Pubdate: Sun, 24 Jul 2016
Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer (Philippines)
Copyright: 2016 Philippine Daily Inquirer
Author: Julie M. Aurelio


Message to Duterte to Coincide With Sona

THOU shall not kill.

The Sixth Commandment is the message for President Duterte that will 
emanate from a Mass which the Archdiocese of Manila will hold 
tomorrow afternoon as he delivers his first State of the Nation 
Address (Sona) to Congress.

The Mass will mark the launching of the "Huwag Kang Papatay" (Thou 
Shall Not Kill) campaign, which aims to bring together the families 
of the victims of extrajudicial killings that have come with the 
Duterte administration's war on illegal drugs.

Those people-drug users, pushers and dealers-can no longer change 
their ways because they are already dead, according to an official of 
the Archdiocese of Manila.

"We believe, especially in the Year of Mercy, that we have a chance 
of showing our love of God. But because of this (the extrajudicial 
killings), there's no more love because there's no more life who will 
ask for forgiveness and mercy," Fr. Atilano Fajardo said over Radio 
Veritas yesterday.

Fajardo is the director of the Manila archdiocese's Public Affairs 
Ministry, which will hold the Mass at St. Vincent de Paul Church on 
San Marcelino Street in Ermita district.

The Mass, which will start at 5 p.m., includes prayers for the 
victims of the extrajudicial killings and police operations and their families.

Churchgoers have been asked to wear black and bring candles for a 
program that will start at 4:30 p.m., by which time President Duterte 
will have begun to address Congress.

Since Mr. Duterte took office on June 30, more than 300 suspected 
drug users, pushers and dealers have been killed by police or 
vigilantes across the Philippines.

More than 10,000 drug dependents have turned themselves in to police 
out of fear for their lives.

During the campaign for the May 9 presidential election, Mr. Duterte 
promised to stamp out illegal drugs and wipe out crime within the 
first six months of his presidency.

Mr. Duterte, who has been linked to vigilante killings in Davao City, 
where he served as mayor for 23 years, gave the police the go-signal 
for a merciless campaign against drugs even before he took office.

Catholic Church officials have slammed the "lack of moral outcry" 
among the public over the killing of drug suspects.

Robbed of their rights

Fajardo said the killings were equivalent to robbing the suspects of 
their right to due process and a chance to change their lives.

"We will pray for the souls of our slain brothers. We invite the 
families of those slain to attend," Fajardo said.

He said he would make a personal appeal to Mr. Duterte concerning the 
extrajudicial killings.

Masses will be held at St. Vincent de Paul Church every last Monday 
of the month as part of the campaign against extrajudicial killings, 
Fajardo said.

Campaigners will wear black shirts marked "Huwag kang Papatay" and 
posters will be put up in schools, churches and public vehicles to 
drum up support for the campaign

"There will be talks and forums on the Sixth Commandment and how 
[extrajudicial killings are] becoming the new normal. We are 
consolidating all [opponents] of extrajudicial killings," Fajardo said.

"We denounce the extrajudicial killings happening in the country, 
done by men in uniform, by vigilantes and other groups ... under the 
baton of the maestro. We uphold due process of law and the dignity of 
human life," he said.

The latest to fall in the government's narcotics campaign was a 
suspected drug lord, Chinese national Meco Tan, who was killed by 
police in Valenzuela City early on Friday.

Mr. Duterte has said some local officials, including governors and 
mayors, are among the protectors of drug syndicates, although he has 
not named them.

Yesterday, Basilan Bishop Martin Jumoad urged Mr. Duterte to name 
those local officials in his address to Congress tomorrow.

"I want to hear in the [State of the Nation Address] the names of 
those governors and mayors allegedly coddling illegal drug 
syndicates," Jumoad said in a statement.

Mr. Duterte has named five high-ranking police officials allegedly 
protecting drug syndicates.

The five officials-Chief Supt. Bernardo Diaz, retired Deputy Director 
General Marcelo Garbo, retired Chief Supt. Vicente Loot, Chief Supt. 
Joel Pagdilao and Chief Supt. Edgardo Tinio-have denied the 
President's accusations.

Romblon Bishop Arturo Bastes also issued a statement, saying Mr. 
Duterte should respect the rule of law in his campaign against drugs.

"I hope he will respect human rights by not introducing the death 
penalty and by following the rule of law in punishing drug 
offenders," Bastes said.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom