‘False prophet’: Duterte, the Catholic Church and the fight for the soul of the Philippines

Washington Post

March 4

A world of sin. A weary savior. Filipinos know the story well.

Since coming to power last summer, President Rodrigo Duterte has used biblical language to build a case for mass killings, vowing to sacrifice himself, even his son, to cleanse the nation of crime.

Conjuring a world in which evil stalks the innocent, Duterte launched a wave of violence that has claimed at least 7,000 lives. With his critics cursed and shamed, and with public support for the president running high, the establishment, including the Roman Catholic Church, has for the most part stayed quiet.

But now, more than seven months into Duterte’s tenure, with the death toll climbing night by night, the country’s Catholic hierarchy is finding its voice. In a pastoral letter published in February, church leaders denounced Duterte’s campaign as a “reign of terror” against the poor. Tiếp tục đọc “‘False prophet’: Duterte, the Catholic Church and the fight for the soul of the Philippines”

Thousands march against Duterte’s war on drugs

Al Jareeza
Luis Antonio Tagle, Catholic leader of Manila, said violence cannot be the answer to the country's drug problem [Reuters]
Luis Antonio Tagle, Catholic leader of Manila, said violence cannot be the answer to the country’s drug problem [Reuters]

Thousands of Catholics have gathered in the Philippine capital in a “show of force” to protest extrajudicial killings being carried out under the banner of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

The rally, dubbed the “Walk for Life”, was attended by 20,000 people, organisers said. Manila police estimated the crowd at 10,000.

At the biggest rally yet against the killings, members of one of the nation’s oldest and most powerful institutions prayed and sang hymns as they marched before dawn on Saturday, to condemn a “spreading culture of violence”.

More than 7,000 people have died since Duterte took office almost eight months ago and ordered an unprecedented crime war that has drawn global criticism for alleged human rights abuses.

The move, however, has been popular with many in the mainly Catholic nation.

“We have to stand up. Somehow this is already a show of force by the faithful that they don’t like these extrajudicial killings,” Manila bishop Broderick Pabillo told AFP news agency before addressing the crowd.

“I am alarmed and angry at what’s happening because this is something that is regressive. It does not show our humanity.”

The demonstrators also condemned legislation restoring the death penalty for drug-related crimes and other offences. Tiếp tục đọc “Thousands march against Duterte’s war on drugs”