MANILA, Feb. 6, 2017– It’s not a lie that innocent people were killed and many fear of becoming victims of extrajudicial killings, a Catholic bishop said.
Disputing Malacañang’s claim that bishops have lost touch with reality, Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga said their pastoral letter on drug war only relays the sentiments of many people, especially those in poor communities.
“They are not only afraid, they become restless and disturbed that there’s no peace. And that’s the reason why it’s now ‘terror’ that they experience,” he said.
Malacañang said the bishops’ are not grounded in reality after the release of a pastoral letter raising their concerns on President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly “war on drugs” for creating a “reign of terror”.
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella claimed that the crackdown on narcotics has instead turn the country “into a safer place”.
Instead of being defensive, the bishop said it would help if the government would address the unexplained killings and other concerns they raised by the Church.
“We all want to be safe and be peaceful so let us get rid of these senseless killings. Let us get rid of the extrajudicial killings,” Santos said.
In December last year, a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey reported that majority of Filipinos are worried of getting killed in the drug war that claimed more 7,000 lives in six months.
The poll found that 78 percent of Filipinos were afraid that they would also fall victim to summary executions.
Santos added that this is even the reason why the Church had to always come out and try to allay their fears.
“We, priests and bishops, are with the people. We feel them. We want to assure them. We want to pacify them that we are with them and we want them to be peaceful,” he said. (R. Lagarde/CBCPNews)