Religious group urges PRRD to join ‘prayer for peace’ in December

MANILA — The religious group, Pasa Lord Prayer Movement, on Thursday urged President Rodrigo R. Duterte to join them in the “Prayer for Peace in the Philippines” event, set to be held in December.

“We are asking the President, as father of the nation, to lead us in praying the interfaith Prayer for Peace in the Philippines,” Pasa Lord lead convenor Bing Pimentel, wife of Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr., said in a press briefing in San Juan City on Thursday.

Members of the movement have signed a petition urging the President to grant their request.

Pimentel noted that their appeal would not take much of Duterte’s busy schedule once he agrees to lead the nationwide activity since the prayer would only take a minute.

“It takes only one minute to say the prayer. So, we are hopeful that he will agree,” she said.

Pimentel also asked the Filipino people to support their activity.

“Our call is simple – for all Filipinos to unite in saying the Prayer for Peace in the Philippines at 12 noon on a date to be set in early December,” she said.

Bishop Noel Pantoja, national director of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches, said he believes that it would be good if the President could join the event.

“Being the father ordained by God to be the leader of our country in this season, it would be better if he will lead us in the prayer and it would be a big thing for our nation,” Pantoja said in a separate interview.

He said he believes that Duterte respects the Church despite his tirades against some members of the clergy.

“(It’s) obvious. We see the President criticizing some Church leaders but yesterday (Wednesday), we heard the pronouncement that he respects the Catholic Church. He respects the Church. Of course, maybe there are some individuals that he had some problems with in the past but sabi niya Christian siya (he said he is a Christian). Ginagalang niya ang simbahan at ginagalang niya ang Iglesia Romana Katolika (He respects the Church and the Roman Catholic Church),” Pantoja said.

He said that the President, whether he is perfect or not, was chosen by the people.

Dapat natin siya ipanalangin. Bawat tao ay may kahinaan. Alam natin hindi perpekto ang ating Presidente (We must pray for him. Every person has weaknesses. We know that our President is not perfect),” he added.

On July 7, 2017, the Pasa Lord Prayer Movement organized the first synchronized praying for peace across the country.