Reunions in the Philippines

Pator Edwin Edgar, NEM EDITED There were many joy-filled reunions at the welcome celebration and orientation for the election observers in the Philippines. Here's a story about one of them:

A little over a year ago, Pastor Edwin Egar of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines was the subject of video taken by Nancy Eng MacNeill of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program.

The occasion was a press conference that followed Edwin's release after he had been abducted on February 11, 2009 from his niece's home by six unidentified armed men.

Reports of the incident indicate that Edwin was taken into police custody. Bishop Eliezer Pascua, General Secretary of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, issued a press statement (Download PRESS STATEMENT); the Rev. Ephraim Guerrero, Executive Secretary for Organizational Ministries, Office of the General Secretary of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines issued a fact sheet (Download FACTSHEET).

The news of Edwin's abduction quickly spread among church leaders who organized protests that resulted in his release some five hours later.

Present in the Philippines at the time were Bruce Reyes-Chow, Moderator of the 218th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), David Hudson, Area Coordinator for Asia and the Pacific, and Nancy Eng MacNeill. The news of Edwin's abduction arrived during a dinner and cultural dance for these Presbyterian guests.

Following Edwin's release, church leaders held a press conference. Nancy took the video.

Edwin was among those who greeted Nancy as an election observer to the Philippines.

He was delighted to see her.

Presbyterian election observer Matt Lang, who served as a Young Adult Volunteer in the Philippines and was also greeted by friends, took the picture.

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