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Philippine bishops get behind anti-death penalty march

Long march from Mindanao to Manila due to end as Senate deliberates capital punishment bill

Updated: May 10, 2017 01:40 AM GMT
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Philippine bishops get behind anti-death penalty march

The call for a stop to the proposed revival of capital punishment in the country was the highlight of the church-initiated 'March for Life' in Manila in February. (Photo by Angie de Silva)

 

The head of the Philippine Catholic bishops' conference has called on fellow prelates to support an anti-death penalty march on the capital that started last week in the southern Philippines.

"Our lay faithful are becoming more and more socially engaged," said Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan, president of the conference.

"It is our duty as pastors to encourage them, to bless them, and invite more lay faithful to assist them in the mission of social transformation," he said.

He said the lay initiative is "most deserving of support" from everybody who claims to stand for life.

Archbishop Villegas appealed to bishops where the march will pass "to kindly show an expression of hospitality and support."

On May 4, workers, farmers, fishermen, tribal people, informal settlers, and activist groups started a 21-day cross-country march from Mindanao to express opposition to the proposed revival of capital punishment.

An interfaith prayer and Mass will be held in Luneta Park in Manila when the march reaches the capital on May 21, in time for the deliberations in the Senate of the propose measure.

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