THE Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) on Sunday said it was mulling filing a case against the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) for interfering with the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign and blocking moves to restore the death penalty.
Dante Jimenez, founding chairperson of the VACC, claimed the CBCP has been using the Church to hinder the administration’s drive to eradicate illegal drugs that have been victimizing millions of the Filipinos.
“The CBCP should understand that there is a separation of state and church. Why are they insisting on the moral grounds of fighting illegal drugs? Are they receiving drug money?” Jimenez said.
The legal team of the VACC is studying whether there is a way to bring CBCP to court for refusing to respect the separation of church and state which is enshrined in the Constitution, he said.
“I will not let them (CBCP) get away with it… they should be more active in helping those who are in need and the victims of illegal drugs,” said Jimenez.
He suggested that instead of attacking the government for its position on death penalty and illegal drugs, members of the CBCP should visit drug-prone communities, reach out to drug addicts and convince them to change their ways.
The CBCP has objected to the restoration of death penalty in the country, a measure pending in Congress.
“When we condemn violence, we cannot ourselves be its perpetrators, and when we decry murder, we cannot ourselves participate in murder, no matter that it may be accompanied by the trappings of judicial and legal process,” Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, the CBCP president, earlier said.
Jimenez said: “They (CBCP) don’t own the belief of the people on death penalty. That is why I believed that they are violating the Constitution.”
CBCP executive secretary Fr. Jerome Secillano, in an earlier statement, said the Church was prepared to help in the rehabilitation of drug users through treatment centers in various provinces, providing scholarship programs and livelihood projects for reformed drug dependents.