MANILA, Philippines — Easter offers an assurance of triumph over adversity, President Rodrigo Duterte said Sunday, as the Philippines wrestles with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and a surge in the number of infections.
In his Easter Sunday message, Duterte expressed hope that the celebration, which he described as a cornerstone of Christianity, would guide Filipinos as they pursue "shared aspirations for a better and safer future for our people."
"Today, we are joined together in the spirit of victory through the resurrection of Christ. The glory of Easter gives us all a profound message of hope in the midst of suffering and an assurance of triumph over adversity," Duterte said.
"As we collectively strive to overcome the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, I trust that the promise of salvation will inspire us to look ahead for new beginnings and move forward with stronger faith and compassion for others," he added.
Easter, the most important celebration of Christians, commemorates Jesus Christ's rising from the dead on the third day following his crucifixion. Filipino Christians, who constitute more than 80% of the Philippines' population, celebrated Easter Sunday this year amid worries over the soaring number of COVID-19 infections and income losses caused by prolonged lockdowns.
To contain the spread of the more infectious COVID-19 variants, the Duterte administration placed Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal under the strictest quarantine starting March 29.
The lockdown, which has limited the movement of more than 20 million people and disrupted the operations of several businesses, was supposed to end yesterday but was extended by one week.
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