Killings, not Church, to blame for Duterte rating dip—bishop

Killings, not Church, to blame for Duterte rating dip—bishop

Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan. CBCPNews

A top ally of President Rodrigo Duterte in Congress is barking up the wrong tree in blaming the Church after the chief executive saw his lowest ratings since he came to power, a Catholic bishop said.

Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan said there’s no one to blame but the government itself for its bloody drug war that killed thousands of Filipinos.

“After all, most of the casualties in the drug war are coming from the urban poor communities that voted for this government,” he said.

He said the spate of killings may have affected Duterte’s ratings, an indication that many people do not agree “with the way it is being fought”.

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez earlier outrightly blamed the Church for the drop in Duterte’s trust and satisfaction ratings.

He criticized the bishops for always “squawking” against the government, and urged them to stop making “noise” by focusing instead in cleaning their ranks first from supposed pedophiles priests and other scandals.

David, however, said that “it does not help at all that the government keeps denying that it’s (extrajudicial killings) happening”.

“It’s obvious that the public is aware of them,” he pointed out. “The fall of the ratings is not due to us Church leaders but to the extrajudicial killings themselves.”

Bishop David said the government must “stop the killings” if only to improve its ratings and focus on the rehabilitation of people with substance disorder.

He urged the government to “refocus” its fights against illegal drugs to the big-time drug lords, suppliers, manufacturers and its protectors in the government.

The prelate reiterated that the government should also start addressing addiction as a health and poverty issue if only to restore its popularity rating. CBCPNews