Cardinal Tagle: Oppose ‘culture of death,’ Church prays for leaders

Cardinal Tagle: Oppose ‘culture of death,’ Church prays for leaders

By ABS-CBN News, Posted at Jun 18 2016 10:30 PM | Updated as of Jun 18 2016 10:41 PM

MANILA – Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle issued Saturday an “oratio imperata” or special prayer for the country’s leaders to reject a “culture of death” ahead of a leadership change at the end of the month.

The prayer did not name a specific politician, but President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to wage a “bloody” campaign against crime.

An “oratio imperata” is issued during difficult situations. Among the last such prayers were for rain to quell the El Nino dry spell and for a peaceful resolution to the country’s sea dispute with China.

“Bless our leaders with true reverence for human life and unyielding opposition to the culture of death,” according to the prayer,” which will be read in all masses in the Archdiocese of Manila from Tuesday until the eve of Duterte’s inauguration.

“Bless our leaders with a passion for truth that liberates and integrity that inspires,” read the prayer, which was posted on the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines’ news website.

The special prayer also asked for “sincere generosity and courageous simplicity of lifestyle” and a spirit of “spirit of heroic sacrifice and unrelenting fortitude” for the country’s leaders.

While the Catholic Church does not endorse candidates during elections, it maintains significant influence since 80 percent of the country’s 100 million people subscribe to the faith.

Read the source and comments: http://k2.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/06/18/16/oppose-culture-of-death-church-prays-for-leaders

Law expert backs Church: ‘We can’t allow culture of death’

By ABS-CBN News, Posted at Jun 19 2016 04:15 PM
President-elect Rodrigo Duterte and Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle

MANILA – A law expert on Sunday lent support to an “oratio imperata” or special prayer of the Catholic Church for the country’s leaders to shun a “culture of death” in the crackdown against crime.

Fr. Ranhilio Aquino, dean of the San Beda Graduate School of Law, told radio dzMM that killing suspected criminals through extra-judicial means would foster “a more dangerous society.

“Kapag naging parte ng kultura natin na pinapayagan nating may mga vigilante or even police elements who rightly or wrongly take encouragement from pronouncements of our highest officials na pwede nang gawin iyun at mapaparangalan sila kung gagawin iyun, I fear that sooner or later, we will live in a more dangerous society,” he warned.

Aquino noted that without due process, there is no guarantee that no innocent individuals would fall victim to vigilante killings.

“Kung basta na lang walain y’ung mga taong ganyan, how guaranteed are we that suspected drug lords, suspected peddlers are in fact drug lords and peddlers?

“Madali lang namang maghinala, madali lang naman magsuspetsa. Iyung magpapatunay ang mahirap, pero kailangan para talaga walang mabiktima na walang kasalanan,” he said.

He added that encouraging extra-judicial killings would create more criminals since one also violates the law himself by taking the life of a person who has yet to be proven guilty.

“Killing others before they are convicted is also a crime. It’s no less a crime so don’t justify your extra-legal killing of another person by saying he’s a suspected criminal element. Suspected: wala pang patunay iyan,” he said.

Aquino also emphasized that even if one is indeed guilty of committing a crime, this is still not a valid reason to take his life.

“It is correct na talagang excited tayo na matimbog itong mga gumagawa ng krimen but we cannot allow a culture of impunity in regard to extra-judicial killings. Let’s remember, hindi hayop, hindi mga langaw ang pinag-uusapan natin [kundi] tao. At kahit naman may nagawa kang krimen, may karapatan ka pa rin,” he said.

He also pointed out the inefficiency of extrajudicial killings which he said targets only petty criminals and not leaders of crime syndicates. “Iyung mga napapatay, hindi naman big time. Ito iyung mga small men na kayang-kaya nila because the real, big-time drug lords are somewhere else.”

Instead of spurring extra-judicial punishment for suspects, the law expert encouraged the country’s leaders to speed up the judicial process and purge crime “padrinos” or protectors from government’s own ranks.

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle issued Saturday a special prayer for government leaders to be blessed with “true reverence for human life and unyielding opposition to the culture of death.”

(READ: Oppose ‘culture of death,’ Church prays for leaders)

The prayer did not name a specific politician, but President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to wage a “bloody” campaign against crime.

(READ: Kill the criminals! Duterte’s vote-winning vow in Philippines)

Since winning the elections last May, he has promised to unleash security forces with shoot-to-kill orders and has offered a reward for police and citizens who will capture outlaws, “dead or alive”

Eager to burnish tough-guy credentials for their new Chief Executive, police across the country have intensified city ordinances like night-time curfews that have seen hundreds of people detained in recent weeks.

(READ: PH gets taste of Duterte anti-crime war)

Dozens of alleged drug suspects have also been killed in police operations and by vigilantes.

The Commission on Human Rights, several officials of the United Nations and other rights advocates have slammed Duterte for offering bounties for the vigilante killing of suspected criminals.

(READ: UN rights chief to Duterte: Bounties may spark chaos)

Read the source and comments: http://news.abs-cbn.com/nation/06/19/16/law-expert-backs-church-we-cant-allow-culture-of-death

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