Various religious formations under the One Faith, One Nation, One Voice, convened at an ecumenical program on Friday, July 5, to reflect and discuss the current state of the nation as the Duterte administration reaches the half of its term. The ecumenical program was followed by a brief mobilization in front of Brgy. Mariana Park, Quezon City.

The groups maintained its stance against the Administration’s anti-drug operation program, the continuing economic woes, as well as Duterte’s response regarding the Philippines’ sovereignty and Chinese intervention.

‘Reflect, Rise, Resist’

The ecumenical program was attended by various religious formations. It tackled the various issues that the Filipino people are facing after the third year of Duterte administration.

Ranging from reflections regarding the continuing anti-drug programs, the perennial economic woes brought about by skyrocketing prices and lack of job security, up to the fraud in the recent midterm polls, and finally to the Duterte administration’s stance regarding the issues on the sovereignty and West Philippine Sea, the groups have reaffirmed its commitment to stand against the slew of anti-people policies of the administration.

Fr. Wilfredo Dulay, MDJ, a church leader, presented three challenges to the church communities, urging them to rise to the call in fighting the attacks on the Filipino people’s lives and dignities.

“My first challenge [to you] is the good old pananagutanor commitment. The commitment to do something and not just watch from the sidelines, like bench-warmers in a basketball game. The challenge to commit oneself to a cause has nothing to do with age. The commitment to come to the aid of the victims of oppression and poverty, to defend human rights, the country’s sovereignty, and justice for all have no statutes of limitations. My second challenge it that we use “the cunning of the serpent”—to use our brains and the power of imagination in trying to analyze and understand what is happening to us, to our people, to our beloved country. [The third challenge is] to pray unceasingly and keep hoping that better times await us. We are called upon to struggle for the soul of our people. Evil forces are trying to steal them from us,” Fr. Dulay said in his statement.

Meanwhile, The Right Reverend Rex Reyes, D.D, of the National Council of Churches of the Philippines (NCCP), manifested the continuing attacks and vilification of the Church by the State. Bishop Reyes also urged the people to speak the truth amidst the continuing political situation.

“Ipakita natin na sa pamamagitan ng ating patuloy na pagkilos ay makita ng iba at nawa, sila rin ay susunod,” Bishop Reyes urged.

[“Let us show that through our continuous efforts, others might also see and reflect. Hopefully, they will also follow.”] 

The ecumenical program was followed by a short mobilization in front of the Brgy. Mariana Park. The leaders have called an end to the continuing killings. They have also condemned the death of Nepthalie Morada, a former Bayan Muna spokesperson and an activist.

In the brief program, the groups cited that the past three years under the Duterte administration is more than enough for the Filipino people. As a response, they have proclaimed that they will march with the people once more in the upcoming United People’s SONA on July 22.

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