Good Friday crucifixions in the Philippines

This video says about itself:

Actual crucifixions and self-flagellation in the streets of San Fernando, Pampanga- a city about 2-3 hours north of Manila during Good Friday. The San Pedro Cutud Lenten Rites (alternatively known as Maleldo) is the Holy Week re-enactment of the passion and death of Christ and takes place in an open field on the outskirts of San Fernando City, Pampanga in the Philippines.

Penitents (mostly men, although there were rare instances of women) are nailed to a cross using 5 cm stainless steel nails. The Catholic Church does not sanction the crucifixions and does not endorse them. However, thousands still descend to Pampanga to watch these rites being performed for the past decades.

Whilst San Pedro Cutud is the most famous (and prominently displayed on foreign and local media) there are also two other smaller sites within the vicinity of the city that perform similar activities. Penitents whipping themselves and street-plays are are also widespread in the streets of the city.

By Joseph Santolan in the Philippines:

Good Friday crucifixions in the Philippines

22 April 2011

Today, Good Friday, at least 17 people are scheduled to be crucified in the barrio of Cutud, San Fernando, Pampanga, in the rice farming region of central Luzon in the Philippines. Similar crucifixions will take place in other areas of the country. It is an annual celebration of gore and obscurantism, an international media circus, and a tourist bonanza.

Holy week, the celebration of Christ’s suffering and death—Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Black Saturday, and Easter Sunday—is an inescapable phenomenon in the predominantly Catholic Philippines. Businesses and government offices shut down. All who can afford to, leave Metro Manila and return to their provinces of origin.

Pabasa spring up everywhere. The makeshift shelters house an altar, rows of monobloc plastic chairs, and a microphone and amplifier. People gather—particularly the aged, particularly women—and warble and caterwaul their way through the pasyon, the sung version of the passion and death of Christ. Worn, newsprint Tagalog librettos are passed from singer to singer, illustrated with images of the passive, docile Jesus suffering at the hands of the Romans and of the Jews, who are identifiable by their medieval caps.

With US backing, the Philippines has been playing an increasingly provocative role in the South China Sea in asserting its stake in the disputed waters, especially against China: here.

Eight thousand left-wing activists and their allies marched in Quezon City today to demand progressive economic reforms and the prosecution of President Benigno Aquino III’s predecessor for alleged graft: here.

The Philippines is one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists: here.

8 thoughts on “Good Friday crucifixions in the Philippines

  1. Urgent Action Alerts KARAPATAN May 13 04:04PM +0800

    Anakbayan member beaten up and killed by police in Navotas City
    UA No: 2011-05-01

    UA Date : May 10, 2011
    UA Case : Summary Execution

    Victim/s : JERWIN DE ANTONIO, 27 years old, single, Fisherman
    Resident of Block 6, Bagong Silang, San Jose village, Navotas City
    Member of Anakbayan

    Place of Incident : Navotas West, Navotas City, Metro Manila

    Date of Incident : April 21, 2011

    Alleged Perpetrator(s) : Police Officer 1 Ronie dela Cruz and two other policemen identified only as PO1 Carancho and PO1 Gonzales

    Account of the Incident:

    In the evening of April 20, Jerwin was fetched by a colleague from his house, and the two went to the market where they got some fish to sell. The two then split up the money they earned from selling fish and proceeded to the Boulevard where they went their separate ways.

    Witnesses said that a few minutes later, they saw the three police men PO1 Ronie dela Cruz, Carancho and Gonzales forced Jerwin into their patrol vehicle. Witnesses said the police men proceeded to beat up Jerwin inside the vehicle, while the victim flailed his arms and asked for help.

    The three police men brought Jerwin to the Police Station 3, Navotas City where they charged him with vagrancy. The police men then brought Jerwin to a lying-in clinic near the San Jose church for a medical check-up. After this, at around 5 am, witnesses said the police brought Jerwin to a side street near a barangay outpost in Navotas West. Two witnesses said they saw Jerwin being beaten up by the three policemen, two of whom were in uniform while the third was in civilian clothes.

    They heard Jerwin shouting and pleading: “Sir, please stop it, enough” and asking for help. While Jerwin cried, the policemen only answered “Run!” The policemen also pushed a gun to the victim to make him fight back. The witnesses heard four gunshots then saw the policemen toss Jerwin like a dead animal into a tricycle. A piece of paper that was left in the scene and turned out to be Jerwin’s medical certificate from the lying-in clinic was seen taken by a barangay tanod.

    At 5:25 am, policemen brought Jerwin’s body to the Tondo General Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. He was still
    unidentified when his body was brought to the Marcello Funenaria in Tangos, Navotas City.

