ASIA/PHILIPPINES - The local Church calls for prudence and calm while the state of emergency continues

Monday, 27 February 2006

Manila (Fides Service) - A call for “prudence, sobriety, patience and watchfulness” has been launched by the chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference Archbishop Angelo Lagdameo in the Philippines where there is still tension after president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo proclaimed a state of emergency following an unsuccessful military coup. The president ordered the arrest of general Danilo Lim and other officers accused of organising a coup to remove her from power, while in the city demonstrations against the president continued.
With Manila still patrolled by the army the Archbishop issued the following statement: “We reject all violence from whatever side it may come, for personal aims or to take advantage of the present situation of crisis”. The prelate who is also Archbishop of Jaro said truth and the rule of law must be upheld: “This situation represents a challenge to show that your patriotism and concern for the poor and the suffering are values which are more important that individual political survival”. The statement ended with a call for dialogue for the good of the nation.
Also the Archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales called on the people to be calm and to have humility. Despite differences of opinion he said “in God’s eyes it is important that we strive first of all for unity”. “The state of emergency - has said - was declared because of the effective danger that the different sides might resort to violence. This must not happen because the national protest in 1986 succeeded precisely because it was peaceful”. Cardinal Rosales called on political leaders and citizens to be “more mature because these reciprocal accusations mar our image in the eyes of the world and give very and example to those whom we should educate. People who feel they have something should say it with humility”. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 27/2/2006 righe 26 parole 289)