By: Elena Grace Flores
CBCP president Archbishop Socrates Villegas blasted vigilantism in behalf of all the bishops recently criticizing Duterte’s anti-crime operations. They are strongly against offering of bounties to those who can capture or kill criminals, Archbishop Socrates said; “We are disturbed by an increasing number of reports that suspected drug-peddlers, pushers and others… have been shot, supposedly because they resist arrest,” as reported by the Daily Tribune.
So far, 29 drug suspects were shot dead between May 9 and June 15 compared to 39 killed in the previous four months of this year. There are cases where bodies have been found with signs saying that they are criminals thus the absence of absolute due process. One incident involving a certain Turado was hand cuffed at the back but police claimed that he grabbed the policeman’s gun while being transported in a van. Cebu City mayor, Tomas Osmeña, was also critisized due to his own campaign offering policemen rewards which is in line with the President’s operations.
CBCP are even more worried that Duterte vowed to kill tens of thousands of criminals after he assumes the highest office on June 30.
It has been observed however that the sentiments of the majority of the Filipinos are not anymore with the Catholic church unlike during the time of the late strongman Ferdinand E, Marcos. Perhapsm the CBCP should take a different strategy – perhaps to pray for enlightenment first on what to do next than making noises through the media that can be preceived as media propaganda by many of Duterte’s die hard supporters.