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Political Back-stabbing between Pres. Aquino III and the Catholic Church: CBCP Commits Foreign Intervention

Updated on February 18, 2015

Pres. Aquino III and Pope Francis at Malacañang, residence and office of the President of the Philippines

Archbishop Guiseppe Pinto (left), papal nuncio or ambassador of the Vatican City State and Pope to the Philippines (Photo by CBCP news)

In the political back-stabbing between Pres. Aquino III and Catholic church CBCP/Vatican City State is committing foreign intervention against the Philippines

Did you notice the political back-stabbing between Pres. Aquino III and the Catholic church hierarchy during the visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines on January 15 to 18?

There was a lot of skirmishes but so subtle the general public did not notice it.

You are in for an amusement. The events we are going to look into are amusing. However, they might deserve some grain of salt if only to kept abreast of some shadow boxing. It is a little bit more real than the shadow boxing between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Let us look into scenarios.

On August 27,2014, Catholic bishops congregated in Lipa, Batangas and drew up the “Lipa Declaration” calling for Pres. Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III to “step down” from the presidency. They call themselves National Transformation Council (NTC). To make it appear it was not instigated by the Catholic church alone, NTC dragged along some protestant and Muslim leaders.

Tatad, Opus Dei

I know that taking it up endow it some modicum of recognition that even the mainstream media has not conferred save by The Manila Times. Ex-senator Francisco Tatad mentioned it in his column there. That is not surprising because Tadtad is a member of the Opus Dei.

Tatad was the young errand boy of dictator Marcos during the early days of martial law making him the titular head of the Marcos propaganda machine. But it was known that somebody else was running the show, like Juan C Tuvera. Tatad ran into an apple-polishing war with Kerima Polotan, author of a biography of Imelda Romuadez Marcos and missus of Tuvera. Kerima wrote that Tatad was so poor he wore socks with holes exposing his toes. When Marcos allowed the first election under the Marcos constitution, Tatad went to Bicol to organize the local Nationalista Party. Whereupon, he was ousted because the official Marcos party was Kilusang Bagong Lipunan. Tatad complained that he got his instructions from Marcos himself.

When Pres. Corazon C. Aquino came into power and the first national election took place Tatad capitalized on his complaints against Marcos to get elected as senator. Tatad brandishes his fondness of Bertrand Russell, a philosopher who is known as an agnostic if not an atheist by the Catholic Church. Russell wrote a book Why I am not a Christian.

Back to NTC

“Adopted on August 27, 2014 by groups demanding the resignation of President Benigno Aquino 3rd.

“We are Filipino citizens of different personal, professional social and economic backgrounds and political persuasions and religious beliefs. We have gathered here in Lipa City on this 27th day of August A.D. 2014/ 2nd day of DHU AL-QA’DA A.H. 1435, under the auspices of the National Transformation Council....

“We believe that:
“A crisis of unprecedented proportions has befallen our nation. The life of the nation is in grave peril from the very political forces that are primarily ordained to protect, promote and advance its well-being, but which are aggressively undermining its moral, religious, social, cultural, constitutional and legal foundations;

“Unbridled and unpunished corruption and widespread misuse of political and economic power in all layers of society have not only destroyed our common conception of right and wrong, good and bad, just and unjust, legal and illegal, but also put our people, especially the poor, at the mercy of those who have the power to dictate the course and conduct of our development for their own selfish ends;

“Far from preserving and defending the constitution, as he swore to do when he assumed office, the incumbent President Benigno Simeon Aquino has subverted and violated it by corrupting Congress, intimidating the judiciary, taking over the treasury, manipulating the automated voting system, and perverting the constitutional impeachment process; President Benigno Simeon Aquino 3rd has also damaged the moral fabric of Philippine Society by bribing members of Congress not only to impeach and remove a sitting Supreme Court Chief Justice but also to enact a law which disrespects the right to life of human being at the earliest and most vulnerable stages of their lives, in defiance not only of the constitution but above all of the moral law, the customs, culture, and consciences of Filipinos....” (The Lipa declaration: An urgent call for national transformation. August 27, 2014. Internet).

This declaration is posted in the Internet. Some readers have responded to it:

simouniii, on Sept. 1,2014, commented:

“And where did the National Transformation Council get its mandate? Were the members of the council duly elected representatives of the Filipino people? You can’t be the accuser and judge at the same time. If you have grievances, you have to follow the due process. Wait for the next election and vote for candidates that represents your ideals. SimounIII”

willie also made a comment (Aug. 30,2014):

“Really? Sino ang ipapalit nyo? (Who would you have replace Pres. Aquino III?) I am sick and tired of your holier-than thou attitude. Look what happened to Iraq. US got rid of Saddam Hussein without preparing for a leader who can hold that country together. Don’t fool me with your idealism. The person behind this idea of impeaching the president for shallow reasons is trying to grab the power for himself....” (parenthetical supplied)

NTC makes sweeping accusation without offering proof. It does not approve of the impeachment of former chief justice of the Supreme Court, Renato Corona. However, with (if true) or without bribes, Corona deserved to be impeached owing to his self-incriminating testimony during his impeachment trial. He made false entries in his statement of assets and liabilities and networth. In the first place, Corona should not have been appointed as chief justice because Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo appointed him at least one month into the election ban on appointments in 2010. His appointment was upheld by a Supreme Court packed with justices most of whom were appointees of Pres. Gloria.

