Sunday, August 20, 2017

Church leaders scolded the public for lack of sympathy to drug-war victims, De La Salle president calls for 1 min. prayer for Kian

Photo of Cardinal Tagle and Villegas lifted from CNN / right photo from ABS CBN (ctto)

Manila, Philippines - On Sunday, two church leaders expressed their concerns about the consecutive incident of deaths in the administration’s war against drugs.

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas wrote separate pastoral letters where they both called on for unity and sympathy for the victims killed in the “year-long anti-drug war” in the country.

This comes after the 17-year old student, Kian Delos Santos and 58 other drug suspects were killed, while hundreds were arrested in Bulacan, Manila, and Caloocan City last week.
In his strongly worded letter, Socrates Villegas said:

"Bakit kakarampot na lamang ang kababayang naaawa sa mga ulila? Hindi na ba tayo marunong umiyak? Bakit hindi na tayo nasisindak sa tunog ng baril at agos ng dugo sa bangketa?"

Socrates chastised the Filipinos for blaming the victims who can no longer defend themselves.
"Ang gulo ng bayan! Ang opisyal na pumatay ay may parangal. Ang pinatay ay sinisisi. Hindi na makapagpaliwanag ang mga bangkay sa bintang sa kanila 'Nanlaban kasi.' Hindi na nila masabi 'Nagmakaawa po ako hindi ako lumaban!'" Socrates said.

Archbishop Villegas also said that the church bells would ring in Lingayen-Dagupan for 15 minutes starting 8 p.m. from November 22 to November 27 in memory of the victims.

"Ang bagting ng kampana ay tawag ng pag gising sa bayang hindi na marunong makiramay sa ulila, nakalimutan ng makiramay at duwag na magalit sa kasamaan. Ang tunog ng kampana ay tawag na ihinto ang pagsang ayon sa patayan!" He said.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Tagle called on for unity as the country address its drug problem. In a letter read on Sunday, he said:

"We must face and act upon together, as one people.... No single individual, group or institution could claim to have the only right response. We need one other,”

Tagle reminded the Catholics as well that the problem was not just about a political or criminal issue, but a humanitarian concern for every Filipinos. He also asked everyone to open their ears to hear the stories of the drug-war victims.

"We knock on the consciences of those who kill even the helpless, especially those who cover their faces with bonnets, to stop wasting human lives,” Tagle said.

Cardinal Tagle called on the parishes to offer nine days of prayer and masses starting August 21-29.
Aside from the church leaders who called on for sympathy and prayers, Brother Armin Luistro, FSC, also invited the public to offer a minute of silence every night for Kian Delos Santos.

President of De La Salle, Luistro, said he is calling for a minute of silence every 8:24 p.m. as the time stamp of the CCTV footage allegedly showing the teenage being dragged by the policemen.

"May I propose a minute of silence every night at 8:24 pm to remember Kian Loyd Delos Santos and all innocent victims of merciless deaths in our land," Luistro said.

Luistro, who is also the former Department of Education Secretary wrote a short prayer that may be recited at 8.25 p.m.

The prayer reads "We beg that the Lord grant us a compassionate heart so we may not grow callous and indifferent at these countless deaths,".