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Bishop Cortes extends Oratio Imperata, prays to end killings in Dumaguete City

Judy Flores Partlow (The Freeman) - January 13, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines – Bishop Julito Cortes of the Diocese of Dumaguete announced the extension of the Oratio Imperata, a special prayer he issued last December 8 specifically to end “extra-judicial killings” and to address the prevailing perceived culture of violence, especially in Dumaguete City.

Cortes expressed hope there will be solutions to the series of killings in this capital city and elsewhere in the province of Negros Oriental despite what he describes as a “desensitized” community.

The prelate reminded the people to value and respect human life, regardless of the nature of a person. He said many people appear to not care about the killings in the recent past, majority of which were attributed to the drug problem.

There are solutions to the problem of illegal drugs and drug-related killings here for as long as there are still people of good will, Cortes said.

Cortes said he originally intended the Oratio Imperata to stop by the end of February, but because of the recent killings in the city at the start of the year, he said he feels the need to continue the special prayer for an indefinite period.

Cortes pointed out that following the release of the Oratio Imperata, God had so far “heard our prayers”, referring to the almost two months of absence of shooting incidents here related to the illegal drugs trade.

But in early January, the bishop’s attention was drawn to the highly-publicized mauling of a US citizen, Phil Prins, outside a restaurant-bar in Dumaguete that led to his death later, as well as the fatal shooting of Robert Sumalinog, the brother-in-law of a city councilor.

Cortes, admitting that the killings have embarrassed Dumaguete’s tag as “city of gentle people,” met with Senior Inspector Romeo Cubo, deputy chief of the City Police and section chiefs who paid a courtesy call on him at his residence and discussed these latest cases, which they said were not drug-related.

“We believe in the evil of the reality of the illegal drugs problem,” but there is still hope, Cortes said. “Do not squander your lives. It is a precious gift from God,” he told the police officials who he later blessed and prayed over for their protection as they go about their duty in law enforcement. (FREEMAN)

ACIRC BISHOP JULITO CORTES OF THE DIOCESE OF DUMAGUETE CITY POLICE CORTES DUMAGUETE DUMAGUETE CITY NEGROS ORIENTAL ORATIO IMPERATA PHIL PRINS ROBERT SUMALINOG SENIOR INSPECTOR ROMEO CUBO
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