Press Release
December 15, 2006

Senate President says govt. should not stand in way of Sundays prayer rally

Senate President Manny Villar, president of Nacionalista Party, said today that he sees nothing wrong with the decision of the Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to go on with its scheduled anti-Charter change prayer rally at the Luneta on Sunday, despite the decision by Malacanang and the House of Representatives to dump their Chacha agenda.

Villar said the prayer should be allowed to proceed without any untoward incident, as this is a legal and proper venue for the people to express their sentiments on issues that affect them.

Villar issued the statement as he cautioned police authorities against the reported plan to clamp down on rally organizers.

Wala namang masama sa pagpapakita ng nararamdaman ng mamamayan, said Villar.

Kung merong gustong magdasal at maglahad ng kanilang nararamdaman sa Linggo, wala namang masama doon. Itoy isang magandang aspeto n gating demokrasya na hindi natin dapat pigilan. Maganda rin naman na magpakita ng kanilang nararamdaman ang ating kababayan.

Villar said he maintains that the move by the Palace and the House to archive the controversial proposal to convene a constituent assembly to amend the Constitution should have a bearing on Sundays mammoth prayer rally.

Whether or not con-ass will push through is not an issue here. Its a prayer rally, right? Hindi naman porque ibinasura na ang con-ass, eh, hindi na tayo magdarasal, Villar said.

He warned against the alleged plan by the police arrest rally organizers or politicians who would show up at the prayer meeting.

I dont think they can do that. Whats wrong with the praying and expressing your sentiments? Villar asked.

He said the police should think twice about clamping down on the rallyists, as it could degenerate into something that the administration may find difficult to deal with.

Ang advice ko sa mga pipigil nyan ay mag-isiip-isip din kayo sapagkat maaring wala na nga yung con-ass pero pag pinigil ninyo ang prayer rally, lalong lalala at lalong iinit iyan. Baka yung gusto ninyong pigilan ay lalo pang lumaki, Villar said.

Villar said that while he fully supports the prayer rally, he would rather not show up so as not to add political color to the activity.

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