By Leslie Ann Aquino
Two Catholic prelates said President Duterte's suggestion to bystanders to rob and kill the bishops should be condemned and not laughed at saying such statement is a serious matter.
Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes
(PagadianDiocese.org | Manila Bulletin)
"Again, his mouth has uttered absolutely silly things! And his ‘fans’ consider his murderous words as a mere joke! Is it a joke to advise people to kill?” Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes said in an interview.
"There should be a mass movement among decent Filipinos to make him desist from speaking like a devil. Let us do something to make him stop this evil!” he added.
Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos echoed the same sentiment of Bastes.
"It is no longer funny, and does not deserve laughs or applause from audience, but condemnation. The advice just promotes criminality, encourages lawlessness. What kind of authority that calls for killing?” he said.
"It is immoral authority, and does not respect life and teaches wrong values. If he does it with bishops, how much more to ordinary citizens? What kind of head of state who encourages killing!” added Santos.
"His presidency is a disappointment to us, and a disgraced to the country. It is known as 'kill, kill, kill'. And we totally speak, stand against it. We reject and condemn what he says,” he said.
Bishop Bastes, meantime, expressed concern with the possible effect of such words to the young generation.
“This is a serious matter. Being the number one citizen of our country, the young generation might make him a role model in speaking improperly as though words have no moral consequences,” he said.
Last week, Duterte suggested to bystanders to rob and kill members of the clergy since the bishops are moneyed people.
He made a similar call earlier saying bishops are better off killed since they are useless anyway.