Diocese of Bacolod to hang tarps vs killings of drug suspects
BACOLOD CITY — The Diocese of Bacolod will be hanging a new tarpaulin to protest the rise of extrajudicial killings of drug suspects.
Starting Thursday (Aug. 4), a tarpaulin with the message “Thou shalt not kill” will hang in front of the San Sebastian Cathedral, the seat of the Bacolod Diocese here.
Fr. Felix Pasquin, rector of the San Sebastian Cathedral, said the tarpaulin would clearly convey the Church position against vigilantism in the same way that it showed its opposition to reproductive health law when it hanged its famous “Team Patay, Team Buhay” tarpaulin.
The “Team Patay, Team Buhay” tarpaulin listed down the names of senatorial candidates in 2013 elections who were in favor of or opposed to the reproductive health law.
The Supreme Court last year ruled in favor of the Diocese of Bacolod that caught the ire of the Commission on Elections when it posted the tarpaulins.
The Diocese of Bacolod would be standing up for the sacredness of human life, amid the mounting killings in President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, Pasquin said.
“We are in favor of the campaign against drugs, but are taking a strong stand against the rampant extrajudicial killings of drug suspects,” Pasquin said.
The Catholic Church has also been opposing the restoration of the death penalty based on moral principles and God’s commandment, he said, adding that “life is sacred and precious because it comes from God.”
He said priests in the Diocese of Bacolod have taken to the pulpit to express alarm over the rise in killings and the need to value life in consonance with the sixth commandment – “Thou shalt not kill.”
The “Thou shalt not kill” tarpaulin will be put up to catechize the people because killing is forbidden by God, according to Pasquin.
“While law enforcers’ killing in self defense is legitimate and accepted in the moral theology of the Church, how do we determine if the claim of self-defense is true?,” he said.
Pasquin said they received reports of vigilantism, and that those in the drug trade were killing their own people before they were exposed.
“Killing comes from the mouth of the President. Every time he speaks he says ‘I will kill you’ that has become part of our culture,” Pasquin said.
He stressed that the offender should be given a chance to reform and convert.
But once the offender was killed, he added, that would be the end of it. SFM
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