Philippine arts

Villegas hits ‘huling baraha’ mentality amid PH killings

Paterno Esmaquel II
Villegas hits ‘huling baraha’ mentality amid PH killings

Maria Salvador Tan

'Ang kakapitan natin ay ang Diyos, hindi ideolohiya, hindi partido,' Archbishop Socrates Villegas says ahead of an anti-EJK event along EDSA on November 5

MANILA, Philippines – Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas criticized the “huling baraha” (last card) mentality among Filipinos, as despair has driven many to accept extrajudicial killings (EJKs) to solve the country’s problems.

Marami po sa atin, parang kapit sa patalim sapagkat hawak na ay huling baraha. Ang kakapitan natin ay ang Diyos, hindi ideolohiya, hindi partido,” Villegas said in a video, as he invited Catholics to join a Mass and procession along EDSA on November 5.

(Many of us seem to be so desperate because we’re holding the last card. We should be holding on to God, not an ideology, not a party.)

While Villegas did not name any personality in his video, it was then presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte who brandished himself before the 2016 elections as “the Filipino people’s last card.”  

Duterte, a long-time Davao City mayor, was later accused of condoning EJKs to stop illegal drugs.

Villegas said, however, that killing is not something to be happy about. 

Kapag nakakarinig tayo ng patayan, kapag nakakarinig tayo ng binabaril, hindi dapat nakakatuwa ito. Ito’y nakakalungkot,” Villegas said. (Whenever we hear about killings, whenever we hear about peope being shot, this isn’t something joyful. This is something sad.)

Subalit sasagutin natin ang bala sa pamamagitan ng kandila. Sasagutin natin ang kawalan ng pag-asa sa pamamagitan ng tunog ng kampana ng pag-asa,” the archbishop added. (But we will respond to bullets using candles. We will respond to despair using the sound of bells of hope.)

Villegas then invited Filipinos to join the “Lord, Heal Our Land” Sunday along EDSA on Sunday. (READ: La Salle backs EDSA procession vs killings on November 5)

The event will start with a Mass at EDSA Shrine at 3 pm, after which a kilometer-long procession will be held to the People Power Monument also along EDSA. 

Villegas pointed out: “Walang kulay ang November 5. Ang kulay ng November 5 ay transparency, clarity of vision, unity of heart.” (November 5 has no color. The color of November 5 is transparency, clarity of vision, unity of heart.) –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.


Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at