Thousands join EDSA prayer rally

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THOUSANDS of members of religious and civil groups gathered at the EDSA Shrine on Sunday for a healing mass and a prayer rally.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) led the event, the start of 33-day prayer healing period for the families of victims of extrajudicial killings.

CBCP president Socrates Villegas presided over the Mass and reiterated the importance of seeking “repentance in a country that hurts.”

FOR A BRIGHTER NIGHT Women light candles for victims of extrajudicial killings during the prayer rally held at the EDSA Shrine. PHOTO BY RUSSELL PALMA

“Ang dating bayan ng mga bayani ay naging bayang walang pakiramdam…hindi ito ang Pilipinas at hindi ganito ang Pilipino (The nation of heroes has turned into a senseless nation.This is not the Philippines. This is not what Filipinos look like),” he said.

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“Choose integrity, not the quick fix. The power belongs to the people, not to the weapon holder,” Villegas added, a message seen addressed to the police, which had been in the spotlight because of the bloody anti-drug operations.

“Kung totoong drug users kayo, tama na at magbago. Maganda and bukas. Kung naulila kayo, wag kayong padala sa simbuyo ng paghiganti. May awa ang Diyos (If you use drugs, stop and reform. The future beckons. If you have been orphaned, do not give in to your vengeful desire. God will have mercy),” he said.

Spotted during the ceremony were Sen. Franklin Drilon, Sen. Bam Aquino, Sen. Antonio Trillanes, and musician Jim Paredes.

The police estimated that 3,500 people attended the gathering, also led by Tindig Pilipinas, who partnered with CBCP.

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