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Prelate laments spate of killings in Caloocan

By LESLIE ANN AQUINO

Frustrated in the number of killings in his diocese, Caloocan Bishop Pablo David felt saddened that as a shepherd he was unable to protect his flock from “wolves.”

The prelate said this following the killing of Jennifer Taburada in Caloocan, Wednesday.

“I feel so, so, so, so sad, that I am not able to protect my flock from the wolves!” he said in his homily on the second day of the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila.

According to David, Jennifer, one of the widows of the victims of extrajudicial killings who are leading the support group for EJK victims in his diocese, was killed by masked killers at 8 p.m. in the evening.

He said he learned of the widow’s death from a member of the support group who texted him.

“She sent me a picture of this 27-year-old mother of two children sprawled, bloody, on cold pavement. And I recognized her immediately, Jennifer. She was one of the widows who applied for a scholarship for her son, Prince Junior, just a few months ago, and it broke my heart to tell her that we took only one scholar per family. She was trying to get two slots for her two children,” David recalled.

“I remember Jennifer. She was clutching in her armpit the death certificate of her husband, Ryan, who had also been killed by masked killers a year ago now. At that time, I remember how she narrated her husband’s death, how Ryan was mutilated by the killers,” he added.

Now, David said Jennifer’s two little children aged 5 and 7, named Princess and Prince Jr, are complete orphans.

To help the orphans, a special collection was held during the Mass for the two.

Bishop David lamented how the killers even took their “sweet time” in doing their deed.

“You know, the killers were not even rushing. They took their sweet time. We used to call them bonnet gangs. Now we just call them what they really are – death squads,” he said.

The police, David said seemed to be alerted about their presence.

“If the police wanted to pursue them, they could have, because they stayed for four hours,” he said.

After killing Jennifer, David said the killers moved a few blocks and killed another, Alvin Teng.

“And so today in utter shame and frustration, I declare I have not been a good shepherd to my flock! The wolves, they have been prowling the streets and alleys of Caloocan, Malabon, and Navotas for almost two years now!” he said.

“They have killed hundreds already, and I am unable to protect them with my life,” David added.

The Caloocan prelate said he will bow in shame if the good shepherd will denounce him as a mere hireling who remains very safe and very secure, who can get a good night’s sleep in his warm bed while his sheep are being slaughtered.

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