ASIA/PHILIPPINES - Appeal of the Salesians regarding the wave of mass killings of vulnerable young people

Wednesday, 30 August 2017 missionaries   drugs   extrajudicial killings   youth  

Mondo e missione

Makati (Agenzia Fides) - "We, Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) of the Philippine North Province are deeply saddened by the spate of killings that have been going on in the recent past. Being at the forefront of youth pastoral ministry in the world and in the Church, our sadness turns to alarm given the disturbing and undeniable reality that many of those who have been killed recently are vulnerable young people, in the hands of those sworn and duty-bound by law to protect the common good, and to safeguard the same young people... ": this is how the statement by Fr. Anthony Paul Bicomong, Provincial Superior of the
Salesians of Don Bosco
Philippines North Province, on the recent summary killings in the "War on Drugs" undertaken by President Duterte's administration begins.
In the text, released by Ans and sent to Fides, what is highlighted is the Salesians' commitment to follow the teachings of the "Father and Teacher of Youth, St. John Bosco", and the dedication to remain solid in their desire to train young men and women to become "good Christians and upright citizens".
Don Bicomong emphasizes that this is not a veiled attempt "at taking sides with any color, group, or party" as "moral values and Christian morality in general go above and beyond politics" or "a condonation of anyone, young or old, who may indeed be involved in the drug trade" and even less "a condemnation of those who are sworn to do whatever is legally and morally allowable to stem the tide of this clear and present danger to society and a threat to the future of the Filipino people". "This is a plea to the collective conscience of the Filipino people, including those who legitimately hold the reins of political- and police- power, duty-bound as they are to uphold the commonweal".
The text concludes with this appeal: "One with the Filipino people’s desire to rid our nation of the innumerable evils that plague us, including the very real threats posed by the proliferating illegal drugs that are tied up with the bigger emerging reality of a corruption-laden and drug-tainted political system, we call on all men and women of goodwill to fight and resist evil in all its forms, and this, apart from the scourge of drugs, includes the evil of summary killings, for whatever reason or purpose, especially all those done to young people without the benefit of due process". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 30/8/2017)