MANILA, Philippines – Catholics will stage a "Walk for Life" on February 18 to oppose drug-related killings, the death penalty, and other measures labeled by the Catholic Church as "anti-life."
The event, called a "grand procession," is set at the Quirino Grandstand Parade Ground in Manila.
It will begin at 4:30 am and will end at 8:00 am on February 18, organizers said.
"Standing for life is to stand against the forces of death," Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said in a news conference on Wednesday, January 11.
Lay leader Zenaida Capistrano added that the Walk for Life "is not a protest," but "an expression of our gratitude for the gift of life that is given to us by God."
Pabillo and Capistrano issued a joint statement on Wednesday "against all institutions that threaten the value of human life."
Pabillo chairs the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Episcopal Commission on the Laity, while Capistrano serves as national president of the Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas, or Laiko.
"We encourage everyone who has even one preferred advocacy for human life and dignity to join the Walk for Life," Pabillo and Capistrano said.
"Bring your own placards with slogans, white and yellow flaglets and ribbons, and tarpaulin banners, if you must. Bring the whole family and walk for the protection of the family and the next generation," they added.
The Walk for Life comes as more than 6,200 people have died in the war on drugs waged by the Duterte administration.
Pabillo and Capistrano also pointed out the problem of "clandestine abortions," the "total population control policy perpetuating the myth of overpopulation," and the proposed laws on divorce and same-sex unions.
Referring to these proposed measures, Pabillo and Capistrano said, "They are agents of death." – Rappler.com
Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.