Marist Brothers condemn EJK
We, the Marist Brothers of the Schools in the Philippines, denounce the use of extrajudicial killings (EJKs) as the most expedient way to solve peace and order problems.
Summary killings will never ever make our communities safe and secure! Killers (state-sponsored or not) who wield their guns and oftentimes covered with bonnets—freely roaming around without being made responsible for their crimes—are phantoms lurking in the night. And no doubt, this state of impunity brought about by the blithe disregard for life will leave a trans-generational trauma in our national consciousness.
Invoking the primacy of the Abrahamic faith principle of the sanctity of the right to life, together with the Catholic Bishops of the Philippines, religious congregations and faiths, academic circles, human rights and peace networks, we therefore urge:
1. All the major branches of the government (executive, legislative and judiciary) to adhere to the protocol laid down by the Universal Declaration on Human Rights of which the Philippines is a signatory;
2. The Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines and National Bureau of Investigation to professionalize and cleanse their ranks of rogue elements;
3. The media and journalists to be factual and impartial in reporting incidents of crime and abuses without fear or favor;
4. The citizenry to be proactively involved in preventing crimes and human rights abuses in their respective communities and report occurrences of the same to authorities;
5. The ethico-spiritual leaders to always speak truth to power;
6. The academic community to continue to form our faculty’s and students’ consciences in the light of our cherished values as Filipinos;
7. The civil-society to link and partner with authentically democratic institutions, parties and social movements which can press for reforms in peace and security policies and programs;
8. The national and local leaders to refrain from using rhetorics of death, hate and violence, but instead promote a culture of peace, filial respect and solidarity.
9. Those who are involved in “demonic” acts such as production, proliferation and use of dangerous drugs; EJKs, violent extremism and terrorism, extortions, abuse of women and children, kidnapping for ransom, robbery, bribery, corruption, and exploitation, that they will have genuine conversion, for crime does not pay.
10. All peace-loving men and women of goodwill to earnestly PRAY FOR PEACE in our fragile land and let not the forces of darkness triumph by our inaction due to fear of reprisal.
As a positive and pro-active response to the prevailing national situation, we the Marist Brothers, commit to make our communities, schools and pastoral ministries as centers of peace.
BR. LINDLEY SIONOSA, FMS, Philippine sector coordinator; BR. MANUEL V. DE LEON, FMS, Kidapawan Community/Superiors’ Group chair; and 10 OTHER HEADS OF THE SOCIETY OF MARY IN THE PHILIPPINES
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