Archbishop Cruz tells Alvarez: Don’t play God

Manila, Philippines – Former Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz on Thursday advised House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez against playing God taking after the threat to remove those who against the death penalty bill from plum posts in the Duterte-allied supermajority in Congress.

Alvarez (right), Cruz (left)

Alvrez (right), Cruz (left)

Archbishop Cruz also cautioned Alvarez against removing “plunder” from the list of crimes punishable of death.

“Unang–una, he is playing God. Para bang siya ang may utos ng huwag kang papatay at siya rin ang magsasabi kung sino ang papatayin mo o hindi. Ikalawa, yung utos na ‘Thou shall not kill,’ walang nakalagay dun na except or provided or until basta ‘Thou shall not kill.’” Archbishop Cruz said in an interview over Church-run Radyo Veritas.

(First of all, he is playing God. It’s like he was the one who commanded that you shall not kill and that he is also the one who can say who should or should not be killed. Secondly, the commandment “Thou shall not kill,” it doesn’t state there “except,” or “provided,” or “until,” it just says “Thou shall not kill.”)

He as well showed concern over the prevalence of “political motives” in pushing for the reimposition death penalty in the country.

“The boss of Congress is acting purely on political motives. Meaning to say kung ano ang sinabi ng boss ay siyang gagawin, nakakahiya, nakakasama ng kalooban (whatever the boss says, that’s what is done, it’s embarrassing, it’s hurtful),” Cruz said.

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“Kahit na masama o mabuti ‘yung boss mo diyan sa gobyerno ay siyang susundin mo?” he added.

(Regardless of whether your boss in government is good or bad, despite everything you’d obey him?)

CBCP Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos criticized the speaker’s proposition to lower the minimum criminal liability age to 9 years old, from the current 15.

“Instead of [letting] more children be tagged as criminals, let us put all our efforts at {letting] children be children. Let us see to their health and education so they will grow up [as] good citizens. We should be concerned with peace and order, where everyone especially children are protected and secured in and out of the house,” he said.

He additionally clarified that lowering the age of liability for crime won’t resolve crime.

“It will just increase the number of criminals. We are also responsible for every child that is thrown into criminality. Jesus said do not suffer the little ones for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” Santos added.


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