CBCP: Who are we to condemn pork scammers?

Posted at 06/09/14 9:02 AM

MANILA - The president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines is urging Filipinos not to condemn several individuals including three senators who are facing plunder charges over the multi-billion pork barrel scandal.

In a report on CBCPNews, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas reminded Christians to "love at all times, even those who sin and err, for none of us is above human frailty."

"For those among us who are not accused, let us remember that the offenses with which those who now stand accused are charged could very well be the offense of any of us as well," he said.

"Who are we to condemn? Let the one who has no sin be the first to cast a stone," he added.

Villegas urged officials not to act out of hatred or desire for vengeance. He said a vengeful action "cannot be from God."

"Let no action – official, personal or otherwise – be ever born out of hatred or a desire for vengeance," he said.

"Let everything we do be born out of sincere love for each other and concern for the common good for only then will we be recognized as disciples of the Divine Master who searches out and rescues the lost and the weak," he added.

The CBCP president said those tasked to prosecute the cases must "observe total commitment to the human rights of the accused."

"Everybody culpable, whatever their political affiliations may be, should be investigated and, if so warranted, indicted. When justice is selective, it is not justice at all," he said.

The Office of the Ombudsman on Friday formally filed before the Sandiganbayan plunder charges against three senators and several individuals linked to the P10 billion pork barrel scam.

Facing plunder raps before the Sandiganbayan are Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, Bong Revilla, Janet Lim Napoles, Jessica Reyes, Ronald John Lim, John Raymund de Asis, Pauline Labayen, John de Asis and Richard Cambe.