Malacañang welcomed the nationwide “Walk for Life” march joined by thousands of people, mostly from religious groups opposing the restoration of death penalty and the supposed extrajudicial killings, last Saturday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the march only proves that democracy is not being infringed.
He also thanked everyone for making the march peaceful. “We thank everyone’s cooperation from the Catholic leaders to our authorities for making the Walk for Life gathering peaceful,” Roque said.
The Palace said President Duterte welcomes all kinds of protests and respects public opinions and criticisms.
“As we all know, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is open to constructive criticism. He allows everyone, including the protesters, to fully exercise their right to express their grievances within the bounds of the law,” Roque said. “The Walk for Life is a testament that democracy and freedom are very much alive in the Philippines,” he added.
The Walk for Life march aimed to raise issues on the government’s war against drugs, the move to restore capital punishment, Charter change, destruction of environment, abortion, labor contractualizaion, human trafficking, and poverty, among others.
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle joined the movement at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila.
He said everyone is part of one family that walks together for life, an important gift from God. “Ang Walk for Life ay lakad para sa lahat ng may buhay kasama na ang ating kaaway,” Tagle said. (Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)