CBCP to hold EDSA march vs EJKs

Erik Tenedero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 12 2017 06:03 PM

MANILA - The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is urging people to troop to EDSA Shrine on November 5 to launch another phase in its campaign against the administration's bloody war on drugs. 

"I am inviting you and the communities with you to participate in the second phase of this period of praying for the victims of extrajudicial killings. We will start on November 5 until December 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception," Lingayen Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the CBCP, said in a statement. 

To launch the "Start the Healing" campaign, a Mass will be held at EDSA Shrine on November 5, which will be called "Lord, Heal our Land Sunday." The Mass, which will be presided over by Villegas, will begin at 3 p.m.

After the Mass, the image of the Our Lady of Fatima, which was brought by the devotees in EDSA during the People Power Revolution in 1986, will be brought from the shrine to the People Power Monument in a candlelight procession. 

"Within this 33-day period, we are requested to pray the rosary and receive holy communion, if possible every day, for the healing of our bleeding nation and for the peace of the souls of all those killed," the archbishop added. 

Those in the provinces who will not be able to go to EDSA are encouraged to hold a similar program in their home churches. 

The EDSA Shrine was the site of the four-day revolt which toppled the dictatorship of the late Ferdinand Marcos. Villegas was the long-time secretary of the late Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin, who was one of the key figures in the democratic movement. 

The CBCP, under the leadership of Villegas, has been an active voice against alleged cases of extrajudicial killings in the country. 

The Duterte administration has repeatedly denied it was behind the killings of drug suspects. Over 3,800 have been killed in presumed-legitimate anti-drug operations since President Duterte took over in mid-2016. 

The Catholic Church in the Philippines is still in the middle of its 40-day mourning for the victims of the killings. Since September, the bells of the churches across the country are being tolled every night at 8 to pray and honor the departed.