Prayers and protests this weekend
PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero Ballescas (The Freeman) - February 22, 2018 - 12:00am

This weekend will be one filled with prayers and protests. The Council of Laity in the Philippines will have its annual “Walk for Life” this Saturday, February 24 with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle to lead the march and celebrate mass at the Quirino Grandstand. The Archdioceses of Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, San Pablo, Tarlac and more will also hold the “Walk for Life.”

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, who chairs the Bishops’ commission on the Laity, said “the annual walk is for the life of every person who has been a victim of ‘this culture of death’ to protest the continued killings in the country and to pray for the conversion of those behind it.”

Pabillo said, “until all unexplained killings of drug suspects stop completely and perpetrators are brought to justice, the Church will not be silenced.” He asked Catholics to “continue to use Facebook responsibly, make our presence felt, and bear witness to our faith when bullied by trolls in cyberspace. The trolls cannot defeat us if all of us speak.”

Fake news and lies have become common in social media. Even administration people have been reported to issue false information, fake news and lies. We need to continue praying for God’s truth to prevail.

Another key issue that needs prayers is the rush towards federalism by those in the Lower House and Du30’s government. Rather than concentrate on priority issues, many in Congress are busy instead with Charter Change and impeachment moves vs. Du30 dissenters.

  What and how many bills have been passed by those in the House, especially those leading the committee hearings? The Filipino people deserve to know if the public funds are spent wisely and responsibly.

An FB post reported that Senator Loren Legarda told Defense Secretary Lorenzana that this government has much money to spend as the Aquino government left P596B behind. How much is left of this money and how it has been spent since Du30 took over? We hope the issue of government transparency and accountability will also be a key issue for prayers and protests.

On Sunday, February 25, on the anniversary of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution, Tindig Pilipinas conveners—Civil Society Organizations Guild, Everywoman, Asosasyon ng Samahang Pantao, etc.—will hold a mass action, termed People Werpa, at the People Power Monument at 5 p.m., with Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano and Ifugao Rep Teddy Baguilat joining.

The group is calling on all “freedom-loving Filipinos to oppose the current efforts to amend or revise the Constitution, to show up and be counted at the action against Cha-cha and the threat of dictatorship.”

Tindig Pilipinas said: “Our rights and freedoms enshrined in the 1987 Constitution—the very freedoms our elders 32 years ago fought for against a corrupt, tyrannical regime—are under attack because of the Duterte administration’s moves to change the Constitution, to keep its grasp in power.” It also criticized President Duterte’s latest statement saying the Philippines can become a province of China. Former Peace Adviser Ging Deles reminded Du30 “sa napakahabang paglaban natin para sa kalayaan.”

Aside from territorial rights and sovereignty, social justice and human rights will also be included in the midst of this administration’s practice of silencing dissenters through impeachment moves, imprisonment, or curtailment of press freedom. In Cebu, Tindig Pilipinas enjoins all—“kuyog na ta” sa People Werpa on Sunday, February 25, with assembly time at 9:30 am at Sto. Rosario Church, followed by a Solidarity March to Metro Colon from 10 till 12 noon.

 

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