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A prayer for peace

This Easter, we pause to look at the world – our world.

We see extreme violence in Russia and Ukraine, Israel and Palestine, Haiti, Sudan and Myanmar. We pray for their people, including the innocent and particularly women, children, the elderly and the disabled, who are historically brutally victimized by war. We further pray for our fellow Filipinos abroad who, in search of livelihoods and a better future for their families, have found themselves in such perilous places. We pray that the depths of destruction and the winter of despair in those dark corners of the world never reach our own region.

We are even witness to senseless cruelty against our furry companions. Our laws provide for the protection of the welfare of animals, whether as “objects of trade or household pets,” and yet it remains insufficient to deter violent maltreatment against them.

In the matter of animal welfare, we have done our prayers in thoughts, words and deeds. Our Senate office acted through Senator Grace Poe’s Privilege Speech on March 20, 2024 reiterating her call for the passage of Senate Bill No. 2458 filed on Oct. 2, 2023 or “The Revised Animal Welfare Act.” We called for justice for all animals victimized by human violence including Killua, a golden retriever in Bato, Camarines Sur who was slaughtered, and many other pets maimed, injured, tortured and killed, inhumanely. We pray for the passage of our proposed law, the spread of awareness and kindness.

However, we also hear about violence against our people and infringements on our sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea. As our leaders in defense, diplomacy and trade continue in their tireless efforts to prevent any further escalation of maritime and territorial tension, we pray for tolerance, restraint, patience, fairness and dialogue.

Apart from our prayers for our leaders in the issue of the West Philippine Sea, we pray for our civilians, fisherfolk, teachers and soldiers at the forefront. They continue to bear the brunt of brazen physical and psychological violence committed by the Chinese Coast Guard. As such attacks increase in frequency, we pray for safety, strength and prudence. Moreover, we pray that, at the end