Group wants PNoy to quit
Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - October 2, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - In an assembly in Cebu yesterday, the multi-sectoral group National Transformation Council urged President Benigno Aquino III to immediately step down from his post.

In its “Cebu Declaration: Defining the first steps towards national transformation,” the NTC, which is led by Archbishop Ramon Arguelles of Lipa, Bishop Emeritus Fernando Capalla of Davao City, and Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, said Aquino has already lost his moral ascendancy to lead the nation.

They are joined by leaders of evangelical churches, Muslim clerics, and civil society.

“He has damaged the moral fabric of the society, and has therefore lost the moral right to lead the nation.  The Assembly called upon the incumbent to relinquish his position now,” Vidal said.

He said Aquino has “subverted and violated” the Constitution by corrupting congress, intimidating the judiciary, taking over the Treasury, manipulating the automated voting system, and perverting the Constitutional impeachment process.

Vidal, who talked during the assembly on the role of the Catholic Church in transformation efforts, said the “political dysfunctions” we are witnessing today are “mere symptoms of a more profound moral and spiritual crisis.”

He said NTC’s does not just address symptoms of the problems but, more importantly, the roots of the crisis as well.

“Although priests and pastors should not get involved in partisan politics, they must…help resolve the moral crisis (in this country) and all its political manifestations and consequences,” He said.

The four-page Cebu declaration carries ten provisions for the NTC leadership to really pursue the points raised in the Lipa Declaration signed last August 27 in Lipa City, Batangas.

Aside from calling for Aquino’s resignation, the Cebu declaration told NTC to immediately organize an alternative government, consisting of men and women of integrity and worth, to assure the nation and the international community that the president’s resignation would not create a political vacuum.

The declaration also calls on the immediate filing of criminal cases against all senators and congressmen, members of the cabinet and other government agencies involved in the misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund, more popularly known as the pork barrel, and the Disbursement Acceleration Program fund.

In its declaration, the NTC calls on all to actively support the call to establish a people’s truth commission to discover and unravel the accountability and any consequent liability of high officials of the Aquino administration.

It also calls on the abolition of the Commission on Elections, the establishment of an honest and credible electoral body, and to carry out other reforms needed to restore the integrity and credibility of the electoral process.

It further calls on the forming of a panel of experts who would craft a comprehensive strategy addressing the country’s energy requirements and to organize public support for the Philippine National Police to clean up its rank and file membership and to change its top leadership.

Father Archie Intingan, one of NTC’s organizers, said the event was intended to pursue the intent for the country to have a change in its current political structure, not just the leaders.

During the assembly, Bobit Avila, The FREEMAN columnist and one of NTC’s Cebu organizers, spoke on the “incompetence” of Aquino in running the country in four years he is in office.

In particular, Avila mentioned the 2010 massacre of HongKong nationals in Manila as well as Aquino’s failure to attend to our countrymen and women in the aftermath of super typhoon Yolanda, when his lack of competence was exposed by international news organization CNN.

Yesterday’s assembly was attended by over 500 participants of different religion denominations like Roman Catholics, Muslims, and Protestants from various parts of the Visayas and Mindanao.

The NTC Cebu assembly was themed in Cebuano as “Singgit Sugbo Alang sa Pagbag-o! Panawagan para sa halapad nga kausaban (Shout Cebu for Renewal! A Call for a Broad Change).” —/RHM (FREEMAN)

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