Iglesia Filipina Independiente
Obispado Maximo
1500 Taft Avenue, Ermita, Manila, Philippines

Iglesia Filipina Independiente's Statement on
Lianga Massacre and the Intensifying Militarization in Mindanao

"He will bring justice to the poor of the people; 
He will save the children of the needy, and will break in pieces the oppressor." 
(Psalm 72:4, NKJV)

The Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) pays respect and honor the memory of three Lumad environmental, anti-mining, and pro-people development advocates - Dionel Campos, MAPASU chairperson, a local lumad organization of Manobo communities, his cousin Aurelio Sinzo, and Emerito Samarca, executive director of Alternative Learning Center for Agriculture and Livelihood (Alcadev). They worked towards developing an alternative economy in indigenous communities affected by the large-scale extractive mining industry in Surigao del Sur.

We join the widespread condemnation against the paramilitary group Magahat, formed and armed by no less than the 36th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, for the ruthless killings. The massacre brought the death toll of environmental advocates and anti-mining activists into 49, most of whom were killed either by the military, paramilitary groups and private security forces, under President Benigno Aquino. We express strong indignation for the harassment and death threats against other Lumads whom the military accuse of supporting communist fighters. At least 3,000 Lumads were forced to evacuate from their community to Tandag City.  This added to the series of human rights violations committed by the military and paramilitary groups against indigenous people in Mindanao. 

Iglesia Filipina Independiente

Obispado Maximo
1500 Taft Avenue, Ermita, Manila, Philippines

Serving and Witnessing with the Filipino Migrant Workers in Diaspora  

on the Occasion of the IFI's 113 Proclamation Anniversary

"Jesus came to Samaria in a town called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "will you give me a drink?" The Samaritan woman said to him, "you are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" Jesus answered her, "if you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water." (John 4:5-10) 

The Philippines, for the last 50 years, is a leading nation in sending its own people as migrant workers overseas. Joblessness, or the lack of adequate employment, in the country has triggered the diaspora of millions of Filipinos to many parts of the world. 

This diaspora now counts to 15 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) or about 10% of the country’s population and approximately a third of the country's labor force. They are employed as domestic workers, medical assistants, construction workers, maritime workers, information technology experts, among other kinds of jobs, in Europe, the Middle East, East Asia, Australia and North America.


Iglesia Filipina Independiente

Obispado Maximo
1500 Taft Avenue, Ermita, Manila, Philippines

Living out Bishop Gregorio Aglipay's Legacy, Promoting and Defending Human DIGNITY  

Pastoral Message of the Obispo Maximo

on the 155th Birth Anniversary of Monsignor Gregorio Aglipay


We celebrate the 155th birth anniversary of Monsignor Gregorio Labayen Aglipay, first Obispo Maximo of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente. We honor the memory of a great Filipino patriot priest and flag-bearer of the Philippine religious revolution whose strong leadership charted the course of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente for 40 years. Let us commemorate his life which had borne courageous and faithful witness to the Gospel of Christ in the national democratic struggle of our people, and let us also draw inspiration from the way he lived-out our Church’s historical heritage Pro Deo et Patria.

If there is a social and political principle that would describe his character, or a spiritual rule that would be indicative of his life, it would be the motto "Serve the people!" Throughout his priestly life, Bishop Aglipay had constantly placed himself under what would benefit most the majority. Instances abound where he had displayed complete surrender and preference to the pursuit of collective good than think about his personal advantage.

Bishop Aglipay’s theological thoughts is a wellspring of moral and spiritual standpoints which remain significant as we strive to faithfully pursue our Church’s mission and confront the challenges of our present historical context. There is much to be learned from this man of the cloth whose principles were shaped by a living faith that unhesitantly engaged itself with the Filipino people's collective aspiration for national and social liberation, and the affirmation of human rights and dignity.


Iglesia Filipina Independiente

Obispado Maximo
1500 Taft Avenue, Ermita, Manila, Philippines


"Lo, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, 

and I found none. Cut it down, why should it use the ground?” (Luke 13:7) 

We, the Bishops of Iglesia Filipina Independiente, come together at Cortes, Surigao del Sur on February 16 to 19, 2015, to take counsel with one another as we seek the will of the Spirit and read the signs of the times. 

