'Euphoric,' nun says as Filipinos speak up vs tyranny

MANILA, Philippines – Former St Scholastica's College president Sister Mary John Mananzan said she felt "euphoric" as thousands of Filipinos staged rallies on Thursday, September 21, against abuses under President Rodrigo Duterte. 

"Gano'n po ang nafi-feel namin – 'yung euphoric ba – 'yung nakikita mo na talagang namumulat 'yung mga tao at nagkakaroon sila ng lakas loob na magsalita, na pumunta dito, na pumunta sa rally," Mananzan said in an interview with reporters Thursday.

(That is how we feel – euphoric – when we see people waking up and getting the courage to speak, to come here, to go to the rallies.)

"Nakakatuwa po 'yon, nakakataba ng puso 'yon kasi hindi na sila tahimik," she added. (That makes us happy, that fills our heart, because they're no longer quiet.) 

Mananzan made these remarks after a 2:00 pm Mass at the San Agustin Church, where Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David criticized "termites" that eat up "our collective conscience as a nation."

The Mass was followed by a 20-minute march of Catholic laypersons, priests, and nuns to Rizal Park in Manila, where they merged with other protesters for one of the biggest rallies during Duterte's presidency. 

Mananzan said that protesters made the following appeals: "no to extrajudicial killings, no to tyranny, no to martial law, no to authoritarianism, and no to the killing of the Filipino soul."

She also denied that protesters belong to the "yellows," or members of the Liberal Party (LP) of former president Benigno Aquino III. 

The LP, whose standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II was the runner-up to the Philippine presidency, is one of the staunchest critics of Duterte.

Mananzan, however, said protesters have "rainbow colors" open to all.

Asked for her message to Duterte, the activist nun told the President: "Puwede ba, tigilan 'nyo na ang pagpapatay ng tao. 'Yun po ang aking mensahe." (Can you please stop killing people? That is my message.) – Rappler.com

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

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 pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.

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