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
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
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
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
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: +31 (0)30-2310431
Mailing address: Amsterdamsestraatweg 50, 3513 AG Utrecht, The Netherlands
IFI Page Gallery
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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