MANILA, March 12, 2015— For a known peace advocate, it remains a puzzle for him where President Benigno Aquino III’s anger towards his predecessor, now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo, is coming from.
Recalling various protests and forums demanding Arroyo’s resignation, Fr. Eliseo “Jun” Mercado said Aquino was nowhere to be found nor did he make at least strong statements against the abuses of the past administration.
Mercado said he had joined several anti-Arroyo rallies in Metro Manila along with Aquino’s late mother, former President Cory Aquino, and his sisters except the current chief executive.
“I never saw him (Aquino) when he was senator to have participated in rallies I had attended with his mother demanding Arroyo to resign the presidency,” he said.
“He was never in Makati, in Baclaran and in the pilgrimages of his mother in different churches for Arroyo to resign,” said Mercado.
The priest also lashed out at Aquino for criticizing “many members of the Church” for their critical stance against his administration and their supposed “silence” about the alleged corruption under the Arroyo government right in front of Pope Francis in Malacañang last January.
Mercado said the President’s tirade against Arroyo should have come earlier but “where was he that time”?
“Then he had the gall to [mention] during the Pope’s visit about the churchmen’s support for Arroyo… I thought then that the man had selective memory,” he said.
Biking priest Fr. Amado Picardal earlier said it was offensive for Aquino to make such a claim. (READ: Was the Church silent under the Arroyo administration?)
“The Church was not silent during the dark days of Martial law, the Church was not silent during the Arroyo administration, and the Church is not silent under Aquino’s administration,” Picardal stressed. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)