THE Diocese of Cabanatuan strongly condemned the killing of 14-year-old Reynaldo de Guzman and the government’s bloody war on drugs that allegedly resulted in the mounting death toll that include a number of teenagers.
In a statement issued and shared on social media on Friday, Cabanatuan Bishop Sofronio Bancud called for justice for De Guzman, who was found floating in a creek in Gapan, Nueva Ecija, on Tuesday almost three weeks after he went missing with his companion, Carl Angelo Arnaiz.
“Sa diwang ito, bilang isang diocese, masidhi nating tinututulan ang anumang marahas na pagpatay sa sinumang tao lalo na ang pagpatay sa mga inosente,” Bancud said in a statement.
(In this light, as a diocese, we are strongly against any killing of any human being, especially the innocent.)
“Ang pagpatay sa isang 14 taong gulang na si Reynaldo de Guzman na natagpuan sa lungsod ng Gapan, Nueva Ecija, at sa iba pang menor de edad na nasasangkot umano sa droga ay gumising nawa sa mga mabubuting budhi ng bawat miyembro ng lipunan,” he added.
(May the death of 14-year-old Reynaldo de Guzman, who was found in Gapan City, Nueva Ecija, and all the other youths, awaken the spirits of each member of the society.)
De Guzman was found in the far-flung village of San Roque in Gapan City with his head wrapped in plastic and packing tape and his body riddled with 30 stab wounds. Forensic experts from the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) said that the boy may have been killed less than 24 hours before he was thrown into the creek.
He was last seen alive with Arnaiz on Aug. 18 after they went out for midnight snacks in their neighborhood in Cainta, Rizal.
Arnaiz was killed that night in an alleged shootout with Caloocan City police after mugging a taxi driver. An autopsy by the PAO, however, showed that the Arnaiz was tortured before being shot while on his knees.
The teens’ consecutive deaths, including that of 17-year-old Kian delos Santos, have sparked public outrage and put spotlight into Duterte’s violent crackdown against illegal drugs.
Bancud urged the public to unite and stand against the killings as silence means consenting with the violence happening in the country.
“Ang kawalan ng pakialam sa mga patayang nangyayari sa ating lipunan ay nagpapahiwatig ng ating pagsang-ayon sa mga karahasang iyon,” the bishop said.
(Apathy over the killings in our society shows of our approval of the violence.)
He also called on the people to pray for the victims and their families, as well as the people in the government to take the path to love and peace when implementing their duties. /INQUIRER.NET