CATHOLIC bishops have denounced the execution of drug suspects and expressed alarm over the public’s acquiescence to the extra-judicial killings that have spiralled “out of control.”
Cotabato Auxiliary Bishop Jose Collin Bagaforo said the police operations against suspected drug pushers and users were carried out in extra-judicial manner.
The prelate stressed that everybody has a right to due process as provided by law, thus it is only proper that the Senate should investigate the killings of people linked to the illegal drug trade.
“I condemn extra judicial killings of suspected drug users and pushers. Every suspect is entitled to a day in court. I support Senator (Leila) De Lima’s plan to have Senate hearings to investigate this “out of control” killings,” the bishop said.
Rev. Fr. Amado Picardal, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ (CBCP) Episcopal Commission on Basic Ecclesial Communities, said that what is more alarming was the apparent disregard and silence of the public on the absence of due process.
“If this will continue and this will worsen, I think there is madness that is happening in our country today. It is not only the killings but the reaction of the citizens, majority of them are Catholic. Others are quiet or they approve of it, the thing is justified until a member of their families are included and that is my worry that (killings) will not stop because there is no outcry from the citizens, there is no moral outcry,” the priest added.
Palawan Bishop Pedro Arigo called on the Duterte government to provide jobs for the drug suspects who surrendered to authorities and help them undergo value formation to change their outlook in life.
Arigo pointed out that the root of the drug menace is poverty and lack of job opportunities.
Statistics from the Philippine National Police (PNP) showed that more than 18,000 have already been arrested in nationwide drug-related operations, and more than 6,000 surrendered to authorities.
More than 100 drug suspects have been killed since May.
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has claimed that there is an average of 10 extra-judicial killings per day since President Rodrigo Duterte took office. Majority of the victims came from poor families.