MANILA, Philippines - One of the Catholic bishops who earlier said that he is open to 'extra-legal' means to oust President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo remains unfazed by government threats to file inciting to sedition charges.
“We are already used to the threat of the old secretary of injustice. We will just wait what he will do," Novaliches Bishop Antonio Tobias said.
The 67-year old prelate was one of two bishops who expressed openness to the use of extra-legal means to oust Mrs Arroyo.
The other was Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez.
In a press conference Thursday, the two urged the public to join protest rallies against the
His remark came the same day that Justice secretary Raul Gonzalez said that the statement of the two bishops was tantamount to “inciting to rebellion."
On Friday, Tobias said that any move to amend the constitution would likely result in a solid front of bishops who have expressed opposition to the move to extend the term of office of Mrs Arroyo.
"Masyado ng garapal, kaya papunta na diyan. Papunta na diyan na magkakasama-sama kami,"Tobias said.
His statement was in response to the question if they are one with the statement of Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President Archbishop Angel Lagdameo issued last month.
“Yun bang masyadong pagpapakita ng power over the interest of the people, unti-unting nagkakaganoon na. There are more bishops now. I’m very sure yung lima na nauna at kami ay dumarami," Tobias said.
Recalling the martial law years, Tobias said religious leaders in the Philippines all expressed opposition to the continued stay of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.
Last month Lagdameo, along with Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz, Masbate Bishop Joel Baylon, Balanga Bishop Socrates Villegas and Legazpi Bishop emeritus Jose Sorra, called on the public to start preparing for a new government that is riddled with massive corruption.
Some bishops, who are known to be friendly with Malacañang, however, tried to downplay the statement of the five bishops saying this does not represent the CBCP as a body.
Lagdameo, in another statement released earlier this week, reiterated the previous pastoral statement of the CBCP expressing opposition to the renewed moves to amend the Constitution during the term of Arroyo.
On Thursday, Tobias, along with Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez, urged the public to join in protest rallies versus the Arroyo government to protest against the possibility of extending her term via Charter Change.(GMANews.TV - http://www.gmanews.tv/story/136415/Bishop-unfazed-by-govt-threat-to-file-sedition-raps)