Anti-Marcos group holds anticipated Simbang Gabi Mass at People Power Monument

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — More than a hundred people gathered at the People Power Monument along EDSA Thursday night for an anticipated Mass to kick-off the nine-day Simbang Gabi tradition.

The Coalition Against the Marcos Burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani, which held the Mass, says it's to remind Filipinos to remain vigilant about the things happening in the country, especially the threat of the Marcoses returning to power.

Read: Marcos buried at Libingan ng mga Bayani

"'No to Marcos burial' is just one issue but what kills human life, the democratic spirit, this we must fight for," said Fr. Robert Reyes in his homily.

Reyes defended the decision to push the advocacies during the first anticipated Simbang Gabi.

"There's so much violence happening every day with the killings that are now numbering to at least 30 a day. Which means every 30 minutes someone falls. This is the opposite of what Christmas is all about," he pointed out.

Reyes said the country is already divided and it is the people who espouse the wrong policies and those who distort the truth that have cause the divide.

Former Sen. Bobby Tañada joined the Mass. He said they are not giving up the fight and will continue to protest against the Marcoses.

"Buhay pa po ang aming pag-asa na magkaroon ng pagbabago hindi lang sa kapasyahan ng SC (Supreme Court) kundi sa kapasyahan ni Pangulong (Rodrigo) Duterte," said the former senator, referring to his late father, Senator Lorenzo Tañada, who was also against Marcos.

[Translation: We continue to hope that the there will be change not only in the decision of the Supreme Court, but also that of President Rodrigo Duterte.]

Commission on Human Rights Chair Chito Gascon, martial law victim Etta Rosales, former Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman, and singer Jim Paredes were also present during the Mass.

"Bilang chair of CHR gusto ko i-abot yung pakikisa sa mga maraming mga mamayan na naghahanap ng katarungan at karapatan," Gascon said.

[Translation: As chair of the CHR, I wish to express my solidarity with many who are looking for justice and rights.]

Officials said the mass was for Thursday only and added they are coordinating with other churches to get involved in the movement.