In the Philippines, an increasing number of churches oppose the brutal war their President with drug trafficking. The Catholic Church issued a pastoral letter condemning the methods of the President Duterte. Some churches say that its approach promotes the culture of death.
In the program “the 700 Club Asia” in Manila, pastor Emil Ibanez with pain described the terrible condition of the body of his son, who became the victim of a brutal murder: “a Wire was tied around his neck. The tape covered face. His hands were tied behind his back and his throat slit. The wound was so huge. And then I broke down. Why they did to my son like an animal?”
Pastor Ibanez recognizes that his son AJ was a drug addict, but says that he gave up drugs and became a police informant for a few weeks before his death. AJ is one of the eight thousand people who died since then as the President of the Philippines Duterte started the war on drugs seven months ago. The majority of alleged drug users and distributors were denied the legal procedure. The spreading culture of impunity, encouraged the Catholic Church to publish a pastoral letter condemning the rising death toll. Catholic leaders called the war of the government with drugs “terror, aimed primarily at the poor.”
“The Catholic Church believes in the gift of life of every Filipino directly opposed to what is happening. How to speak and how to get rid of fear, which covers the country as a result of what is happening,” says the Archbishop of Manila.
Linda is afraid for his life. She says five of her friends engaged in drug trafficking, surrendered to the authorities, but were killed. She says that poor people should also be a chance to change and start a new life. Poverty is one of the main reasons why these men and women as a source of income choose the drug trade. Therefore, the Church and human rights organisations have urged the government to adopt more dignified means of addressing the drug problem, providing basic needs such as education and programmes for the profession that is able to feed. Friends in the police and armed forces Ibanes help the pastor to understand his son. The pastor believes that God can use his son’s death as a Wake-up call for all Filipinos.
“We need to repent as a nation and unite to stop these killings, because evil begets only evil. What happened with my son prompted me to be more active in Ministry, which influences the formation of values police, who in turn, teach the values of students,” says pastor Ibanez.
“Let’s give a chance to the distributors and consumers of drugs, because we believe that everyone can change, and the same is, we believe, the President has to make. This is what we pray for President Duterte really changed the approach to war with drug addiction,” — said the Archbishop of Manila.