Palace welcomes peaceful prayer rally vs EJK

Joworski Alipon, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 05 2017 08:44 PM

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque in a press briefing in Cebu City. Joworksi Alipon, ABS-CBN News

CEBU - Malacañang welcomes the peaceful prayer rally mounted by hundreds of Catholic faithful on Sunday for justice and healing of the victims of extra-judicial killings.

Speaking to reporters in this city, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the "Lord, Heal Our Land" rally should not be taken as a threat to the administration. 

"The Church was very clear. It wasn't political," said Roque who was here for his first press briefing outside Metro Manila.

In an official statement by the Palace earlier, Roque stressed that President Rodrigo Duterte allows constructive dissent and those who have grievances will be given proper space to protest. 

At least 2,500 people joined the prayer rally at EDSA Shrine and People Power Monument in Quezon City. Among those who joined the movement were parents of the victims of extrajudicial killings.

Meanwhile, civil organizations here in this city also mounted a prayer rally where a letter of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, saying Durterte should be made answerable to the killings, was read. 

Victims of extrajudicial killings join the prayer rally at EDSA Shrine. Zhander Cayabyab, ABS-CBN News

Asked to comment on Trillanes' statement, Roque said, "We have freedom of expression in this country."

The Palace earlier reiterated that the Duterte administration "does not -- and will never -- condone extrajudicial and vigilante killings," and that cops proved to have committed abuse will be punished.