By Leslie Aquino
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said silence is not an option when attacks are being done against others unjustly.
“If we keep silent, we side with the aggressors. We give them the liberty to continue with their assault and their lies. Since we allow them the liberty to do wrong to this one, they would not hesitate to do it again to another one, and then to another,” Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said in a Facebook post.
The prelate said many lives could have been spared in the war on drugs if only people did not keep silent.
“If from the beginning the denunciations had happened from all quarters, since injustice in some areas is injustice to all, many lives could have been spared,” said Pabillo.
He added: Our silence has emboldened them.
“There was no general outcry from the public and even from the Church and civic authorities except from some bishops and religious whose flocks were directly affected. So the killings continued,” Pabillo said.
Even the red-tagging and killing of Lumad leaders in Mindanao, which also spread to Negros Island, the prelate said did not draw much reaction from the people.
“There are outcries from the four Catholic bishops and other bishops of other Christian groups in Negros to stop this endless shedding of blood. But why are bishops of other dioceses silent? Is it just the problem of Negros? Do we have to wait for the killings to spread to other dioceses?” Pabillo asked.
He also lamented the silence with the recent attack against the more than 30 perceived critics of the government who were wrongfully accused of sedition which include members of the clergy.
“We all know that the accusation is without basis. We all know that it is a legal harassment. We all know that it is a ploy to frighten the critics of the government. Why the silence of other church leaders, the academe, and the lay faithful in general. Do we have to wait till those same harassments come to us?” Pabillo said.
“Silence is not an option. We have to speak – and now! Defend the innocent. Denounce the aggression. Call the accusations for what they are – lies!” he added.