Catholics in the northern Philippines are throwing their support for Archbishop Socrates Villegas and other accused church people accused of conspiring to overthrow President Rodrigo Duterte. At least 36 other people were also charged for allegedly orchestrating a series of online videos alleging that Duterte and his family members were involved in the illegal drugs trade.
About 3,000 people in Lingayen-Dagupan Archdiocese took to the streets on July 31 to show their support for their archbishop. On Aug. 1, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila issued a call to the clergy and Catholics in Manila to offer Masses and prayers on Aug. 4 for those suffering because of “persecution and false accusations.”
In a personal statement read by Monsignor Manuel Bravo, Archbishop Villegas thanked Catholics in his archdiocese for their love and prayers. “Your love is so powerful,” he said. “The good Lord knows I am innocent of the crime they charge me with,” Archbishop Villegas said.