MANILA, Sept. 19, 2016 — Catholic bishops fear an increase in cases of summary executions after President Rodrigo Duterte asked for a six-month extension for his war on drugs.
Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles said he is worried that fighting fire with fire is likely to fail.
“But I am also worried about more extrajudicial killings,” said the prelate.
6 months more
Duterte yesterday said he needs another six months on top of his self-imposed deadline of three to six months to solve the country’s drug problem.
He said there are too many people, including politicians, involved in the illegal activity and he “cannot kill them all.”
“There is narco-politics on the lowest government unit, and that will be the start of our agony,” explained Duterte in a press conference Sunday evening in Davao City.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo also said Duterte’s approach to the drug problem would not work.
“It should be rehabilitation and stronger anti-poverty campaign,” stressed Pabill.
He said Duterte should instead root out corruption within the government and not be selective in his anti-illegal drugs campaign.
“In the campaign, he categorically said that the drug problem would be solved in 6 months or he will step down, but of course he is not a man of [his] word,” Pabillo said.
He added: “Anybody in his right mind cannot claim that. Can’t he see that his method is not effective?” (Ysabel Hilado / CBCPNews)