MANILA, March 26, 2011â€”Simultaneous rallies against the controversial Reproductive Health bill were held in different key cities across Mindanao, gathering at least 50,000 concerned Catholics and representatives from various faiths.
The Mindanao rallies coincided with the famed â€œgrandmother of all ralliesâ€ held at the Rizal Park on March 25 that drew hundreds of thousands of protesters.
Zamboanga Archbishop Romulo Valles said they had a huge attendance during their mass action dubbed as â€œMarch for Life â€“ Mass for Lifeâ€ where the participants assembled at the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception as early as 5:00 p.m. Friday.
â€œWe marched to the Shrine of Nuestra Senora la Virgen del Pilar, more than a kilometer away, for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist,â€ the Zamboanga prelate told CBCP News.
He said the message was loud and clear: â€œThose who believe in the gospel of Jesus, in front of the possibility of the RH bill becoming a law in our land must choose between the Culture of Life or the Culture of Death.â€
Valles said the very bog open area of the highly popular shrine of Nuestra Senora la Virgen del Pilar was filed with people.
â€œIt had no roof and it was a fiesta atmosphere that prevailed during the activity,â€ he further said.
Meanwhile, at the Oval Plaza at the heart of General Santos City, about 4,000 Catholic faithful gathered for their anti-RH bill rally.
Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez said more than 4,000 people representing the Diocese of Marbelâ€™s parishes joined some 40 priests and religious women for their protest rally.
â€œWe thanked God for the fine weather that brought parish representatives to our activity,â€ Bishop Gutierrez told CBCP News. (Melo M. Acuna)