Manila, Philippines – Last week the Philippine National Police (PNP) filed criminal charges against Vice President Leni Robredo and 35 other individuals, including Lasallians Br. Armin Luistro, FSC, and Atty. Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno. These Lasallians are at the forefront of advocacy efforts to uphold human life, dignity, and liberty. According to Crux, the country’s Justice Department is set to open a preliminary investigation the week of Aug. 5 into sedition and cyber libel charges against church leaders they accuse of conspiring to overthrow President Rodrigo Duterte.
Lasallian leadership from ministries of the Lasallian East Asia District (LEAD) have come together to denounce these charges, echoed by the International Association of La Salle Universities (IALU).
“Br. Armin Luistro has lived a life of commitment for the common good, something we all experienced during his time as President of the International Association of the La Salle Universitties and many other positions he has held both public and private. Dr. Jose Manual Diokno has an impeccable record as De La Salle Unversity’s Dean of the College of Law an has fought for human right throughout his entire life.
The charges brought against Br. Amrin Luistro, Dr. Diokno and dozens of others aim to silence opposition to the current government and severely violate their right to free speech, a staple of not only the Constitution of the Philippines, but also an indispensable element of society.
There should be no doubt that for Manila to Rio de Janeiro, from Ethiopia to Mexico City, from Barcelona to New York City, the Lasallian Community stands shoulder to shoulder in support of those who dedicate their life to a society that is tolerant, compassionate and inclusive.” – from the Statement on Criminal Charges – IALU
Friday, August 9th – Day of Prayer in Solidarity with the Church in the Philippines
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle has called upon the Church and all people of God to pray this prayer for the nation of the Philippines in light of the government charges brought against the 36. Included in the 36 respondents are priests Father Flaviano Villanueva, Father Albert Alejo, Father Robert Reyes; Bishops Honesto Ongtioco, Teodoro Bacani Jr, Pablo Virgilio David, and Socrates Villegas; and Brother Armin Luistro, FSC.
Prayer for the Nation of the Philippines
Touch the hearts of those who oppress others
and those who take the law in their own hands.
Touch the consciences of the perpetrators of heinous crimes,
violence, senseless, and indiscriminate killings.
Move them to abandon their pride and their instruments of destruction.
We also remember the police and first responders
who risk their lives daily to ensure our safety.
May they also be instruments of fair and just law enforcement
that guarantees the dignity of persons
and promotes truth, peace, and wellbeing in society.
We lift up to you our bishops, priests, consecrated persons, and lay faithful
who suffer from misunderstanding, false accusations, and persecution
on account of their faith and their promotion of justice.
Grant them holy joy
that will see them through the dark nights of suffering.
Welcome to your eternal feast in heaven
the people who died in senseless brutal organized killings,
including priests who have lost their lives
in the pursuit of truth and justice.
With St. Paul, we say:
“We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained;
perplexed, but not driven to despair;
persecuted, but not abandoned;
struck down, but not destroyed;
always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus
may also be manifested in our body.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-10).
Since you, O God, are with us,
nothing that has happened,
nothing still to come, can rob us of our hope in Christ.
In your enduring love we trust.
You alone can heal our broken hearts.
You alone can wipe away the tears that well up inside us.
You alone can give us peace.
You alone can strengthen us to persevere.
Assure those who are discouraged that with you nothing is impossible.
Filled and invigorated by the Holy Spirit,
may our love for one another be deepened.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.