Bring Healing, Not Killing
THE increasing incidence of senseless killings and violence related to the drug problem is indeed morally alarming. Since President Rodrigo Duterte announced his desire to solve the drug crisis in our country, the daily killings of suspects involved in drug trade have became part of our morning news. We are one with the President in solving the menace of illegal drugs, but killing people – guilty or not – is not and never will be the solution. The solution to the problem is not killing the users but apprehending those who produce prohibited drugs.
According to PNP statistics, as of July 2018, 4,500 people were killed in legitimate police operations. Sad to say, 23, 518 were killed by “unidentified assailants” and 149, 265 drug users were arrested all over the country.
Having garnered the highest EJK incidence, Kalookan City was tagged as the EJK capital of the Philippines. In Kalookan City, almost daily, someone is being murdered without mercy. Unfortunately, most of the victims are minors, innocent, and poor people.
This remorseful and dangerous reality, moved Bishop Virgilio “Ambo” David, the Bishop of Kalookan City, to lead the fight against EJK in his diocese. He recognizes the importance of healing and empowering the poor, since most of the EJK victims come from the poor segment of society.
As part of Bishop Ambo’s “out of the box” program, he invited religious communities to live with “the poorest of the poor” in his diocese. He invited them to establish mission stations whose main objective is to cater to the needs of the poor, especially to the families of the victims of EJK. The prelate envisions that the mission stations will help empower people to eradicate the drug problem and the incidence of EJKs. He wants religious communities to help build BECs, educate the poor about their legal rights, assist families of EJK victims, and be catalysts of hope in communities.
On Oct. 1, 2018, Bishop Ambo officially installed the 13th mission station in his diocese, the Sacred Heart Mission Station in Kaunlaran Village. The Society of Jesus has assigned one Jesuit priest and two scholastics to shepherd the community. The energetic Bishop Ambo simply wants the mission stations to do the following:
- Build the COMMUNITY of active disciples;
- Be the PRESENCE of the Church;
- EMPOWER people to fight for life, and
- Be an INSPIRATION to the poorest of the poor
All Christians are being invited by the Lord to help save lives, heal wounds, and bring hope to the poor. Our Lord explicitly commands us, “Gather all those crumbs, nothing should be wasted” (John 6:12).
EJK is evil. Violence must be stopped. We pray for more courageous disciples to preach the Good News and resist all evil works. As Bishop Ambo said, “The death of our conscience is more dangerous than [the] senseless killings themselves.”