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CBCP slams conduct of midterm elections (tags)
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) expressed dismay yesterday over the conduct of the May 14 midterm elections, saying the challenge of credible, honest, meaningful and peaceful polls remains. CBCP president Archbishop Angel Lagdameo lamented that “vote-buying and other anomalies have already become systematic and even cultural.” He said election watchdogs, including the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), said the problem no longer lies in the voters but the voting system itself and the irresponsibility of some election officials.
December 17 Mass Rally in Manila:Unresolved issues justify protest, say bishops (tags)
AJLPP -USA and Philippine news sources reported today that the December 17 prayer rally in Manila will push through. AN “escalation of crises” that the leaders of the country’s Roman Catholic Church can no longer take sitting down prompted the Church to spearhead tomorrow’s planned huge prayer rally at Manila’s Rizal Park. News reports also confirmed that top officials of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines yesterday rebuffed calls from administration stalwarts for them to abandon the rally at the Quirino Grandstand in the wake of the decision by Ms Arroyo’s allies to scrap plans to convene a constituent assembly. The CBCP secretary general, Msgr. Juanito Figura, said the CBCP could no longer ignore the escalating problems facing the country, including the questions surrounding President Macapagal-Arroyo’s disputed victory in the 2004 elections. Figura specifically cited the “Garci” tapes, which set off the election controversy, the P728-million fertilizer fund scam and the so-called Mayuga report on the alleged involvement of military officials in election fraud as among the issues unresolved to this day. “The Church cannot play blind, deaf and mute to the sufferings that these issues have brought,” Figura said in a press conference.