Walk for Life 2017

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Message of Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas
February 18, 2017

Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, CBCP President

Salamat sa Council of the Laity ng Pilipinas na siyang nanawagan para sa Walk for Life. Kaming mga pari at obispo ay kasama ninyong laykong lingkod sa bawat hakbang. Hindi kami mauuna baka hindi kayo makasunod. Hindi kami maglalakad sa likod baka maiwanan ninyo kami. Maglalakad kaming ng mga obispo at pari katabi ninyo. Kaagapay. Kaibigan. Kasama sa paglalakad. Sa Luneta pantay pantay tayo. Sabay sabay.

 
Narito tayo para sa Walk for Life alang alang sa mga hindi na makalakad dahil sa kasalanan natin sa kanila. Hindi sila makalakad dahil pinatay at tayo ay natakot makisangkot. Hindi sila makalakad dahil natatakot na baka sila ang isunod na barilin. Hindi makalakad dahil lulong sa droga. Hindi makalakad na pinatay ng mga addict nabulagan ng isip. Hindi makalakad dahil sa ating mga kasalanan dahil sa buhay.
 
Ang Walk for Life ay para sa kanila. Lalakad tayo at tatayo para sa kanila.
 
Ang Walk for Life ay hindi para ipagtanggol ang drug addict o ang mga mamamatay tao. Ang kriminal ay dapat arestuhin, kasuhan, hatulan at ikulong upang iwasto ang pagkakamali. Dapat patunayan ang pagkakasala sa korte ng batas hindi sa batas ng bala.
 
Ang Walk for Life ay hindi protesta kundi paninindigan para sa kabanalan ng buhay ng bawat tao na galing sa Diyos. Ang Walk for Life ay Walk for God.
 
Bakit madaling araw? Sapagkat sa mga oras na ito natin natutuklasan ang bangkay sa bangketa o malapit sa basurahan. Ang madaling araw na sana ay oras ng bagong simula ay nagiging oras ng luha at takot dahil sa mga pinatay sa magdamag.
 
Sa mga ganitong oras noong Disyembre 30, 1896 nagsimula maglakad si Dr Jose Rizal simula Fort Santiago patungong Luneta para bitayin ng firing squad.  Ang parusang bitay ay saliwa sa kabanalan ng buhay ng tao. Sa halip na bitay, linisin natin ang kapulisan, ayusin ang husgado at higpitan palakad sa bilangguan. No to death penalty. Yes to the reform of the criminal justice. Nananawgan po kami sa Congress na hayaang bumoto ang Kongresista ayon sa konsensiya. Ang partido politika ay pansamantala. Ang konsensiya ang tinig ng Diyos na nakatanim sa ating kalooban. Igalang ang konsensiya.
 
Marami pa pong kasalanan sa buhay na dapat natin labanan. ABCDE…
 
Abortion ay kasalanan sa buhay ng sanggol. Ang sanggol ay taong anak natin. Ang mahinang sanggol ay biyaya ng Diyos. Ang bawat sanggol ipagtanggol! Kapag hindi natin nilabanan ang aborsyon, aabot tayo sa pagpatay sa mga yagit ng lipunan. Ang taong yagit sa tingin ng iba ay taong iniligtas at mahal ng Diyos. Mahal ng Diyos ang mga mahihina at mistulang yagit. Kapatid natin sila.
 
Blasphemy ay paglapastangan sa ngalan ng Diyos. Kung ang Diyos ay hindi na ginagalang susunod na hindi igagalang ang mga nilikha ng Diyos. Ang lahat ng kasalanan sa Diyos ay nagsisimula sa blasphemy o pagyurak sa karangalan ng Diyos. Kapag lapastangan sa Diyos, sigurado lapastangan din sa Inang Kalikasan, lapastangan sa magulang, lapastangan sa kapwa, lapastangan sa buhay.
 
Corruption ay nakakamatay ng tao. Ang corruption ay pagnanakaw lalo na sa mga mahihirap. Perang dapat ipampagamot, perang pambili ng bigas, perang pamasahe sa bus, perang pantapal sa bubong na tumutulo, kinukupit ng mandarambong! Ang luha ng mahihirap na pinagnanakawan ng corrupt ay alam ng Diyos. Hindi kayo pwedeng magnakaw habampanahon. Alam ng Diyos ang lahat.
 
Droga ay laban sa buhay. Pinapatay ng droga ang taong gumagamit pati na ang mga inosenteng biktima nila. Rape dahil sa droga. Nakaw dahil sa droga. Patayan dahil sa droga. Marami ng buhay na winasak ang droga. Ang Walk for Life ay kontra droga. Ang Walk for Life ay hindi pagtatanggol sa drug addict at drug pusher. Masama ang droga. Nakakamatay ang droga.
 