NTC is carping against the Reproductive Health (RH) Law, saying in part:” enact a law which disrespects the right to life of human being at the earliest and most vulnerable stages of their lives....” Well several petitioners, including the Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines filed a charge with the Supreme Court that the RH law is unconstitutional . The Supreme Court has already ruled that RH law is “not unconstitutional.”

Another news item

“.. Former senator Francisco Tatad... also explained the role of the NTC under whose auspices the Lipa Declaration was drafted.

“...The role in the transformation efforts of the Catholic Church (was) given by Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, the role of the Muslim community (was) given by Dr. Kamil Unda and the participation of the Protestant movement (was) given by Rev. Arthur Corpuz.

“Archbishop Fernando Capalla, a former chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, also discussed the role of the Catholic Church...

“The final call to action was given by Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, who appealed to Filipinos to act now on the country’s economic and social ills and not wait until it is too late” (Tina Ganzon, Reina Tolentino and Jefferson Antiporda. Step down now. Manila Times. August 27, 2014).

Another news item goes:

“President B. S. Aquino 3rd swiftly reacted to the August 27 Lipa Declaration calling for his immediate resignation by announcing that he will no longer push for a constitutional amendment to allow him to seek a second term” (Tatad, F. The Gospel demands it, say the bishops. Manila Times. September 1, 2014).

Why the Catholic church kept silent on Pres. Gloria

Tatad had given an explanation of the complaint of Pres. Aquino III to Pope Francis in the meeting in Malacañang on January 16,2014. Aquino complained that the Catholic hierarchy did not protest against the corruption committed by Pres. Gloria.

“Now, what makes it so right for the Lipa bishops and religious to demand Aquino’s resignation today when they did not think it was right for them to demand Arroyo’s resignation in 2005?

“Under Archbishop Capalla’s presidency of the CBCP, and in response to the political developments at the time, the bishops went into an intense period of discernment and came out with varying appreciation of the options open to them in the light of the Gospel. Not a single bishop could say resignation was the only morally correct choice at the time.

“So the 85 bishops gathered under CBCP concluded by saying, “In a spirit of humility and truth, we declare our prayerfully discerned collective decision that we do not demand her (Arroyo’s) resignation. Yet neither do we encourage her simply to dismiss such a call from others. For we recognize that non-violent appeals for her resignation, the demand for a Truth Commission and the filing of an impeachment (complaint) are not against the Gospel” (Same source as above).

New entries as of Feb. 19,2015

Catholic church plot behind the scene

The Catholic church might have been silent against Pres. Gloria but she made moves behind the scene. Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales was tasked to convince former Pres. Cory Aquino to urge Pres. Gloria to resign. The plot was for Pres. Gloria to resign; for vice-president Noli de Castro to resign as well. Senate president Franklin Drilon would take over as interim president. Then a snap election would be held to elect the new president and new vice president. However, Pres. Gloria did not resign. I have another Hub, "The Catholic church is the rightist rebel in the Philippines." End of new entries.

Tatad also added more supporters to the Lipa Declaration:

"Not all the bishop supporters of the Council were in Lipa last week. Aside from Cardinal Ricardo Vidal of Cebu, Archbishop Ramon Arguelles of Lipa, Archbishop Romulo de la Cruz of Zamboanga, Archbishop Emeritus Fernando Capalla of Davao, Bishop Juan Pueblo de Dios of Butuan, Auxiliary Bishop Bernardino Cortez of Manila, and Bishop Emeritus Salvador Quizon of Batangas, a number of other bishops had intended to attend, but had run into scheduling problems.”

NTC held another conference in Cebu

“Encouraged by the success of the first open assembly convened in Lipa City, Batangas by the National Transformation Council on August 27, A.D. 2014 / DHU al-Qa’da 2 A.H. 1453, we who broadly represent the citizenry, under the leadership of delegates from the visayas and mindanao, have gathered in Cebu city on October 1, A.D. 2014 / DHU al-Hijjah 7 A.H. 1453 to proclaim our support for the Lipa Declaration and to propose concrete and immediate steps to translate the desired objective of national transformation into a viable program of action” (The Cebu Declaration: Defining the first steps toward national transformation.October 2, 2014).

"The Cebu assembly enlarged upon this call. It called upon the Council “to pursue all necessary and available lawful means to compel President Aquino to step down at the soonest possible time,” and “to immediately organize an alternative government, consisting of men and women of integrity and proven worth, in order to assure the nation and the international community that Aquino’s removal and the prosecution and imprisonment of every culpable member of the government for corruption will not create a political vacuum.” (Tatad, F. Palace plot to ‘neutralize’ Cardinal Vidal fails. The Manila Times.October 5, 2014).

