Philip­pine church bells to toll for 40 nights in drug war protest

The New Paper - - NEWS -

Church bells tolled across the mainly Catholic Philip­pines late yes­ter­day as bish­ops ral­lied op­po­si­tion to the “reign of ter­ror” that has left thou­sands dead in Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte’s drug war.

Po­lice have re­ported killing more than 3,800 peo­ple to ful­fil Mr Duterte’s vow to rid the coun­try of nar­cotics, with the 15-month crack­down trig­ger­ing wider vi­o­lence that has seen thou­sands of other peo­ple found dead in un­ex­plained cir­cum­stances.

The Church said bells around the coun­try would con­tinue to si­mul­ta­ne­ously ring for five min­utes at 8pm for 40 nights to hon­our the dead and re­mind the liv­ing that the blood­shed must stop.

“We can­not al­low the de­struc­tion of lives to be­come nor­mal, we can­not gov­ern the na­tion by killing,” Car­di­nal Luis An­to­nio Ta­gle said in a pas­toral let­ter last week launch­ing the cam­paign.

Church of­fi­cials say the tolling of bells is a di­rect throw­back to the Cru­sades in the Me­dieval Age, when Chris­tian na­tions of Europe sent mil­i­tary ex­pe­di­tions to re­claim holy places in the Mid­dle East.

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