The attacks against the Catholic Church are not “out of concern or just personal rancor” but to stop the “people from uniting and putting an end to his wicked and bloodthirsty puppet regime” as church workers are working on uniting the Filipinos to “wield their collective power to gain collective good.”
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
MANILA — A priest turned revolutionary said the escalating tirades of President Rodrigo Duterte are calculated to quell the growing resistance of the Filipino people.
“Confronted with the growing wrath of the people and excoriated as an international pariah for his wanton rights violations, Mr. Duterte is desperately aware of the Church’s moral suasion that could back a broad united front and sway the widely Catholic population against his tyrannical rule,” the open letter of Fr. Santiago Salas of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines – Eastern Visayas read.
Duterte, who has been consistently criticizing the Catholic Church and threatening its leaders, recently said that bystanders should steal or kill from rich bishops, prompting a reaction from Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos who said in his radio interview that the present administration “is disappointment and disgrace to our country.”
The Church has been vocal about Duterte’s policies, most especially on his bloody war against drugs, which critics said only targeted the poor. Human rights defenders estimated that more than 20,000 have been killed.
In his open letter that circulated in social media, the Fr. Salas said being a priest himself, he has witnessed the “faults” of the Church but added that it is through “going outside an elegant edifice of marble and gold and linking with the people that our faith becomes truly alive and relevant.”
He also added that attacks against the Catholic Church are not said “out of concern or just personal rancor” but to stop the “people from uniting and putting an end to his wicked and bloodthirsty puppet regime” as church workers are working on uniting the Filipinos to “wield their collective power to gain collective good.”