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The Catholic Church through the Jaro Archdiocesan Social Action Center (JASAC) conducted a caravan in protest of the proliferation of extra-judicial killings and the restoration of death penalty in five different areas in Iloilo and Guimaras provinces last Friday.
In line with the commemoration of the EDSA people power revolution, the activities included the distribution of printed materials and conduct of street dramas, and the celebration of the holy mass.
“This is a challenge for everyone to be vigilant and to take a stand for the truth and the sacredness of life,” JASAC Director Monsignor Meliton Oso said.
The separate caravans were simultaneously held in Guimaras, Iloilo City, Central Iloilo, Northern Iloilo and Southern Iloilo.
Earlier, JASAC also sent letters to seven congressmen, asking them to speak out and condemn the 7,000 deaths linked to the massive anti-drug campaign of the Duterte administration.
“As our voice and representative in Congress, can we expect to hear you condemn in the strongest possible words the evil of EJK and argue intelligently about our vehement opposition to the reimposition of the death penalty,” the letter by JASAC said.
The letter added that the “deep root of the drug problem and criminality is the poverty of majority, the destruction of family, and corruption in society,” quoting an earlier statement from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
The said letters were given to Guimaras Rep. Ma. Lucille Nava, Iloilo City Rep. Jerry Treñas and Iloilo Representatives Oscar “Richard” Garin Jr. (1st District), Arcadio Gorriceta (2nd District), Arthur Defensor Jr. (3rd District), Ferjenel Biron (4th District) and Raul Tupas (5th District).
The National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines has been supporting the various protests calling for an end to extrajudicial killings of drug suspects in the country, and for the respect of the dignity of life.
Earlier, NASSA/Caritas Philippines together with the social action network including JASAC released a statement condemning the “morally unacceptable killing of drug traffickers without due process, even in the name of just cause.”
NASSA/Caritas Philippines is the development, advocacy and humanitarian arm of the CBCP that is working with its social action counterparts in 85 dioceses all over the country.