Malacañang, AFP caution church on coddling of ‘rogue’ officers
Malacañang and the military have urged Catholic church officials to be discerning when they offer protection to police officers who say they want to speak up about alleged summary executions in President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella on Friday said the Palace does not oppose giving sanctuary to these officers, but warned that there could be crooked law enforcers who may take advantage of the Church to discredit the administration’s campaign.
“We welcome the efforts of the Church to help these rogue cops to mend their ways,” Abella said in a statement.
“However, we hope the Church exercises due diligence as there are drug protectors, kidnappers, ‘kotong’ 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,” he said.
Troubled by conscience
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) earlier said officers who want to disclose their participation in alleged summary executions in the drug war have sought protection from the church.
CBPC President Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said these police officers were troubled by their conscience.
“[They] have come forward confidentially to us their spiritual leaders to seek sanctuary, succor and protection. They have expressed their desire to come out in the open about their participation in extrajudicial killings and summary executions,” Villegas said.
Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson Maj. Gen. Restituto Padilla said church officials were not infallible and so must be careful when offering protection to these police officers.
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