FOUR CATHOLIC bishops facing charges of inciting to sedition urged the government to observe the spirit of justice and truth in investigating the complaints against them.

Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani Jr., O.P, Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco, Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas made the call through a fraternal message released last Sept. 7.

“There can be no justice without truth. Justice without facts is no justice at all. We cling to the belief that our officials in the Department of Justice adhere to these values,” the fraternal message read.

The prelates also called on ex-convict Peter Advincula or “Bikoy,” who tagged the bishops in an alleged “destablization plot” against the Duterte administration in the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” video series, to “turn back to God whose offer of mercy and forgiveness is without limits.”

Bacani, Ongtioco, David and Villegas were among the 36 individuals facing inciting to sedition charges.

The bishops said they would participate in the investigation. “Our land needs healing not turmoil. We cannot and we will not participate and we will never help in anything that will bring about social change through illegal means,” they said.

Despite the allegation, prayer remains the “best weapon against every evil,” the bishops said.

“When we received the news about our inclusion as respondents in the case of sedition and other crimes filed by the [police] before the Department of Justice, our first response was prayer. We held no press conferences together. We begged off from interviews. We attended no rallies. We chose to pray,” they said.

The bishops emphasized that their mission as God’s servants would not be blurred and they would not be intimidated.

“This cross we carry now is nothing compared to the agony and passion of the Lord and the pains and aches of the poor. [W]e will not allow this splinter from the cross of Christ to distract us from our mission, to dampen our zeal or to intimidate us. [O]ur mission is yet incomplete,” they said. M.A.O. Castillo


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