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CONSCIENCE seems weak and outnumbered in the various sectors, departments and even corners of Government. Only 54 voted against while 217 voted for the return of Capital punishment or Death Penalty. Many of the 54 chose conscience over politics and suffered the expected consequence of their choice, the loss of their committee chairmanship.
At the beginning of the present Administration, when extrajudicial killings began spilling blood on streets and even homes, we heard disturbing statements peddled from Malacanang to other branches of Government quickly spreading widely popular memes: “Drug Addicts are not Human; “Their Brains are totally damaged beyond repair;” or Criminals are not human;” and recently one Congressman in defence of the recent exclusion of plunder from the list of heinous crimes said, “Thieves reform, but a killer is a killer.”
Not all of the almost 8,000 victims of extrajudicial killings are hard core drug addicts and pushers. Many do not even have anything to do with drugs. And sadly, another word is bandied around in defence of the many possible fatal mistakes in the bloody war against drugs, “Collateral Damage.” And the only thing said for such fatal mistakes, “Sorry na lang po sa Collateral Damage.”
Murder or killing has and continues to be done not only to persons but to Words which are part of Language which is an essential part of Human Communication. Murder is also taking place in the courts where lies in the form of fabricated evidence and pressured convicted criminals are use as witnesses against innocent persons. Murder is obviously taking place in politics where the truth is sacrifice on the altar of compromise and survival. Murder is also taking place as the Government continues to tolerate and even accommodate the obvious imperialist incursions of a giant neighbour.
Not only suspected drug addicts are dying. With the killings of language; the killing of truth and due process; the killing of principled and authentic politics and the killing of our love for country with the wholesale prostitution of patrimony, no less than the people’s soul, our nation’s soul and ultimately each citizen’s soul is in serious and fatal danger.
Once again, our nation is dying. Genuine politics is dying; Justice is dying; Language and Culture are dying. Morality is dying. History is dying. Our mountains, seas, lakes and rivers, trees, plants, fish, birds, insects, our people are dying.
We now stand before the Highest Court of the Land. Since last week we have been listening to the arguments on a Petition to Nullify the arrest warrant issued against Senator Leila De Lima (by Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 2014 under Judge Juanita Guerrero. The haste by which the drug case and arrest of the Senator has been conducted continue to send both a chilling and killing effect throughout the land. We pray for members of the Supreme Court not only to judge technicalities of the law but most of all to listen to their consciences.
We must not allow the killings, the murders to continue. We must not fear and with faith stand up, speak up for the sanctity of all life. We take solace, strength and inspiration from the word of God which instructs us:
26 “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.[a] 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. -- Matthew 10: 26-31:
(Sgd.) FR. ROBERTO P. REYES
March 21, 2017
Supreme Court of the Philippines