Villegas warns: Let’s stop the killings or else suffer a curse as punishment

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Published: 5:18 p.m., Nov. 5, 2017 | Updated: 8:59 p.m., Nov. 5, 2017

“Kapag hindi natin itinigil ang patayan, may sumpang parusa ang bayang pumapatay sa sariling kababayan.”

[If we don’t stop the killings, there’s a curse to punish a nation that kills its own countrymen.]

This was the part of the homily that Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas delivered during the “Lord Heal Our Land” Mass that he celebrated at the Edsa Shrine.

About 600 people gathered inside the historic shrine for the Mass, which was organized by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

Among those who attended the Mass were Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Sen. Bam Aquino, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, Magdalao Rep. Gary Alejano, and former presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.

Among those who concelebrated the Mass with Villegas were Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, and Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco.

Villegas also reiterated the call of the Catholic Church to stop the drug killings and start the healing of the country.

“Walang gobyernong forever. God lang ang forever,” he said.

[No government lasts forever. Only God is forever.]

“Power belongs to the people not the power-holder,” he added.

Member of Rise Up were among those who attended the “Lord Heal Our Land’ Mass celebrated by Archbishop Socrates Villegas on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, at the historic Edsa Shrine. (Photo by PATHRICIA ANN V. ROXAS)

Villegas also gave tribute to victims of alleged extrajudicial and drug-related killings in the country, including 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos, whom he said pleaded: “Tama na po, may test pa po ako.”

“Kung totoong drug users kayo, tama na at magbago. May bukas pa,” Villegas said.

[If you really are drug users, then stop it and change. There’s still tomorrow.]

“Kung nanlaban daw at napatay, huwag kayong magpadala sa paghihiganti. Naghihintay ang Diyos sa mga drug user at handang tumulong ang simbahan,” he added.

[If someone you know allegedly fights back and is called, don’t be tempted by revenge. God waits for drug users and is ready to help the Church.]

“Peace to you the murdered brethren and victims of extra judicial killings,” Villegas said. “May the Lord give you peace in His kingdom, that peace that the world failed to give you. May your blood speak to us, disturb us and move us to act to resist violence. No more killings. Pray for our healing. EJK poor souls killed by even morally bankrupt poorer souls, patawarin ninyo kami [forgive us]. Rest in God now.”

Bishop Socrates Villegas officiates the healing mass at the EDSA Shrine in Ortigas on Sunday, November 5, 2017.
INQUIRER PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

“Peace to you beloved Philippines,” he went on. “Mahal naming bayan, patawad po sa aming baluktot na pag-iisip, sa kamay na amoy pulbura at pag-iisip na kasinlamig ng baril. Patawad po sa pagpapahalaga muna sa sarili sa halip na sa bayan. Patawad po sa pangungusinti sa pandarambong basta may balato kami. Nakakahiya po. Sorry po, Inang Bayang Pilipinas.”

[Our beloved country, please forgive us for our crooked thinking, for the hand that smells of gunpower, a mind that is as cold as a gun. Forgive us for valuing ourselves above our country. Forgive us for tolerating plunderers for as long as they give us our share. It’s shameful. Sorry, Philippines, our beloved motherland.]

The mass was followed by a procession towards the People Power Monument where a two-hour socio-cultural program had been arranged. /atm

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