Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Hell on earth

Asian Online looks to the writing and work of Fr. Chibuike Ojilere, CSSP a prison chaplain in the Phillipines:

"Ojilere attempts to understand why people are thrown in jail, by analyzing the crimes of offenders. He points a finger at systemic poverty due to, among others, unemployment and poor environment. He laments, too, the innocent who are doing time simply because their cases have not been heard by the courts for years.

Such complaints against the bureaucracy in the legal system and the callousness and apathy of government officials have been philosophically rendered in the book, which somehow cushions our shock, knowing that we live in relative comfort while others suffer physically every minute they are behind bars.

The far-reaching implications of the 'unimaginable' misery and cruelty witnessed by Ojilere during his prison ministry require that Filipinos should think hard of solutions to help eliminate this social malady.

Ojilere's forceful pleas for compassion toward persons jailed for various offenses are interspersed with quotations from the Bible and philosophy, he being a Philosophy major in Nigeria and in his graduate studies in the United States."

"Behind Iron Bars: Companion and Compassion in Prison Ministry" (Spiritans Publication, Iligan City, 2006), by Fr. Chibuike Ojilere, CSSP, captures the desperation of inmates in the Iligan City jail in Tipanoy as well as in Lanao del Norte's municipal jails and provincial jails, from 2002 to the present.

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