The Archbishop of Manila condemns the "unpunished massacre" taking place in the country, but widens the field: "Life must be defended in all its forms. We must be concerned for what is happening on the streets, but also of abortion! These are also the forms of murder ".
Manila (AsiaNews) - The extrajudicial killings are worrying, "but I hope that we can worry in the same way even about abortion. Why do fewer and fewer people speak against abortion? This too is a form of murder"stated by the Archbishop of Manila, Card. Luis Antonio Tagle, speaking on Radio Veritas. The prelate spoke also about the age-issue that is dividing the country: the war on drugs "by any means" launched by President Rodrigo Duterte.
The "zero tolerance" against drug dealers and drug addicts, promised during the election campaign, has turned into a massacre of suspected criminals. The confirmed victims are now more than 2 thousand - and some civil society groups speak of double this amount - while there were no investigations against police or vigilantes who opened fire on these often unarmed people. The national police chief has even invited addicts to "set fire" to the homes of the "drug lords" and vowed their impunity: "You are the victim, you will not be punished".
Against this drift the president of the Filipino bishops' conference, Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, has intervened on several occasions with an appeal "to humanity of the police" and has published a prayer "to heal the wounds of society."
He has been joined by many other Catholic leaders, including Card. Tagle. According to the archbishop of the capital, the issue is inclusive: "We must always promote respect for human life, which is sacred. It should be protected in all conditions and at all stages of its evolution. "
With the same hardness, the prelate condemns the drug market: "Selling these illegal substances and pushing young people into the habit is another form of murder: You kill their dreams, their minds and their social and family relationships" . Faced with a culprit, he concluded, "we must work for them to reform, change their life and a give them another chance to get on their feet."
The position of Archbishop of Manila clarifies that of the Filipino Catholic Church, which some national commentators had called "split" on the position to be taken against Duterte.