No confirmed religious leader joining Duterte Prayer Rally in Cebu

John Sitchon

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No confirmed religious leader joining Duterte Prayer Rally in Cebu

Former president Rodrigo Duterte addreses the crowd during the 'Prayer Rally' against charter change, along San Pedro Street in Davao City on January 28, 2024.

Screenshot from Rody Duterte Fac

(1st UPDATE) Two days before the Duterte Prayer Rally in Cebu, major church leaders say they have not been invited

CEBU CITY, Philippines – It is hyped as the Cebu Duterte Prayer Rally set Sunday, February 25, at the South Road Properties. But with less than two days before the affair, it seemed no religious leader is going to show up.

Members of different Duterte support groups announced in a press conference on Tuesday, February 20, that they would conduct a prayer rally calling on the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to be transparent on the alleged “signature-buying” campaign for the amendment of the Constitution.

Officials and political figures like Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama, Malolos Mayor Christian Natividad, former presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, and former executive secretary Vic Rodriguez are invited to the event.

Former president Rodrigo Duterte and his sons, Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte and Davao City 1st District Representative Paolo Duterte, are also expected to attend the prayer rally.

But there was no confirmation of who among Cebu’s religious leaders was attending.

Rappler reached out Friday, February 23, to the secretariat of Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma and to leaders of other local churches, all said they have yet to receive an invitation to the event.

“We will be sending letters,” Ruben Virtucio of the Professionals for Sara Nation said when asked if they have invited church leaders to the prayer rally.

Rappler visited the Cebu Archbishop’s Palace, Cebu Conference of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (CCI-UCCP), and the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) Diocese of Cebu to ask if they received invitations.

“We did not receive any invitation letter,”  said Father Alberto Cabag Jr. of the Office of the Archbishop’s Secretariat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cebu told Rappler on Friday.

“We have not received [a letter] yet,” Father Abed Echual of the IFI Cathedral in Cebu told Rappler on the same day.

“We did not receive an invitation in the past few days,” Pastor David Estoye of UCCP Cebu said.

On Friday afternoon, Cathy Cortes Maluya, overall chairman of the prayer rally, told Rappler that they have invited members of the Iglesia ni Cristo and “other Catholic churches.”

Igo ra man to sila nireceive sa among invitations, wala gyud mi direct nga (count),” Maluya said.

(They just received our invitations, we don’t really have a direct count.) 

On EDSA day

The prayer rally in Cebu will be held on the same day the nation commemorates the 38th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution and for good reason, organizers said.

“We are having a prayer rally on the 25th of February, a date which in our history is very significant because that’s the first time demonstrably civilian authority was insisted,” Cebu Duterte Prayer Rally convener Irene Caballes said.

Caballes, who is part of the Cebu Coalition for Transparency, Accountability, Peace, and Security (TAPS), explained that the rally will serve as a gathering for citizens to urge the administration to shed light on issues and claims that the people’s initiative is a “government’s initiative”.

Last January 28, the former president also led a prayer rally in Davao against the people’s initiative campaign for the amendment of the constitution. 

On the same day, Marcos led a “Bagong Pilipinas” concert in Manila to cement the administration’s commitment to “transform the nation”.

The simultaneous rallies sparked debates and questions into the current “relationship” status of the Uniteam tandem.

“As the leader of the nation, he should also be praying,” Caballes said, inviting the incumbent president to the prayer rally. –


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  1. ET

    If only PACQ is not in hiding, more likely, he would lead Digong’s Prayer Rally. As shown in the picture above, it is amusing to see former President Digong in “prayer” mode. With all his verbal attacks against some religious authorities, I doubt the sincerity behind his prayers, or perhaps it is another “God” to whom he is praying.

    1. EJ

      hahahhah. I can’t agree more. Matapos nyang tawaging stupid.. . .. Kaninong Diyos nga ba sya nagdadasal. Yung partner nya e Appointed Son of God daw!!!

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