The summary execution of suspected drug dealers in the Philippines is “the most cruel death penalty ever seen,” a missionary priest told the Fides news service.
Father Shay Cullen, an Irish priest, reported that there have been
about 1,000 people killed in the past month, merely on suspicion of
involvement in the drug traffic. He described the vigilante killings as
“a monstrous crime.”
Father Cullen observed that lawmakers in the Philippines could
reinstate the death penalty, and although the missionary priest made it
clear that he would oppose that move, it would at least be “a legal way”
to punish criminals.
But the extra-judicial killings — which have been
quietly encouraged by President Rodrigo Duterte — are a violation of the
rule of law, he said.
“The suspects are not given the opportunity to
defend themselves against their accusers, which is their constitutional
“This violence must stop,” Father Cullen insisted. Unfortunately, he
said, the campaign of vigilante justice appears to have broad public