Execution ay pagpatay. Dating tawag ay bitay, naging salvaging, naging summary execution, naging EJK. Ang pagpatay, ito naman ay gawin ng kriminal o kaya ay ipataw ng gobyerno bilang death penalty, pagpatay pa rin yan. We cannot teach that killing is wrong by killing those who kill. It also increases the number of killers.
 
Malapit ng sumikat ang araw. May pag asa tayo. Huwag matakot sa dilim. Huwag mamuhay sa takot. Kumakalat ang takot at pananakot. Tinatakot tayong papatayin. Tinatakot tayo at nagpapatakot tayo. Walang mananakot kung hindi tayo magpapatakot.
 
Harapin natin ang nananakot at ipakita natin ang ating lakas ng loob. Humarap tayo sa nagbabanta at ipakita na kasama natin ang Diyos na ating lakas. Hindi nila tayo maaaring takutin dahil mas malakas ang tiwala natin sa Diyos.
 
Bayang may tiwala sa Diyos. Huwag matakot. Lakad na para sa BUHAY! Walk for Life!
***
(Free translation from Tagalog by the CBCP Media Office)

Thank you to the Council of the Laity of the Philippines who called for this worthy project known as “Walk for Life.”  We, priests and bishops, are with you in every step you take.  We will not lead because you may not be able to follow.  We will not walk behind you because we may not be able to keep in step.  We, priests and bishops will walk beside you. Companions all throughout.  At the Luneta, we’re all equal.  Side by side, step by step.

We’re here for the Walk for Life in the name of those who cannot walk because of our shortcomings.  They cannot walk because they have been killed at we’re too afraid to get involved.  They cannot walk out of fear they’ll be the next victims.  They cannot walk because they’re hooked on drugs.  They cannot walk because they’ve been killed by people who’s minds have been deranged by addiction.  Those who cannot walk because of our shortcomings.

This Walk for Life is for them.  We will walk and we will stand for them.

This Walk for Life is not to defend the drug addicts or the killers. Criminals ought to be arrested, prosecuted, sentenced and jailed to correct the wrongdoings they committed.  They ought to be judged by the court of law and never by the (barrel of the gun) extrajudicial means.

This Walk for Life is not a protest but a commitment to the sacredness of life given by God.  This Walk for Life is a Walk for God.

Why in the early hours of the day?  This is simply because during this time when victims are found along the road or in garbage heaps.  Dawn is that time of day that augurs well with new beginnings but has turned into time of tears and fear due to killings made the night before.

It was during this time of day in December 30, 1896 when Dr. Jose Rizal walked from Fort Santiago to the Luneta to face the firing squad.  Death penalty is contrary to the sacredness of human life. Instead of restoring the death penalty, cleanse the ranks of the police, reform the judiciary and strictly enforce rules in our penitentiaries.  We say “No to Death penalty!” Yes, to the reforms in the criminal justice (system).  We call on the House of Representatives to allow their members to vote according to their conscience.  Partisan politics is fleeting. Conscience is the voice of God inside everyone of us.  Respect our conscience.

There a number of shortcomings against life that we need to attend to. These are ABCDE…

Abortion is a sin against the life of the unborn.  An unborn child is a gift from God.  Every child needs to be defended.  If we don’t go against abortion, there will come a time when we will kill the poor and downtrodden in society.  Poor as they are they’ve been saved at beloved by God.  God loves the weak and helpless.  They are our siblings.

Blasphemy is disrespect for the name of God.  If God’s no longer respected, there will come a time when we will no longer respect God’s creatures.  All these begins with blasphemy.  When people no longer respects God, for sure we will no longer respect the environment, our parents, our fellowmen and human life.

Corruption kills human life.  Corruption is thievery against the poor.  Money appropriated for medicines, money budgeted for rice, money for transportation expensews, money for basic home repairs yet kept and withheld by corrupt individuals.  The sufferings felt by the poor victims of the corrupt are known to God.  You cannot steal all your life.  God knows everything.

Drugs are anti-life.  Drugs kill people who use them including the innocent victims.  Rape happens due to drugs.  Thefts occur due to drugs.  Killings take place due to drugs. This Walk for Life is not to defend the drug addict and pushers.  Lives have been lost due to drugs.  Getting hooked on drugs is wrong.  Drugs kill.

Execution is murder.  From what was called death penalty, it has turned to salvaging to summary execution and now Extra Judicial Killings (EJK).  Any killing whether made by a criminal or meted by the government as death penalty remains a killing.  We cannot teach that killing is wrong by killing those who kill.  It also increases the number of killers.

The sun will soon rise. There will be hope. Never be afraid of darkness. Never live in fear. We are being cowed to fear and we in turn fearful. They will cease casting fear among us because they will know we are not afraid.

Let us face those who attempt to cast fear among the people and show them our courage.  Let’s face the challenge and prove God is on our source of strength.  We will never fear them because we trust God more than anybody else.

People trust God, never fear.  Let’s walk for LIFE!  Walk for Life!

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