Prepare for a new government as liberators are just around the corner?
Five senior Catholic bishops, led by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines president, Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, came up with intriguing statements during a press conference held yesterday in Intramuros, seemingly giving out signals that the CBCP is now ready to support a people power revolt against the Arroyo government which the bishops condemned as corrupt.
Lagdameo said now is the time to prepare for a new government and made mention of liberators being close at hand, along with serendipity playing a major role in bringing about these change in government and radical reforms in government.
Asked by reporters whether the statement, seen as the strongest yet coming from the bishops, members of the CBCP that is known to reject the people in their fight against the Arroyo government, was a call for the people to come together and organize an ouster of President Arroyo, the CBCP president replied that the decision rests on the Filipino people, as to what course of action they want to take in moving to put in place the needed “radical reforms.”
“What is needed is for the Filipino people to unite behind what their (united) response will be. As we stated earlier (in a pastoral letter) we have called for communal discernment and communal action.”
But this communal move, was, however, also dashed by the CBCP, stressing that this did not mean for nation to stage people power.
Lagdameo now, however, says that “the time to rebuild our country economically, socially, politically is now. The time for moral regeneration is now. The time to conquer complacency, cynicism and apathy and to prove that we have become mature from our political disappointments is now. The time to prepare a new government is now.”
He and the four other bishops, however, failed to state how these radical reforms are to be implemented, but they did make mention that there is a need for “liberators” to reform the country and to make it whole again, adding that Filipinos should not lose hope that changing the present system is futile. “In spite of the seemingly hopeless and negative prognosis, our liberation may yet serendipitously happen. We are dreaming, praying and hoping that our county may yet have the needed liberators.”
Lagdameo said he hopes that the liberators “will in a courageous peaceful way effectively and uncompromisingly reform our country.”
Present in the forum were Lingayen Archbishop Oscar Cruz, Bataan Bishop Socrates Villegas, Masbate Bishop Joel Baylon and Bishop Emeritus Jose Sorra.
Villegas said their statements are intended to awake the public’s conscience to have a better country.
“We are not here to bring you peace. We are here to disturb you. I’m praying to God that after this meeting, may the Lord trouble you because the trouble that comes from the Lord is going to make you a better person and it’s going to make the country a better country,” he said.
Villegas urged the public “not to be passive” but to engage “in active involvement” in effecting a change in governance. He noted that curbing corruption by only half of its present level would immensely benefit the country. “The problem is not population, the problem is rampant corruption,” Villegas said.
Lagdameo noted that rampant corruption in government continues to grow despite the church leaders having condemned the corruption in government.
“In the past few years up to today, we have watched how corruption has become endemic, massive, systemic and rampant in our politics. The faces and symptoms of corruption are overpriced projects, multi-billion scams of various kinds, election manipulations, anomalous transactions, bribery of both high and low, unsolved murders of media practitioners. Corruption is a social and moral cancer,” Lagdameo said, but stressed that he was not even speaking as the CBCP president, nor was he speaking for the body of bishops, saying his statements are those coming from of a bishop from Iloilo.
He also asked the people to stop being passive and apathetic, and for them to shed their cynicism.
Lingayen Archbishop, a critic of the Arroyo government, was clear in his statements to media that the corrupt can be found in Malacañang, and he noted the distinction of Mrs. Arroyo being the “most corrupt president” the country has ever had.
But he also said that the corruption committed under the Arroyo administration is something that cannot be dealt with by the human justice system.
“Corruption in such an extensive degree in the Philippines is a crime that cries to heaven for vengeance. Corruption in this country has become endemic, systemic, from top to bottom in government. Perhaps they may be given the punishment they deserve by the human justice system, but that’s not enough. Someone else—a higher authority— will punish them as they deserve,” said the former CBCP president.
Lagdameo in a statement said “as a consequences, corruption foremost in political election damages political legitimacy, integrity and competence. Corruption impedes economic development, worsens income inequity and poverty, endangers public order and safety. Corruption results in bureaucratic inefficiency and demoralization. Corruption begets bad politics, and bad politics begets further corruption”
Bishop Baylon who heads the Episcopal for youths cited an article which said “ in this country, we identify ourselves so easily with the victims of pickpockets or snatchers and throw these small time thieves to almost forever languish in prison. But when it comes to big-time crooks and public officials stealing billions upon billions of the people’s money, it takes forever to prove their crime. There is so much embarrassing hesitation and false respect to start mounting a campaign to show that corruption is worst form of crime, because it kills the common good, it kills the poor, it kills the country, it violates God’s commandments of ‘thou shall not steal, thou shall not kill”.
Bishop Borra sadi: “Is it any wonder that our country is tagged as the most corrupt in Asia and the 11th most corrupt among the 102 countries in the world, if we are not horrified, disgusted, exasperated and enraged by these realities, can we still say we love our country?’
Bishop Villegas said “ Who will pick up the broken, shattered pieces of our country, hurting from poverty and corruption, to make it whole again? In spite of the seemingly hopeless and negative prognosis, our liberation may yet serendipitously happen. We are dreaming, praying and hoping that our country may yet needed liberators, yes , liberators who will in a courageous peaceful way effectively and uncompromisingly reform our country,”
Malacañang, however, did not give much attention to the call of five bishops for the current government to prepare for a new government instrumental in averting the worsening corruption in the government.
According to Press Secretary Jesus Dureza, the five bishops are entitled to their opinion.
In a media briefing, Dureza stressed that the President, during the Cabinet meeting yesterday only discussed the emergency employment plan in the event of spillover of the global economic recession to the Philippines and the results of the Philippines participation to the 7th Asean Europe Meeting in Beijing, China.
With today’s call of the bishops, Dureza said that the bishops were just expressing their respective opinions on the government under President Arroyo. Pat C. Santos, Riza Recio and PNA
source: sent via Kapampangan Community Worldwide