MANILA - A year and a day after the death of 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos, Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David dedicated a strongly-worded work against those responsible, complicit, or apathetic to killings under the government's drug war.
David read the Tagalog translation of his work "A Prophetic Oracle Against Murderers" in his homily after the unveiling of a black stone marker to commemorate the lives of Delos Santos and other victims of extrajudicial killings.
David referred to those who call drug addicts "not human," those who arrest drug suspects without charges, and those who are part of death squads.
"Dumanas nawa kayo ng kasawian, kayong tumatawag sa mga adik na 'hindi tao' at nararapat lamang na mamatay. Sino ang nagbigay sa iyo ng karapatang husgahan ang mga taong may karamdaman?" he asked.
(Woe to you who call addicts "non-humans” deserving of death. Who gave you the right to pass judgment on people who are sick?)
He mentioned in the list owners of funeral parlors who take advantage of dead bodies, barangay officials who connive with killers by manipulating CCTV footage, and those who report drug suspects through drop boxes.
"Matisod kayo sa mismong mga espadang ginamit ninyo sa pang-aalipusta sa mga walang kalaban-laban. Mamanahin ng inyong mga anak at mga apo, hanggang sa inyong mga apo sa tuhod ang kasalanan ninyo, hanggang sa ikaapat na henerasyon!" he said.
(You will stumble on the very swords you have used as weapons to bully the poor with. Your guilt will be borne by your children and your children's children down to the fourth generation!)
Explaining the language of the oracle to reporters after the mass, Bishop David said, "dumanas kayo ng kasawian" is a Tagalog translation of the phrase "woe to you" which prophets in the Bible often used in making prophecies.
"I call it holy anger...Nararamdaman ko pagkamuhi ng Diyos sa nangyari," he said, describing it as "righteous indignation."
Bishop David—who is active in helping form support groups for widows and orphans, and raise funds for scholarships for families of extrajudicial killings in the drug war—said 300 individuals recently graduated from a church-sponsored community rehabilitation program for drug users have joined a new batch.
He called on the government to treat the drug problem as a health issue.