Cardinal Tagle urges 'active non-violence' amid killings

MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle called for "active non-violence" on Saturday, February 18, as at least 10,000 Catholics marched in Manila to protest against extrajudicial killings and the death penalty.

At the Walk for Life on Saturday, Tagle delivered a rare open-air speech against the spate of violence in the Philippines. The Walk for Life was a huge Catholic procession against proposed anti-life measures under the Duterte administration.

"Ang isang mahalagang aspeto ng lakbay-buhay, lakad-buhay, ay ang pagpapalakas at pagpapalaganap ng kultura ng hindi marahas na pagkilos o ang tinatawag nating active non-violence," Tagle said in his speech at the Walk for Life shortly before 7 am on Saturday.

(One important aspect of the journey for life, the walk for life, is strengthening and propagating the culture of nonviolent movements or what we call active non-violence.)

Tagle continued: "Ang non-violence, hindi ibig sabihin passive. Active. Subalit naniniwala tayo, hindi mapupuksa ang karahasan ng kapwa karahasan." (READ: FAST FACTS: What is active non-violence?)

(Non-violence does not mean it is passive. Active. But we believe that we cannot stop violence also by violence.)

'Lakas, hindi dahas'

"Kapag ang tugon sa karahasan ay karahasan din, nadoble ang karahasan. Hindi dapat dinodoble o pinalalaganap ang karahasan. Ito ay tinutumbasan ng non-violence," the cardinal said.

(If the response to violence is also violence, we double the violence. We shouldn't be doubling or propagating violence. We should match it with non-violence.)

"Lakas, hindi dahas (Strength, not violence)," Tagle added. 

The Walk for Life was set from 4:30 am to 8 am on Saturday at the Quirino Grandstand Parade Ground in Manila.

Police Superintendent Emerey Abating, commander of Station 5 of the Manila Police District, pegged the crowd at the Walk for Life at 10,000 as of 8 am, when the event ended.

The event was announced as early as January 11, and was organized by the Council of the Laity of the Philippines.

The Walk for Life comes as President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs kills least 7,080 people, while Duterte is also pushing to revive the death penalty.

In the same event on Saturday, the head of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) also delivered a message to stress the need to respect life. 

CBCP president Archbishop Socrates Villegas said in his message: "Malapit nang sumikat ang araw. May pag-asa tayo. Huwag matakot sa dilim." (The sun is about to rise. We have hope. Do not be afraid of darkness.) – Rappler.com