Semana Santa 2018 –
Duterte urges Filipinos to embody Christ’s compassion

President Rodrigo Duterte has encouraged Catholic Filipinos to embrace Christ’s compassion in spite of differences.

In observance of the Holy Week, the President delivered a message stressing that the Season of Lent is the time to renew relationship with God.

“This is a time to revitalize and renew our relationship with God and our fellowmen,” Duterte said.

“As we put our hands together in prayer, may we use this as an opportune time to rekindle our religious fervor and cherish our time-honored traditions as a pious people,” he added.

Duterte also urged Filipinos to use this Lenten week to reflect on the Catholic values.

“As we reflect on the Catholic values and embody selflessness, compassion and love instilled in us through the years, let us remember to always help and uplift the downtrodden because it is only through charitable actions that we make God’s presence visible among us,” he said.

Again, the President called for unity among Filipinos to realize better life for everyone.

“Let us take a moment to pause in the spirit of contemplation and work and unite as one people to build a truly equitable and inclusive nation where everyone can enjoy a decent a comfortable life,” Duterte said.

“I wish out countrymen a deeply meaningful and solemn observance of the Holy Week,” he added.

AFP, PNP to heighten security for Holy Week

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) have ensured public safety during the Lenten break.

AFP is set to deploy at least 700 soldiers across Metro Manila, said Brig. Gen. Alan Arrojado, commander of the Joint Task Force-National Capital Region.

The organization will add 100 more military reservists to secure transport hubs, malls, among others, he added.

“There will be forces that will be deployed in Quiapo Church, bus terminals, South and North harbors, airports and stations of mass transport systems in Metro Manila,” he said.

Arrojado said authorities have yet to receive any potential threats for the Holy Week.

“No threats were detected but we remain on alert,” said Arrojado.

Moreover, the PNP has already announced its highest security alert status in the country for the said event.

“This means that all our policemen will be on duty while our countrymen are on vacation. We are also encouraging force multipliers like barangay police to help us,” said dela Rosa.

“On the threat of terrorism, so far we can say we are not monitoring any threat from terrorism but then again we are advising the public not to relax. Let us still be vigilant,” he added.