Tag Archives: The Catholic Church defies Philippine President Duterte

The Catholic Church defies Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte

The Catholic Church defies Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte

By Ana P. Santos, August 11, 2017 · 7:30 AM EDT

Remy Fernandez, 84 years old, holds her grandchildren that she is raising; there are seven in all, because her son, Constantino de Juan, a methampetamine user, was killed by masked men and the mother is in prison due to a drug arrest. The chair in which she sits has a hole in it after it passed through his body. Baby RJ was born in prison. Juan, upon seeing the masked assassins, instructed CJ, 5 years old and wearing the red tank top, to take care of his siblings because he knew he was about to be assassinated. This picture was taken in Payatas, Metro Manila, in the Philippines.

Credit: James Whitlow Delano/Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

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. read more