Bishops slam corruption but do not call for Arroyo’s ouster
Malacanang is happy. See statement of Bunye below.
Influential Philippine Roman Catholic bishops slammed endemic government corruption Tuesday but stopped short of urging President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to resign.
The statement by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, issued after a 10-hour emergency meeting, was a small victory for Mrs Arroyo’s efforts to serve out the last two years of her term amid widespread calls for her to step down.
The bishops’ group has played a key role in nonviolent revolts that ousted two leaders in the last two decades, and a strong statement against Arroyo could have bolstered protests against her, fostering another ”people power” movement.
”We strongly condemn the continuing culture of corruption from the top to the bottom of our social and political ladder,” the bishops said in a pastoral statement.
”We must seek the truth and we must restore integrity. We are convinced that the search for truth in the midst of charges and allegations must be determined and relentless.”
The statement urged Arroyo and her government to fight graft ”wherever it is found” and for the president to rescind restrictions on officials testifying without her permission. – AP