Tito G. Gustilo on Oct. 6,2014 commented on this Tatad piece:

“The National Transformation Council will temporarily govern the Philippines and hold elections? By what authority? Do they now have the names of the persons who shall compose the NTC ? The Filipino people are entitled to know who they are, their qualification and experience in governance because this proposition is absolutely without legal basis, to say the least. What will prevent other religious councils to demand similar approach to the alleged manipulation of election results that led to the election of President Benigno Aquino III?”

So the context of Pres. Aquino III’s “sumbong” (complaint) to Pope Francis is the movement being rolled by Catholic hierarchy in asking for the resignation of Pres. Aquino III.

It would seem that the visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines last January 15 to 18 is ill advised. Here is the Catholic hierarchy demanding the resignation of Pres. Aquino III and yet asking him for reception and protection.

One political back-stabbing is asking for your adversary to protect you. There is hypocrisy there because you want hospitality from someone whom you wanted resigned. In effect, the Catholic hierarchy does not recognize Pres. Aquino III as president. And the NTC is the pretender as the ruler of the Philippines.

Excerpts from the Pres. Aquino III's speech during the meeting with Pope Francis in Malacañang:

"He acknowledged the major role the local Church played in opposing President Ferdinand Marcos and criticized undemocratic policies highlighted by Marcos' downfall following the aftermath of the People Power Revolution. However, Aquino criticized the local Church for its alleged inaction against "abuses" by "previous administrations" and for lobbying against the Reproductive Health Law even before its passage as a law. Aquino criticized the local Church for allegedly being over critical of him with some members of the local clergy "telling him to do something about balding hair" (Pope Francis' Visit to the Philippines. Internet. Jan. 22,2015).

Pres. Aquino III received Pope Francis as head of state, Vatican City State.

It is impossible that Pope Francis does not know of the demand of the CBCP for Pres. Aquino III to resign. The Pope is head both of the curia, Holy See, and the civil governance of the Vatican City that is a monarchy where the church and state are rolled into one.

One glue for having been hospitable to Pope Francis could be that the latter belongs to the Society of Jesus. Pres. Aquino III graduated from Ateneo, a university that is run by Jesuits. At least the Jesuits and the Lassallites say that the Reproductive Health Law can be endorsed by the Catholic church. The Dominicans that administer the Royal and Pontifical University of Santo Tomas, Catholic University of the Philippines, or UST, are hide-bound anti-RH law. UST is under the Diocese of Manila, under Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle.

Foreign intervention by CBCP and Vatican City State

“Instead of an ambassador, the Vatican City representative (who resides in the Apostolic Nunciature) is called a nuncio. Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, the current nuncio to the Philippines, was appointed on May 10, 2011. According to the CBCP, he’s the 15th papal representative and the 10th Apostolic nuncio to the Philippines” (Santos, R., Jr. FAST FACTS: Apostolic Nunciature in PH.

“The Apostolic Nunciature in Manila ... is situated within the vicinity of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila. It is, however, not subject to the authority of the Manila archbishop.”

Take a look into a letter of Papal Nuncio Pinto to Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of CBCP, below.

The CBCP is directly under the Papal Nuncio or the ambassador of the Pope in the Philippines. CBCP is a political arm of the Vatican City State. CBCP is calling for the resignation of Pres. Aquino III. That is foreign intervention being done by the Vatican City State against the Philippines.

A foreign government may criticize a policy of one country. For example, Pres Jimmy Carter of USA criticized China for its policy toward the Tiananmen Square democracy demonstration. But USA did not demand the resignation of some leaders of China. For its part, China told USA that the Tiananmen Square affair is a domestic matter for China and USA has no right to intervene.

The NTC, including all those that support it, are subverting the proper authorities of the Philippines..:“to pursue all necessary and available lawful means to compel President Aquino to step down at the soonest possible time,” and “to immediately organize an alternative government."

NTC does not have "lawful means" but it can organize an alternative government. Such an alternative government may not be effective nationwide but the fact that NTC does organize one has no legal basis. A foreign government like the Vatican City State that supports it is clearly committing an act of foreign intervention.

The NTC have held large assemblies in Lipa City, Batangas (August 27,2014); in Butuan City (Nov. 14,2014); in Cebu City (Dec. 2,2014); in Angeles City (Dec. 3,2014); and in Davao City (Dec. 5,2014).

The fact that the NTC have held at least six large assemblies is already an evidence of the existence of a structure of government.

In the American Civil War, the southern states organized the Confederacy of the State of America in one assembly held in February 1861. If NTC had an army it could enforce its policies with naked power like what the Confederacy did in waging war against the United States of America. The confederacy fired the first shot of the Civil war in bombarding Fort Sumter in April 1861. The Confederacy did not have the "lawful means" either that could be each of the southern states filing a petition of withdrawal with the USA Congress. If congress approves of them, then they could withdraw from the USA.

In the case of the Philippines, the lawful means that are available are impeachment, resignation (in response to Filipino citizens or institutions not foreign corporations like the Catholic church), and election of a new president. Organization and operation of an alternative government like the National Transformation Council is illegal.

A Filipino citizen seeking the support of a foreign government for NTC is committing treason.

Copy of letter of Papal Nuncio Pinto to CBCP (Photo from Internet. Jan. 24,2015)


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