Parramatta Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv. has expressed his solidarity with people in the Philippines in their struggle for human rights. Source: Catholic Outlook.
Bishop Long, chair of Bishops Commission for Social Justice – Mission and Service, took part in the “Church People's Prophetic Voices against State Terrorism in the Philippines” online forum on Wednesday. The forum aimed to highlight the response of Christians in the Philippines to the escalating attacks on human rights defenders and activists.
Bishop Long said he joined other Christian leaders in “condemning acts of violence and terror that have escalated in intensity and frequency”.
“These acts are even more deplorable when committed by the government institutions such as the police and the military, which are supposed to protect and defend the people.”
Bishop Long said under the Duterte Government’s war against drugs “a spate of extrajudicial killings has continued unabated, causing a reign of terror in many communities”.
“It is alarming that the poor are most vulnerable to the loss of life, as well as the destruction, violation and suppression of their rights. The government’s claim of ensuring and protecting those who have less in life appears to be merely a lip service when the state itself violates and disregards the rights of the poor. It seems like this is not so much a war against drugs but rather a war against the workers, farmers and the marginalised in society.”
Bishop Long also spoke of the ongoing persecution of people defending human rights in the Philippines, particularly noting Archbishop Socrates Villegas, Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, Bishop Teodoro Bacani Jr and Bishop Honesto Ongtioco who face sedition charges.
Statement of solidarity on the human rights situation in the Philippines (Catholic Outlook)