Military bishop seeks talks with police in drug slays
Bishop Oscar Jaime Florencio, Apostolic Administrator of the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines. SAMMY NAVAJA
TACLOBAN City— The country’s military bishop is reaching out to policemen wanting to reveal information about the supposed summary killings under the government’s crackdown against illegal drugs.
Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Oscar Jaime Florencio, the concurrent Apostolic Administrator of the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines (MOP), said that he wants to help assess the testimonies of the cops.
“First, I also want to know their motives, then to help them deepen their confession, the sacramental confession,” Florencio said.
Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan earlier revealed that some cops behind drug-related killings sought protection from the Church.
He said these law enforcers were prepared to come forward and tell everything they know about the drug war as long as their safety is guaranteed.
“Their consciences are troubling them,” Villegas said.
Florencio, who has about 150 police and military chaplains under the Ordinariate, said he will also ask his priests if they have received any “feelers” from cops who want to testify against extrajudicial killings.
The bishop then urged the chaplains to constantly remind the men in uniform that they are “sent to serve the people and not to condemn and kill them.”
He also said that prayer and catechism are the best recourse amid the spate of killings.
The MOP is an ecclesiastical territory for the pastoral care of Catholic military and police personnel, their dependents and civilian employees. CBCPNews