We see peace steered off course and our people scourged by the violence of war. The people’s confidence in President Benigno Aquino III is plummeting as a national crisis embroils the nation over the carnage in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. The battle resulted not only in the killing of forty-four [44] Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) commandos, but also of eighteen [18] Moro freedom fighters, and seven [7] innocent civilians. It has, consequently, imperiled the Bangsamoro Basic Law, an instrument which may pave for lasting peace in Muslim Mindanao.

It can no longer be denied that the botched police operation was clearly a part of the US’ global “war on terror.” Thus, Mamasapano encounter spells another transgression to the Philippine sovereignty with President Aquino knowingly and willingly sending our countrymen to death, turning them into pawns of US imperialist war. Acquiescing to US military intervention in Philippine soil, he had compromised our people’s aspiration, Muslims and Christians alike, for justice and peace in Mindanao.     

Iglesia Filipina Independiente

Obispado Maximo
1500 Taft Avenue, Ermita, Manila, Philippines



“When (Jesus) saw the crowds, he had compassion for them,

because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”

(Matthew 9:36, ESV)

The Iglesia Filipina Independiente joins the Filipino people and the entire Catholic community in the Philippines in welcoming the historic visit of Pope Francis and in praying for his safe journey. 

We greet Pope Francis, a brother in the Lord Jesus Christ, with a kiss of peace. 

Pope Francis personifies a Catholic spirituality which embraces a radical way of being with the poor among God’s people. He himself declared - “I believe in God, I believe in Christ, I believe in the Gospel, and the heart of the Gospel is the poor.” 

The world stands witness as to how the Pope is slowly breaking down the walls of elitist culture in the Catholic Church, inaugurating revolutionary reforms within the Vatican, as he leads his Church in incarnating genuine preferential option for the poor. Equally, the Pope, a true defender of the poor, has condemned global capitalist greed and strongly censured the few who lives in extreme wealth at the cost of the majority who wallows in poverty. 

Iglesia Filipina Independiente

Obispado Maximo
1500 Taft Avenue, Ermita, Manila, Philippines




“You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:13a, 14a) 

1. We see too many people suffering from injustice in our society today. Common good is compromised and public interest has been placed at the heel of political opportunism. Poverty has become the fate of thousands and millions of families abandoned by a government that burgeons in corruption. Elitist politics has taken a strong grip on the country’s democratic institutions. Public office has degenerated into political dynasty. Despots thwarted the rule of law and turned the laws of the land into an instrument to suppress the people’s legitimate demands for reforms.   

2. We respond to these realities in the light of our Christian faith and hope. Commitment to social justice is an essential characteristic of proclaiming the Gospel of Christ and we give concrete expression to this commitment when we work for the promotion of human dignity and the protection of human rights. Working for a just social and political order is a responsibility that flows from our duty as disciple of Christ. We understand that it is an imperative of faith for Christians to contribute towards the shaping of a nation where the requirements of social justice is realized, and in building a world where the dignity of every human person and the rest of God’s creation is respected.    

3. We, therefore, offer you our reading of the signs of the times in this episcopal letter, inviting everyone to discernment and asking your commitment to stand with us, your brother bishops.  

Iglesia Filipina Independiente

Obispado Maximo
1500 Taft Avenue, Ermita, Manila, Philippines



But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,

God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him

 who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.”

(1 Peter 2:9 RSV)


1.   We, the Supreme Council of Bishops (SCB), of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI), gathered on September 2-5, 2014 in Pandan, Antique for our Regular Meeting.


2.     Conscious of our roles as church leaders, pastors and teachers, we strongly support the movement to abolish the pork barrel system and endorse the People’s Initiative. We are convinced that the People’s Initiative must be invoked as a mechanism provided for by the Constitution to pass legislation, in this instant case, to end and abolish all forms of lump sum and discretionary appropriations in the government. It is a concrete expression and direct exercise of the power of the people on whom sovereignty resides.


3.      The pork barrel system in the Philippines was introduced in the Philippines by the Americans in 1922. It is anomalous and immoral because this is one massive source of graft and corruption; distorts budgetary needs and processes; its disbursement as public funds favour political allies promoting patronage politics and “legalizing” vote buying; and serves as means for Malacanang to control both Houses of Congress thus violating the constitutional principles of effective checks and balance.