CBCP: Side with common good in impeach bid

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MANILA, July 7, 2014— Will the impeachment of President Benigno Aquino III promote the common good?

If so, then it is up to those in power to “make a moral decision,” Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines president Archbishop Socrates Villegas said Monday.

CBCP President Archbishop Socrates Villegas talks to members of the media after the bishops' plenary assembly in Manila, 7 July 2014. (Photo: CBCP News)

“My only appeal in deciding whether an impeachment or no impeachment, that it is decided based on what would God do, what’s good for the nation and for the common good,” Villegas said.

“Sometimes, our decisions can be too self-centered or too myopic. So we leave the decision to those in power, we only offer guidelines for them to make their decisions,” he said.

Villegas was responding to questions whether the CBCP would support calls to impeach Aquino over the Disbursement Acceleration Program, parts of which the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional.

The archbishop reiterated that as bishops, they are only “conscience troublemakers” and not “social and political troublemakers”.

“So it is for us to form consciences, so that political and social decisions will be made from the point of view of ethics and morality,” he added.

Some lawmakers claim that by implementing DAP, the chief executive should be impeached for supposedly violating the Constitution.

Other critics of Aquino alleged that he gave DAP funds to senators in exchange for convicting then SC Chief Justice Renato Corona.

The bishops’ collegial body earlier sought for “accountability’ over the DAP controversy and stressed that any investigation on the matter “cannot and must not be selective.”

The CBCP also called on the Commission on Audit and on the Office of the Ombudsman to be transparent to the public about where the DAP funds were used.

“…We must nevertheless know how these monies were used, for there was illegal and immoral application of funds, there must be restitution,” the bishops said.

“A government that professes to tread the straight path must remain true to that profession and must be willing to let go of the corrupt in its own ranks! We in the Church will do the same,” they added. (CBCPNews)

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