More religious disagrees with Cardinal Rosales on People Power

>> Monday, May 3, 2010

Unlike Cardinal Rosales, a nun and a bishop made more sense in saying they will join the people in case of electoral fraud or a total failure of elections as told to ABS-CBN.

Here is ABS-CBN's full report:

MANILA, Philippines - A nun on Tuesday said she disagreed with the position of Manila archbishop Gaudencio Rosales not to back a People Power revolt in case of a massive failure of elections on May 10.

"With all due respect to the Cardinal, I don't agree with him," Sister Mary John Mananzan, co-chairperson of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP), told ABS-CBN.

Mananzan described as unrealistic Rosales's argument that people can still rely on the law in case a massive failure of elections delays the proclamation of a new president. She added that she would rather walk with the people in protest than rely on the "severely compromised institutions" in case of electoral fraud or a total failure of elections.

"If your premise is that you can go somewhere to have a redress of your grievances... We all know that it's not true," she said.

Mananzan cited as an example whistleblower Rodolfo "Jun" Lozada Jr., who revealed massive corruption in the botched national broadband contract with China's ZTE Corp. She said that despite his revelations, Lozada is now facing 16 criminal cases and his request for a writ of amparo was denied by the court.

Mananzan said Rosales should look at the numerous signs of possible electoral fraud before saying that a People Power option is crazy.

Rosales on Sunday said it is unlikely that Catholic bishops would support another People Power revolution in case of a massive failure of the country's first ever nationwide automated polls.

Rosales said he is confident that the use of Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines in the May 10 elections would limit cheating in the nationwide polls. He added that any failure of elections should not be blamed on the machines or the Comelec.

"Who will you get angry with? The machines? The Comelec? You should get angry with Filipinos who sell out their country for P5,000," he told reporters.

The archbishop said he does not support calls for a People Power revolt if no winner is proclaimed after the May 10 polls.

"No. For heaven's sake, there is the constitution. Why induce that to the present situation? Remember that time there was a dictator. That is crazy, crazy, crazy. These are two different things. Whoever said that, I never heard it. That is very irresponsible thinking," he said.


Liberal Party (LP) vice-presidential candidate Manuel "Mar" Roxas II, meanwhile, said Rosales could have been misinformed about the problems facing the automated polls. He added, however, that he and LP presidential bet Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III are not offended by Rosales's statement.

Aquino earlier warned that a People Power revolt would be inevitable in case of massive fraud. The LP bet, who has led in all pre-election surveys, said massive fraud would be the only reason for his loss in the presidential election.

Bishop Deogracia Iñiguez, chairman of the committee on public affairs of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), agreed with Rosales that the law provides certain recourses for the people's grievances.

Iñiguez, however, said he would not think twice in joining a bloodless revolt in case of a failure of elections and if President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo acts as a "holdover" president. "If those in power violate the law, I will be joining the people," he said.

He said he would not rely on the law, "which is useless in a particular situation, like our situation now."

"The present people in power, they can easily escape and subvert the different provisions of the law. In this case, we really need people's power," the bishop said.


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