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A nation of murderers: Church is powerless to stop drug killings in Philippines

Vigilantes in the Philippines are tearing the country apart by killing suspected drug dealers at whim. The Church has spoken out against these killings, which show no signs of stopping. The killings are a response to that country’s president calling for mass vigilantism against drug dealers.

President Rodrigo Duarte has declared war on drugs in the Philippines. Part of that war includes a call for citizens to kill suspected drug dealers and traffickers on sight.

Vigilantism has no place in a democratic state where due process is considered a natural right.

It is true that the Philippines has a tremendous drug problem. These illegal drugs destroy lives and tear families apart. However, adding extrajudicial killings, turning the public into judges and executioners, does nothing to promote the cause of justice.

The Catholic Church has used its voice to condemn the violence. Fr. Armando Picardal has warned the Bishop’s Conference, which he heads, that President Duarte is at the head of a death squad that has already claimed 1,400 lives.

President Duarte warned the people that his rule would be bloody. He was not joking. With people permitted to kill drug suspects on sight, more than 600 people have died since May.

Archbishop Socrates Villegas asked, “From a generation of drug addicts, shall we become a generation of street murderers? [Does] the do it yourself justice system assure us of a safer and better future?”

The Church has warned the people not to participate in such evil activity, but it will be up to the government and the police to stop it. There is no reason to believe this will happen soon.

We must pray for the end of violence. We must pray for the coming of justice. And we must do all we can to refrain from committing the sins of drug abuse and violence, lest we become caught in the cycle of evil that threatens the Philippines.


By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)



  1. Clarence Baguilat Reply

    I cannot, by the likes of me, agree with your posting nor share it. In fact, I vehemently protest your post that the Philippines is a nation of murderers. Pray, tell me what nation on earth does not have its fair share of murderers? What about the Jews who murdered our Lord Jesus Christ? Would you say that they are a nation of murderers too? And yes, the Germans who annihilated 6 million Jews during WW II. Now that’s one nation of murderers, is that right to say also? Okay you might say that’s history and you’re referring to the now. So what about the most powerful nation in the world: USA? Are they a nation of murderers too with the recent killings in a club in Orlando, Florida? And what about the killings also recently in Paris, France, the Middle East countries, etc.? What about Nigeria where this organization “Catholic and Proud” has been founded, what can you say about your Boko Haram? And why did you have to say that our Church founded by Christ and who is Christ, is powerless to stop the killings when even Our Lord himself did not stop His own killing on the cross? Are you not being judgmental here? Being a democratic country, our Constitution also provides for separation of powers of Church and State. Why did you allow this posting when it seems way overboard your mission which is to spread the good news of the Lord through His Church? Have you not even considered the fact that about 80% or 80 million Filipinos are Catholics and that 6 million people (not just Catholics) attended the mass of Pope Francis on his visit to the Philippines last year and that we ranked second to Portugal, the first in the world with the most likes to Pope Francis. Are you trying to sow divisiveness among us Filipino Catholics? Lastly but most importantly, is the article you posted the truth or is it sensationalized half truth, which I dare say it is. So I strongly suggest that a follow up article be posted where corrections ought to be made including apologies if need be. May God have mercy on us all despite our being undeserving.

    1. CatholicSay Editor Reply

      These places you mentioned, they are works of terrorists and religious extremists that go in hiding after committing a crime. This is entirely different because, according to the post up there, The president of the Country himself called the citizens to arms to KILL ON SIGHT all traffickers and suspected dealers. The president himself authorized this having warned that his rule would be bloody. This cannot be compared to the work of the terrorists and violent people you mentioned in your comment, The Church has tried her best and is still trying to speak out against the Violence and end it although drugs have ruined families and people, but the reality is more than 600 people are dead and counting due to the killings. At the end of the post, The church asks us to pray, I quote, “We must pray for the end of violence. We must pray for the coming of justice. And we must do all we can to refrain from committing the sins of drug abuse and violence, lest we become caught in the cycle of evil that threatens the Philippines”
      Kindly read the entire post my dear. God Bless you

      1. Rita Reply

        Are you living here in the Philippines? Have you tried living in a slum area where most men from teenagers to adults are drug addicts, where you no longer felt safe even on a broad daylight? Have you ever experienced receiving death threat because you’re trying to help a friend who’s husband is a drug addict? Do you have a member of your family who’s almost rape by a drug addict? Have you tried living in a town who’s mayors are druglords and drug protectors? And that you’re afraid of them because they’ve got guns and goons. Try to put yourself in my shoe and you’ll realize that Philippines is a better place to live today than yesterday. May God protect the Philippines and may true justice prevail!

  2. Lina Reply

    It is so sad that my country, known as the bastion of Christianity in Asia is now being tagged as a Nation of murderers. The reason for such impression is explained in your write up, that is, the Current government’s conduct of indiscriminate killings of those involved in illegal drugs, including the extra judicial killings done by vigilantes. I believe the many Filipinos who support these are just misled in thinking that this way is good for the country, notwithstanding that killing is against Gods law. Thank you for encouraging prayers for us. May I request your readers to please pray for my country, the conversion of the President and the enlightenment of the Filipinos, we need it badly. God bless

  3. dennis Reply

    the church really has not done enough and seems like not that strong enough with what they are really fighting for. Like any other country in the world, it would be so hard to stop a fight against evil but churches should do more their own fight against these drugs at the root level if they want these killings to stop, talking too much doesnt really help that much.
    This is not stopping if its on going. Education is the beginning and that the church should do more what its people has expected them to do with the money that they have given to serve its purpose, i.e to save and serve all of humanity. Amen

  4. ThinkPositive Reply

    Evil is the murderers of life, while President Duterte is the murderer of the murderers of life(Evil). I used to visit this site because it used to post encouragement for the catholic, but now it is so disappointing to read a post/article that brings negative thoughts instead of enlightenment and encouragement for the catholic.

    1. CatholicSay Editor Reply

      It really is a sad news to read but that is the truth of what is happening, we report based on the church’s view, so the world would not think the Church is turning a blind eye to this.

    2. CatholicSay Editor Reply

      At the end of the post, we call on the readers to keep Philippines in prayer, the post is meant for information as well as a request for all of our readers to pray for them

  5. Zach Reply

    This president is a murderers and murder is a greater sin in Gods eyes than drug trafficking. Does that mean someone should murder the president it would then free the country from the biggest murderer in the Philippines? This is a great crime against God and humanity!! Stop the blood shed its not the answer!

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