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De Lima: Attack on Caloocan bishop ‘vintage Duterte’

DE LIMA ON DAVID: “It takes a different kind of courage to stand up against the powerful ...” —INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

DE LIMA ON DAVID: “It takes a different kind of courage to stand up against the powerful …” —INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Opposition Sen. Leila de Lima on Sunday urged the Catholic faithful to rally around Caloocan Bishop Pablo David after President Duterte accused the outspoken prelate of taking Church funds for his personal use.

In a dispatch from detention, the incarcerated senator said Filipino Catholics should “stand behind David and all Filipino men and women of courage who remain steadfast in fighting for justice and human rights.”

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“It takes a different kind of courage to stand up against the powerful, and a psychotic tyrant at that, and to fight for the powerless. This is the kind of courage that continues to give hope to our people, and by doing so will deliver them from the evil that envelops the country,” De Lima said.

In a recent speech, the President said a certain “Bishop David” had stolen Church donations.

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In a post on Facebook, David replied: “People who are sick sometimes do not know what they are talking about, so we should just bear with them. My parents never taught me to steal.”

“Duterte’s attack on Bishop Pablo ‘Ambo’ David is nothing but slanderous. It is vintage Duterte. He destroys the reputation of those who oppose him and those who fight for the victims of his rule,” De Lima said.

Desperate bid

According to her, the President’s attack was a desperate bid to besmirch the name of David who had been critical of the government’s war on drugs while drawing attention to the plight of the families of victims of extrajudicial killings (EJKs).

“Bishop Ambo is his latest victim. Aside from tending to the relatives of EJK victims in his diocese, Bishop Ambo drew the ire of Duterte for his rebuke on the President’s latest attacks on the Catholic religion and the Church,” De Lima added.

Praise for bishop

The senator said she was proud of David for his “courage and fortitude to defend the poor from the extrajudicial killings perpetrated by the government.”

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“He has been successful in condemning the endless killings under Duterte, to the point that he has now become the newest target of Duterte’s intrigues, lies and slanders,” she said.

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