The inviolability of the person which is a reflection of the absolute inviolability of God, finds its primary and fundamental expression in the inviolability of human life. …the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights-for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture- is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination. (St. John Paul II, On the Vocation and Mission of the Lay Faithful [Christifideles Laici. . .], no. 38)
On February 24, 2018 the Christian faithful will hold another Walk for Life- in an act of solidarity- to uphold the dignity of life. We stand by the universal truth that human life is the apex of God’s creation thus the need to uphold, protect and defend it at all cost. We must discern and expose deceptive ideologies and actions that seek to destroy life.
Recent local and global developments have prompted this urgent call to action. We strongly condemn any and all policies and programs that waste human lives:
• the persecution of people all over the world in the name of religion and religious rights;
• the proliferation of substance abuse that lead to addiction;
• the unabated loss of human lives in the anti-drug war- alleged to have reached 12,000 between June 2016 and September 2017; we join national and international human rights organizations in calling for a thorough investigation of the extra judicial killings and deaths under investigation;
• the proposed re-imposition of the Death Penalty that should not have a place in a democratic society;
• abortion in all its forms, including the use of artificial contraceptives that have abortifacient effects;
• the systematic pillage of our natural resources through mining and development projects that destroy our oceans, rivers, land, forests and other sources of life;
• the imposition of taxes in the name of development but at the expense of the poorest of the poor;
• the use of our people for experimentation of treatments (like dengvaxia) that have not passed thorough studies of their adverse effects;
• the poor implementation of genuine land reform;
• the abuse of labor through contractualization, and inhuman working conditions and wages;
• the weak policies against trafficking of persons; and
• the meager provision for shelter for the homeless and the urban poor.
We cannot accept being governed by laws and policies that deceive and were crafted based on manipulated facts. We cannot agree with the premise that solutions to our social problems require that some of us should die.
This walk is for the life of every person who has been a victim of this culture of death. As Christians we stand together because we have the responsibility to care for our fellow human beings and to ensure that common good and justice must prevail.
We walk not only to condemn the wrong that is being done; but also to pray that the hearts of those who pursue such wrongs may be touched and softened by our collective action.
We walk to uphold truth and righteousness and to proclaim that upholding the primacy of human life is a choice we must all make.
With these, the CBCP Episcopal Commission on the Laity through its lay arm, the Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas wants to have a yearly “grand procession” a “Walk for Life” to institutionalize the expression of our choice.
We encourage everyone to join the simultaneous nationwide Walk for Life at 4:00 in the morning to 8:00 A.M. on February 24, at the following Venues:
Venue: Quirino Grandstand Parade Ground, Rizal Park, Manila
Venue: From Fuente Osmeña Circle to Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Cebu City
Venue: Gaston Park, Cagayan de Oro City
Venue: Tarlac City Plazuela
Venue: From San Pablo City Cathedral to Dagatan Boulevard, Sampaloc Lake, San Pablo City, Laguna
Bring your own placards with slogans, white and yellow flaglets & ribbons, tarpaulin banners, if you must. Bring the whole family and walk for the protection of life and the next generation.
+ MOST REV. BRODERICK S. PABILLO, D.D. MA. JULIETA F. WASAN, PhD
Chairman, CBCP Episcopal Commission on the Laity LAIKO Presiden