ASIA/PHILIPPINES - Peace, dignity and justice for victims of extrajudicial killings: appeal by three priests

Tuesday, 5 November 2019 human rights   justice   peace   extrajudicial killings   violence   drugs  

Manila (Agenzia Fides) - Restoring peace, human dignity and justice for the victims of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines: is the appeal launched by three Catholic priests who recently led a demonstration and celebrated a mass in Manila. As Agenzia Fides learns, the three: Jesuit Fr. Albert Alejo, Fr. Flavie Villanueva and Fr. Robert Reyes organized a prayer vigil in memory of the innocent people killed during the "war against drugs" launched by the government of Rodrigo Duterte, which claimed about 30,000 victims in two years.
In the homily, Fr. Alejo urged the Filipinos to "talk about the injustices that occur in the country": "If the living are silent, how can the dead speak? Not only do we feel empathy for them, but we promise to fight and continue the lives of those who were killed. We will return honor to truth", he said. The victims of the executions, he said, "are not just numbers or statistics, because injustice is also killing the truth, faith and hope of the Filipinos, "invoking" respect for the "rule of law in the country, ignored today by the state institutions themselves".
The three priests were subjected to threats of violence in the past due to criticism of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, along with many other Church leaders in the Philippines and other human rights activists.
Thousands of poor drug addicts in the urban suburbs were killed in the Philippines in the "anti-drug campaign". Human rights organizations accuse the police of systematic cover-ups and summary executions which are estimated to have reached 30 thousand. (SD) (Agenzia Fides, 5/11/2019)