A suburb in Manila city, Philippines

Philippines: Major Christian Group Breaks With Duterte

One of the largest Christian evangelical groups in the Philippines openly broke away from President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday, calling on him to stop his “murderous” war on drugs that has raised international concerns.

Eddie Villanueva, head of the four million-member Jesus is Lord (JIL) movement, expressed “grave concern” over killings in counter-narcotics operations and the alleged involvement of high-ranking officials in drug trafficking.

He apparently was alluding to a recent Senate investigation where Duterte’s son, Paolo, was accused by an opposition senator of protecting drug syndicates involved in the shipment of $125 million worth of drugs through the customs bureau. Paolo has repeatedly denied the allegations.

President Duterte has surprisingly stayed silent on the issue, but was forced to have his son and son-in-law testify at a Senate inquiry led by his allies.

While Duterte has implemented some “beneficial programs,” including free tuition fees in universities, increased public health insurance coverage, and a nationwide smoking ban, his policy against drugs “should not be at the expense of the rule of law,” Villanueva said.

“We would also like to remind everyone of the 6th commandment – Thou shall not murder. No one has the right to take another person’s life,” Villanueva told reporters at the 39th anniversary celebration of the JIL movement.

He was joined in his call by the Philippines for Jesus Movement (PJM) and the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC), two of the largest non-Catholic organizations in the country.

Full story: BenarNews

Felipe Villamor

Copyright ©2017, BenarNews. Used with the permission of BenarNews.

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