THE Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) expressed anew its deep concern over the deaths and killings in the campaign against prohibited drugs.
“It is good to remove the drug problem, but to kill in order to achieve this is also wrong,” the pastoral letter said that was read in all churches in last week’s Sunday masses.
It further said the traffic in illegal drugs needs to be stopped and overcome “but the solution does not lie in the killing of suspected drug users and pushers.”
The bishops expressed concern “not only for those who have been killed but the situation of the families of those killed is also cause for concern as their lives have only become worse.”
It lamented that even as those who kill are not brought to account, “an even greater cause of concern is the indifference of many to this kind of wrong,”
And, while the bishops expressed support for change in governance, they asserted that “change must be guided by truth and justice.”
The bishops enjoined the laity “to work together to solve the drug problem and work for the rehabilitation of drug addicts,” but stressed the need “for the observance of due process by all, especially by agents of the law.”
The pastoral letter also called for the need to reform “rogue policemen and corrupt judges.”
It said the excessively slow adjudication of court cases is one big reason for the spread of criminality. “Often it is the poor who suffer from this system. We also call upon elected politicians to serve the common good of the people and not their own interests.”
The bishops cite poverty as the “deep root of the drug problem and criminality is the poverty of the majority” and reminded the laity people that “To consent and to keep silent in front of evil is to be an accomplice to it”.
“If we neglect the drug addicts and pushers we have become part of the drug problem. If we consent or allow the killing of suspected drug addicts, we shall also be responsible for their deaths,” the bishops said.
The bishops further pledged “to help drug addicts so that they may be healed and start a new life. “We will stand in solidarity and care for those left behind by those who have been killed and for the victims of drug addicts. Let us renew our efforts to strengthen families.” (Tita Roces)