    Jerwin was the eldest child and the family breadwinner. His family was already worried because he did not go home. On April 21, at 3 pm, Jerwin’s siblings started looking for him around Malabon and Navotas. They went to the Navotas City hall where they were directed to the Navotas City police. At the police station, a policeman in civilian clothes said that they had no information about it and directed them instead to the Malabon City Jail. The victim’s siblings went to where they were directed and found nothing. By evening, Jerwin’s siblings were still asking around when someone mentioned about a shooting in the coastal area. Witnesses description of the victim matched that of Jerwin, particularly, the clothes that he was wearing when he left the house. The siblings then went back to the Navotas City Police station where policemen asked for a picture and documents about the victim. The police interrogated the victim’s siblings and insisted that they give the police the documents. Jerwin’s siblings refused. The police then told them that his body was already at the funenaria.

    At 1 am on April 22, Jerwin’s siblings went to the morgue and confirmed that he was the one who was killed at a shooting in the coastal area.

    Recommended Action:

    Send letters, emails or fax messages calling for:

    1. The immediate formation of an independent fact-finding and investigation team composed of representatives from human rights
    groups, the Church, local government, and the Commission on Human Rights that will look into the summary execution of Jerwin de Antonio.

    2. The military to stop the labeling and targeting of human rights defenders as “members of front organizations of the communists”
    and “enemies of the state.”

    3. The Philippine Government to withdraw its counterinsurgency program Oplan Bayanihan, which victimizes innnocent and unarmed

    4. The Philippine Government to be reminded that it is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that it is also a
    party to all the major Human Rights instruments, thus it is bound to observe all of these instruments’ provisions.

    You may send your communications to:

    H.E. Benigno C. Aquino III
    President of the Republic
    Malacañang Palace,
    JP Laurel St., San Miguel
    Manila Philippines
    Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80
    Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968
    E-mail: /

    Sec. Teresita Quintos-Deles
    Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
    Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP)
    7th Floor Agustin Building I
    Emerald Avenue
    Pasig City 1605
    Voice:+63 (2) 636 0701 to 066
    Fax:+63 (2) 638 2216

    Ret. Lt. Gen. Voltaire T. Gazmin
    Secretary, Department of National Defense
    Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo,
    E. de los Santos Avenue, Quezon City
    Voice:+63(2) 911-9281 / 911-0488
    Fax:+63(2) 911 6213

    Atty. Leila De Lima
    Secretary, Department of Justice
    Padre Faura St., Manila
    Direct Line 521-8344; 5213721
    Trunkline 523-84-81 loc.214
    Fax: (+632) 521-1614

    Hon. Loretta Ann P. Rosales
    Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights
    SAAC Bldg., UP Complex
    Commonwealth Avenue
    Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
    Voice: (+632) 928-5655, 926-6188
    Fax: (+632) 929 0102
    Email: _
    _, _lorettann@gmail.com_

    Please send us a copy of your email/mail/fax to the above-named government officials, to our address below.

    URGENT ACTION Prepared by:
    KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
    National Office
    2/F Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin cor Matatag Sts.,
    Brgy. Central, Diliman, Quezon City 1100 PHILIPPINES
    Voice/Fax: (+632) 435 4146


    KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights


  2. From: International Coordinating Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines
    Sent: Monday, May 30, 2011 5:06 PM
    Subject: [PhilConcerns] Fwd: Join the international action on June 12, on the 1, 000th day of enforced disappearance of James Moy Balao

    To our dearest Friends,

    Please find below an invitation to participate in the campaign for the calling for the surfacing of James Moy Balao, on his 1000th day of disappearance (June 12, 2011) coming from the Cordillera Peoples’ Alliance. We hope for your warm support!

    END Enforced Disappearance!
    Surface the victims now!

    Best regards,

    ——– Original Message ——–
    Subject: Join the international action on June 12, on the 1,000th day of enforced disappearance of James Moy Balao

    Dear friends at the International Coordinating Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines,

    Warm greetings from the Cordillera Peoples Alliance!

    We are inviting you to be part of the activity we are coordinating for CPA Founding Member James Moy Balao’s 1,000 Days of Enforced Disappearance, on June 12, as part of our continuing campaign calling for the surfacing of James, who was abducted in La Trinidad on September 17, 2008, under the Arroyo regime. James’ parents both passed away last year without seeing their son. Through our collective effort, we hope to generate greater pressure to the new administration of Pres. Benigno Aquino III, to surface James and all desaparecidos (disappeared).

    We enjoin you to send postcards to Pres. Aquino on June 12, calling for the surfacing of James. Friends and advocates overseas may send the postcards to Philippine Embassies in their respective countries. CPA and CHRA can only send hardcopies of the postcards within the Cordillera, so we kindly encourage all other solidarity partners, friends and advocates to kindly print the number of postcards you need. Apart from the sending of postcards, we encourage you to conduct simultaneous activities, which can be in the form of a press conference, an exhibit, among others.

