The Catholic Church defies Philippine President Rodrigo DuterteBy Ana P. Santos, August 11, 2017 · 7:30 AM EDT
At the stroke of midnight on July 24, a group of about 150 gathered in a church not far from where Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was scheduled to face Congress and deliver his second State of the Nation Address in Manila later that day.
Legislators, activists, church leaders and concerned citizens heard Mass, prayed and lit candles to start a 17-hour vigil in protest of the Duterte administration’s brutal drug war that has left thousands of mostly poor, young men dead.
“We held a similar Mass last year before the president’s first SONA. As soon as he [Duterte] had won the elections, the killings began,” said Father Joselito “Bong” Sarabia, a parish priest and counselor.