MANILA -- Detained Sen. Leila de Lima on Sunday urged the public to use this Holy Week to reflect on the allegedly rampant violence and injustice in the country.
“Nawa’y taimtim nating pagnilayan ang ating mga pagpapahalaga at paninindigan sa panahong ito ng nangingibabaw na karahasan, araw-araw na patayan at kawalang katarungan,” De Lima, a vocal critic of President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-narcotics drive, said in a statement.
(May we reflect on our priorities and stance in this period where violence, daily killings and lack of justice reign.)
"Magwawalang kibo na lang ba tayo o maninindigan laban sa walang habas na pagpaslang sa ating mga maralitang kababayan, sa pananakot at pagkakalat ng kasinungalingan para manira ng kapwa, sa pagbalahura sa Simbahan, at higit sa lahat, sa pagbastos sa pangalan ng Panginoong ating Tagapagligtas?” she added.
(Will we take no action or will we stand up against the relentless killings of our poor compatriots, the intimidation and proliferation of lies, the attacks against the Church and most of all, the disrespect against the name of the Lord, our Savior?)
De Lima, who has been detained since February 2017 over drug charges that she denied, did not name any leader in her statement.
Duterte, however, previously assailed the Christian concept of the Holy Trinity, the Bible's story of creation and Christ's last supper.
Malacañang has repeatedly defended the President’s rhetoric towards members of the clergy, saying it was just his way of conveying his message. It has also expressed dissatisfaction with priests and bishops “using the pulpit” to criticize the President.
Over 80 percent of the 94 million population in the Philippines are Catholics.
Catholic devotees during Holy Week commemorate the life, death, and resurrection of Christ with prayers, visits to churches, and in some cases, self-flagellation.