The following is a statement issued by the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP), dated 21 August 2017.
"Do I have pleasure in the death of the wicked," declares the Lord GOD, "rather than he should turn from his ways and live?" (Ezekiel 18:23)
What have we done? Who have we become?
Thirty-one children and youth will no longer see their future fulfilled. Death-dealers in bonnets or men in uniform have robbed them of their life.
The heavens have wept these past days as the latest young life mercilessly executed, Kian Lloyd delos Santos, lies cold in a coffin.
There can be no rhyme nor reason for this madness. This pure madness of extermination of all suspected drug users, drug pushers, and drug couriers. Sadly it is the poor who have borne the brunt of this war on drugs and crime.
And so many of us have quietly accepted this abomination --to kill has become noble. To kill hs been applauded. We all must confess our complicity to these senseless killings.
What have we done to deserve this wrath? What have we done to this administration to deserve this sinister plot to desecrate our shared humanity, to kill our fellow human beings as if they were lambs being led to slaughter?
This cannot be what our God wishes for us.
Thirteen thousand senseless deaths cannot be the wish of a merciful Father. This bloodbath cannot be the imperative of our faith.
Who have we become O merciful and compassionate God?
Have we become the Romans who killed the Christians of the early times?
Have we become the Pilate who washed his hand of the fate of Christ?
Have we become the crowd who cheered at the sufferings of Jesus Christ?
We religious men and women resoundingly say NO! We believe that life, whether of the poor or of the powerful, whether of the blighted communities or the exlusive subdivisions, is sacred! Extrajudicial killings assault the value of human life. We cannot be party to a war that kills and kills. We cannot accept a war that targets the poor and the powerless.
We can no longer be silent and complicit in these mindless executions. Our faith demands of us mercy and compassion especially to those who have gone astray as a result of poverty and exclusion. To them we offer the comfort of a servant Church.
We implore the powerful to end this war on drugs which is no other than an extermination program of a section of our society.
Today we once again reaffirm our commitment to life, dignity and rights for all!
Today we commit ourselves to seek justice for Kian and all victims of this war on drugs!
Fr. Cielito Almazan, OFM AMRSP Co-Chairperson
Source: Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas
Young Thomasian Professionals Lay Dominican Group
Santísimo Rosario Parish, University of Santo Tomás
España Boulevard, Manila 1015 Philippines