‘Toxic whispers’ can kill, warns bishop critical of drug war
Beware of the “toxic whispers of deception,” Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David warned, adding that under a climate of impunity prevailing in the country these days, whispers have gained the power to kill.
“It takes just a [police] asset’s whisper to lead the death squads to their targets,” David said on Saturday at the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization (PCNE).
“It takes just one neighbor’s whisper to get the whole barangay conditioned into accepting that killings are justified,” David told thousands of PCNE attendees at the University of Santo Tomas.
On Thursday, the Caloocan bishop slammed the death squads behind the latest killings in his diocese, which included Jennifer Taburada, a widow who had led a support group for families of victims of extrajudicial killings.
David said it was being spread in whispers in Bagong Barrio, Caloocan, that the widow had it coming, as she supposedly had a relationship with a drug peddler to support the needs of her two children—Princess, 13, and Prince, 11. Taburada’s husband, Ryan, was killed by vigilantes last year.
Name on watch list
“If looks can kill, whispers can kill, too. Nowadays, it takes just a whisper to put a name on the drug watch list,” he said.
David said “deceptive whispers” were being used “to condition people into believing that the priests who were murdered recently got what they deserved.”
In May, President Duterte presented a matrix, which claimed that Fr. Mark Ventura, who was shot dead by gunmen right after celebrating Mass in Gattaran town, Cagayan province, had illicit affairs with at least eight women. The President claimed that the women were the “wives, daughters and paramours of big-time businessmen and politicians.”
“Murder is murder, whatever the motive was behind Ventura’s killing,” David said, adding that people who knew Ventura had vouched for his integrity.
Fox as example
The bishop also cited the impending deportation of Australian missionary Sister Patricia Fox that, he said, was based on whispers that she was supporting leftist groups out to destabilize the government.
The imposition of martial law in Mindanao, David said, was being justified as well by whispers that terrorists were plotting to overthrow the government.
To counter such dangerous whispers, David urged the public to emulate the ways of Jesus and Mary who spread “life-giving whispers.”
“The next time you engage in whispering, stop for a while and ask which template you are following—the serpent’s toxic whisper or Mary’s and Jesus’ life-giving whisper? It’s okay to whisper, just make sure you follow the right template,” he said.
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