Filipino Catholic and Protestant bishops are seeing a rise in drug-related killings and are asking the government’s anti-narcotic campaign to step in.
According to the Catholic Herald, the Ecumenical Bishops Forum previously warned drug killings would only further problems and now noted many of the murdered citizens are “small-time and poor people.”
President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, was believed to be a gangster and his call to end the drug cartels are proving to be closely followed.
Five police officers and several mayors and officials have been outed as drug addicts or protectors of drug distributors.
Over 1,700 suspected drug dealers and users have been killed, according to the Philippine National Police. The most unbelievable fact? These killings have occurred in under two months.
The bishops released a statement on Monday, which claimed: “While we believe and support President Duterte’s war on rugs, there is a need for deeper analysis as to why the drug problem is thriving and who benefits from this.”
They called for the government “to examine the correctness of its approach in eliminating this menace.”
Filipino residents surrendered to police and government officials in Manila and are prepared to plea they will never use or sell narcotics (CNS).
Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo of Manila spoke to legislatures involved in an investigation into the Senate. He asked them to “stand firm because the people are looking for answers.”
To President Duterte, he asked that the leader stop using “dirty tricks to bring down someone’s character and credibility, especially those who are pushing the inquiry.”
Sen. Leila de Lima spoke on Monday as well, where she stated: “I strongly believe extrajudicial or extralegal killings, whether perpetrated by the state of by non-state actors, must stop. Blatant disregard for human life has to stop.”
Sen. Panfilo Lacson also said: “Frankly I have never seen anything on a scale of the current anti-illegal drugs campaign under this administration.
National Police Chief Director-General Ronald dela Rosa spoke to the senators, stating: “If any cop is found violating the law on self-defence he will be investigated, prosecuted and accordingly punished.”
While the war on drugs continues, over 600,000 addicts and dealers have surrendered to police and have pledged an oath to never sell or use again.