Red shirt protesters to rally vs RH bill in Edsa-A A +A
Friday, August 3, 2012
RED will be the theme of Saturday's rally against the reproductive health (RH) bill to be organized by the Catholic Church and pro-life groups at the historic Edsa Shrine in Quezon City.
Fr. Melvin Castro said red symbolizes the blood of an innocent child in a mother's womb and those of the women who give birth.
Castro, executive secretary of Catholic Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (CBCP-ECFL), asked those who will attend the "Prayer Power Rally Against the RH Bill" to wear red as well as those who are with them but could not be at the venue.
The CBCP said delegations from the dioceses of Manila, Antipolo, Parañaque, Cubao, Novaliches, Kalookan, Pasig, Lipa, San Fernando (Pampanga), Tarlac, Malolos, Sorsogon, Balanga, San Pablo (Laguna), Cabanatuan, San Jose (Nueva Ecija), and Imus are expected in Saturday's rally.
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle issued Thursday a circular exhorting the faithful to join in the prayer rally at the Edsa Shrine scheduled from 1 to 7 p.m.
"Let's stand together against the RH bill," he said.
Simultaneous rallies will also be held in Cebu, Jaro (Iloilo), Davao, Legaspi, Lucena, Tacloban, Roxas, Borongan (Samar), Cagayan de Oro, Baguio City, Dagupan, and Zamboanga.
CBCP president and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma is expected to lead the faithful in a prayer rally in Cebu.
Similarly, CBCP vice president and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said a prayer rally will also be held in Dagupan City.
"We will have a prayer rally for the protection of families and preservation of reverence for the life in the womb," said the prelate.
Villegas said the rally will begin with a mass at the St. John's Cathedral followed by the laying of candles in the sidewalks leading to the Dagupan City Hall.
Castro said what they have is an open invitation to all who are with their advocacy to block the bill's passage at the House of Representatives, including politicians.
However, he said they will neither give politicians any special treatment nor opportunities to "grandstand."
"If they would come, we would acknowledge them pero hindi sila allowed magsalita (They would not be allowed to speak). We would keep this prayer power rally as prayerful as possible,” said Castro.
On August 7, the House of Representatives is set to vote on whether to continue deliberating on the RH bill or set it for voting.
Castro said they are hoping that the rainy weather will give them a break and allow them to successfully hold the prayer rally.
On the other hand, he appealed to commuters and motorists to try to avoid the areas surrounding the Edsa Shrine due to the expected heavy traffic.
Castro said they have already coordinated with the local government units as well as with the Metro Manila Development Authority for the activity.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte, meanwhile, said she is not sure if President Benigno Aquino III will monitor the developments in the prayer rally.
"I am not quite sure. Given that we have several areas that are flooded," she said.
She, meanwhile, assured that security forces will ensure the safety of the people who will join the rally.
Asked if the Palace need to have fresh dialogue with the Church amid the rally, Valte said "at this point the President has made his position known, the President's five-point position was already put in draft that was proposed in the Ledac." (HDT/Jill Beltran/Sunnex)