More bishops to protect cops testifying on EJKs
MANILA, Philippines – Following the lead of Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, more bishops said they would protect cops who would testify on extrajudicial killings (EJKs) in President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs.
Bishop Roberto Mallari of San Jose City in Nueva Ecija, and Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga, Bataan, also opened their doors to possible witnesses from the police, according to the news service of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
Referring to Villegas, Mallari said over Church-run Radio Veritas on Thursday, October 5, "I'm really one with him, and we are opening our doors as sanctuary to those who want to stand for the truth."
Santos also said, "We support and we are in solidarity with Archbishop Soc."
Mallari and Santos made these remarks after Villegas on Monday, October 2, said police have sought the protection of the Catholic Church to testify in EJKs in Duterte's anti-drug campaign.
"Their consciences are troubling them," Villegas said.
Reacting to this, Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said that the Philippine government welcomes the Catholic Church's efforts "to help these rogue cops to mend their ways."
"However, we hope the Church exercises due diligence as there are drug protectors, kidnappers, kotong (extortionist), and ninja cops who want to destroy the ongoing campaign against illegal drugs. Furthermore we urge a certain objectivity to avoid being used by said aberrations," Abella said. – Rappler.com