The Ramento Project for Rights Defenders (RPRD) is a Church-based human rights program operated by the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) for the cause of human rights especially for Human Rights Defenders (HRDs).

Its human rights commitments are based on Christian principles and on universal and national human rights instruments. In the application of international instruments, RPRD observes the standards and processes of Rights-Based Approach (RBA).

The formation of RPRD started in 2008 as a joint initiative of Iglesia Filipina Independiente's Office of the Obispo Maximo and the South-Central Luzon Bishops’ Conference (SCLBC).

Over the years, the Church’s human rights work and solidarity with the struggling people resulted to the martyrdom of a number of its clergymen. They were killed by fascist elements or died while in the course of serving the people as human rights defenders.

On this regard, 3 names easily come to mind, that of Reverend Fathers Narciso Pico and William Tadena, and former Obispo Maximo, Archbishop Alberto Ramento.

RPRD is pursuing the martyrs' commitment to champion human rights by addressing the unresolved and multiple cases of human rights violations of extra-judicial killings, abductions, grave threats, illegal arrests, and legal persecutions.


To support and be in solidarity with human rights defenders in their struggles for the protection and realization of human rights consistent with universal human rights principles, instruments, and standards.


Strengthened communities that uphold the sanctity of life and human dignity where people live in peace and prosperity safeguarded by continues vigilance and collective action.

Main Areas of Work

Provision of direct services to human rights defenders such as sanctuary, medical, legal, and emergency response. These services will be augmented by the strengthening ecumenical Church-based human rights programs and faith-based rights engaging organizations being done through human rights education and sustained human rights solidarity and cooperation.


Human rights defenders in the Philippines coming from different sectors such as from farmers, workers, urban poor, indigenous peoples, and those working and serving in human rights organizations and watchdogs. The program is currently focused in the provinces and cities within South-Central Luzon, with limited expansion to other provinces where threats against faith-based defenders are high and from where IFI human rights defenders are in particular need of human rights protection.
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Training and Education for Human Rights Actions

To effectively understand and respond to the needs of HRDs-in-danger, new faith-based human rights defenders must also grown in number and capacity. Thus, education and training on human rights work, paralegal knowledge, peace advocacy and other campaigns and organizational development are offered to clergy and lay people and other partner organizations.

Advocacy and Networking

To amplify the situation of HRDs and the communities they belong to and work with, RPRD and its faith-based partner organizations and HRDs engages themselves with advocacies and campaigns. Recent priority engagements include advocacy and campaigns on the forced evacuation of cultural minorities and indigenous communities among the Lumad people, the resumption of the peace negotiations, extrajudicial killings and impunity around the government's war on drugs, and the release of IFI Bishop Carlo Morales from illegal detention and other political prisoners.

Sanctuary, Medical, Emergency, Legal and Livelihood Services

The Church, declaring her building and other edifices, as sanctuaries and zones of peace, provides temporary shelter and support to human rights defenders (HRD) who are in danger and in other distressed situation to help build and main an enabling environment for their human rights work. These services are available to those who work or do, whether part-time or full-time, political or non-political, paid or voluntary, for the cause of human rights, who in the course of their work are faced with threats to their lives and security, harassments and persecution.