Philippines: Pax Christi International Board member among signatories to Philippines Catholic Bishops letter addressing extra-judicial killings


Last week, the Catholic bishops of the Philippines issued a letter to all Catholics addressing the extra-judicial killings which have been taking place under President Rodrigo Duterte. Priests shared the letter by reading is aloud at all Masses this past weekend. The letter denounces President Duterte’s war on drugs for creating a “reign of terror” among the poor.


The letter was signed by Pax Christi International Board member, Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ. Ledesma is the archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro in the Philippines.


The letter by the country’s bishops says that killing people is not the answer to trafficking of illegal drugs, and voices concern about the indifference shown by many to the bloodshed.


The letter begins:


"We, your bishops, are deeply concerned due to many deaths and killings in the campaign against prohibited drugs. This traffic in illegal drugs needs to be stopped and overcome. But the solution does not lie in the killing of suspected drug users and pushers. We are concerned not only for those who have been killed. The situation of the families of those killed is also cause for concern. Their lives have only become worse. 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. It is considered as normal, and, even worse, something that (according to them) needs to be done."


Philippines, Pax Christi Philippines, Archbishop Antonio Ledesma