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PIA Press Release

Davao bishops oppose extra judicial killings

By M. Gevera and N. Duallo

Davao City (15 September) -- Succumbing to the relevance and the need of tackling the issue, the bishops of Davao Region made a stand against extra-judicial killings.

The stand was made on the second day of the DADITAMA (Davao-Digos-Tagum-Mati) Meeting on September 13, 2006, at the Saint Joseph Retreat House, Dahican, Mati, Davao Oriental and stresses the need for social consciousness to uphold the dignity and sacredness of life.

The Worship Cluster of the DADITAMA sub-region also stressed that there should be a formation of conscience to determine right from wrong.

Undeniably, the strong bonding of support of the basic ecclesial communities is also highly recommended.

With the cases of extra judicial killings menacing one's safety and the community's security, the bishops said that we have to counter these with all peace efforts.

The group then, delineated some of very applicable peace efforts.

In time with the celebration of the Mindanao Week of Peace on Nov. 30 to Dec. 6, 2006, the Caravan for Peace was strongly suggested.

Simultaneous reading of a pastoral letter, and an organized, systematic prayer with fasting done simultaneously in the four dioceses also turned out to be effective ways to pursue peace.

Taking an important role, the catechists from the sub-region are now tasked to make realistic modules explaining the issue.

Archbishop Fernando Capalla said that we must prove also that we are not only mere listeners, but we are also doers of His words.

In their report after the cluster meeting, the Bishops, and the Vicars blurted out that the media has also something to do with the comprehension and interpretation of extra judicial killing.

Extra judicial killing must not be according to the perception of the media.

Bishop. Patricio Alo of the Diocese of Mati reiterated that "Killing is evil. The church condemns any sort of killing. Extra judicial killing is still an act of taking away one's life. Undoubtedly, life is precious, and it is for this reason that capital punishment was abolished".

The Bishops and Vicars stated that the people should be critical. There should be a training of critical thinking in schools and seminaries.

Meanwhile, the Government welcomes the participation of sincere stakeholders in getting at the root of the issue, exacting accountability and justice from any culpable parties, and stopping these dastardly acts once and for all.

National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales bared that Finland and Spain have agreed to send teams to the Philippines to monitor the Government's resolve in putting an end to the political killings in the country.

The DADITAMA meeting is a quarterly meeting of the four dioceses designed to foster better and stronger relation among the members of the sub-region, tackle and share insights on important concerns, and help in coming out with solutions to the concerns and problems.

Archbishop Fernando Capalla of the Archdiocese of Davao, and Bishops Wilfredo Manlapaz, and Patricio Alo led the participants of the DADITAMA Meeting. (PIA XI and DXHM) [top]

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