Bishop leads prayer march vs charter change at Senate

May 24, 2024 - 3:14 PM
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Caritas Philippines president Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo speaks during the “People’s March and Prayer Against Charter Change” outside the Senate building in Pasay City on May 22, 2024. (CBCP News)

A Catholic bishop led a prayer march Wednesday outside the Senate building in Pasay City, urging legislators to prioritize the needs of the Filipinos instead of pursuing charter change.

Caritas Philippines president Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo said the Church stands united with social movements and churches in defending the nation’s democracy.

“This march wasn’t just a protest; it was a prayerful plea for our leaders to prioritize the people’s needs,” Bagaforo said.

The national Caritas described the prayer rally as a “powerful display of unity” by various civil society and church organizations who oppose the proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution.

The groups particularly called on newly-elected Senate President Francis Escudero to take a definitive stand against charter change.

They urged the senators to prioritize critical issues like securing a living wage, upholding human rights, and passing environmental protection bills to safeguard the country’s natural resources.

“The overwhelming turnout at the march signifies the unwavering commitment of Filipinos to ensuring their voices are heard and respected,” Bagaforo said.

“We believe in the power of collective action and faith to bring about positive change,” the bishop added.

The House of Representatives in March approved a bill that will relax constitutional restrictions on foreign ownership of the country’s public utilities, educational institutions and advertising sector.

A counterpart measure remains pending at the Senate committee level.