MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo called on Filipinos to spread hope and not fear to counter the “darkness” that surrounds the Philippines.
In her Christmas message released Saturday, December 24, Robredo expressed sadness and worry over recent survey results indicating that many Filipinos are fearful right now.
“May mga survey kailan lang na nagsasabi na ang ating mga kababayan ay may nararamdamang takot at pagaalala,” she said. “Lubos kong ikinakalungkot ang pagkabahala ng ating bayan sa panahon na dapat tayo’y nagdidiwang.”
(A recent survey showed that our countrymen are afraid and worried. I am saddened that Filipinos feel this way during a time when we should all be celebrating.)
The Vice President was referring to a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey that revealed that while many Filipinos support President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on illegal drugs, most of them also fear that they, or someone they know, will be victims of extrajudicial killings. (READ: Most Filipinos ‘worried’ about summary killings – SWS poll)
Since July 1, there have been 6,187 deaths linked to the Duterte administration’s anti-drug campaign. Out of this number, 2,138 were killed in police operations while 4,049 are victims of extrajudicial or vigilante-style killings. (READ: IN NUMBERS: The Philippines’ ‘war on drugs’)
Robredo urged people to remember that when Jesus Christ was born, he served as a symbol of hope during tumultuous times. This should serve as an encouragement to all to spread love and avoid divisiveness in the spirit of the Yuletide season, she said.
“Ang bawat isa sa atin ay inaanyayahan na magpakumbaba at makinig sa isa’t isa, maghatid ng pag-asa sa halip na paghinaan ng loob, magbigay ng pagmamahal at hindi galit at poot, magdala ng pagkakaisa at hindi palalimin ang pagkakaiba-iba,” she said.
(Each of us is called upon to be humble and to listen to each other, bring hope and not be discouraged, spread love and not hatred, bring unity and not divisiveness.)
“Naniniwala ako na kaya nating hawiin ang kadiliman at magdala ng ligaya sa ating bayan. Sa ganitong paraan, ang ningning ng dekorasyon at mga ilaw sa ating kapaligiran ay kikinang din sa ating mga puso ngayong Pasko,” she added.
(I believe that we can dispel the darkness and bring joy to our nation. Through this, glimmer will not only be from our decorations and lights but also our hearts this Christmas.) – Rappler.com