CBCP still asked to comment if GMA is principled person and deserving to run in 2010 polls

CBCP still asked to comment if GMA is principled person and deserving to run in 2010 polls

The left-wing fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Wednesday urged the influential Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to comment if President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is one of the principled persons which the bishops would want to run in the 2010 presidential and general elections.

In a press statement, Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said the CBCP is morally and spiritually obliged to comment whether Ms Arroyo is one of the principles persons whom the bishops want to run in the elections next year.

“Ms Arroyo’s alleged plan to represent the second district of Pampanga is a moral question. She is seeking the congressional post because she is seeking a lifetime political immunity from suits emanating from high crimes of corruption to shocking 9-year record of brutal murder of leftwing activists and ardent critics. It is easy, morally and politically correct to say that Arroyo is evil, but the CBCP is not saying it in aboveboard and straight manner,” said Hicap.

The Pamalakaya leader issued the statement, a day after the CBCP issued a pastoral statement encouraging principled persons to run for public office in next year’s presidential and national elections.

“We call upon those who are competent, persons of integrity and committed to change to get involved directly in principled partisan politics and become candidates for political election, aware of the common good is above the good of vested interests,” the CBCP pastoral statement said.

But when asked by media if Mrs. Arroyo qualifies as one of the principled persons the church wants to get involved in the 2010 polls, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo made a quick sidestepped and instead asked the media to figure it out.

“This is not a guessing game. It would be better if Bishop Pabillo speaks on his own and tell the media that Mrs. Arroyo, as far as he is concerned, is not the right person to be elected in the 2010 elections. That will settle the score,” said Hicap.

But Pamalakaya still commended the CBCP for its pastoral statement which it said registered strong criticisms on a number of issues like Charter Change and Constituent Assembly, extrajudicial killings, it’s endorsement of the resumption of peace talks between the GRP and the MILF and between the GRP and the communist led National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and against 100 foreign ownership of land.

However, Pamalakaya rebuked CBCP’s statement on the recently passed Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP0 extension with reforms or CARPer which the group said is nothing but a shotgun piece of legislation worse than the previous CARP. The group is backing the legislative passage of House Bill No. 3059 or the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) authored by the late Anakpawis party list Rep. Crispin Beltran and other militant party list lawmakers in Congress.

Earlier, Pamalakaya challenged newly elected CBCP (Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines) President Tandag (Surigao del Sur) Bishop Nereo Odchimar to prove to the Roman Catholic community and the Filipino public in general that he is he is totally independent and free from the political gameplan and influence of the so-called “Archdiocese of Malacañang”.

“We welcome the election of Tandag Bishop Odchimar as the new president of the influential CBCP and we take note of his outstanding record of advocacy against mining and logging. What we want now is for him to heed to the call of the Filipino people and disassociate himself from the brutal, corrupt and criminal Archdiocese of Malacañang,” the group said.

“The big challenge to incoming CBCP President is for him to prove his independence from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the ruling gangland in the Palace. We hope the good bishop of Tandag will live up to the challenge and score a giant kill against the Arroyo presidency in the name of truth, justice and accountability,” Pamalakaya stressed.

“We are not putting Bishop Odchimar on the spot. We just want a clear score card here because some sections and sectors are casting doubts on him having been identified as highly supportive of President Arroyo along with Butuan Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos. He belongs to the pro-GMA bloc in the CBCP and that checkered past and present will always put him on the spot whether he likes or not,” the group said. #

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