Church slams killings in antidrug war
Catholic Church leaders on Tuesday renewed calls for an end to killings linked to President Duterte’s bloody war on drugs as millions of people took part in traditional ceremonies to remember the dead.
Mr. Duterte’s bloody campaign to rid the country of criminals has been a feature of this year’s All Saints’ Day, with some people using the annual commemoration to poke fun at the brutal crackdown.
Some retailers in Manila, apparently inspired by the President’s clampdown that has killed more than 4,000 people, used mock corpses and police crime tape to promote hand sanitizing products.
A house in Metro Manila had a grisly display of polystyrene foam in the shape of bodies wrapped in garbage bags and packing tape, with a sign reading “Do not follow them”—resembling the way victims of the antidrug war are often found.
But not everyone appreciated the black humor in relation to Mr. Duterte’s campaign.
“It has come to this: Death has become so easy and common it is now a joke, a visual gag in gleaming malls where families and children gather,” an Inquirer editorial said on Tuesday.
Mr. Duterte claims police are only acting in self-defense and drug gangs are murdering their members to silence them.
But an official at the influential Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) repeated the Church’s call to fight drugs “the right and proper way.”
“We encourage the faithful to pray for the souls of the victims of extrajudicial killings,” said Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary at the CBCP public affairs office. “We continue our call to stop the killings and to look for the perpetrators.”
Archbishop Angel Lagdameo from Iloilo province also issued a statement saying the Church “cannot accept in conscience extrajudicial killings.”
“Each time a person is killed without due process, a part of us dies also. Our humanity is diminished and our dignity is cheapened,” Lagdameo said.
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.