By Leslie Ann Aquino
The Aid to the Church In Need Philippines (ACN PH) has called on the faithful to pray for the safety of the bishops charged with sedition by the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation Detection Group.
“ACN Philippines enjoins the faithful to pray together for the safety of the Bishops,” Jonathan Luciano, National Director of ACN Philippines, said.
The group also asked everyone to pray to the Lord to give the Church leaders strength so they can withstand their trials.
Last month, the PNP CIDG filed a complaint against a number of personalities including church leaders accusing them of cyber libel and sedition.
Bishops included in the complaint are Lingayen Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, Kalookan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco and retired Novaliches Bishop Teodoro Bacani Jr.
The complaint 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.
Luciano said as an organization helping the persecuted Church, CAN PH was saddened by the baseless accusation against the bishops.
“Such charges against them constitute persecution of the Church,” he said.
Such charges, Luciano said are devoid of truth and justice, decency and respect for human dignity.
“Our bishops, configured to Christ the Good Shepherd, have always been faithful to their mission to preach, promote and defend life, truth, justice and peace. They are solicitous of the common good, the unity and stability of society. As guardians of the living faith, they place a high value on the human person, his liberty and his right to life and happiness,” he said.
“The Bishops unjustly accused of sedition are exemplars of dedicated humble service to the wellbeing of the Filipinos, as well as to many humanitarian causes … proof of their undeniable love for the country,” added Luciano.
“We continue to pray and hope that the government and respectful officials concerned will wield justice with truth, the practice of law with integrity,” he said.
ACN is a pontifical foundation established to assist the needs of the Church wherever it is oppressed, persecuted or suffering material need.