Kalbaryo reminds Philippine society that the suffering of Jesus in his passion and death are repeated today in the sufferings imposed on the poor by forced evictions, homelessness, hunger, landlessness, injustice, joblessness, lack of dignity and powerlessness.Jennylyn David, resident of Manggahan Floodway, Pasig said, “we gathered today in a hope that with the call of Pope Francis to defend the poor and the weak, our government would listen to our plea. We plea that the government will halt/ stop evictions set on May 15 for the families in Mangahan Floodway and other urban poor living in danger areas to give way for the flood control-project.”
The flagellants shirts were bloodstained with the words of the poor people demands such as, provide quality education for the poor, end hunger, implement on-site housing and include the poor in the decision making that concerns their welfare.
“Just like our Pope being consistent with his call to defend the poor, we believe that it is true that in housing and similar problem areas the voices of the poor come closest to being the voice of God and that we must listen to them,” Marlon Llovido, UPA senior community organizer concluded.
Kalbaryo as a tradition has united the urban and rural poor in seeking to build a society of justice and prosperity for all. Anti-poor policies and strategies are still in existence, hence the continuous creation of slums in urban areas. If no serious action is taken, the poor will get poorer. The urban poor want a stop to government unjust actions. The Kalbaryo is a gentle way of reminding us of our obligations to our brothers and sisters. -30-