Archbishop urges anti-Marcos burial protest to be peaceful

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MANILA, Nov. 29, 2016 — A ranking Catholic bishop called on anti-Marcos demonstrators to keep things civil, refrain from low blows, and stick to the issues.

Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas

Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas reminded tomorrow’s protesters to express their sentiments in the spirit of “compassion and not revenge.”

“What we’re looking for is truth – truth that has love. Let’s not tear each other down,” Villegas said in Filipino.

“What we’ll talk about are issues and principles and let’s avoid cursing and belittling those who have a different view from ours,” he added.

Following the huge “Black Friday” rally at the Rizal Park on Nov. 25, various protesters will again troop to the Heroes’ Cemetery on Wednesday, to stage an Occupy Libingan ng mga Bayani protest.

Last Friday’s mass actions were held in different parts of the country, wherein thousands of people protested the hasty burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in a heroes’ cemetery.

The prelate also encouraged his flock to join the rally and directed all parish churches in Pangasinan to ring the church bells in solidarity with #OccupyLNMB and other rallies in Mendiola and at the People Power Monument.

“If it is your belief that to join rallies is needed and in your view is part of your Christian duty, then I heartily encourage you to join [the rally] with my blessing,” he said.

Villegas said the tolling of church bells is also in memory of the victims of Martial Law, including those killed, abducted, or injured.

“Many disappeared, died, were wounded, and affected because of martial law. The honor of their sacrifice should be remembered,” he said.

Villegas also called on parents to help educate their children more about the history of martial law in the country.

“Don’t forget. Stand firm. Get involved. Don’t allow our freedom to perish once more,” stressed the prelate. (CBCPNews) 

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