The National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) and its 13 million constituents along with thevast majority of the Filipino people call for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s resignation on the basis of the so-called “Gloria-gate” tapes. Truth and justice must reign.
President Arroyo ended her silence by admitting that, indeed, she made the phone call to “a COMELEC official”. While she was apologetic, she explained that this was done to “protect her votes” and not to influence the outcome of the elections. We are saddened that she should be concerned about protecting her votes, when as President, it is the people’s well-being that she should protect. Her admission does not allay the people’s doubts about the honesty and genuineness of the election results.
Beyond her entanglement in this unfortunate happening, the President continues to be answerable to the people as regards her economic policies which have aggravated the impoverishment and disempowerment of the marginalized. Large-scale mining by foreign companies has been revitalized. Prices have managed to steadily increase. Attacks on civil liberties and intensifying political repression have been the government’s response to people’s expressions of their legitimate demands.
For us church people, we cannot claim to be unmoved by the president’s apology. But there are far too many events such as the killings of Mr. Joel Baclao, Fr. William Tadena, Rev. Edison Lapuz, journalists, legal defenders, local officials and other peace advocates that have passed without a word from her. And we have no illusions that this will change after the phone conversation admission. She will forever be haunted and hounded by people’s questions about her moral ascendancy and legitimacy to lead this country. The most honorable thing for her to do now is to resign.
A country can only be strong if it is led by one who enjoys the trust, respect and support of the broad masses of the people.
June 28, 2005
The Most Rev. Ignacio C. Soliba
Ms. Sharon Rose Joy Ruiz-Duremdes
National Council of Churches in the Philippines
879 EDSA, West Triangle, Quezon City
email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
phone: 929 3745
fax: 926 7076
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