The government must focus on plans for survival as the coronavirus pandemic is wreaking havoc on public health and economy, said a Catholic bishop in the central Philippines.
Instead of pushing legislations such as restoring the death penalty, Bishop Julito Cortes of Dumaguete said what the country needs are concrete measures on how people can survive the health crisis.
“Yet, we have a national leadership fixated with death penalty, Charter change, and the passing of the anti-terror bill,” Bishop Cortes said. “Hunger is a far less terrifying threat to our people.”
He said the country is already seeing enough fatalities because of the government’s bloody drug war and COVID-19.
“When many of us are concerned about living, we heard somebody push for the passing of the death penalty, as if the deaths caused by the virus, by ‘tokhang’, and the many unsolved killings in the country are not enough deaths,” he said.
The bishop made the statement in his homily during the Chrism Mass at the Dumaguete Cathedral on August 4.
Bishop Cortes reminded the clergy to be “prophetic” in this time of the crisis in proclaiming the “Good News”.
“As prophets, we teach what is good according to the laws of God. Anything that is contrary to that, we have the obligation to teach and preacher, and to correct if necessary,” he said.
“There is no better time to show the world that we are God’s anointed ones by giving ourselves more fully to the people we have been tasked to serve,” said the bishop.
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