Top Catholic seminary hits killings in Duterte drug war

Paterno Esmaquel II
Top Catholic seminary hits killings in Duterte drug war

Maria Tan Photograpy2017

'We will not forget the evil that has come upon us,' seminarians of the Jesuit-run San Jose Seminary say in a statement on All Souls' Day

MANILA, Philippines – The Jesuit-run San Jose Seminary, a leading training ground of Filipino priests, criticized the “merciless and senseless” killings in President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

“We, seminarians of San Jose Seminary, will not forget the merciless and senseless deaths brought about by this drug campaign,” the seminarians of San Jose Seminary said in a statement on All Souls’ Day on Thursday, November 2. 

“We will not forget the blatant disregard for the dignity of life, and the violation of human rights. We will not forget the violence and the lack of due process. We will not forget the evil that has come upon us,” the seminarians added. 

San Jose is the seminary that produced all of the Philippines’ 3 living cardinals – Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, Manila Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, and Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Cardinal Quevedo – as well as other Catholic leaders.

San Jose Seminary is run by priests from the Society of Jesus, better known as the Jesuits, also the religious order of Pope Francis. The seminary is located in the Jesuit-run Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City. 

The San Jose seminarians issued their statement as thousands die in President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. Days after the statement was released, the Catholic Church was also set to hold a Mass and procession against killings along the iconic EDSA highway. 

In their statement, the seminarians also cited the evening tolling of bells for the dead, a tradition recently revived by Catholic bishops. (READ: Toll our bells, Cardinal Tagle says amid drug war killings

“The bells call us to remember, and call us to action – a clarion call to solidarity, with the families of those who have died, with a people who seek justice and peace,” the seminarians said. –

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Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at