ASIA/PHILIPPINES - Priests and religious: "It is time to resist against a dangerous and unjust law"

Monday, 20 July 2020 politics   human rights   freedom of the press   freedom of conscience   priests   legality   justice  

Manila (Agenzia Fides) - "I was here, in these same streets with a crowd of people on February 24 and 25, 1986, 34 years ago, when I was still a young seminarian. Today I have returned here as a sign of protest. Despite the fears related to Covid-19, people are back on the street, demonstrating, shouting. I can hear again what I felt during the days of People Power: the emotion, the disgust, the anger, the dedication, the commitment of young people". Thus begins the story of the Vincentian priest, Fr. Daniel Franklin Pilario, CM, professor at the St. Vincent School of Theology and at Adamson University. In the message sent to Fides, the priest talks about reliving the political and social climate of 1986, when the population took to the streets, in the so-called "Rosary Revolution" in a vast popular movement that put an end to the dictatorship of Ferdinando Marcos. "The 'No' emerges from the depths of our humanity when our moral fiber is violated. We say that all of this is wrong and we mobilize in protest", says the Vincentian.
Fr. Pilario cites the case of the broadcaster ABS-CBN, which Parliament - where the party of President Duterte holds the majority - has not renewed the broadcasting concession, in what is called "a personal vendetta of the President", given the criticisms expressed by that media channel towards him. And he says: "How many times in this country will we see the law being armed to kill the poor. No, it has not destroyed the oligarchs in this country; it has killed the poor". The Vincentian religious remembers: "I joined small groups of 20-30 workers when I was a student. Today we are talking about 11,000 workers and many others without a future. There are many victims of this government who deserve our support. It is time to stand up and make our voices heard. In the face of evil, silence is a yes to the status quo. Neutrality means being complicit of power".
And he concludes, expressing the feeling of many Filipino priests and religious: "I too protest against this dangerous and unjust law. I cry for the extrajudicial killings that I see up close, for the widows and orphans. And I say 'No' to all the actions of this government that are against the human sensibility that my parents, my teachers and my spiritual guides have taught me in life. It is time to resist". (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 20/7/2020)


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