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Duterte voiding Trillanes’ amnesty ‘oppression, diversion from rising prices’ – Pabillo

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by Xave Gregorio

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo called President Rodrigo Duterte’s voiding of the amnesty granted to opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV as “oppression” and a “diversion” from rising prices.

Pabillo celebrated Mass Saturday (September 8) for around 100 supporters of Trillanes, some of whom have been camping outside the Senate’s premises since Thursday (September 6).

“We are praying for Senator Trillanes and offering this Mass kasi nakita po natin dito ang maliwanag na pango-oppress. Pango-oppress na naghahanap lang ng dahilan upang ibilanggo,” Pabillo said in his homily.

“Alam nating nangyari yan kay Senator Trillanes kasi nagsasalita siya. Kaya kailangan din natin ng lakas ng loob sa lahat ng nagsasalita,” he said.

Pabillo also prayed that government officials would start listening to the poor who are clamoring for solutions amid rising prices and joblessness instead of clamping down on the opposition, which he suspects is just a tactic to divert attention from the issue.

“Hindi ba nililihis lang tayo? Na sa halip na ibigay ang atensyon natin sa pangangailangan ng bayan ay ito pa yung gagawin? Kaya parang hindi nakabukas ang kanilang tainga sa kalagayan ng mga tao ngayon,” he said.

“But is it because ginagawa nila ito kasi wala silang solusyon na magagawa sa mga problema ng mga tao ngayon? Dina-divert ang atensyon natin sa mga bagay na ito?” he said.

A day before the Philippine Statistics Authority released the inflation rate for August, which hit a nine-year high at 6.4 percent, Duterte issued Proclamation No. 572 which declared Trillanes’ amnesty as void from the start.

Trillanes and other opposition politikos decried this as persecution. Some of them, including Vice President Leni Robredo, also urged Duterte to focus on rising prices, which hit the poor the hardest.

“Baka pwede mo namang tutukan ang mga tunay na problema ng bayan,” Trillanes said when asked for a homecoming message for Duterte as he returned to the country from a historic four-day trip to Israel and Jordan.

Pabillo also said among the intentions of the Mass was for people to start speaking up.

“Ito rin ang dasal para sa atin mismo at para sa taongbayan: Na tayo rin ay magsalita. That we will not be mapipilitan na maging pipi. Na may nakikita na tayong masamang nangyayari, may pangaapi at tayo’y tatahimik lang. Dapat palakasin natin ang ating boses, sabihing, ‘Hindi ito tama, dapat ito baguhin,” he said.

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