Lagdameo denies Andaya spin on projects
Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya went to see Archbishop Angel Lagdameo Tuesday night, a week after the latter called for the people to prepare for a “new government now.” Andaya told reporters that they have forged a “partnership” with the CBCP. Lagdameo denies it.
Archbishop Angel Lagdameo yesterday said the Church has not agreed to forge a “partnership” with the government in monitoring the implementation of projects and programs as part of efforts to prevent corruption.
What was discussed with government officials, led by Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya, Tuesday night was that the Church would be given a list of ongoing projects, said Lagdameo, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.
“Hindi partnership kundi bibigyan ng information tungkol sa mga project na nagaganap o ginagawa sa bawat probinsya… nang sa gayun ay magkaroon ng certain expectations kung ano talaga ang pina-plano sa probinsya,” Lagdameo said.
After the closed-door meeting, Andaya told reporters the CBCP had agreed to partner with the government in running government projects down to the diocesan and parish levels.
Andaya said the partnership would allow Church leaders to participate in the government-run projects and make them become “observers from within.”
The United Opposition said a partnership with the government could “seriously undermine” the prelates’ credibility to speak on corruption and other moral issues.
Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay, UNO president, said the set-up initiated by Andaya was a “publicity ploy” intended to soften the impact of the harsh criticisms made by five bishops, led by Lagdameo, who called on the public to prepare for a new government amid rampant corruption in the government.
“While multi-sectoral participation should be encouraged in monitoring government projects, the motive behind the offer is tainted,” Binay said.
“The agenda of the administration is not to stop corruption, but to silence the bishops,” he added.
Besides, Binay said, Andaya did not say how the government will respond if the bishops disagree with certain government projects, or have serious objections to their implementation.
“To what extent can bishops intervene in government projects? Will the administration cancel a project if a bishop objects to it? If a bishop sees corruption in the project, will the administration file charges against those involved? There are more questions than answers in the so-called partnership engineered by Malacañang,” he said. – Gerard Naval