By Genalyn Kabiling
The government is pushing for the “true healing” of the country long split by politics and saddled with illegal drugs, crime and corruption.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque has called for national unity, including a better rapport between the government and the Catholic Church, while respecting the Catholic Bishops’ of the Philippines’ (CBCP) planned healing mass against the alleged extrajudicial killings in the country.
“We are one in the true healing of this nation that has long been divided by politics,” Roque said in a statement.
“We must come together as one country and one people and help the government in building a nation free from drugs, criminality and corruption,” he said.
Roque said the administration wishes “to build better rapport with the Catholic Church and seek the cooperation of its leaders.”
The government also calls on the Catholic flock to “proactively” help the government in combatting the drug menace, particularly in the rehabilitation and treatment of drug dependents, according to Roque.
The “Lord Heal Our Land” mass, initiated by CBCP President and Dagupan-Lingayen Archbishop Socrates Villegas, is scheduled at the EDSA Shrine at 3 p.m. Sunday, followed by a procession to the 1986 People Power monument.
The prayer gathering calls for an end to the summary killings linked to the government’s brutal war on illegal drugs. The activity will kick off the 33-day prayer and action for national healing and will culminate on December 8, the feast of the Immaculate Concepcion.
The Palace, however, has no qualms about the latest Church-led activities.
“The President has repeatedly mentioned that he allows constructive dissent and that he would even give protesters the democratic space and time to enjoy the rights to peacefully assemble, seek redress and air their grievances,” Roque said.
He reiterated however that the administration “does not and will never condone extrajudicial and vigilante killings” and will bring to justice those behind any murder.
As of September, Roque said at least 2, 243 incidents with drug-related motives are under investigation.
“The President himself made a clear stance that any violation committed by the police during operations would be dealt with accordingly. Accountability is essential to good governance,” he said.
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