Philippine Catholic bishops this week sought “zero tolerance” against human trafficking as they warned a failure to fight modern slavery could undermine the Church, a news site reported.
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines president and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas issued a pastoral letter to the effect, according to a report on the Union of Catholic Asian News.
“(O)ne Filipino victim of human trafficking alone is one victim too many for us as a Christian nation,” it quoted Villegas as saying in his pastoral letter.
“Seeing how evil has spread and threatens to scatter the flock, we can only cry with the Good Shepherd, This cannot go on! It must stop,” he added.
He said no less than a joint effort from Church and government is needed to get rid of the “evil of human trafficking.”
“This infamous network of crime is now well-established in our cities, and many people have blood on their hands as a result of their comfortable and silent complicity,” he said.
UCAN cited the 2014 Global Slavery Index, where the Philippines was among countries “making comparatively strong efforts with limited resources” in the campaign against human trafficking.
Last week, Manila auxiliary bishop Broderick Pabillo warned against human trafficking, especially involving survivors of super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
In this instance, Pabillo said traffickers offer housing and jobs to typhoon victims. “Some survivors resort to criminal deeds,” he said.