The governing council of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Tuesday called for a stop to the senseless killings of teenagers, amid public outrage over the deaths of Kian de los Santos (17), Carl Angelo Arnaiz (17) and Reynaldo de Guzman (14).
“We are appalled by the remorselessness by which even the young are executed. The relentless and bloody campaign against drugs that shows no sign of abating impels us your bishops to declare: In the name of God, stop the killings! May the justice of God come upon those responsible for the killings!” the CBCP Permanent Council said in a statement following a meeting in Manila.
“Kian, Carl, Reynaldo…they were young boys, enjoying life, loving sons of parents who doted on them. Now an entire nation knows them by name because their lives have been snuffed out so cruelly, their dreams and aspirations forever consigned to the sad realm of ‘what could have been but never will be,’” said the statement signed by the CBCP president, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas.
The CBCP statement followed that of Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle on Sunday, in which the prelate said the Philippines “cannot be governed by killing.”
Taking Tagle’s cue, the CBCP also called for the pealing of church bells at 8:00 p.m. during a 40-day period from September 23 to November 1, and to light candles in homes, cemeteries and other public places, “in remembrance of the souls of those killed.”