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Killings must end now, says CBCP head

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Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, CBCP President

MANILA, Feb. 17, 2017— A ranking Catholic prelate has again asked for an end to drug-related violence in the country that has seen more than 7,600 killed since July.

Archbishop Socrates Villegas, CBCP President, said summary executions must stop immediately because no civilized country can let such illegal acts to go on unabated.

“They (criminals) ought to be judged by the court of law and never by the extrajudicial means,” Villegas said in his message for the Walk for Life set to be held at the Qurino Grandstand in Manila on Saturday.

The prelate stressed that law offenders ought to be arrested, prosecuted, sentenced and jailed to correct the wrongdoings they committed.

He also scored the political pressure on lawmakers to immediately pass a bill for the restoration of the death penalty and urged the leadership in the lower House to allow “conscience vote.”

“Partisan politics is fleeting. Conscience is the voice of God inside everyone of us. Respect our conscience,” he said.

Villegas reiterated that if only to fight criminalities, the government must reform the criminal justice system instead of reviving the capital punishment.

This include, according to him, by cleansing the ranks of the police, reforming the judiciary and strictly enforcing rules in country’s prisons.

“Execution is murder,’ he said. “We cannot teach that killing is wrong by killing those who kill.  It also increases the number of killers.”

Aside from extrajudicial killings and the death penalty, he urged Filipinos to also fight four other “sins against life”, namely abortion, blasphemy, corruption, and illegal drugs.

The prelate also responded to the criticisms that the Church is protecting criminals for criticizing the government’s bloody war on drugs and opposing the death penalty.

The lay-initiated gathering, he said, is neither to defend the criminals or a protest “but a commitment to the sacredness of life given by God.”

“This walk for life is a walk for God,” he said. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)

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