“Communicating hope and trust in our time.”

- Pope Francis

CBCP reps meet victims of heinous crimes

VACC President Dante Jimenez talks to the media after their meeting with CBCP officials in Manila, March 13, 2017. (CBCPNews

MANILA, March 13, 2017–The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has met with victims of heinous crimes today, expressing their solidarity for their suffering.

At least three Church representatives met at the CBCP headquarters in Manila with some heinous crime victims who were accompanied by Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption head Dante Jimenez.

Also present at the meeting were CBCP Secretary General Fr. Marvin Mejia, CBCP Public Affairs Committee secretary general Fr. Jerome Secillano, and Mr. Rodolfo Diamante of the bishops’ prison ministry.

The private meeting was awaited by victim support groups who want “to reach out for succor to the Church regarding our plight as victims of heinous crimes”.

Among the issues discussed was the proposed revival of the death penalty which was approved in the House of Representatives recently.

A similar measure is pending before the Senate.

“What is important is the respect between the two institutions. So we will continue to dialogue,” said Jimenez, a vocal advocate of retributivist capital punishment.

The VACC head said they sought for an audience with the CBCP not to convince them to change their position on death penalty but to call for closer collaboration between the Church and the VACC.

“And at the same time, come up with future discussions and good cooperation between the CBCP and the victims,” he said. “This is not about stopping each other’s beliefs. We will respect each other’s position.”

“The cooperation will include the rehabilitation of prisoners. They have many programs and according to them, they will include the VACC to be their partner,” Jimenez added.

Fr. Secillano said among the initial Church proposals is to establish a center for crimes victims.

“That’s the initial plan but nothing is final yet. But the good thing here is that this is the first step and in the right direction,” he said.

He added: “We look at things that we have in common and that’s helping the victims.” CBCPNews

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