To the four bishops charged with sedition by the Philippine National Police (PNP), prayer is their defense.
They said they had offered prayers as response to their inclusion in the sedition and other crime cases filed by the PNP-Crime Investigation and Detection Group on Sunday.
Bishops Teodoro Bacani Jr., Honesto Ongtioco, Pablo Virginia David and Socrates Villegas were among the 35 individuals charged with sedition by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.
They said when they got news of the filing of the criminal complaint, their first response was to pray.
“Prayer is our best weapon against every evil. Prayer is power. This is a good time to be reminded of this,” they said.
The bishops also called for the “spirit of justice” to guide the prosecutors handling the case.
Archbishop Romulo Valles, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, came to the defense of the four bishops, saying the allegations were beyond belief.
“They may be perceived as very vocal and very critical in their pronouncements. But that they consciously worked promoting seditious activities and other related crimes, these honestly I cannot believe,” Valles said.
Vice President Leonor Robredo, and leaders and members of progressive groups were also among those charged allegedly for their involvement in an ouster plot against President Rodrigo Duterte.