September 27, 2021

Bicol Express News

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“Enough is Enough! We are governed by Madmen” — Church leaders in joint statement

Photo: TG Photography

This government has been “weighed on the scales and found wanting.” (Daniel 5:27)

Church people have described the situation in the Philippines has reached crisis proportions.

A statement, signed by Christian and Catholic bishops and leaders, openly reminds President Rodrigo Duterte that it’s time for him to go.

“From extended lockdowns that have brought the economy to its knees and the inadequate health response to the COVID-19 pandemic that leaves us extremely vulnerable with the Delta variant looming, many are hungry, jobless, and filled with worry,” the church statement says.

“We are governed by madmen”

“In addition to this, the widespread and systematic killings and other violations of human rights under the Duterte administration caused deep wounds in families, communities and Philippine society as a whole.”

“We are governed by madmen, who have incited the spilling of blood and even celebrated the carnage.”

Several Church leaders signed the statement, these are:

Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, D.D., Vicar Apostolic of Taytay, Roman Catholic Church
Bishop Reuel Norman O. Marigza,General Secretary, National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP)

Most Revd. Rhee M. Timbang, Obispo Maximo, Iglesia Filipina Independiente

Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC, Brother Visitor, Lasallian East Asia District, Roman Catholic Church

Bp. Emergencio Padillo, United Church of Christ in the Philippines, Middle Luzon Jurisdictional Area

Sr. Ma. Lisa Ruedas, DC, Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation, Daughters of Charity

Sr. Rowena Pineda, MMS, Chairperson Sisters Association of Mindanao (SAMIN)

“People are suffering”

“They relish their domination over others and do not bat an eyelash when speaking untruths, threats, and words of disdain for their fellow Filipinos”, the Church leaders said.

Ordinary Filipinos are already exhausted from these past five years of hardship and strife.

And although the Duterte administration has been effective in fear and intimidation tactics in a myriad of ways, the truth remains: the people are suffering under the curtailment of civil liberties, daily killings and intensive militarization, government corruption, and a languishing economy, said the Church leaders.

“Duterte’s vice president bid: escape from accountability”

Duterte’s recent announcement of a bid for Vice-President is the farthest thing from what this country needs, said the Church leaders.

In fact, his motivation is self-serving, since he is under a false premise that he can escape accountability for his crimes against humanity and human rights violations.

Even as he seeks to keep his grip on power, the truth is that Duterte has not delivered on his promises.

“A failure”

From defending Philippine sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea to ending corruption in governance, from ending contractualization to strengthening business centers outside of Manila, from building peace to growing the economy,

Duterte has been a sham. His harsh, slurred words drivel with lies and falsehoods.

If Duterte cares even an iota about democracy, he will step aside and allow the citizenry to see the truth with freshness, so that Filipinos can assess and recalibrate where they want the nation to go.

“Vote this 2022 election, your vote matters”

The Church leaders said: ” As we admonish President Duterte that it is time to go, we also call the Filipino people to prepare their hearts and clear their vision for the up-coming elections.”

“We wish to remind every Filipino: Your VOTE matters! TRUTH matters! With the human rights and pandemic crisis facing our nation, a time of reckoning is upon us.”

God is calling us to exercise good judgment and to uphold the dignity of all. We are called to stand for life, justice, and peace.

God desires for our people to experience prosperity, through the labor of our hands and the fullness of genuine peace.

“So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up.”, the Church leaders said.