‘No politics’ in EDSA march against killings

Eloisa Lopez
‘No politics’ in EDSA march against killings
'Nobody here is destabilizing,' says Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, as he and several other opposition members join the 'Lord, Heal Our Land' Sunday protest

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo stood among the thousands of Filipinos who attended Mass at the historic EDSA Shrine on Sunday, November 5.

After the Mass, she neither gave a speech nor faced the media. The Vice President was silent, but she made a clear statement with her presence.

The Mass was held before a procession to the People Power Monument in Quezon City, as part of the “Lord, Heal Our Land” Sunday led by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in protest of extrajudicial killings. (WATCH: Our Lady of Fatima returns to EDSA)

Among those who marched along EDSA was Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Robredo’s fellow Liberal Party (LP) member.

“Nandito tayo para magdasal (We’re here to pray) and to show our disagreement. This is part of our freedom… the right of the people to assemble,” Drilon said.

“Nobody here is destabilizing,” he added, referring to an accusation repeatedly made against LP members and their allies. (READ: Duterte dares Yellows, Reds to ‘merge into one command’)

Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, another LP member, said Sunday’s protest was not exclusive to politicians from the opposition.

“Itigil na ‘yung patayan (Stop the killings). I think that’s something that’s common to – not just politicians in the opposition, but school heads, NGOs (non-governmental organizations), church leaders, different religions also,” Aquino said.

“Right now, we’re just fed up with everything. Talagang sukang-suka na with (We’re really tired of) the deaths that are happening in our country.”

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, one of President Rodrigo Duterte’s fiercest critics, said the gathering was “an opportunity to recalibrate our moral compass.” (READ: If Duterte orders killings, why is Trillanes still alive? – Honeylet)

“‘Yung mga apologists ni Duterte will always find something negative, something evil dito sa mga nangyayari. I believe that the line has been drawn kung nasaan ‘yung mabuti at masama. At definitely dapat alam mo na masama ‘yung nangyayari sa bansa ngayon,” Trillanes said.

(Duterte’s apologists will always find something negative, something evil with the protests against him. I believe that the line between good and evil has been drawn. And definitely you should know that what’s happening in our country right now is evil.)

Since Duterte launched his war on drugs in July 2016, thousands of people have been killed both in police operations and in vigilante-style killings. – Rappler.com

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