CBCP head: Join 'Walk for Life' on February 18

MANILA, Philippines – Days after releasing their strongest statement yet against drug-related killings, the president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) urged Filipinos to join a grand procession, called "Walk for Life," on February 18.

"I am inviting you to come out on February 18, 2017, at the Quirino Grandstand from 4:30 in the morning until 7 in the morning. Let us walk for life," CBCP president Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said in a video message released on Tuesday, February 7.

"Let us fill our streets not with blood, not with dead bodies, but with prayer, with courage, to walk, to stand up for life," Villegas said.

The Walk for Life was announced as early as January 11 by lay Catholic leaders, as well as Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo. 

They said the Walk for Life aims to oppose drug-related killings, the death penalty, and other measures labeled by the Catholic Church as "anti-life." 

Villegas said: "My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, is it God's will that blood be on our streets? Is it God's will that dead bodies of our brothers and sisters be found on our sidewalks? Is it God's will that mothers kill the infants in their wombs? It is not God's will." 

"Our streets must be safe. Our streets should be secure," the CBCP president said.

Days earlier, on February 5, the CBCP issued its strongest statement yet against the drug-related killings. The CBCP denounced the "reign of terror" in poor communities as President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs kills at least 7,000 people in the Philippines. – Paterno Esmaquel II/Rappler.com