‘National Day of Prayer’ set after tragic 2013
MANILA, Philippines – The government has set a “National Day of Prayer and Solidarity” following a year of natural disasters that claimed more than 6,000 lives.
President Benigno Aquino III will lead the affair, dubbed “One Nation in Prayer,” in Malacañang on Jan. 20, more than two months after Supertyphoon “Yolanda” wrought havoc in Eastern Visayas.
The event will take place on the 13th anniversary of the second Edsa People Power Revolution, which installed President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, a primary subject of Aquino’s criticisms.
But Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma made no mention of the Edsa anniversary when he announced the Jan. 20 event during his weekly media forum aired over Radyo ng Bayan.
“On Monday, Jan. 20, President Aquino will lead a simple program that will be held in Malacañang,” he said Filipino.
“The National Day of Prayer and Solidarity will be held as the Filipino people’s way of recognizing the power of God Almighty who guides us in our journey toward a much better tomorrow.”
The President earlier downplayed the number of casualties, saying it was closer to “2,500” than the 10,000 estimate by a police official, who was later sacked. So far, the death toll has breached the 6,000 mark.
During the traditional “Vin d’Honneur” last Friday, Aquino took pride in the country’s resilience amid calamities that hit the country.
“Our unbreakable spirit and ability to recover find root in our firm belief in a benevolent God who has the perfect plan for all of us. These tragedies tell us that despite all our efforts, we are indeed powerless without God,” the President said.
Coloma said the interfaith gathering would bring together “government officials and representatives of the different sectors of Philippine society.”
Less than a month before “Yolanda” battered Leyte and Samar, a 7.2-magnitutde earthquake killed more than 200 people in Bohol and Cebu.
Coloma said the government remained focused on the rehabilitation of communities affected by the earthquake, and others devastated by previous weather disturbances.
“[The government] is looking at how to further improve the rehabilitation and reconstruction effort and [it will] do everything needed based on the ‘build-back better’ principle,” he said.
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