Tarlac inmates welcome Pope Francis: Don't forget us
TARLAC CITY, Philippines—"Sana po maisama kami sa mga panalangin ni Pope Francis para sa tunay na pagbabago sa pagdating niya dito sa Pilipinas (We hope that Pope Francis will include us in his prayers for real change when he comes to the Philippines)," said Franklin Oronce, secretary of the Inmates Association of the Tarlac Provincial Jail (TPJ).
The 784 male and female inmates welcomed the arrival of Pope Francis with their own short program, complete with little Philippine flags ahead of the scheduled visit from January 15 to 19.
The program included a rendition by a choir of a song written by a fellow inmate and a play depicting prisoners turning to good deeds, and ended with a prayer.
Elizalde Valdez, TPJ Deputy Warden for Administration said it was the inmates' own initiative to do a short program.
"We would like to think it was done from the bottom of their heart which is good because after they leave this facility we hope they would continue these good deeds." Valdez said.
Oronce said it is their way of not only of welcoming the Pope to the Philippines but also to call the attention of the judiciary to speed up the resolution of their cases.
"Ito po ang paraan namin na mai-welcome si Pope Francis dito sa ating bansa. Maliban po dito sana maparating sa husgado ang pagpapabilis ng hustisya sa marami sa aming mga naka piit dito (This is our way of welcoming Pope Francis to the country. Other than that, we also want to urge the judiciary to speed up the delivery of justice to many of the inmates here)," Oronce said.
Tarpaulins welcoming the Pope were displayed within the prison walls and outside the facility. – Rappler.com