Thousands crowd Edsa
As many as 20,000 people gathered at the People Power Monument late on Sunday afternoon amid the Catholic church’s call to “Start the Healing” of the nation.
Earlier, a Mass led by Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas was held at the historic Edsa Shrine.
The campaign was part of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ call to stop the spate of killings in the country.
The crowd estimate of 20,000 was given by the rally organizers, but the Philippine National Police said only 5,000 had gathered at the historic monument.
Among those who attended the Mass and the march are Villegas, Senators Franklin Drilon and Bam Aquino, former Bayan Muna representatives Neri Colmenares and Teddy Casiño, and former Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.
“Kapag hindi natin itinigil ang patayan, may sumpang parusa ang bayang pumapatay sa sariling kababayan,” Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas warned during his homily during the “Lord Heal Our Land” Mass that he celebrated at the Edsa Shrine.
Villegas also reiterated the call of the Catholic church to stop the drug killings and start the healing of the country.
“Walang gobyernong forever. God lang ang forever,” he said.
(No government lasts forever. Only God is forever.)
“Power belongs to the people not the power-holder,” he added.
Villegas also gave tribute to victims of alleged extrajudicial and drug-related killings in the country, including 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos, whom he said pleaded: “Tama na po, may test pa po ako.”
“Kung totoong drug users kayo, tama na at magbago. May bukas pa,” Villegas said.
In a homily which he delivered during the “Lord Heal Our Land” Mass at the Edsa Shrine, Villegas said punishment await those who tolerate killings.
“Kapag hindi natin itinigil ang patayan, may sumpang parusa ang bayang pumapatay sa sariling kababayan.”
(If we don’t stop the killings, there’s a curse to punish a nation that kills its own countrymen.
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