Extrajudicial killings do not make Davao a ‘city of peace and order’ – Archbishop Ledesma

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 5 May) – Archbishop Antonio Ledesma takes a dig at presidential frontrunner Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, saying Davao City with “such a high rate of unsolved killings cannot be called a city of peace and order.”

Ledesma said no members of the “so-called Davao Death Squad” who were allegedly responsible for the 1,424 documented cases of extrajudicial killings, which included 132 children aged 17 and below, were ever apprehended.

“The prime responsibility for the inaction over these unsolved crimes must rest squarely on the Mayor and local government officials. A city with such a high rate of unsolved killings cannot be called a city of peace and order,” Ledesma said.

The statement against Mayor Duterte is contained in Ledesma’s May 3 pastoral letter which he read at the prayer rally for a clean, orderly and peaceful elections at Divisoria Thursday night.

Ledesma cited the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and Human Rights 1998-2015 reports and the log of Father Amado Picardal on the extrajudicial killings in Davao City.

“These summary killings without formal charges and due process can never be justified – whether or not the victims are suspected criminals or rebels or workers on strike. These killings are illegal, immoral and sinful,” Ledesma said.

He urged voters to choose candidates with a conscience and a healthy respect for life.

“Conscience is the first and most important criterion. The candidate must be a person of integrity and honesty. He or she follows the dictates of his conscience that tells him what is morally right and wrong. He respects human rights and the dignity to every person. He is transparent and accountable in the conduct of his public office,” Ledesma said,

The interfaith prayer rally was attended by various groups, soldiers and policemen at the Freedom Kiosk in Divisoria, this city.