Lay group to Duterte: Why pay people to kill?
By Dale Israel, for CNN Philippines
Updated 18:14 PM PHT Sat, August 18, 2018
Cebu City (CNN Philippines, August 18) — A group of Catholics on Saturday slammed President Rodrigo Duterte’s offer of ₱5 million reward money for the head of each cop involved in illegal drugs.
“Why do you need to pay people to kill people?” Fe Barino, Commission on the Laity in the Archdiocese of Cebu, said in a gathering to condemn the spate of drug killings in Cebu City. Around 700 parish leaders, church volunteers and lay faithful participated in the event.
“We just pray for our President to be guided by the Holy Spirit. We understand the country has so many problems, so we pray that he be guided by the Holy Spirit,” Barino said, stressing the value of human lives.
She added they do not have the capacity to end the killings but they can pray for government leaders to adhere to the law.
The Catholic flock for the first time recited the Oratio Imperata, a special prayer to end the spate of killings issued by Archbishop Jose Palma.
Duterte on Friday night raised the bounty on “ninja cops” –policemen who use drugs or are involved in illegal drugs operations – to ₱5 million from an earlier ₱3 million.
“Kung dalhin mo ‘yan sakin patay, ₱5 million. Pag buhay bigyan kita diyes mil (₱10,000),” Duterte said during a speech in Davao City.
[Translation: “If you bring him to me dead, ₱5 million. If you bring him to me alive I’ll give you ₱10,000.”]
Duterte said he is not asking people to kill cops, but urging the policemen to surrender instead within 48 hours.
“Wala akong sinabing patayin mo, pero pag dinala mong buhay bigyan kitang diyes mil,” he said.
[Translation: “I did not say you should kill, but if you bring them to me alive I’ll give you ₱10,000.”]
Philippine National Police Chief Oscar Albayalde welcomed the President’s move as a “very strong deterrence against these few bad cops from continuously treading on their crooked path.”
“It is also a very huge incentive for the majority of our good cops to aggressively root out these ninja cops from our ranks, in a manner that should be patently smart and legal. Simply put, all operations against erring cops must be in accordance with the law,” he said.
A total of 58 uniformed personnel have been arrested for their involvement in drugs since Duterte assumed office and launched his bloody war on drugs in July 2016, according to government data released Friday.
CNN Philippines’ Eimor Santos contributed to this report.