In New Year's message, Manila bishop seeks better COVID-19 response, human rights respect

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 04 2021 07:15 PM

Bishop Broderick Pabillo delivers a Labor Day related homily in Quiapo Church in Manila on Labor Day, May 1, 2018. Large-scale rallies will be held this day, calling against contractualization and other worker rights offenses. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - A church official has called on the faithful to pray for a better coronavirus response and a greater regard for human rights from the government. 

In his New Year's message, Archdiocese of Manila apostolic administrator Bishop Broderick Pabillo said 2021 must be a year of hope and change. 

“We hold on to hope as we enter the new year of 2021 – hope for a cure to the virus that is transparent and equitable, hope for a no-nonsense response to the climate emergency that is upon us, hope for respect to human rights and human life for everyone,” he said. 

While 2021 offers a message of hope, reports of anti-coronavirus vaccination of those in the government "does not abode of a good beginning," Pabillo said. 

“Now however there are glimmers of hope for 2021 in the horizon. Everybody is speaking of the vaccine and how it can be effectively delivered to all, first and foremost, to the frontliners and the vulnerable. Unfortunately, the news of government people already getting the vaccine surreptitiously and without undergoing the transparent process does not abode of a good beginning,” Pabillo said.

Pabillo added that while the Philippines is still beset by problems brought by the pandemic, Filipinos must not forget about human rights. 

“It should be more caring for the earth. Human rights should also not be set aside. There cannot be a better future if human rights and human life are not respected and valued,” he said, urging the faithful to seek change. 

“The change that we all dream will not come abruptly nor quickly. Let us all work for it. We continue to pray to ask for God’s help and mercy,” Pabillo added. 

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