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Philippines: bishops decry vigilante justice after president-elect speaks of shooting suspects

June 21, 2016

The Catholic bishops of the Philippines have decried a trend toward vigilante violence that has arisen since the election of Rodrigo Duterte to be the country's next president.

Duterte, who took a tough anti-crime stand during his campaign, has said that police should be free to shoot criminals who resist arrest. Following his statement, there has been a marked increase in the number of criminal suspects who have been shot.

Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan, the president of the bishops' conference, said that Church leaders are "disturbed" by the trend, and that "vigilantism seems to be on the rise." He mentioned reports that suspects have been found dead, with placards on their corpses detailing their alleged crimes. 

 
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