Circular Letter 18, Series 2009 (Directive)

My dear brothers and sisters, my dear young people:

After the Lord Jesus resurrected from the dead and before He descended to heaven, He gave to His followers not simply a greeting nor merely and expression of food will, but specially so, a fervent and incere prayer He thus expressly and clearly said: “Peacd be with you!” (John 20, 21)

Both reason and faith, both ethics and morals consitently forward and continously affirm the proven principles, saying: Peace is the fruit of justice. If there is no peace in the world, if peace is illusive in the Philippines, if peace is wanting in our province, sadly the reason is a dysfunctional justice system in the world, in the Philippines, in the province.

Specifically having in mind our own province, the work for justice and the prusuit of peace are first and foremost the priority concern and the basic task of our incumbent public officials hand-in -hand with the police and other duly designated authorities. Theirs is also the first and foremost accountability when law and order in the province proved to be but mere words and not social realities.

This does not mean however that we ourselves would not look, simply watch and do nothing in the work for social justice and peace in our province. While it is admittedly difficult and may be even dangerous, we ourselves have to be attentive to the safety of our homes and families. We ourselves have to denounce drugs and alcohol, houses of ill repute and gambling. In the event that we ourselves have come to know any of these vices and crimes, we should have the courage to bring them to the attention of the proper authorities. We thus become their extra moral force against the criminal elements in our province.

My dear brothers and sisters, and my dear young people:

Why do I have to reach out to you through this circular letter specifically about justice and peace?

Well, I know that you are already much burdened by one bad news after another — uch as about our deeply divided country, about our much impoverished people, about our much distrusted and depreciated present government. Hence, I seek your kind understanding and forgiveness as well, for bringing another bad news concretely in conjunction the rather sad state of justice and peace in our province.

I have been with your for some two decades, in the past few years to the present, I remain much disturbed and worried about the well noticeable rise of criminality in Pangasinan. To name a few: people are killed. Women are violated. Children are abused. Fetuses are aborted. Homes and business firms are robbed. Jueteng and drug lords are having fun. Thus, with malice towards none but with respect towards all, in the name of the good people of this province, I cry:” HELP!” I beg our local officials and our public authorities: Please help us have peace in the province through the reign of justice.

Very respectfully yours in the Good Lord,

(SGD) +OSCAR V. CRUZ,DD

Archbishop

18/19 July 2009

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