The humanitarian arm of the Catholic Church condemned on Sunday the spate of alleged extra-judicial killings (EJKs) in the Philippines, including those who have died as a result of red-tagging and the current campaign of the government against drugs.
Caritas Philippines National Director Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo slammed “in inestimable terms, the merciless killings brought about by the culture of violence and impunity brazenly popularized, if not encouraged by government authorities, and their supporters.”
“We demand justice to be swiftly served for the families of the EJK victims, including the victims of the all-out-war against drugs. As your church, we will continue working with the Commission on Human Rights, and our partner human rights groups and lawyers, to provide the much needed legal and psycho-spiritual assistance to the bereaved families,” Bagaforo said in a statement.
“We pray that whoever is behind these killing spree will look at their victims the faces of their loved ones, and find in their hearts forgiveness, peace, and love. Know that while we would like you to be prosecuted, we also want you to be converted,” he added.
Bagaforo said that while the national government institutionalizes a whole-of-nation approach in attaining inclusive and sustainable peace through the creation of a national task force to end local communist armed conflict, no peace has been attained yet.
“Instead of attaining peace, it seemed that our government has declared an all-out war not only to validated communist groups but to everyone they have red-tagged and vilified, without due process.”He was referring to the case of Dr. Mary Rose Sancelan and husband Edwin who were killed by gunmen a year after she was red-tagged by a vigilante group. SOVEREIGNPH