Come out and testify, bishop appeals to EJK victims, witnesses
Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David on Thursday appealed to the families of victims of and witnesses to extrajudicial killings (EJKs) to surface and divulge what they know to prove that the recent killing of teens were not isolated cases.
“If you are a relative of a victim of an extrajudicial killing or a witness to the extrajudicial killing of a particular victim, now is the time to come out and prove that Kian and Carl and Reynaldo were not isolated cases,” David said in a televised press conference.
David was referring to the deaths of 17-year-old Kian Loyd Delos Santos, 19-year-old Carl Angelo Arnaiz, and 14-year-old Reynaldo De Guzman, who were consecutively killed in different occasions. Their deaths have sparked public outrage and have drawn more criticisms to President Rodrigo Duterte’s violent crackdown against illegal drugs.
The government, however maintained that the killings of the teens—Delos Santos and Arnaiz by the Caloocan City police, while De Guzman by unknown assailants—were isolated cases.
The bishop also called on the victims of EJKs under his diocese’s jurisdiction in South Caloocan, Malabon, and Navotas who want their stories to be documented.
“If you are from south Caloocan, Malabon or Navotas which are part of my diocese, my specific ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and you want your stories to be documented with the hope of being able to eventually file a case in court with the help of volunteer lawyers and at no expense, please visit your parish priest. The priest will advise you what to do and how to do it,” he added.
David said that the Church is not against the war on drugs, but the killings and human rights violations.
“You cannot reform dead people. My appeal is please, keep them alive. I think you need them more alive than dead,” he said. /idl
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.