Slain suspects’ kin urged to denounce killings in war vs drugs
Amid an increasing number of deaths over drug-related cases, the Archdiocese of Manila has announced the launching of “Huwag Kang Papatay (Don’t Kill),” a campaign to encourage the families of alleged drug users and pushers killed in police operations to oppose the administration’s war against illegal drugs.
The archdiocese is set to hold a Mass for the victims of the killings and their families from across the country, as the Philippine National Police’s “Oplan Tokhang” against illegal drugs gained ground.
In a statement by the archdiocese, Rev. Fr. Atilano Fajardo, director of the public affairs ministry, said in Filipino: “Hinihimok ang mga dadalo [sa Misa] na magsuot ng black or white T-shirt na kung maari ay may naka-imprentang ‘Huwag Kang Papatay,’ upang tutulan ang all-out war sa droga ng administrasyong Duterte.”
The Mass will be held at St. Vincent de Paul Church, San Marcelino Street in Manila on July 25, the same day as President Rodrigo Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address (Sona).
“We will pray not only for the Sona but for the souls of those who were killed [in the campaign against drugs],” Fajardo said over the Church-run Radio Veritas.
Fajardo said the deaths of numerous drug suspects during police operations were equivalent to robbing them of their right to due process and a chance for a better life.
From June 30 to July 21, Inquirer has listed a total of 331 drug-related deaths with 219 killed in police operations and 112 killed by unidentified hitmen.
Though the Church supports the government’s campaign against illegal drugs, Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines president and Lingayen Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said actions to be taken should be in accordance with the law. KC Tayam/rga
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