The Church has offered once again another precious life in its service to God’s people and the poor.
Fr. Pops was a staunch advocate against mining and other extractive operations that threaten the indigenous people. He had been an inspiration to his parishioners as wells as the lumads who have been opposing activities that are harmful to the environment.
We join Fr. Pops’ brothers at the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), the Diocese of Kidapawan, and the hundreds of human rights activists that demand justice for our slain priest.
No peace workers and human rights defenders should ever live in fear or shed blood because of what they believe in and what they stand for.
Fr. Pops’ murder reveals a culture of impunity that has prevailed in our society because of the lack of protection and justice that our government affords to human rights defenders.
Beyond the usual expressions of “condolences” and “condemnation”, the government and state authorities have not really done anything that will reverse the trend of senseless killings in the country.
But the victims, their families and friends don’t need these futile words.
Rather, we desire to see these killings stop than be consoled by the platitudes they give in exchange of our grief.
+ BRODERICK S. PABILLO, D.D.
National Secretariat for Social Action