McCormick condemns murder of priests in Philippines
May 1, 2018
Lisa McCormick condemned the murder of Father Mark Ventura, a 37-year-old priest who was shot dead on Sunday, April 29, by unknown killers after saying Mass in Gattaran, Cagayan, Philippines.
McCormick blames fascist Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte for the slaying of Ventura and another priest who was gunned down 4 months ago, Father Marcelito Paez.
Paez, 72, was slain in Jaen, Nueva Ecija, also by unidentified gunmen in December 2017.
“A year ago, when President Donald Trump met with Duterte, he should have confronted him over the bloody drug war that has resulted in thousands of extrajudicial killings,” said McCormick. “Instead, Trump praised Duterte for doing an ‘unbelievable job‘ in combating the illicit drug trade, embracing the authoritarian dictator who is accused of ordering extrajudicial killings, and invited the Filipino President to visit the White House.”
“Duterte’s abysmal human rights record, authoritarian politics and extrajudicial killings are an affront to the civilized world and the rule of law,” said McCormick.
Duterte boasted about running vigilante death squads that killed 1,700 people during his years as mayor of Davao, the biggest city in the southern Philippines, then denied any links to the vigilantes, when he attracted criticism from human rights groups and the United Nations.
“Duterte pledged to eradicate crime during his presidency by ordering security forces to kill criminals but Father Mark Ventura was not a criminal,” said McCormick. “he was a 37-year-old man, known for opposing mining and helping oppressed indigenous people.”
Duterte promised to end crime by killing tens of thousands of suspected criminals and plans to pardon himself for mass murder, as well as police and soldiers accused of abusing human rights.
“I am always amazed by those who boast about law and order and hold themselves unaccountable for crimes against humanity,” McCormick said.