The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) pastoral letter denouncing the spate of killings amid the Duterte administration’s war on drugs is a “wake-up call to a nation in a nightmare,” Senator Leila de Lima said Monday. 

In a statement, De Lima said the country is suffering from the government’s lack of empathy on the poor being targeted by Oplan Tokhang. 

“Ginigising lang tayo ng simbahan, dahil ang huwad na panaginip ng Pangulong Duterte na maisasalba ang ating bayan sa pamamagitan ng patayan ay siyang malaking kahibangan,” De Lima said. 

De Lima, former Justice secretary and chair of the Commission on Human Rights, also slammed Malacañang for saying that the CBCP is “out of touch with reality.”

“For the Palace to say that reminding our people of these basic Filipino values is being out of touch with reality is like saying that our countrymen no longer value life, liberty, and social justice,” De Lima said. 

“It is the President who is out of touch with reality, when he thinks he can dispense of these basic values in his drug war and still manage to keep the country's spiritual and moral fabric intact,” she added. 

De Lima called President Rodrigo Duterte the “fake idol and false messiah” in Malacañang. 
“Ang ating kaisa-isang Panginoon ay ang Diyos Ama sa langit pa rin, hindi ang huwad na poon sa Palasyo ng Malacañang,” she said. 

In a separate statement, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan expressed support to the position taken by the CBCP. 

Pangilinan said the government’s campaign against illegal drugs should not cost the lives of people, especially the innocent. 

"Let us not lose faith in the capacity of people to change. Killing, whether by criminals or the State, is never the solution to the country’s continuing problems of poverty, high prices of basic goods, and insufficient decent jobs,” the senator pointed out. 

In its pastoral letter read in all Sunday masses, the CBCP expressed concern for the lives of drug suspects and their families amid the government's war on drugs. 

"An Additional cause of concern is the reign of terror in many places of the poor. Many are killed not because of drugs. Those who kill them are not brought to account. An even greater cause of concern is the indifference of many to this kind of wrong," the pastoral letter said. —KG, GMA News


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