Philippine activist issues rallying cry to save country

(UCAN) A priest-social activist has called on Philippine church leaders who have been silent about the proposed revival of capital punishment to speak out and “save the country.”

“The death penalty is not only killing people, but killing democracy itself,” said Father Robert Reyes, known as the “running priest” for his penchant to run for his advocacies.

The priest said the death penalty is “symbolic of the dying democracy that we are all trying to save.”

“It’s not the death penalty, it’s the dying democracy, the dying religion of prophets, the vibrant religion of those who are not afraid to offer their lives for the truth,” he told reporters.

Father Reyes said he is calling on his “older brothers in the church to speak out now.”

“We don’t have the luxury of time. Democracy is dying in the country. It is dying. Very soon if we don’t do anything a real dictator will rule this land,” he said.

The priest has been vocal in his criticism of President Rodrigo Duterte’s policies, including the proposed revival of capital punishment, the lowering of the age criminal liability for minors, and the killings linked to the government’s war against drugs. [More]