More than 20 thousand faithful gathered in Manila to pray, march and protest against the "reign of terror" operated by President Rodrigo Duterte. In recent months, the campaign of violence has resulted in about 7 thousand victims including drug addicts and drug dealers.
Manila (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Thousands of Catholics lined the streets of Manila, on Saturday, to demonstrate against the brutal war on drugs sought by President Rodrigo Duterte and his decision to reinstate the death penalty.
This is the most important intervention of the Filipino Catholic Church since, the president Duterte has started a campaign of repression seven months ago that has killed at least 7 thousand people. One of the bishops who attended the protest said that the event began at dawn because "it is the time when every day we discover corpses along the streets or in the trash."
According to organizers over 20 thousand faithful were present - before police dispersed half of them - from at least 21 dioceses in Luzon and other Christian churches. "We protested against the growing culture of violence. We have to show our opposition to this regressive tendency intent on suppressing our humanity, "said one of the faithful who took part in the event. The participants prayed and marched together carrying placards with slogans like "No to the death penalty 'or' Yes to Life, No to the culture of death."
However, the campaign against drugs, initiated by President Duterte after his rise to power, is approved by most of the population. The Church in the Philippines – a Catholic majority country - has hesitated to take sides against the policy of violence, but since late last year, when the dead began to be counted in the thousands, the Filipino bishops' conference denounced this "reign of terror" .
Zenaida Capistrano, president of the Council for the Laity of the Philippines said that the aim of the event is to show that " we have been given life by God and should be protected as much as possible."
President Duterte accused of hypocrisy the Church, disagree with a campaign which he said is meant to "liberate future generations of Filipinos from the threat on drugs".