MANILA, Nov. 30, 2016— As the drug war death toll nears 5,000, a Catholic bishop is concerned that many Christians have become desensitized to the deliberate ending of human life.
Bishop Joel Baylon of Legazpi said it is unfortunate that the strong moral outcry for life is seemingly disappearing.
“We are sadly witnessing a growing callousness among our people, accepting these as a fact of life; for they say, these persons were after all drug addicts, and therefore they deserved to die!,” said Baylon.
“What is happening to us? Have we become so heartless that we cannot anymore feel for them, their families and those loved ones they have left behind?” he asked.
In a open letter to President Rodrigo Duterte, he pointed out that the drug problem in country, no matter how bad, will never justify summary executions.
“We support your drive against illegal drugs and other forms of criminality, but we question the method, for ‘the end does not justify the means’,” stressed the prelate.
Instead of encouraging more killings, the bishop urged the Duterte to examine his approach to eliminating the drug menace and to exert more efforts to stop the violence.
‘House of Hope’
“Mr. President, we urge you to order, especially these extra-judicial killings, be stopped, investigated, and those responsible arrested and brought to justice,” he said.
The prelate also announced the establishment of his diocese’s “House of Hope”, a community-based rehabilitation program for drug dependents.
The effort, he said, also aims to provide recovery coaching, spiritual guidance, and life skills training to substance users.
“Through this modest but sincere effort, we not only want to help these returnees but also assure them that in life there are second chances and the opportunity to do and be better,” Baylon said. (CBCPNews)