Fasting in Solidarity with Political Prisoners in the Philippines

News Release:  Thursday, January 15, 2015 

The Centre d'appui aux Philippines / Centre for Philippine Concerns calls on its members and supporters to join in a 24-hr fast starting at 6 pm Saturday, January 17 until 6 pm Sunday, January 18, 2015 in solidarity with political prisoners in the Philippines.

The almost 500 political prisoners in 43 jails across the Philippines started a hunger strike-fast January 15, 2015 as they also lit candles to welcome Pope Francis, who was beginning a 4-day visit to that country. The hunger strike aims to highlight the call to release all political prisoners and for Pope Francis to intercede on their behalf. 

People’s cry for justice and peace 

Christina Palabay, of the Philippine human rights organization Karapatan, explained that the political prisoners are among those people who, “question, challenge, or change the unjust order; those who are threatened, killed, disappeared or detained by the authorities who have guns and tanks to protect the rich, the hacienderos, and the powerful.”
The unjust order, she explained, is the unabated violations of the“people’s rights to land, decent jobs and living wages, shelter, accessible health and education services.”
“No amount of posh welcome rites or overkill security arrangements by the current administration can hide the glaring poverty and injustice in Philippine society, especially amid corruption scandals that rocked the nation these past years,” she added.
Karapatan reiterated its call for the BS Aquino government to address the roots of the armed conflict through peace negotiations, instead of going into military campaigns of suppression against the people. “The state of unpeace and the narratives of oppression continue,” she said.
With His Holiness’ visit to the Philippines, Karapatan enjoins Pope Francis to “hear the calls of political prisoners and their kin for their freedom, and the cry for justice of relatives of the desaparecidos and the victims of political killings. Theirs are voices that cannot be silenced, even by the most brutal forms of repression.”
“We ask him to stand with the poor and oppressed, and to struggle with us for just and lasting peace in our nation,” Palabay concluded. 
Community supper to break the fast, 6 pm, Sunday, January 18, 2015
CPC and other Philippine community groups in Montreal, invite you to join them in a community supper Sunday at 6:00 pm to end the fast, and to hear from family members of political prisoners in the Philippines and other updates.
Place: St Paul's Anglican Church basement
3970 chemin de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine
Montréal, QC, Canada H3T 1E3 QC (Metro Côte-Sainte-Catherine)
 Meanwhile, please adopt this logo on your Facebook pages, and please circulate this event information.

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