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Prayer for China-Philippine standoff

MANILA (SE): Thousands of students across the Philippine island province of Palawan held a day of prayer on December 2 for the peaceful resolution of disputes in what Manila calls the West Philippine Sea.

Palawan is the part of The Philippines closest to the area under dispute, which lies within the bounds of its territorial waters.

Organisers of the prayer gathering at Puerto Princesa City Sports Complex said it is vital to pray for peace as tensions around the strategic waterways mount.

Bishop Pedro Arigo told Radio Veritas that a large number of people praying the rosary together in one place is a strong statement of solidarity among the people in threatening times.

He said the gathering was to raise awareness among the people about the issue and the current situation in the contested territories, which Beijing refers to as South China Sea.

“The purpose of this is for the people to get involved and to intensify our prayers so we should never lose hope,” the bishop of Puerto Princesa said.

In July this year, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of The Philippines issued a mandatory prayer for the faithful to be said for the peaceful resolution of the territorial row between China and The Philippines.

It explained that the prayer seeks to guide the country’s leaders who are bringing the issue before an international forum for arbitration and are currently in The Hague to argue the Philippine position over the disputed waters.


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