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Philippines: bishops protest killing as 76 die in drug raids

August 21, 2017

The Catholic bishops of the Philippines renewed their appeal for an end to government-sponsored violence after a weekend in which 73 people were killed in raids on suspected drug dealers.

The Filipino bishops have been highly critical of the anti-drug policies of President Rodrigo Duterte, who has given his tacit consent to vigilante squads that have been responsible for the extra-judicial killing of hundreds of suspected drug dealers. The weekend’s raids by police produced new public outcries, as the bishops, along with other critics of Duterte, said that bloodshed was unnecessary and that defenseless people had been killed.

Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila issued an appeal to “those who kill even the helpless.” He said: “The illegal drug problem should not be reduced to a political or criminal issue. It is a humanitarian concern that affects all of us.”

Archbishop Socrates Villegas, the former president of the Filipino bishops’ conference, asked for Catholic churches to ring their bells every evening to stir consciences about the killing.

 
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