LEGAZPI, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – Bishop Joel Z. Baylon announced during Sunday Mass the ringing of church bells in Albay province every night at 9 p.m. as a signal to the faithful to pray for an end to extrajudicial killings in President Duterte’s war on drugs.
The head of the Catholic Diocese of Legazpi announced his call for “Prayers at Nine” in a letter to Mr. Duterte that was read in 45 churches throughout the province a day after the President repeated his vow to execute drug addicts, urging them to stay indoors or be silenced forever.
“We will ring the bells of our churches and chapels to call our people to prayer, to ask God to bless us all with his grace of mercy and compassion,” Baylon said. He added that the bells will keep on ringing as long as necessary.
Reacting to the bishop’s call, residents of Albay province complained that the ringing of the bells will keep many awake at night, especially those who go to bed early. “It’s very insensitive of the bishop to do this,” they said.
Meanwhile, pro-Duterte activists criticized the announcement, saying that the church bells of Albay are biased and discriminatory.
“Why didn’t the bells toll when 44 men of the PNP Special Action Forces were mercilessly murdered by Muslim rebels simply because the sitting President at that time refused to give the order to the other AFP and PNP elements to rescue the trapped SAF troopers,” said netizen Ed Malay.
He added: ” The bells should have also tolled when Canadian Robert Hall was beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf. The bells should have also tolled when 13 demonstrators lost their lives at Mendiola in 1987. The bells should have tolled when farmers of Hacienda Luisita who merely wanted to get their shares of their labor were killed in 2004. The bells should have tolled when 58 innocent civilians were murdered in Maguindanao in 2009. The bells should have tolled in 2010 when 9 hostages were killed in a botched rescue attempt at the Luneta that gave the country a glimpse of an incompetent President who was propped up by the Church. And the bells should have tolled when thousands of Typhoon Yolanda victims lost their lives and were deprived of the benefits that could have been given them from the P120-Billion in foreign donations that are now missing and unaccounted for.”
Wow, that’s a lot.
Maybe the Catholic Church should just stay out of politics!