Pilgrims pray for peace, end to killings | Inquirer News

Pilgrims pray for peace, end to killings

LIGAO CITY — More than 4,000 pilgrims from different parishes in Albay and Camarines Sur provinces took part in the eighth year of the Diocesan Youth Way of the Cross here, bearing prayers for peace and an end to killings across the country.

The pilgrims, mostly teenagers, joined the climb to the 250-meter-high Kawa-Kawa Hill in Tuburan village. The climb, also known as Way of Sorrows or Via Crucis, involves praying to a series of images depicting Jesus Christ on the day of his crucifixion, a Catholic tradition practiced during the Lenten season.

The 836-meter crater rim of Kawa-Kawa has life-size sculptures of the 14 Stations of the Cross lining a 500-meter path and depicting the Passion of Christ.


Ashley Medes, 14, and Jomar Viduya, 13, both from Ligao and first-timers in the climb, said they joined the Way of the Cross to partake in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.


“We included in our prayers that the country will become peaceful and there will be no more killings and that death penalty bill will not become law,” Medes said.

Started in 2010, the first Diocesan Youth Way of the Cross was initiated by Albay Rep. Fernando Gonzalez with Carmelite nuns of the Divine Mercy.

Bishop Joel Baylon, head of the Diocese of Legazpi, officiated the Holy Mass on Saturday and reiterated in his homily that the Church was against the death penalty bill.

In a short interaction with pilgrims, Baylon also denounced the extrajudicial killings as a result of the government’s war on illegal drugs.

He also talked about same-sex marriage, which he said the Church was deliberately not allowing to happen.

But for John Robert Balino, 15, from Sto. Domingo town, the reimposition of the death penalty would reduce the occurrence of heinous crimes.


Jusette Ranisha Golipardo, a Grade 10 student from Sto. Domingo, said she believed the death penalty law would ensure the safety of citizens against crime.

She also said it could curb the abuses against women. Golipardo believed the abuses were rampant because of illegal drugs.

‘Tokhang’ unsafe for priests

In a separate interview, Bishop Baylon said he welcomed the suggestion of Philippine National Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa for priests to accompany law enforcers in conducting “Oplan Tokhang” operations in the government’s renewed war on drugs.

“If their (priests’) presence will prevent further atrocities and killings, why not? But how can they assure the safety of priests?” Baylon asked.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

He said “joining the operation would only be an additional burden, which is a nightly routine.”


© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.