4 dioceses in Negros condemn extrajudicial killings

Marchel P. Espina
4 dioceses in Negros condemn extrajudicial killings
'As pastors of our flock, we commit ourselves and our dioceses to pray constantly that our country may be effectively rid of drugs, but in the manner that is just and lawful,' several dioceses of Negros Island Region say in a joint statement

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – Four dioceses in Negros Island Region have condemned the rising number of extrajudicial killings in the country due to the administration’s all-out war on drugs.

In a joint statement released Thursday, October 6, Bishops Patricio Buzon of Bacolod City, Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos City, and Julito Cortes of Dumaguete City; and Diocesan Administrator Rolando Nueva of Kabankalan City said that are “deeply saddened and greatly disturbed” by what is happening in the country today.

The church leaders pointed out that there was “inadequate action” on the part of the government to investigate the extrajudicial killings and bring their perpetrators to justice.

They also noted the “incendiary statements of the administration which tend to encourage the killing of drug addicts.” (READ: Duterte: I’m being portrayed as a ‘cousin of Hitler’)

They were also dismayed with “the seeming apathy and indifference of the general public in the face of these extrajudicial killings.” (READ: Catholic leaders hit ‘silence’ vs PH killings)

“We are deeply concerned that this alarming insensitivity could lead to a deadening of conscience and the dawning of a culture of death,” the church leaders stressed.

The number of deaths related to the war on drugs tipped 3,500 a week before the new government’s first 100 days in office, drawing criticism from even the international community.

While the dioceses lauded the government political will and determination to address the drug menace, they strongly urged that this should be done within the bounds of law and with full respect for human rights. “Man is created in God’s image and redeemed by the blood of his son Jesus Christ, hence, human life is sacred,” they said.

“God is the author of life, He alone has the power over life,” they added. (READ: CBCP speaks up on killings: Respect human rights)

“As pastors of our flock, we commit ourselves and our dioceses to pray constantly that our country may be effectively rid of drugs, but in the manner that is just and lawful,” they said.

They also committed to intensify their work of evangelization and offer their cooperation and collaboration with the government in drug prevention and rehabilitation.

Meanwhile, the Diocese of Bacolod led by Buzon will hold a prayer rally for “authentic change” in front of the San Sebastian Cathedral at 6 pm Thursday.

The diocese wants voices to be heard in prayer “for conversion of drug lords, pushers and users and for authentic change that comes from the heart that fears the Lord.” – Rappler.com

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