MANILA - The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Monday said it will not support the filing of any impeachment complaint against President Aquino even if one of its members is a complainant in the latest impeachment complaint.
In a statement, CBCP President and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said the decision of Archbishop-Emeritus Oscar Cruz to act as one of the impeachment complainants "is his alone, in the exercise of his discretion and as a result of his personal discernment."
"The CBCP as the highest assembly of Catholic bishops in the Philippines neither supports the filing of any impeachment complaint against the President, but it will neither begrudge anyone, member of the clergy, or laity, the exercise of constitutionally and statutorily recognized rights," he said.
Villegas reiterated his call for everyone to submit to the Constitution and respect the breadth and the limits of constitutionally allocated powers between the branches of government.
"There is a very important distinction between what is popular–or appear to be so–and what is right," he said.
He added: "I pray that all our officials ever be cognizant of this important difference so that all may resist the temptation of pursuing a course of action only because it seems to be popular."
The CBCP president also reiterated that Philippine bishops stand for an independent judiciary amid alleged pressure from Malacañang to change the Supreme Court ruling on the controversial disbursement acceleration program.
A total of 28 individuals signed the third and latest impeachment complaint against President Aquino over the DAP.
In the complaint, the petitioners accused President Aquino of culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust.