Bishops in sedition case: ‘We will not be discouraged’

Bishops in sedition case: ‘We will not be discouraged’

The bishops tagged in the supposed plot to destabilize the Duterte administration pray that their accusers will meet the “God of all Truths, be touched by His grace, and stay away from the prince of lies.”

By Roy Lagarde

September 8, 2019

Manila, Philippines

Catholic bishops tagged in the supposed plot to destabilize the Duterte administration said they will not bow down to “intimidation” in their defense for human life.

In a “fraternal message” issued over the weekend, the four prelates accused of sedition said they will not allow any pressure to stop their mission to help the voiceless.

“We will not allow this splinter from the cross of Christ to distract us from our mission, to dampen our zeal or to intimidate us,” they said.

According to them, the cross they now carry is nothing compared to the “agony and passion of the Lord and the pains and aches of the poor”.

“Our defense for human life and the sacredness of marriage remains,” the bishops said.

“Our message of peace based on truth will not be perturbed. Our zeal for souls will not falter. Our mission is yet incomplete. We will not be discouraged,” they added.

This is the first time that Archbishop Socrates Villegas and bishops Pablo Virgilio David, Honesto Ongtioco and Teodoro Bacani spoke as one since the police filed charges against them in July.

The bishops, who have criticized Duterte’s brutal fight against narcotics, said they have begged off from interviews or attending rallies and chose to pray instead.

“Prayer is our best weapon against every evil. Prayer is power. This is a good time to be reminded of this. We prayed instantly, even until now, for our accusers,” they said.

The sedition case and other charges stemmed from a viral video accusing President Rodrigo Duterte and his family to the illegal drug trade.

Aside from the bishops, the police also sued three more priests and key figures of the opposition, including Vice President Leni Robredo.

The church leaders reiterated that they will not join any action through violent or illegal means.

“We cannot and we will not participate and we will never help in anything that will bring about social change through illegal means,” they said.

The bishops stressed that they will abide by due process as they pray that “the spirit of justice and truth” will reign.

“There can be no justice without truth. Justice without facts is no justice at all. We cling to the belief that our officials in the Department of Justice adhere to these values,” they said. CBCPNEWS