Many in the Catholic Church are social activists often it would seem in ways that might not please the Vatican! It seems that the Philippine legislators are not that keen on addressing rural problems but more interested in spreading political pork through the fertilizer fund!
Cardinal: Solons opposing bill on CARP 'traitors'
12/19/2008 06:42 AM
MANILA, Philippines – “Traitors." This was how Manila archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales tagged lawmakers who blocked the extension of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) with reforms.An article on the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines website Friday said Rosales was disappointed over the six-month extension of CARP, calling it very insufficient.Rosales said the kind of "help" provided by legislators to the poor farmers is treachery because they set aside the appeal of the protesting farmers and the bishops.He said it was unfortunate that the solons violated their mandates to help the people, especially the poor."The situation is so unfortunate. These representatives were suppose to help you but instead slyly did not grant the pleas of the farmers and the bishops," he said.Rosales lamented farmers who staged a hunger strike for several days were exploited "like children who can be easily fooled.""They belittled you, thinking that they can fool you," he told some 300 farmers in his homily at a mass held at his residence in Intramuros, Manila Thursday.He asked the farmers and their sympathizers to go home to their families and share the good experiences they had while they were expressing their demands.Rosales said that while they failed to have a meaningful extension of CARP, the farmers still earned the respect and support of the Catholic Church, non-government organizations and the public.The prelate also asked them to never stop fighting and keep their faith that their aspirations will one day be granted.A bus of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines brought the farmers to Intramuros. They were treated to bowls of porridge and bottles of mineral water outside Congress.Before the Mass, all the farmers received rosaries from priests of the Manila archdiocese.For his part, Manila auxiliary bishop Broderick Pabillo said he is disappointed with the way the legislators "trampled" on the rights of the poor farmers.He said it is sad that most of the lawmakers are not pro-poor and against genuine and sustainable agricultural development."Their world is so different from our world. They adjourned their meeting early to attend the Christmas party," he said.But Pabillo, who joined the farmers in hunger strike on Monday, vowed never-ending support to the cause of the farmers.He also called on the public to unite with them in beating various forms of human rights abuse in the rural areas. - GMANews.TV