KIDAPAWAN CITY, Cotabato – A Cotabato-based pontiff said that the President’s declaration of a State of National Emergency is not something Filipinos need to be worried about, and asked Catholics to pray for the country and its leaders.
Archbishop of Cotabato Orlando Cardinal Quevedo said that the declaration is "very far" from martial law, and does not by itself violate human rights, though people should be vigilant in guarding against these.
"We have to be very careful that our own security forces including the military will not violate human rights,” he said on the sidelines of the installment of Bishop Colin Bagaforo as the 6th Bishop of the Archdiocese of Kidapawan.
However, he said that Filipinos should cooperate with authorities to ensure their safety.
"I think the message in the bombing in Davao is whoever did it can reach anywhere in the Philippines and no one is safe," Quevedo said.
After declaring a State of Lawless Violence over the weekend, Malacanang yesterday proclaimed a State of National Emergency following several incidents of attempted attacks around the country aside from the Davao City bombing that claimed 14 lives and left at least 60 injured.
Quevedo meantime said that he will pray for President Rodrigo Duterte.
"He is aware that the campaign [against illegal drugs] has repercussions… he should go not for revenge but for peace in the Philippines," Quevedo said.
Today, Duterte lampooned the Catholic Church for supposedly using fear to instill its teachings.
"May pari ba dito? What I don't like really is yun bang takutin ka. Pagka maliit pa tayo, magpunta tayo ng impyerno, magpunta tayo ng impyerno, kung ano man, sunugin ng impyerno," he said during the ASEAN Summit in Laos.
(Is there a priest here? What I don't really like is when they frighten you into believing. When we're young, they tell us that we'll go to hell, we'll go to hell, we'll burn in hell.)
"There are things which the Catholic Church must change or else, it will -- by the end of this three decades from now, it becomes irrelevant," he added.
READ: Duterte twits Catholic Church anew, promotes his 'Iglesia'