MANILA -- Four bishops tagged in the supposed ouster plot against President Rodrigo Duterte said they continue to pray for their accusers.
Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani Jr., and Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco were mentioned in the affidavit of Peter Joemel Advincula alias Bikoy, the police's basis for its sedition complaint.
They were were accused of being part of Project Sodoma’s shadow group which provided financial, logistical, security and accommodations support to the alleged ouster plot, which they have denied.
The bishops said their first response was prayer when they heard of the sedition complaint, in which Villegas, David, and Bacani were impleaded.
"We held no press conferences together. We begged off from interviews. We attended no rallies. We chose to pray," they said in a statement Saturday.
"We prayed instantly, even until now, for our accusers. May they meet the God of all Truths, be touched by His grace and stay away from the prince of lies. We invite Bikoy to turn back to God whose offer of mercy and forgiveness is without limits."
Aside from their accusers, the bishops said they also prayed for the prosecutors to be "guided by nothing but the spirit of justice and truth."
"Justice without facts is no justice at all. We cling to the belief that our officials in the Department of Justice adhere to these values," they said.
"Indeed there is separation of Church and State but there must be no separation between God and country."
The bishops said they would not be discouraged by the complaint from fulfilling their duties.
"We renew our commitment to serve, to teach and to bless without relent, without repay. We will not allow this splinter from the cross of Christ to distract us from our mission, to dampen our zeal or to intimidate us," they said.
They also prayed that the complaint would not divide the Filipino people.
"Our land needs healing not turmoil. We cannot and we will not participate and we will never help in anything that will bring about social change through illegal means," they said.
Aside from the four bishops, Advincula also accused prominent opposition figures such as Vice President Leni Robredo, senators Leila de Lima and Risa Hontiveros, and their former colleague, Antonio Trillanes IV.