The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) held a prayer vigil at the EDSA Shrine to advocate “Stop the Killing, Start the Healing”, calling it Heal our Land Sunday on November 5, 2017. But what we expected to be a non-political protest as what the organizers claimed, turned out a rally against the president whom they criticized is dong wrong on his war on drugs.
Even Archbishop Soc Villegas in his homily, challenged everyone to change lives, “Magbagong buhay na tayo, kasama ako,” he said to his fellow priests, politicians, drug enforcers.
The event was attended by hundreds of people who flocked at the EDSA Shrine, mostly supporters of the Liberal Party, leftists and people with angst with the present government.
Contradict to their theme, start the healing, people who attended the rally were seen flashing out signs against the president.
On the news release on November 5, 2017, from Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque he said that the President Duterte has repeatedly mentioned that he allows constructive dissent and that he would give protesters the democratic space and time to enjoy the rights to peacefully assemble, seek redress and air their grievances.
“We reiterate that this administration does not – and will never – condone extrajudicial and vigilante killings,” the statement said.
“Our authorities have been investigating 2, 243 incidents with drug-related motives, as of end September, and the President himself made a clear stance that any violation committed by the police during operations would be dealt with accordingly. Accountability is essential to good governance,” it added.
CBCP was very vocal in their grievance against Duterte’s war on drugs, thus condemns extra judicial killings.
But the question is how can they start the healing if they themselves are the one’s starting the conflict?