MANILA, Philippines — Two senior Roman Catholic bishops on Thursday said they were open to “extra-legal" means in forcing President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo out of office if the search for truth continues to be suppressed.
Bishops Antonio Tobias and Deogracias Iñiguez expressed their disgust during a press conference in Quezon City a day after administration members of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Justice voted to kill an impeachment complaint filed against President Arroyo.
“If we can no longer go through the legal means of seeking the truth, we will be forced to use extra-constitutional or extra-legal means," Iňiguez said.
"Ipakita natin na ayaw na natin ang nangyayari (Let us show that we are sick and tired of what’s going on)," added Tobias, who argued that such action should not be misconstrued as “destabilization."
The two outspoken bishops said they were hoping that a protest action planned on Nov. 30 at the Balintawak Monument would spark a bigger uprising like the previous “people power revolutions."
In a phone interview, Iñiguez told GMANews.TV that their move would focus on denouncing fresh attempts by Arroyo allies to tinker with the Philippine Constitution.
Tobias also read to journalists a statement made by detained Brigadier General Danilo Lim, former commander of the Army’s Scout Ranger Regiment.
“The Filipino people should act now to reclaim their dignity, remove the pretender from power and steer this nation on the path to greatness," Tobias read from Lim’s statement
Iñiguez said Lim’s letter was given to them through the Kilusang Makabansang Ekonomista (KME). He said the letter was sent to them as a means of support for their upcoming protest action.
“Siguro nabalitaan niya yung affair namin sa Nov. 30 na against cha-cha tapos sumulat siya parang pakikiisa on the part of the military (Maybe he’s heard of the anti- Charter change rally that we would hold on Nov. 30. So, he wrote a letter expressing his support on the part of the military)," Iñiguez said.
Lim is facing court-martial for his involvement in an alleged plot to seize power on Feb. 24, 2006. He was charged with the violation of Articles of War 67 (inciting to sedition).
Iñiguez also said that they were very happy to have received Lim’s support. “We are very happy, siya naman kasi nakakulong siya so he is against the government, we are happy na sa military na meron may ganoong sentiment (We are very happy that at least someone in the military has the same kind of sentiment.)," he said.
In Malacañang, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Anthony Golez, denounced the two prelates for encouraging mass uprising instead of just clamoring for truth.
“I think everybody should be clamoring for peace and the leaders of the Church should be clamoring for peace as well," Golez said.(Aie Balagtas See, GMANews.TV)