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Filipino Catholics Protest Duterte’s War on Drugs
Filipino Catholics Protest Duterte’s War on Drugs

Filipino Catholics Protest Duterte’s War on Drugs

Filipino Catholics Protest Duterte’s War on Drugs

Thousands of Catholics joined a march with church leaders in Manila on Saturday in one of the largest shows of opposition against President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly crackdown against illegal drugs and attempts to revive the death penalty.
Police estimated that at least 10,000 people joined the “Walk for Life” march and rally starting at dawn at Rizal Park, carrying placards that read “Choose life” and “No to death penalty”.
Organizers gave a larger estimate of the crowd, AP reported. It’s the latest sign of the Roman Catholic Church’s increasing activism against a government crackdown that has left thousands of drug suspects dead and efforts by pro-Duterte legislators to reimpose capital punishment as early as next month.
Catholic bishops expressed their deep concern over the drug killings in a recent statement read in churches across the country.
Archbishop Socrates Villegas, who heads the country’s bishops, said no civilized country should allow such illegal actions to continue unabated. “They ought to be judged by the court of law and never by the extrajudicial means,” Villegas said in a statement, where he also hit at efforts by legislators to reimpose the death penalty. Duterte, a longtime city mayor before being elected to the presidency in May on an anti-crime platform, has asked Congress to revive the death penalty, preferably by public hanging. That, along with his pro-birth control stance and threats to kill criminals, has put him on a collision course with the church in Asia’s largest Catholic nation.
“Execution is murder,” Villegas said. “We cannot teach that killing is wrong by killing those who kill.”

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