Demand for change that respects human rights, says ex-DLSU president at 'mass for justice'

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 21 2017 08:39 PM

MANILA - Filipinos should demand change that does not violate the rights of others, Bro. JJ Jimenez said in his homily during a "mass for justice" for human rights victims Thursday. 

Before a gathering of opposition figures, youth groups, members of the academe and others who support the call, Jimenez said the people have the right to demand that officials abide by their sworn constitutional oath.

"Hindi puwersang militar o pananakop sa ating bayan ang makapagbabalik ng ating pambansang dangal," Jimenez, former president of the De La Salle University, said in the mass held at the University of the Philippines Parish of the Holy Sacrifice. 

Jimenez cited the life of St. Matthew, who used to be a tax collector and a sinner.

Without the love of Jesus, the evangelist would not have been able to change his ways and live an honorable life, Jimenez said.

"Ang mga makasalanan gaya ni San Mateo, gutom din sa kamalayan... Kailan natin muling maririnig sa ating mga pinuno ang ganitong paanyaya: mamuhay kayo ng marangal?" he said.

Among those present at the mass were Vice President Leni Robredo, former President Benigno Aquino III, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Senators Kiko Pangilinan and Bam Aquino, and former Sen. Mar Roxas. 

House Deputy Speaker Miro Quimbo and Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice also attended.

Jimenez ended his message by asking the public not only to be merciful and compassionate, but also to be courageous in demanding justice.

"Huwag papadala sa pananakot dahil sa huli, ito lamang ang kaya nilang gawin," Jimenez said.

The mass was among highlights of Thursday's National Day of Protests, where mass actions were held across the country to demand responsible governance and respect for human rights under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.