CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 22 July 2017

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Bishop rails against new Judases in drug war

MANILA (UCAN): Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, from Kalookan in Metro Manila, dared the Philippine authorities to unmask the anti-narcotics vigilantes they claim are behind the spate of killings of suspected drug pushers and users over the past 12 months.
 
Speaking on July 2 at a Mass for victims of drug-related killings, the bishop expressed disappointment over police failure to identify and arrest their murders.
 
“I just want to know if they have resolved even just one of these cases under investigation? Just one,” he said.
 
Most of the around 9,000 victims of the extrajudicial killings linked to the government’s anti-narcotics war in the past year have been classified by police as deaths under investigation.
 
Describing the killers as new Judases, Bishop David said, “If you are listening, I want you to know that God knows who you are. The police do not know, the village does not know, the relatives of the victim do not know. But God knows.” 
 
He added, “You cannot hide your faces from him even if you wear hoods. God knows you.”
 
The bishop asked why the authorities failed to catch the killers despite closed-circuit television cameras in the streets of the city.
 
He said that while petty crimes are often seen on television “those who abduct people in front of their children and relatives, and kill those who are helpless... cannot be seen.”
 
He added, “If you think that what you’re doing is public service, you are wrong. Crime cannot solve criminality.”
 
Bishop David made his remarks following a Walk for Life in Kalookan in the northern part of Manila, where most of the killings have occurred.
 
He described the vigilantes as “termites that gnaw on wood from the inside,” adding, “This is the real and more terrifying plague.... Termites attack not only homes, but also society.
 
On June 30, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency reported that the government had been able to confiscate more than 2,446 kilogrammes of illegal drugs while some 1.3 million drug suspects had surrendered in the past year. 

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