What Fr. Picardal’s hiding is for?
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.” –(Psalm 23:1)
Last Tuesday’s front page headline of this paper that states “Duterte critic in hiding” was very catchy. Fr. Amado Picardal, a Redemptorist priest based in Cebu and allegedly one of the earliest critics of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs is the one being referred to.
For fear of his life (his claim), he has gone into hiding after motorcycle riding hitmen were allegedly targeting him. He theorized that the only reason is that he preached against extrajudicial killings. In his blog he said that whatever happens to him the blame will be placed on the President.
The spokesperson of the Archdiocese of Cebu, Msgr. Joseph Tan, however, begged off from giving a statement, saying they do not have any information about the threats against Fr. Picardal. I appreciate Tan for being factual and for not riding on mere conjectures.
Also, Chief Supt. Debold Sinas of PRO-7 advised the priest to come forward and assured him of his protection. Sinas’ move to send the PNP chaplain, Fr. Reynaldo Pianar, to talk to Fr. Picardal is correct. At least Picardal would be comfortable talking to his fellow priest.
In view of the said reports and with all due respect to Fr. Picardal, the inevitable questions are the following, to wit: Is Fr. Picardal telling the truth? Does he really have threats on his life? How did he verify it? Is it not a product of his own imaginations? Why did he not ask the assistance of the PNP or NBI? Why did he instead post it in his blog? Is he not bothered to be misinterpreted as propagandist?
I just hope that Fr. Picardal is telling the truth. After all, the devil is the father of lies as the Bible says. Presuming that the priest’s claim is true, then we call on the authorities to protect him and we pray to God for his safety.
Furthermore, I would like to humbly remind Fr. Picardal not to be afraid because God has promised to protect his honest servant. “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” –(Psalm 23: 4).
I hope Fr. Picardal also remembers Psalm 91:7 that states, “Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you.”
These verses, however, can only be invoked by sincere servants of God, not by liars and propagandist.
Fr. Picardal should know that he has nothing to worry if he is not into any illegal activity and if he is entirely focused on preaching the words of God. He must know that God is our protector, so what the hiding is all for?
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