Philippine Catholic Church to slam 'reign of terror' behind war on drugs

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 04, 2017 4:02 AM

MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippines' Catholic Church will assail President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs for creating a "reign of terror" among the poor in sermons to be read at mass across the country this weekend, three church sources told Reuters on Saturday.

In its most strongly worded comments so far on the crackdown on drug pushers and users, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines will say that killing people is not the answer to trafficking of illegal drugs and will voice concern about the indifference of many to the bloodshed.

"An additional cause of concern is the reign of terror in many places of the poor. Many are killed not because of drugs. Those who kill them are not brought to account," they said in a pastoral letter, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters.

More than 7,600 people have been killed since Duterte launched his anti-drugs campaign seven months ago, more than 2,500 in what police say were shootouts during raids and sting operations.

(Writing by John Chalmers; Editing by Nick Macfie)