(ANS – Makati City) – We, Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) of the Philippine North Province (FIN) are deeply saddened by the spate of killings that have been going on in the recent past. Being at the forefront of youth pastoral ministry in the world and in the Church, our sadness turns to alarm given the disturbing and undeniable reality that many of those who have been killed recently are vulnerable young people, in the hands of those sworn and duty-bound by law to protect the common good, and to safeguard the same young people from their own—and other adults’—possible wicked ways.
Following the teachings of the Father and Teacher of Youth, St. John Bosco, we declare our dedication to remain solid in our desire to train young men and women to become “good Christians and upright citizens.”
This is not a veiled attempt at taking sides with any color, group, or party. Moral values and Christian morality in general go above and beyond politics. This is not a condonation of anyone, young or old, who may indeed be involved in the drug trade. But neither is this a condemnation of those who are sworn to do whatever is legally and morally allowable to stem the tide of this clear and present danger to society and a threat to the future of the Filipino people.
This is a plea to the collective conscience of the Filipino people, including those who legitimately hold the reins of political- and police- power, duty-bound as they are to uphold the commonweal.
One with the Filipino people’s desire to rid our nation of the innumerable evils that plague us, including the very real threats posed by the proliferating illegal drugs that are tied up with the bigger emerging reality of a corruption-laden and drug-tainted political system, we call on all men and women of goodwill to fight and resist evil in all its forms, and this, apart from the scourge of drugs, includes the evil of summary killings, for whatever reason or purpose, especially all those done to young people without the benefit of due process.
We appeal to the consciences of everyone, both from the ranks of the leaders and the led, to uphold the sacredness of human life and “to observe what is right, and do what is just.” (Is 56:1)
Fr. Anthony Paul Bicomong, SDB
Salesians of Don Bosco
Philippines North Province