By Leslie Ann Aquino
Different groups have signified their support for Catholic prelates who were included in the sedition raps filed by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigative Detection Group (PNP-CIDG).
In a statement, the Couples for Christ Foundation for Life assured the church leaders involved that they were not alone in facing the raps filed by the PNP-CIDG.
“You do not work alone in this, dear Bishops,” the group said in a Facebook post.
CFC FFL urged the prelates to continue being courageous by speaking out against the injustices in the country.
“We encourage them to continue their courageous campaign in journeying with all Filipinos for truth and justice,” read their post.
“Speaking the truth, and fighting for the basic human rights of every Filipino, is not sedition. It is being faithful to the teachings of Christ and the Church. As such, we believe that the bishops are innocent of the charges against them, and we have complete faith in them,” it further read.
Sedition, the CFC FFL said, was a conduct or speech, inciting people to rebel against the authority of the state and the bishops they said did no such thing.
“If they speak about the injustices that are happening in Philippine life, they are simply doing their duty as pastors and looking out for the common good,” said the group.
The Immaculate Conception Major Seminary of the Diocese of Malolos, in Bulacan also rallied behind the bishops particularly Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco, who serves as Apostolic Administrator of the diocese.
“We stand by our bishops who are being persecuted and falsely accused for standing up against malicious insults against truth, freedom and justice,” they said in a statement.
“In a special way, we pledge our support to Most Rev. Honesto F. Ongtioco,” it further read.
“We are one in condemning any form of fake news, lies, manipulations and false testimonies that impoverish the integrity of the Truth and the decent character of those who are willing to proclaim it with courage and faith,” read the statement.
The PNP CIDG on Thursday filed a complaint against a number of personalities including church leaders accusing them of cyber libel and sedition.
This was in connection with the series of online “Bikoy” videos alleging that President Duterte and his family members were involved in the illegal drugs trade.
Among the members of the clergy included in the case former CBCP President Lingayen Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, CBCP Vice President Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco, Fathers Robert Reyes, Albert Alejo and Flaviano Villanueva.