WATCH: Bishop David rebukes Catholics who back drug war killings

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

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WATCH: Bishop David rebukes Catholics who back drug war killings

Angie de Silva

'Maraming Kristiyanong namimili lang nung kayang tanggapin na sinasabi ng Panginoon,' says Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David

MANILA, Philippines – Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David earned the ire of President Rodrigo Duterte for blasting his bloody war on drugs especially in the bishop’s territory, the Diocese of Caloocan, which he described as “killing fields.”

David is now facing threats to his life. 

But David, vice president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, vows to continue speaking out. (READ: Duterte said kill the bishops – and his word became flesh)

David delivered one of his most powerful speeches on drug war killings on September 13, 2017. It was at the Family Rosary Crusade Marian Conference at Our Lady of Hope Parish in Pag-asa, Quezon City.

In this speech, David said he is sad to admit that “so many Filipino Catholics” consent to drug war killings. 

The bishop even threatened to walk out of the conference when people answered, “Hindi po” – but in a soft voice – when asked if they agree that drug addicts should be killed. 

“Ang hina. Ibig sabihin, hati ang puso! Magpakatotoo tayo! Dahil aalis na ako dito kung hindi kayo sumasang-ayon sa Ebanghelyo,” David said. (It’s too soft. It means your hearts are divided! Let’s be true to ourselves! Because I will leave this place if you do not agree with the Gospel.)

“Akala ‘nyo ba pumunta ako dito para magsalita lang nang magsalita tungkol sa cute na pag-ibig ng Diyos sa pamamagitan ng cute na pag-ibig ni Mama Mary?” an agitated David said. (Do you think I came here just to talk about the cute love of God through the cute love of Mama Mary?)

“Ang pag-ibig ng Diyos ay isang matinding hamon sa atin. Hindi raw tao ang mga drug users at drug pushers; sila’y halimaw na dapat puksain. Hindi ako sumasang-ayon. Magalit na ang magalit. Ikulong nila ako kung gusto nila, pero hindi ako sasang-ayon,” added the bishop.

(The love of God is a big challenge for us. They say drug users and drug pushers are not human, but monsters who should be eliminated. I do not agree. Let those who want to get angry, get angry. They can jail me if they want, but I can never agree.)

David said he was talking not about politics, but about the Gospel. 

“Maraming Kristiyanong namimili lang nung kayang tanggapin na sinasabi ng Panginoon (Many Christians cherrypick the teachings of the Lord that they can accept),” the bishop said.

Watch part of David’s lecture here. –

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Paterno R. Esmaquel II

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