This is from the Manila Times.
Arroyo has been trying everything within her power to alter the Philippine Constitution in ways that would help her stay in power. She is particularly interested in doing away with the Senate that continually embarasses her with investigations that show the corruption within her government.
The Catholic Bishops are perhaps less active now than they formerly were as the Vatican tries to keep Church involvement in politics less evident but in the Philippines there is a long history of Church involvement. The people power revolutions involved the Church--as well as various communist front organisations and many others.
Charter change unacceptable – Bishop Cruz
Leslie Ann G. Aquino
Charter change (Chacha) is unacceptable under the present leadership, a senior member of the Catholic Church Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said yesterday.
"No matter what you do with Cha-cha, it’s still unacceptable under the present leadership. I’m sorry," Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz told reporters.
"It is the most unacceptable move by the government under any pretense of modality, whether it is constituent assembly (Con-ass), people’s initiative (PI) or constitutional convention (Con-con), it’s still a no," he added.
Even the CBCP stand on the issue, he said, remains the same.
"The stand of the CBCP is still the same. It’s against Cha-cha of any kind, any form. Under the present administration, it’s so hard to believe that anything that will be submitted to the people for their judgment will be acceptable," Cruz said.
The former president of the CBCP is concerned that the change in the Constitution might only benefit the administration.
"The change of Cha-cha is definitely to benefit the one sitting to continue after 2010," Cruz said.
Cruz tied the recent bribery controversy in Malacañang to renewed calls for Cha-cha.
"I tell you the moment Cha-cha happens whether by Con-con, Con-ass, and there is a plebiscite, it will win 100 percent because that is in the domain of the barangay captains and mayors. What do you think is the bribery in Malacañang for? That is for Cha-cha," Cruz said.
At the same time, Jesus is Lord (JIL) movement leader Bro. Eddie Villanueva said he is also against the revival of the proposal to amend the 1987 Constitution.
"The controlling political power in our country is expected to resort to any shameless political tactics just to perpetuate themselves in power, thus prolonging the untold sufferings of the Filipino people," Villanueva said in a statement.
"Changing the Constitution at this point is a classic example of insatiable greed for power and money in the face of the people’s overwhelming clamor for genuine change and reforms! The government is just true to its real form as a morally bankrupt government as truthfully pictured by the CBCP," he added.