Philippine churches to ring bells to protest drug killings

Drug war in Philippines

Drug war in Philippines

Police say about 3,500 of those killed were shot by officers in self-defence, the others are attributed to vigilante gangs.

"To understand the situation better, we need not only statistics but also human stories".

"We chose to relieve the three officers to be able to conduct an impartial investigation into the allegations against them", he said. Miranda was one of dozens of drug suspects killed in several massive anti-drug operations in Metro Manila and Bulacan province last week.

"We knock on the consciences of those who kill even the helpless, especially those who cover their faces with bonnets, to stop wasting human lives", Cardinal Tagle said during his address at Sunday...

On August 12-17, 2017, I participated in the meeting of Caritas Latin America held in El Salvador, a country where many people had been killed in a civil war.

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In a separate statement read in Manila churches, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle offered to host a dialogue on the drug problem among government and police officials, along with families of victims, nongovernment groups, and medical experts.

Those with "sorrowful hearts and awakened consciences", he said may come to their pastors to tell their stories and it will be documented for the wider society.

The president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines on Sunday echoed Tagle's criticism and called for church bells to ring every night for 15 minutes over the next three months. Thou shall not kill! Archbishop Socrates Villegas said.

He added that a lot of people were afraid to speak out about the drug-related killings and selective justice, citing as an example the P6.4 billion in illegal drugs smuggled from China without difficulty.

At least 26 people died overnight in police operations in the Philippines capital Manila, police said, following a second night of heavy bloodshed this week in an intensification of President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs and crime. "The sound of the bells is a call to stop consenting to the killings!"

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Lacson said the Senate must be careful in investigating the matter.

Police justified its actions by arguing that the killed suspects were notorious criminals who preferred to fight to the death rather than get captured, leaving the officers with no choice but to shoot and kill.

Witnesses and a footage of a closed-circuit camera that reportedly captured the police operation are telling a different story.

Police said the student attempted to escape during a raid that sparked a chase Wednesday night in suburban Caloocan city in Manila metropolis.

An ally of the president, Senator Jose Victor Ejercito, said he was "worried that these intensified killings are being used by some rogue police officers, knowing that the president will protect them".

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