Bishop Ruperto Santos to law-enforcers: ‘Respect dignity of life’

Bishop Ruperto Santos to law-enforcers: ‘Respect dignity of life’

MANILA, July 30, 2016 – Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos, head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines – Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (CBCP-ECMI) raised the alarm over the spate of alleged drug-related personalities’ killings.

“We must remember always that aevery human life counts. Every human being is a child of God. In fighting crime and in maintaining peace and order we must not forget respect for life,” Santos said.

With the rising death count of suspected drug traffickers, the prelate reminded the authorities not to see people as mere numbers but as human beings who have rights to due process of law.

The prelate said authorities must go beyond seeing suspected criminals as mere numbers.

“We have to look at the people behind the numbers,” explained Santos.

He also urged the government to fund and establish sufficient rehabilitation facilities for drug traffickers who have surrendered to the authorities.

”Will there be justice for those who were killed? Human treatment for those who surrendered? Rehabilitation for those who seek a second chance?” he added.

The head of CBCP-ECMI also noted that law-enforcers must uphold respect for the dignity of human life amid the government’s intensive campaign against illegal drugs. (Ysabel Hilado / CBCPNews)

Read the source and comments:

Ateneo president hits killings in Philippines

‘If real change is to happen, it can only come when we hold before us the value and sanctity of every person’s life,’ the Ateneo president says

By Paterno Esmaquel II @paterno_ii Published 3:25 PM, July 29, 2016, Updated 3:25 PM, July 29, 2016

CATHOLIC VOICE. Ateneo de Manila University president Father Jose Ramon Villarin joins other Catholic leaders in condemning the recent spate of killings in the Philippines. File photo by UCPRO/Ateneo

MANILA, Philippines – Ateneo de Manila University president Father Jose Ramon Villarin on Friday, July 29, condemned the recent spate of killings in the Philippines.

Villarin also referred to the bloody war against illegal drugs waged by the administration of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who ran on a platform of change.

The Ateneo president said “real change” will happen only when Filipinos “respect the sanctity of every person’s life.”

Villarin issued this statement after the murder of Emmanuel Jose “Em-J” Pavia, an Ateneo teacher and alumnus. Pavia is also the son of two Ateneo teachers.

Unidentified killers shot Pavia to death “on his way home to Barangka, Marikina,” he said.

“Though official investigation continues, under no circumstances can the killing of such a young and dedicated teacher be spared condemnation in the strongest terms,” Villarin said in his statement “on the passing of Ateneo alumnus and teacher Emmanuel Jose ‘Em-J’ Magno Pavia.” (READ: Remembering the decency of Emmanuel Jose Pavia)

The Ateneo president then turned to the “primal feelings of frustration, anger, and fear unleashed by the violence that continues to stalk our people,” especially the poor.

“We recognize the willful efforts of government, the private sector, and civil society to rid our communities of this drug menace and to institute measures that protect persons and property from such violence,” he said.

“However, Christian faith tells us that Jesus came so that all may have life and have it more abundantly (Jn 10,10). Because of the fundamental Gospel value and sanctity of each person’s life, the death of anyone regardless of virtue cannot but diminish us, and any society or culture that encourages and multiplies death cheapens life for everyone,” he added.

‘Real change’

Villarin also said: “We join our voice with other sympathetic voices in civil society. We find resonance with the sentiments of our friends from the La Sallian community on this pressing concern.” (READ: La Salle president slams killings under Duterte admin)

Leaders of Catholic nuns, the president of De La Salle Philippines, and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, among others, have voiced their concern over the killings since Duterte won the presidency. (READ: Manila bishop on killings: Crime can’t stop crime)

Given the scope of the problem, Villarin on Friday urged members of the Ateneo community to:

  • “Promote reverence for life, respect for human rights, and restorative justice”
  • “Espouse best practices in crime prevention and control”
  • “Watch over the enforcement of equality before the law, due process, and mandated judicial processes in instances of criminal arrest”
  • “Lobby against the potential reinstatement of capital punishment and the lowering of the age of criminal liability”
  • “Develop and protect transparent modes of truth telling in mass and social media as well as in pronouncements of government and civil society”
  • “Address the root causes of violence, including all forms of addiction and bigotry, and help develop effective campaigns and programs against these”

Villarin said: “At the advent of a new administration, the hope of authentic social change and personal transformation is raised before us once more. These cannot be truly achieved with fear as primary motivation or retribution as auxiliary deterrent.”

“If real change is to happen, it can only come when we hold before us the value and sanctity of every person’s life,” the Ateneo president said. –

Read the source and comments:

Related articles/ Videos click below:

Pope Francis: Death penalty fosters revenge, not justice, pope says

Manila Bishop Broderick Pabillo on killings: Crime can’t stop crime

Bishop Teodoro Bacani alarmed by rash of drug suspect slayings

CBCP head Archbishop Socrates Villegas: ‘We will resist the moral wrong’

Archbishop Socrates Villegas’ Pastoral appeal to our law enforcers: Appeal to Reason and Humanity – Seek peace and pursue it (Ps.34:14)

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

CBCP President Archbishop Socrates Villegas alarmed over vigilante killings

Death penalty won’t solve crime: Branson – Visiting tycoon cites experience in Europe

Is death penalty Biblical? Priest explains why not

Law dean raises 7 arguments vs death penalty

Pope Francis Calls for Abolition of Death Penalty

If death penalty returns, bishop says he’ll volunteer to die

In a letter (March 20,2015) to the International Commission against the Death Penalty, the Pope Francis says that today the death penalty is “inadmissible, no matter how serious the crime committed. It is an offence against the inviolability of life and the dignity of the human person.” He adds that it “does not render justice to the victims, but rather fosters vengeance.”