Illegal drugs and illegal killings
In a two-page and a half Statement dated 30 January 2017, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), among other things, said the following: We are deeply concerned due to many deaths and killings in the campaign against prohibited drugs. This traffic in illegal drugs needs to be stopped and overcome. But the solution does not lie in the killing of suspected drug users and pushers… We are one with many of our countrymen who want change. But change must be guided by truth and justice.” Even but from the above short quoted lines, it is not hard to know and understand the following realities: There have been too many killings done lately. There is a need of resolving prohibited drug trafficking. There should be a change in terms of making a fundamental distinction between extrajudicial killings and illegal drug industry in the country.
In other words, there should be another way of stopping the production, sale and use of prohibited drugs instead of simply orchestrating killings and deaths of people here and there, day and night the whole week through. And though unsaid by the above cited recent CBCP Statement, it is a given that the past administration had much to do with the phenomenal illegal drug trading in the country precisely by doing nothing about it during its no less than six continuous long years of reign in the land. So is it that lest it be conveniently forgotten, the root cause of the said killings and deaths is basically because the previous government in essence did nothing about getting rid of the immense and intense prohibited drug trade in the Philippines. And sad but true, the incumbent administration found killings and deaths of banned drug makers, sellers and users as the simple, plain, and fast solution of the drug menace.
Truth to say, it would not be only easy but also quite convenient if the Catholic Church in the Philippines through the CBCP would simply keep quiet, play dumb, act indifferent about the nonchalant 24/7 killings and deaths in the country–execution without prosecution and litigation. Such deafening silence is observed by other Churches and Sects. And at peace they remain. But the Catholic Church has her official Social Doctrine about man, his human nature, and social dimension, about human rights, first and foremost of which is the right to life. And so it is that human life, its beginning, its continuance, and ending may not but also be the subject-objects of her pastoral–teaching, serving, sanctifying–ministry. If a supposedly Christian sect only speaks and teaches about spiritual and supernal realities, about angels and devils, about heaven and hell–such can be anything but the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church has a categorical and expressed mandate to proclaim not only the love of God but also the love of man, not merely about heavenly truths but also about earthly realities, not exclusively about eternal matters but also about temporal concerns, not simply about spiritual issues but also about social concerns. Reason: Man is a reality here and now though with a destiny hereafter and beyond.