Outspoken Catholic leaders, Archbishops Socrates Villegas (Lingayen-Dagupan), Marlo Peralta (Nueva Segovia) and Ricardo Baccay (Tuguegarao) took a stand last Sunday against the country’s current culture of murder and plunder, likening it to “living in the valley of death.”
In a pastoral message, they cited the tens of thousands of Filipinos had died in the administration’s drug war: “Journalists have been killed, political opponents have been murdered, court judges have been assassinated, priests have been shot and critics have been bullied and threatened. The killers are at large and the blind supporters of these murderers applaud the killers. The pandemic was a calamity of nature that we could not control.”
Referring to the Covid19 crisis, they added: “We saw death in our homes and offices. The heroic medical health workers risked their safety and some perished with their PPEs on. While other nations have risen from the pandemic, our death toll continues to rise.”
The prelates also touched on the public’s very real problem of hunger and unemployment that is affected by the ever-changing and confusing quarantine classifications. On this they said: “Incompetence kills nations and economies. Hunger kills slowly.”
“Bullets kill. Viruses kill. Governance without direction kills. Corruption kills. Trolls kill with fake news,” they continued.
Despite this bleak summary of the country’s current condition, the bishops ended on a hopeful note: “We will overcome evil by the power of good. Our help is from the Lord!”
Photo: Soc Villegas FB