FILIPINOS were urged to promote the dignity of life and rally against indifference for families of victims of extrajudicial killings (EJKs) in a Mass and prayer rally at the EDSA Shrine in Sunday.
Outgoing Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President Archbishop Socrates Villegas called for repentance and active condemnation of EJKs to “heal the nation.”
“Ang dating bayan ng mga bayani ay naging bayang walang pakiramdam, walang pakialam. Hindi ito ang Pilipinas at hindi ganito ang Pilipino,” the Lingayen-Dagupan prelate said in his homily.
Echoing the last words of slain 17-year-old Kian de los Santos’ “Tama na po. May test pa ako bukas,” Villegas reminded the faithful that they too will face God’s judgment in the end.
Villegas said the thousands of extrajudicial killings was a “curse” to the nation and only repentance would heal the pain of families of EJK victims.
“Kapag hindi natin itinigil ang patayan, may sumpang parusa ang bayang pumapatay sa sariling kababayan. Repent so healing can begin. Stopping the killings is only one big step,” he said.
Villegas slammed the “mediocre” leadership of civil servants that patronizes party loyalty, curses and lies.
“Leadership is for service and service is dying so others may live. Let politics serve the poor. Let civility and courtesy prevail over curses and lies,” he said.
Thousands joined the “Heal the Nation” march which was led by the procession of the EDSA cross and the image of the Our Lady of Fatima at the People Power Monument.
The Fatima image was the same one used by devotees during the 1986 People Power Revolution that ousted the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Fr. Napoleon Sipalay Jr., O.P., prior provincial of the Dominican Province of the Philippines and Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo were among those who joined the prayer rally.
Senators Risa Hontiveros, Bam Aquino, Antonio Trillanes IV and Franklin Drilon were also present at the event.
The national healing march marked the month-long “Stop the Killings, Start the Healing” activities of the CBCP that will culminate on Dec. 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.
Authorities have recorded 3,811 deaths of drug personalities in anti-drug operations. Human rights groups, however, have recorded an estimated 13,000 deaths related to the anti-drug war.