Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees, and the writers who keep writing oppression, to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right. Isaiah 10: 1-2a
The Christian Youth Fellowship expresses its deepest condolences to the Family of Kian Delos Santos and to all families whose members have been killed in the war on drugs.
Kian, 17 years old, was gunned down by policemen due to alleged involvement in drugs. As of now, investigations are still on-going on Kian’s case. Whether Kian is involved in drugs or not is not a matter for us to decide on, but the rule of law must be observed however, the death of Kian is a sad fact that needs to be justified. Our country has enshrined in our Bill of Rights, to afford due process to everyone and being a minor in conflict with the law, Kian rests on a special case. Among others, Kian was put to death by the law enforcers. It was not an issue from the drug users which we have long been bombarded with but rather from the law enforcers, that is very alarming. In the eyes of the law, everyone is afforded due process. Due process affords anyone a lawful arrest where no violence or unnecessary force is used, where the person arrested must not be subjected to a greater restraint than what is needed. Kian was a minor, he was put to death, now we don’t think that is necessary. Thus the Christian Youth Fellowship would want to voice out our stand.
The Christian Youth Fellowship, a youth organization of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines supports the initiatives and efforts of the government and civil society in addressing the problem of the prevalent Illegal Drug Industry. We condemn such industry and shun drug abuse and addiction. The negative effects of drugs on individuals, families, and communities are inimical to our society’s welfare and development and these must be seriously addressed. We are distressed by the victims of drug abuse and by those whose lives and dreams have been shattered due to drugs. Thus, we agree with the administration when they said that this Drug Trade must be stopped.
However, we are gravely bothered by the overwhelming number of deaths (approximately 7,000 according to a report by Human Rights Watch), the serious magnitude of human rights violations, and the manner in which the rule of law is continuously being disregarded in the name of war on drugs. The rampant killings and other injustices in this war must not go unwarranted. The rule of law must be observed, thus we call for transparency and equality in the application of due process. Truth and equality before the law must prevail. We express our strong desire to end the industry of illegal drugs but not in the manner that disregards the very principles that protect and honour the sacredness of life. Violence only begets violence and those who choose draw the sword will perish by the sword (Matthew 26:52).
The Christian Youth Fellowship through this statement manifests our faithfulness and commitment to our Principles as stated in our Constitution:
Section 2. The CYF commits itself to the total development of the youth for more responsive and
effective leadership and service in the CYF, Church and the society.
Section 3. The CYF exists for the service of the youth, in particular, and of the people in general, for the glory of God.
The Christian Youth Fellowship upholds the dignity of all individuals as we are all created by God in God’s own image, fearfully and wonderfully made. We believe in the principles of human rights as these protect the integrity of each individual’s God given life. We believe in Christ’ Gospel of Love and in His teachings that preach humility, justice, and peace. We believe that Christ gave His life for all (John 3:16). We continue to uphold His mission of reconciliation and redemption. Each individual who expresses the desire to change must be given the chance to be renewed. It is not our position to judge but we have the responsibility to uphold life according to the principles of justice and love.
We call on the CYF to build awareness on this issue. We must look into credible sources of information as we study this problem and conduct discussions in all platforms available, in the social media, our Bible Studies and Sunday Schools. Let us open our churches and lead people to the redeeming love of Christ. Let us coordinate with our local governments, ecumenical and interfaith partners on how we could further increase awareness on the ill effects of this Illegal Drug Industry and how we may rehabilitate those who have experienced drug abuse and addiction and who have been involved in drugs. Let us help them in renewing their lives— to lives lived to the full in the service of God and the community .
Let us fervently include in our prayers for lawlessness to end and for the restoration of peace based on justice in our country. Let us pray that God’s wisdom will guide our leaders and all of us as well as we continue to collectively journey in upholding truth, human dignity, and God’s gift of life and redemption.
NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
CHRISTIAN YOUTH FELLOWSHIP
Kindly click on the link to download the statement, CYF Statement on Killings