Erap commends CBCP for admitting error on Edsa 2
Former President Estrada yesterday commended the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines for admitting that their supporting a power grab against him in January 2001 that installed Gloria Arroyo in Malacañang was a mistake.
“I commend the CBCP in displaying humility and admitting their error in supporting my ouster. At least now people are beginning to admit the truth that Edsa Dos was a conspiracy, a power grab. Former Chief Justice Cecilia Munoz Palma was right when she said that Edsa Dos was an instance when the rule of law was thrown out and the rule of force prevailed.”
Last Saturday, after more than seven years, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) acknowledged the error of the “Sin era” in supporting the second people’s uprising on EDSA, and wants to “make up” for it, GMA-7 online reported.
Manila archdiocese vice chancellor Fr. Sid Marinay said the current direction of the CBCP is now to strengthen political institutions that EDSA 2 had weakened.
“The current direction of the CBCP to strengthen political institutions to solve and prevent political crises is a kind of a corrective measure of EDSA 2 which weakened political institution in the sense that it did not wait for the verdict of the Senator-Judges in the impeachment case against President (Joseph) Estrada. It did not respect the rule of law. It did not give the duly instituted political institution a chance to assert itself and prove its strength to handle such a political turmoil,” Marinay said in an article posted on the Manila Archdiocese website. (Note: I can’t find it in the website now)
He said the CBCP acknowledges EDSA 2 did not help strengthen our political institutions, but was instead counterproductive, “for it weakened our political structures.”
Estrada spokesperson Margaux Salcedo said Estrada was asked if he felt vindicated and he answered, “It is not my vindication that is important, what is important is that we come together now to help solve the various crises that are plaguing our nation. With this realization (of the CBCP in admitting that they erred in supporting Edsa Dos), perhaps the forces behind Edsa 1, 2 and 3 can come together to find a solution to help the people, especially the poor, overcome the different crises that our nation faces today.”
Salcedo explained, “Former President Estrada believes that more important than his vindication is finding justice for the Filipino masses because they are the ones who suffered and are suffering the most. The people were deprived of the leadership of the man they overwhelmingly elected when Estrada was ousted and now they are made to suffer by the corruption in the administration that took over. The former president feels for the Filipino masses, as he always has, so he is willing to work with and has extended his hand even to those who plotted against him for the greater causes of alleviating poverty and helping the poor cope with the increasing prices of oil, energy and rice.”
In January 2001, while the impeachment trial was going on at the Senate, Manila archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin declared then President Joseph Estrada guilty of plunder and corruption, and actively sought for his ouster.
In contrast, Marinay said, the first people’s uprising in 1986 (EDSA 1) was meant to prevent bloodshed and soldiers from killing each other, with the “unintended consequence” of Marcos leaving Malacaňang.
Marinay said this is also why the CBCP does not promote the EDSA-type action to achieve political change, at least for now.
“The kind of political activism, the CBCP is trying to espouse at this point in Philippine history is at the service of the stability of our political institutions to be able to solve political problems and prevent political crises. This emphasis on making the political institutions strong by promoting the ‘rule of law’ serves as a grammar that can help accurately interpret the language of the CBCP at this point in Philippine history, and the thread that coherently links all of the CBCP statements from 2004 to 2008, the post Cardinal Sin era of the Catholic Church in the country,” he said.
He also noted that the CBCP statements from the year 2004 to 2008 showed the end of the era of the CBCP’s political activism, in the sense of organizing rallies “that has blurred the line separating the Church and the State.”
“The era of political activism faded away with the passing away of Cardinal Sin,” he said.
He said that under Jaro archbishop Angel Lagdameo, the CBCP exerted sustained efforts at strengthening political institutions based on the rule of law.
It also encouraged the faithful to be more reflective and less judgmental of others.
“We have always put the blame on people we have chosen to govern us.
Today we have become more aware that despite efforts, successful or not, to remove the incompetent or corrupt, our problems have remained.
“We have looked at the enemy as only outside of us. This is an implicit recognition that EDSA II did not bring about its desired results. Pres. Estrada was ousted but corruption in the government has remained,” Marinay said. -