A group of supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte will stage a two-day prayer vigil at the Luneta Park from February 25 to 26 to show their undying support to the president.
Top government officials, who are members of the one-million strong Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte National Executive Coordinating Committee (MRRD-NECC), defended the chief executive from a supposed ouster plot and urged the people to support the president’s advocacies.
The group, which claims to have convinced Duterte to run for President, launched the ‘People’s Support on Duterte’s War Against Illegal Drugs, Corruption, Criminality and Poverty’ at Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan City on Wednesday.
“What will happen on February 25 is the gathering of all the stakeholders and participants in this undertaking. We will have a prayer vigil, candle-lighting, and of course, testimonies of victims of illegal drugs, and also we will be having some performances by artists. And on February 26, there will be a series of speeches from different organizations, and there would be some presentations showing our nationalism and fervor to support and desire for peace and development and progress in our country,” Interior and Local Government Undersecretary John Castriciones said.
Castriciones said the vigil does not aim to counter the 31st anniversary celebration of the EDSA Revolution, which was being participated by members of the opposition bloc.
“This is not a political activity. We also believe in the advocacy of the EDSA revolution. The EDSA revolution caused for change, and this time change we would like to advocate to fight the evils of the community – the evils that are destroying the fabric of our society, families that had been destroyed because of the illegal drugs, and those people who had been victimized by heinous crimes being committed by the so-called drug users. That is our purpose: the corruption, the poverty, which is the bottom line of all these problems,” he said.
“We are not competing with everyone. What we are trying to do is we would like to unite with them, unite with everyone that there must be a genuine effort from all Filipino citizens to really advocate for change so that we will be able to promote good. What we want is genuine peace, we want people to be united, and we want people to really coordinate to show for our love of our country,” the government official added.
Castriciones said almost a million supporters of the President are expected to join the activities.
Asked if there are really moves to oust Duterte, Castriciones said, “There are unseen hands trying to manipulate everything, trying to corroborate to see to it that the usual business should continue. And there seems to be a pattern on how they would like to create an impression that there is a mass dissatisfaction, and that they cannot tolerate to happen most especially that there is undergoing activity wherein people are being recruited to create political miles somewhere in EDSA and also encouraging those who are members of the armed forces and policemen to do as well.”
“Well, of course, we had not verified it whether it is true or not, but the fact, as we said, we are vigilant and we will not let anyone or anybody spoil the democracy that has been restored. We will not allow any act of destabilization or plot to prosper,” he added. NEIL A. ALCOBER