2 Pampanga bishops’ plea: Don’t be indifferent to killings
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—Two Catholic bishops in Pampanga province have spoken against the killings that are taking place alongside the government’s bloody campaign to stop the proliferation of illegal drugs.
Speaking at the 60th anniversary of the canonical coronation of the Virgen de los Remedios (Our Lady of Remedies) here on Thursday, San Fernando Archbishop Florentino Lavarias described the national drug menace as a “big problem” because it has shattered the peace in communities and families, and destroyed the lives of the youth.
Year of mercy, love
He reminded some 10,000 Catholics that 2016 was a year of mercy and love in Christendom.
“I pray that we don’t become indifferent to the killings,” said Lavarias, who heads the Archdiocese of San Fernando’s suffragans in Bataan, Tarlac and Zambales.
“There is this young girl who was asked why her cat died and she replied, ‘It is because she fought back,’” he said, using the reason often given by the police when a drug suspect was killed.
“But that is not OK. I hope God disturbs us,” he said.
He did not mention President Duterte nor did he describe the deaths as extrajudicial killings.
Since the Duterte administration began the crackdown on illegal drugs in July, the Philippine National Police has documented 1,672 deaths, of which 1,805 are under investigation. So far, 281 cases have been filed, according to PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa.
At the end of the Mass, Archbishop Emeritus Paciano Aniceto emphasized the need to “respect the sacredness of life.”
Both Lavarias and Aniceto suggested charity as a way of improving the lives of the poor, the same path offered by the late Bishop Cesar Ma. Guerrero when he began the crusade of penance and charity in 1952 to end social unrest in the province.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
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.