Bishop takes blame for public ‘indifference’ to killings

Bishop takes blame for public ‘indifference’ to killings

Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan speaks during the 2nd International YouCat Congress at the Iloilo Convention Center in Iloilo City Nov. 8. SKY ORTIGAS

By CBCP News

November 9, 2019

Iloilo City

Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan admitted that he reached a point of blaming himself as indifference “plague” his diocese amidst the spate of killings.

Speaking at an international youth conference on new evangelization in Iloilo City on Friday, he discussed the government’s bloody war on drugs in his diocese, which has become known as a “killing field”.

At one part of his around an hour talk, he showed the audience a video of a killing incident that occurred near the cathedral in May 2018.

The bishop said the crime was committed “casually” by motorcycle-riding men wearing bonnets in broad daylight and while many people were watching.

What’s lamentable, he said, is that no one even dared to help the victim or at least cover the cadaver within at least three hours that the body was in the crime scene.

“And when I saw that, I said, I must honestly admit I’m a failure of a bishop,” David said, and paused for a moment.

“I’m a failure… if our people can behave this way in utter indifference to see something so violent and just walk by,” he said. “There is no good samaritan.”

After the video, he also showed some photos of people killed in the streets while children were watching. “The children are exposed to violence in my diocese,” he exclaimed.

“And why should I care as a pastor? What kind of shepherd I am if I’ll just keep quiet about this inhumanity?” said the prelate.

Reflecting on his topic titled “The Church as the Grieving Mother,” he cited the “death of conscience” as among its reasons.

“And the prevalence of indifference is what the Mother Church has been grieving about with regard to her children,” he said.

Around 1,200 young people gathered for the 2nd International YouCat Congress which started on Nov. 7 and will end on Nov. 10.

While most of the participants are from different dioceses in the country, around 100 of them are coming from at least 19 other countries.