Leaked letter restarts ‘Amoris wars’

What happened?

A former assassin has accused the president of the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte, of ordering the killings of criminals and opponents while he was mayor of Davao City. Edgar Matobato, 57, told a nationally televised senate committee hearing that Duterte had sanctioned the killings and even personally “finished off” a justice department employee with a submachine gun. In this period, about 1,000 Davao residents were killed. A presidential spokesman denied the accusations.

What the bishops are saying

The bishops of the Philippines delivered a strong statement last week condemning the death penalty, which Duterte wants to reintroduce.

Fr Marvin Mejia, secretary-general of the episcopal conference, said the statement, which did not directly attack the president, marked a new approach. He said: “The conference is learning a new approach to dealing with the president. For a long time, the bishops in the Philippines were the ones telling society what to do and what not to do. They were part of the power structure. Now we have a president who doesn’t care if he’s talking to an archbishop. And while I do think he’s open to debate, he does tend to take things personally.”

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