MANILA, Feb. 16, 2017— A sea of white will descend on Manila’s Quirino Grandstand to demand an end to extrajudicial killings and to oppose the revival of the death penalty.
Organizers said the simple gathering on Feb. 18 will have people walking around the grandstand to “fill the streets with prayers”.
“We call on our God-fearing countrymen to work for the respect and protection of human life,” said Zenaida Capistrano, president of the Council of the Laity of the Philippines (CLP).
Capistrano said those planning to attend should wear white t-shirts and bring white flaglets and ribbons to echo their call for the protection of life.
The CLP is an organization focused on uplifting lay involvement in the Church activities. It is also composed of diocesan councils of the laity, Church movements, and Church-based groups across the country.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo is hoping President Rodrigo Duterte will listen to the voice of Catholics joining this Saturday’s “Walk for Life” in Manila and in other provinces.
He said the prayer rally is a strong manifestation of the lay people’s stance on the increasing number of killings of drug suspects in the country and other pro-life issues.
“This is his (Duterte) constituency. It’s a big group. These are people who come from different parishes who want to speak,” said the prelate.
“His mandate was not only during the elections. He should be mindful of the lay people, these are the people from the grassroots,” he added.
The three-hour prayer rally will be held in Manila from 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. on Feb. 18. Similar activities will also be held in Dagupan City, Pangasinan and in Cebu City.
In Iloilo City, members of CFC – Singles for Christ will gather for an international conference and will also offer prayers and Mass on Friday evening in solidarity with the Walk for Life in Manila.
Participants of the Walk for Life in Manila are expected to come from as far as Mountain Province, Nueva Ecija, Cabanatuan, Batangas, Laguna, and other provinces in Luzon.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has earlier called on the faithful to join the prayer rally and “fill the streets with prayers and not with blood.”
“We hope that there will be more people who would be disturbed every time one human person is killed, because one brother or sister killed is already too much,” said Archbishop Socrates Villegas, CBCP president.
“And we should not allow this to keep on increasing,” he added. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)
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