A Catholic bishop on Monday sought a stop to the killing of suspected drug peddlers during a Mass held at the Adamson University in Manila.
“You are wearing black because we are here to pray for the souls of those killed during the anti-illegal drugs operations. We are here to comfort the families of those killed,” Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo told the faithful who gathered at the Saint Vincent de Paul Parish church.
“Why kill them when they were just suspects? We are not sure if they indeed are criminals and you only placed a placard on their cadaver that they were pushers,” he said.
Policemen were guarding the premises of the church as a candle lighting ceremony was held inside the university after the Mass.
Pabillo was joined by Vincentian priests Nono Fajardo and Nick Velasco. Former Peace Process adviser Teresita “Ging” Deles was among those spotted inside the church.
Hundreds of suspected drug dealers have been killed since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office on June 30.
The Philippine National Police said Monday that 293 drug suspects have been killed from July 1 to 24. More than 3,000 drug suspects were arrested and 129,753 drug suspects have surrendered to the authorities.
The National Capital Region (NCR) or Metro Manila has the most number of drug suspects killed at 77. It was followed by Central Luzon with 64 drug suspects killed. The Southern Tagalog region is third with 30 drug suspects killed, followed by the Bicol region, 12.
The PNP said eight drug suspects were killed in the Ilocos Region, seven in Soccskargen, five in Davao, four each in Central Visayas and the Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR), and three in the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
One drug suspect was killed each in Eastern and Western Visayas and Caraga Regions.