The Baclaran Church surprised Catholics who attended the early morning mass (Simbang Gabi) this Sunday, December 18. Poster-size, illuminated photos of killings in relation to the intensified war against illegal drugs being imposed by President Rodrigo Duterte are now displayed outside the famous Catholic church in Manila. Watch the video below.
According to ABS-CBN News, retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz confirmed the said project of Baclaran Church was led by the Roman Catholic Church to condemn the alleged drug-related extrajudicial killings (EJKs) across the country. In an interview, he emphasized that killing a person is against God’s will, as mentioned in the 10 Commandments in the Bible.
Aside from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and its former chair, Senator Leila de Lima has been accusing President Duterte of masterminding EJK, or not doing about it. However, the tough-talking president insisted that the police killings of drug suspects are legitimate operations.
Must Read: * San Pedro, Laguna Churchgoers Being Forced to Sign Petition to Impeach President Duterte?
President Duterte has consistently said that the police can kill criminals as long as their own lives are at stake, and that they should defend themselves. Recently, he said that one-third of the nearly 6,000 drug suspects who were killed by the police resisted arrest or fought back (nanlaban), and that the authorities had no choice but to shoot them to death.
However, some drug suspects are being killed by unidentified gunman or riding-in-tandem. In some cases, dead bodies are found wrapped in packing tape, with a piece of paper printed, ‘Pusher ako, wag gayahin. (I’m a pusher, don’t be like me). President Duterte said these killings are being performed only by people behind the illegal drugs trade.
Must Watch: * President Duterte’s Message to Haters and Bias Media That Portrays Him Negatively (Video)
Drug-related killings photos at Baclaran Church; Video Credit: ABS-CBN News
Meanwhile, Baclaran Church patrons have mixed reactions on the photos of drug-related killings displayed outside the church. Some of them said that they are afraid that their loved ones might be the next victims, while others said that drug pushers will be afraid looking at those photos and that they will stop their illegal activities, and will surrender to the police.