THE Catholic Church on Sunday denied it was part of efforts to destabilize the government, days after President Rodrigo Duterte warned that he would jail communists and establish a revolutionary government if his opponents—including the religious–tried to undermine his administration.
“There is no goal to oust our President from office or to undermine our President,” Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines public affairs committee said in Filipino over radio dzMM.
“We strongly assert that the Catholic Church will not take steps to undermine the President. The public should not think that we are mounting a People Power, that the Church is heading a uprising,” he added.
He said, however, that the Church could not support the killing of thousands of suspects in the government’s anti-drug war.
A Mass at the EDSA Shrine at 3 p.m. on Nov. 5 would be held for the victims of “extrajudicial killings,” he said. After the Mass, a candlelight procession will be held to the People Power Monument about a kilometer from the shrine.
The Mass and procession mark the start of a 33-day period of praying for the country’s healing.
Police data show that 3,800 people have been killed in anti-drug operations, allegedly because they resisted arrest and fought back.