    Attached is the invitation, the campaign plan and the post card. Kindly circulate to your friends and network as well.

    Thank you and warmest regards.

    Abigail Anongos
    Secretary General

    No. 55 Ferguson Road
    Baguio City 2600, Philippines
    Tel. No. (63) 74 304-4239
    Fax No. (63) 74 443-7159


  3. Please support and send your support emails to: or

    Pass House Bill 3046, An Act Defining and Penalizing the Crime of Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance

    The United Nations Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance states that an involuntary or enforced disappearance happens when “ persons are arrested, detained or abducted against their will or otherwise deprived of their liberty by officials of different branches or levels of Government, or by organized groups, or by private individuals acting on behalf of, or with the support, direct or indirect, consent or acquiescence of the Government, followed by a refusal to disclose the fate or whereabouts of the persons concerned or a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of their liberty, which places such persons outside the protection of the law.”

    Victims of enforced disappearance can be abducted right in front of their families, from their homes, inside a mall, while crossing the street, in the middle of the night or during daytime. They can be activists, farmers, workers, drivers, lawyers, journalists, students, women, priests, nuns, fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, wives, husbands, sisters or brothers. They are called desaparecidos or the disappeared.

    In the Philippines, thousands have become victims of involuntary or enforced disappearance since the rule of the Dictator Ferdinand Marcos up to the current administration of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III. Information on their whereabouts or what has happened to them remains unknown. Their families have not stopped looking for their missing loved ones.

    Involuntary or enforced disappearance is a grave human rights violation. However, not a single perpetrator has been punished. In the Philippines, a law criminalizing the act of involuntary or enforced disappearance has yet to be enacted.

    That is why we, the families, friends and supporters of victims of enforced disappearances, are calling on the Philippine Legislature to immediately pass into law House Bill 3046, An Act Defining and Penalizing the Crime of Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance. It will criminalize the acts of involuntary or enforced disappearance. It will help bring justice to the victims and their families and penalize the perpetrators.

    We also urge the Noynoy Aquino government to sign, ratify and adhere to the provisions of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 20, 2006 and entered into force on December 23, 2010. #


  4. Exhibition closed after hate mail

    PHILIPPINES: Officials shut down a controversial art exhibition today after the show was condemned by religious and political leaders and received barrages of threats and hate mail.

    The Poleteismo exhibit at the state-owned Cultural Centre of the Philippines opened on June 7 and featured images combining Christian symbols with phallic objects, including a poster of Jesus with a wooden penis attached to his head.

    President Beningno Aquino said he had called the centre and made it clear the artwork was offensive.

    Imelda Marcos played a role in censoring the exhibition.


  5. UNESCO condemns murder of Pinoy broadcaster
    Updated as of 10/22/2011 4:19 PM

    MANILA, Philippines – The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) condemned the killing of Filipino radio commentator and anti-mining tribal activist Roy Bagtikan Gallego from Surigao del Sur province.
    At the same time, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova called for a thorough investigation of the case.

    “Impunity for those who use gun power to silence debate and possible dissent must be stopped for the Philippines to benefit from the essential contribution of free and independent media to democracy and rule of law,” Bokova said.

    Gallego was shot dead last Friday in the town of Lianga as he was about to launch a new program on the 92.7 Smile FM San Francisco station.

    UNESCO said Gallego, who was also a Manobo indigenous community leader, “had campaigned against mining operators, claiming that their activities violated the rights of indigenous people in the region.”

    Meanwhile, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) also condemned the attack on Gallego. The group wants the perpetrators prosecuted.

    “Gallego’s death is emblematic of a much larger problem. In the Philippines, journalism and political activism are often conjoined, and the government must address the murders of journalists who use local media to take on controversial issues that threaten not only their lives but the strength of the nation’s media,” said Bob Dietz, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator.


  6. Twenty-five years since the Mendiola massacre in the Philippines

    By Joseph Santolan

    23 January 2012

    Sunday marked the 25th anniversary of the Mendiola massacre. On January 22, 1987, 17,000 peasants, workers and students marched across Mendiola Bridge in Manila toward Malacañang presidential palace to present their demands for land reform to President Corazon Aquino. They were blocked by anti-riot personnel in civilian clothing; a unit of the Philippine Marines; and police forces. Without warning, these forces opened fire, training their M16s on the unarmed protesters. The firing continued as the demonstrators fled in every direction. Thirteen peasant marchers were killed, and nearly 100 wounded.


  7. Pingback: British clerical, other child abuse | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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