Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

Emily Rauhala, on Monday reported that ‘church bells will ring out in the Philippines and peal again and again for three months as one of the country’s most influential Catholic clerics seeks to draw attention to President Rodrigo Duterte’s increasingly bloody crackdown on drug suspects.’

According to her report on The Washington Post, ‘the bell-ringing protest, expected to begin Tuesday, is isolated to one archdiocese north of Manila.’ However, ‘the showdown has already riveted the attention of the nation’ from the very beginning.

Rauuhala further disclosed that, ‘Duterte’s populist strong-arm policies against a well-known archbishop at a time when the church faces widening calls to take a stronger stance against heavy-handed police tactics –which last week left at least 70 people dead’ in the neighborhood.

“The country is in chaos. The officer who kills is rewarded and the slain get the blame,” Archbishop Socrates Villegas said. Adding that, “the corpses could no longer defend themselves from accusations that they fought back.”

A 17-year-old high school student, identified among the recent dead is Kian delos Santos. The report according to the security operatives ‘said he was shot after he fired at them, then fled.’ In another report, it was revealed that ‘widely circulated surveillance video showed the teenager being dragged away,’ contrary to claims. Witnesses, also attest, saying ‘he was beaten, handed a gun, told to run and then was shot.’

Against this background, ‘the country’s Roman Catholic leaders made a call to stop the killings in the church’s largest bastion in Asia’ during their sermon, last Sunday.

“We knock on the conscience of those who kill even the helpless.”

Villegas reportedly declared that ‘church bells in his archdiocese will toll for 15 minutes each night beginning Tuesday, a feast day for the Virgin Mary, until Nov. 27, another feast day.’










Correspondent: Ridwan A Olayiwola


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