Church: Reject bets backing death policies
The Church stayed true to its usual practice of not identifying candidates to reject or accept in the May elections, but issued two don’ts that appeared to target candidates being endorsed by President Duterte.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said although the Church would not dictate who people should vote for, it was discouraging voters from picking candidates who supported the Duterte administration’s push to restore the death penalty and lower the age of criminal responsibility.
Pabillo, during the third Walk for Life campaign by the Church, said voters should go for candidates who valued life and respected human rights.
In a homily Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Manila Archbishop, said life is “not a commodity” but a gift from God.
Tagle steered clear of politics, saying “we hope that our society will have a heart that beats empathy.”
Pabillo said Mr. Duterte appeared to misunderstand the Church’s role when he said priests should not use religious authority to criticize the government.
Pabillo said Church officials who criticize “are not criticizing the administration as an administration, but its policies.”
“The problem is when he takes things personally,” Pabillo said referring to the President.
In Cebu City, Archbishop Jose Palma urged people not to lose hope amid the continued killings in the city and province.
“We believe we can’t end the killings by ourselves,” Palma said during homily, shortly after at least 1,000 people joined the Walk of Life.
“We need God’s grace,” he said.
He said the spate of killings in Cebu must not stop people from praying.
“Many are killed and yet we should not waver in seeking God’s help. Let us continue praying,” he said.
In August last year, the 68-year-old prelate issued an Oratio Imperata for an “end to the spate of killings in Cebu.”
In January 2019 alone, at least 15 persons were killed in shootings in Cebu based on a tally made by the Inquirer. Majority of these killings are unsolved.
Last year, at least 253 persons were killed in shootings.
Of those, 184 were gunned down by unidentified assailants while the rest were killed in police operations.
The killings, said Palma in a previous interview, have “reached a level wherein respect for human life is lost while the culture of impunity reigns.” —With a report from Ador Vincent Mayol
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