MANILA, Oct. 8, 2016— Catholic bishops of Negros Island lashed out at the Duterte administration for supposedly not taking sufficient action to address summary executions.
In a joint pastoral statement, the dioceses of Bacolod, Dumaguete, San Carlos, and Kabankalan said they are “deeply sadened” by the “ever-increasing” number of killings in connection with Duterte’s war on drugs.
The bishops said they are also “greatly disturbed” by the government’s “inadequate action” to stop the killings and bring those responsible to justice.
They also lamented the “incendiary statements” of the Duterte administration “which tend to encourage the killing of drug suspects.”
“While we commend the government for its political will and determination in addressing the terrible drug menace that has long plagued our country, we strongly urge that this be done within the bounds of law and with full respect for human rights,” the bishops said.
Signatories of the statement are Bishops Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos, Patricio Bauzon of Bacolod, Julito Cortes of Dumaguete, and Kabankalan diocesan administrator Fr. Rolando Nueva.
The statement will also be read during all Masses in the region on Sunday.
The church leaders also voiced concern over the seeming “apathy and indifference” of the public toward the wave of summary executions as the death toll surges to nearly 3,000.
“We are deeply concerned that this alarming insensitivity could lead to a deadening of conscience and the dawning of a culture of death,” they said. (CBCPNews)