By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The four bishops of Negros issued a pastoral letter over the weekend condemning the war on illegal drugs, claiming the poor are unfairly targeted.
According to the letter, issued by Bacolod Bishop Patricio Buzon; San Carlos Bishop Gerardo Alminaza; Dumaguete Bishop Julito Cortes; and Kabankalan Administrator, the Very Rev. Rolando Nueva, the war on illegal drugs is being handled “selectively,” with the poor as the scapegoats.
“The poor, who are merely suspected of the crime, are summarily executed,” the statement claimed.
The religious leaders depicted the consequences of the drug war, with an assumed parallel to extrajudicial killings, as a “resulting climate of fear, demoralization, and un-peace.”
The letter claimed the “One Time, Big Time” campaign, an operation by the Philippine National Police (PNP), has also contributed to a rise in extrajudicial killings.
“Due process is strongly demanded in cases,” the letter stipulated.
Additionally, the bishops have asked the Catholic faithful to pray for the emergence of “conscience” in this particular situation./WDJ