CBCP not yet taking position on Charter change

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Archbishop Socrates Villegas

MANILA, Feb. 10, 2014— The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines is not yet taking a position on the proposals to amend the 1987 Constitution.

House Speaker Sonny Belmonte Jr. had declared Charter change as one of his priority measures for the 16th Congress.

However, CBCP president Archbishop Socrates Villegas said the conference might issue moral guidelines but it’s not for the CBCP to reject or endorse Charter change.

“We are not political problem solvers… you should keep that in mind,” Villegas said.

“We are not to make a position for or against it because ours is only to give guidelines so that whatever step we take is according to moral and ethical principles,” he said.

The archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan said the Church’s only prayer is that the push for the measure is ethically and morally motivated.

He added that Charter change should be done for the common good; is dealt with utmost transparency; is without partisan political ambitions; and is within the legal framework.

Anakpawis partylist Rep. Fernando Hicap called on the bishops’ collegial body to speak out against renewed proposals for Charter change.

The House committee on constitutional amendments is set to start its hearings on the proposals for Constitutional amendments on February 18.

The CBCP was one of the strong critics of the move to amend the Charter during the Arroyo administration.

But according to Villegas, it was the best thing the bishops could do “at that time”.

“It was not advisable at that time because there would be people who would benefit from it and it does not seem to be motivated for the common good,” he said. (CBCPNews)

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