Negros Nine priest goes home
The only surviving priest of the famed Negros Nine, Father Brian Gore, is returning to his old stamping ground of Kabankalan, Negros Occidental, 21 years after he and two other priests, together with six lay Church workers were arrested in 1982 on charges of inciting rebellion, illegal possession of arms and ammunition, and the murder of a local mayor.
The trial dominated world headlines for over two years until their case was dismissed due to lack of evidence in 1984. The six laypeople and local priest, Father Vincent Dungan, who died in 1995, went back to work in the local area, while Australian Father Brian Gore and Irish Father Niall O'Brien, who succumbed to cancer in 2003, agreed to go into voluntary exile.
Blacklisted for several years, Father Gore returned to The Philippines in 1989, but worked mostly in the Manila area.The only surviving priest from the group, now 64-year-old Father Gore said he would be involved in programmes involving anti-human trafficking and child labour, as well as sustainable agriculture. "Take a look at the condition of the people, hunger is one of the basic human rights concerns, so people's access to food is a problem as more and more people are hungry, so I believe its one of the biggest issues that needs to be addressed," he told CBCP News.
"We need to be much more proactive and aggressive in the protection of the rights of the people," Father Gore stressed.
- Published in Sunday Examiner 31 August 2008
Fr Jim Mulroney is a Columban Priest, Editor of the Sunday Examiner in Hong Kong
Source: Columban Australia
You can make a difference
You can help the Negros Nine in so many ways