The Catholic Bishops And The President-Apparent
This may be an unfair observation.
But one can’t miss this report that “half of the 44 Catholic Bishops who participated in an on-air survey Sunday said they were dissatisfied with the performance of outgoing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and gave her nine-year administration as failing mark. Among the issues cited by the 22 bishops were President Arroyo’s alleged failure to address poverty in the country, provide equal quality of education to the poor, protect the environment, and curb patronage politics.
The bishops also cited the alleged lack of transparency in the Arroyo administration as highlighted by the graft-ridden contracts and dubious programs associated with it, among them the botched $329.5-million national broadband deal with Chinese firm ZTE Corp. and the fertilizer fund scam.”
Further in the GMA News on-line report, we learn:
The bishops, however, lauded President Arroyo for what they said was her top three legacies namely her infrastructure projects, her efforts to provide economic stability to the country, and her pro-life policy.
They also praised President Arroyo for her “Bigasan sa Parokya” program, which provides poor families with cheap rice; her land reform program; and the successful nationwide automated elections last May 10, the first in the country’s history.
Respondents in the survey are Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president and Tandag Bishop Nereo Odchimar, Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, Kalookan Bishop Deogracias Iniguez, Baguio Bishop Carlito Cenzon, Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco, Catarman Bishop Emmanuel Trance, Pampanga Archbishop Paciano Aniceto, Tarlac Bishop Florentino Cinense, Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Medroso, Pampanga Auxiliary Bishop Pablo David, Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez, Maasin Bishop Precioso Cantillas, Marinduque Bishop Reynaldo Evangelista, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, Dumaguete Bishop John Du, Batanes Bishop Camilo Gregorio, Palawan Bishop Pedro Arigo, Abra Bishop Leopoldo Jaucian, Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes, Novaliches Bishop-emeritus Teodoro Bacani, Cabanatuan Bishop Sofronio Bancud, Occidental Mindoro Bishop Antonio Palang, Borongan Bishop Crispin Varquez, La Union Bishop Artemio Rillera, Butuan Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos, Basilan Bishop Martin Jumoad, Calapan Bishop Warlito Cajandig, Taytay Bishop Edgardo Juanich, Gumaca Bishop Buenaventura Famadico, Bukidnon Bishop Jose Cabantan, Alaminos Bishop Marlo Peralta, Lingayen-Aagupan auxiliary Bishop Renato Mayugba, Pampanga auxiliary Bishop Roberto Mallari, Jolo Bishop Angelito Lampon, Antipolo auxiliary Bishop Francisco de leon, Laoag Bishop Sergio Utleg, Cotabato auxiliary Bishop Jose Bagaforo, Iligan Bishop Elenito Galido, Malolos Bishop Jose Oliveros, Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra, Bayombong Bishop Ramon Villena and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop-emeritus Oscar Cruz.
This writer has mo intent to parse the report unfairly.
But I can’t help but feel the Cathiloc prelates are trying to have their cake and eat it too.
There is a so-called criticism of Mrs. Arroyo but this is really cancelled out by their fulsome praise for her regime’s “economic accomplishments” – accomplishments which have failed to genuinely uplist the lives of our poor masses.
I wonder why the bishops are blind to this stark reality.
I also wonder how the so-called ‘Malacanang diocese’ within the CBCP will shift alliances one Noynoy Aquino Takes his oath of office.
The Catholic Church is known to have been displeased by Aquino’s expressed backing for the reproductive health bill and was also tight-lipped when the Iglesia Ni Cristo bloc- voted for Aquino.
Will we witness a shift in the political ‘leanings’ of the shepherds who are known beneficiaries of the Arroyo regime’s largesse?
This bears close monitoring.