Retired Catholic prelate backs inclusion of priests in ‘Oplan Tokhang’ revival

MANILA — A former head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference the Philippines (CBCP) believes that the goal of Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director Gen. Ronald dela Rosa in including members of the clergy in double barrel operations, to show that their intention is not just to kill people.

“Sabi ko siguro maganda layunin ni General dela Rosa para talaga mapakita na ang double barrel ngayon ay hindi naman talaga papatay basta basta…kaya sabi niya ‘yung pari pwede sumama doon,” he said in an interview.

Although, the retired Catholic prelate does not see anything wrong with the plan of the PNP head, he noted that the police and priest have their own jobs to do.

“Ang sabi ko maganda ang hangarin niya pero kanya kanyang trabaho ‘yan. Kaya nga sabi ko na mahirap naman ‘yung mga pari sasama sa mga double barrel tapos ‘yung pulis sila naman magmisa sa simbahan,” Cruz said.

“Just to show we are open to being accompanied by churchmen, to show na hindi naman sila pumapatay mga tao basta basta and I think that is what will happen now. Unlike before there’s killings left and right…” the Lingayen-Dagupan emeritus Archbishop added.

On the other hand, Fr. Jerome Secillano, Executive Secretary of the CBCP-Public Affairs Committee (PAC) said that they will support plans to stop corruption and lawlessness as long as it does not involved killings.

“Whatever strategy there is, for as long as there’s no killing and it is devoid of any corrupt and unjust practice, the church supports,” he added.

Dela Rosa is looking to include priests in Oplan Tokhang Part 2 operations, by joining search teams. Likewise, would be provided copies of the government’s list of drug suspects to allow the religious to convince those involved in drugs to turn over a new leaf.