive investigations of numerous extrajudical killings, enforced disappearances and other human rights violations under the prevailing state. As Obispo Maximo of the IFI, he urgently helped to secure the immediate release through recognizance of once arrested NPA Commander Leoncio Pitao.

He also functioned as the mutually accepted Third Party Depository for securing the digital files for the protection of NDFP peace participants and consultants, under the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG).


 

He actually became an active third-party participant in the resumption of 2001 formal peace talks in Oslo, Norway. He attended some other formal talks in Oslo thereafter, and always showed courage and rightousness in raising principled stands on crucial issues in the interest of pursuing the peace efforts and related substantive reforms in Philippine society. There were even times when he bravely exerted efforts to dissuade GPH peace negotiators from unwarrantedly breaking up ongoing peace talks. When peace talks become stalled, he would actively keep on pressing for the resumption of peace talks.

He actively and forcefully campaigned, and came out in the Dutch and other international media against the foul inclusion of Jose Ma. Sison, the NDFP's Chief Political Consultant of the NDFP Negotiating Panel, in the Dutch and other U.S.-influenced terrorist lists, especially as such is not true and would only serve to jeopardize the peace negotiations.

Even as he was already ailing and weakened by his serious ailment, he kept on communicating directly with the NDFP Negotiating Panel to express his ardent desire and hope for the further pursuit of the peace talks and to offer what he can to help, given the many existing problems along the way.

Despite his ailments, he continued to be active in joining and supporting mass protest actions -- and was happy at still being able to physically do so -- including as recent as in those mass actions condemning the gross plunder and rottenness in the present ruling system and government, the widespread and massive pork barrel thieveries, and the urgent clamor for support to the millions of suffering victims of the supertyphoon Yolanda in the face of gross delays, inefficiencies and anomalies in the relief and rehabilitation work. All the more have recent developments fired in him the urgent need to drastically and decisively reform the entire rotten system prevailing over our present society, including what may still be substantially achieved through the peace process.

Most beloved Obispo Maximo Tomas Millamena, we and your other co-fighters for genuine social change and the people's interests, will miss your bodily presence, but your undying spirit and utmost dedication in our common quest for national and social liberation, justice, peace and progress, your closeness to the struggling people and the valuable contributions you have given in life shall remain always with us, continue to serve as inspiration and help in advancing those struggles all the way to victory.

In continuing struggle,
detained NDFP peace consultants and other political prisoners
at Camp Crame at Camp Bagong Diwa at New Bilibid Prison
Benito Tiamzon Alan Jazmines Eduardo Sarmiento
Wilma Austria Tiamzon Emeterio Antalan
Eduardo Serrano Leopoldo Caloza
Renante Gamara Tirso Alcantara
Dionisio Almonte Loida Magpatoc

     
     
 
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Lighting candles: extra-judicial killing of Bishop Alberto Ramento in September 2006
           

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Dear Friends,
 

The Iglesia Filipina Independiente would like to inform you of the death of The Most Revd Tomas A. Millamena, 10th Obispo Maximo. We give thanks for the life and ministry of Bishop Tom who died on Sunday, 1st June 2014, at 10:15 in the evening.
 

Bishop Tom leaves behind family and countless friends whose hearts and lives have been warmed by friendship. Following the end of his term as Obispo Maximo in 2005, he served as the Bishop of Laguna Diocese from 2005 to 2012, and of Iloilo Diocese from 2012 to the time of his death.
 

Bishop Tom remains will be received in the Cathedral of Iloilo Diocese at 8:00 in the morning of Tuesday, 03 June 2014. We ask for your prayers for the bereaved family of Bishop Tom.
 

Rest eternal grant to Tomas, O Lord;
And let light perpetual shine upon him.
May his soul, and the souls of all the departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen
Blessings,
 

The Right Revd Joselito T. Cruz
General Secretary

 

           
     
     
     

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To the Member Churches and Associates of the NCCP and All Concerned.

We received news of the passing away of The Most Reverend Tomas A. Millamena, Obispo Maximo X of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente, last night in Iloilo. Until his death he was the Diocesan Bishop of Iloilo and Guimaras.

His Eminence was Chairperson of the NCCP from 2000-2001.

Messages maybe sent through the Central Office of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente, telefax +(632) 521 3932, Email: om@ifi.ph.

Of your charity, say a prayer of thanks to God for the life and ministry of His Eminence, Tomas Millamena and for God's holy comfort to his family.

"Rest eternal grant unto him.”

–Rev. Fr. Rex Reyes, Jr., General Secretary, NCCP
 

     
       
           
           
           

 

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