MANILA, Feb. 15, 2015—While an official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) agrees that a group of bishops demanding President Benigno S. Aquino III’s and his cabinet’s urgent resignation have all the right to do so just like regular Filipino citizens, he pointed out their stand does not necessarily reflect that of CBCP as an institution.
Right of each Filipino
“Every Filipino is well within his right to express his sentiment as he sees fit. I understand where these bishops are coming from. They were already exasperated at the seemingly endless blunders the President commits one after the other. They saw not only the President’s inefficiency to govern but also his lack of moral authority to be the leader of our country,” shared Fr. Jerome R. Secillano in reaction to the Feb. 13 joint statement by the National Transformation Council (NTC), which underscores the need for PNoy and his administration’s mass resignation. .
The priest, who serves as executive secretary of CBCP’s Permanent Committee on Public Affairs (PCPA), explained the Catholic prelates comprising the National Transformation Council are neither violating any Canon Law provision nor any law of the country.
Given that pronouncements of individual bishops are almost always taken erroneously and automatically as those of CBCP as an institutional body regardless of their private, personal views, Secillano clarified this should not be the case.
“First, the call for the President’s resignation is not the stand of the Conference of Bishops in the Philippines. It is the stand of the National Transformation Council where very few Catholic bishops are members,” he stressed.
According to him, the group appeals for the creation of a new government with a new system and in a new context, which it believes will only be possible only when PNoy and his appointees step down.
In the event that mass resignation takes place, Secillano noted NTC will merely serve as government caretaker before a new one legally assumes governance.
“In sum, the statement is somewhat vague especially with regards to the group’s plan on how to go over the administration of the country if and when the resignation of our officials materializes. This for me smacks of instability and uncertainty which, I think, would not appeal to the Filipino people,” he said.
For the full text of the NTC joint statement, visit https://www.facebook.com/notes/853070658093890/. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)