Priest cries harassment, blames Duterte’s attacks on Church
MANILA, Philippines – A priest on Friday said he has been receiving threats from the police and military since his photo was displayed in his town with the caption linking him to the CPP-NPA-NDFP [Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army and the National Democratic Front.]”
“Threat po talaga yun. Hindi na bago ‘yun sa akin. Nung December ‘yung picture ko po ay sinabit po nila sa buong city ng Iloilo na nagsasabing Kampon ng CPP-NPA-NDF,” Rev. Fr. Marco Sulayao, chairperson of Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR) Panay-Guimaras, told INQUIRER.net in a phone interview.
(It’s really a threat. It’s not new to me. Last December they displayed a picture of me all over Iloilo City claiming that I am a supporter of the CPP-NPA-NDF.)
Sulayao also bared that some policemen have been tailing him after attending a clergy meeting last Wednesday.
“I had a clergy meeting with IFI [Iglesia Filipina Independiente] National Priest Organization – West Visayas. I left Iloilo for Bacolod aboard fast craft when three uniformed policemen where seating nearby,” he said in a Facebook post.
URGENT ALERT Intimidation and Harassment by State Forces to Rev. Fr. Marco Sulayao(IFI Priest, PCPR Chairperson…
Sulayao added that seven soldiers sat beside him while he was having lunch in Bacolod City.
“Upon reaching Bacolod, I had lunch in a carinderia around 11:30 a.m. when 7 military men in full battle gear took the table beside me to eat as well,” Sulayao said.
But the harassment did not stop as some seven uniformed policemen took photos of him as he reached San Carlos City.
“I reached San Carlos City around 4p.m. I saw seven uniformed policemen taking pictures of me as I stepped off the bus. I was taken aback and quite surprised. They suddenly left without a word,” he said.
Sulayao said he felt threatened because government forces have become bolder in targeting civilians.
“With the relentless attack against the Church and its shepherds, I cannot but feel threatened and enraged by the audacity of state forces who openly targeted civilians – peace and justice advocates – in their so called anti-insurgency war,” Sulayao said.
“I can only point out squarely the police and military under the command of President Duterte responsible for any harm afflicted,” he added.
Duterte, in a previous speech, urged bystanders to rob and harm Catholic bishops.
“[I]tong mga obispo ninyo, patayin ninyo. Walang silbi iyang mga gagong iyan. All they do is criticize,” he said. / gsg
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