CONFLICTS

Philippine Catholics rally vs. drug killings, death penalty

  • Thousands of Roman Catholics sing religious songs following a "Walk for Life" march around Manila's Rizal Park to oppose the revival of the death penalty by the Philippine Congress as well as the killings of drug users and drug pushers in the so-called war on drugs by President Rodrigo Duterte at dawn Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 in Manila, Philippines. The Catholic Church expressed alarm over the killings of more than 7,000 people so far since President Duterte assumed office June 30 of last year. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    Thousands of Roman Catholics sing religious songs following a "Walk for Life" march around Manila's Rizal Park to oppose the revival of the death penalty by the Philippine Congress as well as the killings of drug users and drug pushers in the so-called war on drugs by President Rodrigo Duterte at dawn Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 in Manila, Philippines. The Catholic Church expressed alarm over the killings of more than 7,000 people so far since President Duterte assumed office June 30 of last year. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)  (The Associated Press)

  • Manila Archbishop Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle addresses thousands of Roman Catholics following a "Walk for Life" march around Manila's Rizal Park to oppose the revival of the death penalty by the Philippine Congress as well as the killings of drug users and drug pushers in the so-called war on drugs by President Rodrigo Duterte at dawn Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 in Manila, Philippines. The Catholic Church expressed alarm over the killings of more than 7,000 people so far since President Duterte assumed office June 30 of last year. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    Manila Archbishop Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle addresses thousands of Roman Catholics following a "Walk for Life" march around Manila's Rizal Park to oppose the revival of the death penalty by the Philippine Congress as well as the killings of drug users and drug pushers in the so-called war on drugs by President Rodrigo Duterte at dawn Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 in Manila, Philippines. The Catholic Church expressed alarm over the killings of more than 7,000 people so far since President Duterte assumed office June 30 of last year. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)  (The Associated Press)

  • Thousands of Roman Catholics carry placards in a "Walk for Life" march around Manila's Rizal Park to oppose the revival of the death penalty by the Philippine Congress as well as the killings of drug users and drug pushers in the so-called war on drugs by President Rodrigo Duterte at dawn Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 in Manila, Philippines. The Catholic Church expressed alarm over the killings of more than 7,000 people so far since President Duterte assumed office June 30 of last year. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    Thousands of Roman Catholics carry placards in a "Walk for Life" march around Manila's Rizal Park to oppose the revival of the death penalty by the Philippine Congress as well as the killings of drug users and drug pushers in the so-called war on drugs by President Rodrigo Duterte at dawn Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 in Manila, Philippines. The Catholic Church expressed alarm over the killings of more than 7,000 people so far since President Duterte assumed office June 30 of last year. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)  (The Associated Press)

Thousands of Catholics have joined a march with church leaders in Manila in one of the largest shows of opposition to President Rodrigo Duterte's deadly crackdown against illegal drugs and attempts to revive the death penalty.

Police say about 10,000 people joined the "Walk for Life" march and rally Saturday starting at dawn at the Rizal Park, carrying placards that read "Choose life" and "No to death penalty." Organizers gave a larger estimate of the crowd.

It's the latest sign of the dominant Roman Catholic Church's increasing activism against a government crackdown that has left thousands of drug suspects dead and efforts by pro-Duterte legislators to re-impose capital punishment as early as next month. Duterte has been antagonistic to the influential church, once calling it "the most hypocritical institution."