Palace to CBCP: Not admin’s duty to refute death threat allegations
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Wednesday pointed out that it is not the duty of the Duterte administration to prove that it is not behind the death threats received by several Catholic priests, in response to a challenge posed by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
“Suffice it to state that it is elementary in law that the one who alleges must prove. Since the priests are the ones accusing the government or the President as being behind those death threats, it stands to reason that they have to prove their accusation,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
“The burden of proof lies on them,” he added.
In an interview over GMA News’ TV’s Balitanghali on Tuesday, Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the CBCP Permanent Committee on Public Affairs, challenged Malacañang to prove that it was not behind the death threats sent to clergymen.
The challenge of the CBCP official came a day after three more Catholic priests bared that they have received death threats from anonymous sources.
Caloocan Bishop Pablo David, a vocal critic of President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war, earlier also received death threats.
Panelo advised the priests to bring their case before the authorities.
“Our position is that they bring their concern officially to any law enforcement agency so that the latter may conduct an investigation, and at the same time secure their safety,” he said.
Death threats against member of the Catholic clergy came following Duterte’s tirades against members of the clergy.
In one speaking engagement, he urged bystanders to “kill and rob bishops and priests”.
He later said it was a joke after he received a text message from Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, informing him that Bishop David and other priests have received death threats from someone claiming to be from the first family. / gsg
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.