Manila Bulletin

CBCP to gov’t: Protect religious leaders


Following the killing of a priest and a pastor last week, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippine­s (CBCP) on Thursday called on the government to stop such attacks against members of the church.

In a statement, CBCP-National Secretaria­t for Social Acton, Justice, and Peace (NASSA) Bishop Rolando Tirona said the government should protect churchmen against people, who seek them harm, including government security personnel.

“NASSA demands the government to stop its security forces from acts of violence on Church people, who commit themselves to serve and work with the poor towards empowermen­t and developmen­t,” Tirona said.

Rather than enemies of the state, Tirona said the government should consider members of the Church as partners in providing service to public.

“Church people are only compliment­ing the government’s task in promoting, defending and fulfilling the human rights of the Filipinos for common good,” Tirona said.

CBCP-NASSA issued the statement after the reported death of Fr. Marcelito “Tito” Paez from the Diocese of San Jose (Nueva Ecija) and Pastor Lovelito Quiñones of the King’s Glory Ministry in Mindoro.

Paez was killed by unidentifi­ed armed men, while Quiñones died during skirmish between military forces and the New People’s Army (NPA).

Tirona said the killing of the two churchmen could be considered as attacks against the Church.

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