Millions of Filipinos continue to live in poverty because of a corrupt government’s unceasing attempts to remain in power, Bro. Eddie Villanueva of the Jesus is Lord (JIL) movement said.
In a statement Saturday, Villanueva lauded the stand of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) regarding the corruption of the Arroyo administration.
“I echo the divinely inspired assessment of the CBCP that corruption in government is a ‘moral and social cancer’ that must not be treated with mere anaesthesia or propaganda but must be completely and swiftly eradicated,” he said.
Five bishops, led by CBCP president Angel Lagdameo, earlier condemned the unabated “top-to-bottom” corruption in government and asked the public to shake the status quo. This has been CBCP’s strongest position yet, indicating that they are ready to give their blessings for what may be a drastic change in government.
The gravity of the current situation in the country prompted Villanueva to propose a national summit of religious leaders for good governance.
“I am making personal call to the leaders of the CBCP, Protestant, Evangelical, Muslim and other denominations so that we may sit down and come up with a common position and course of action because the time for apathy and complacency has gone,” he said.
‘Global crisis used as a cover-up'
With regard to Donald Dee, former chairman of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Villanueva said that he should “repent and seek for forgiveness because such pride will have its consequences.”
“It amazes me that someone known to be beholden to the Arroyo administration, implicated in the NBN-ZTE scandal cover up, and whose tenure as PCCI head was characterized by a lack of independence from Malacanang, would even have the nerve to make this impudent claim against a respected archbishop…As it is written in Proverbs 16:18: ‘Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall,” he said.
Dee, chairman emeritus of PCCI, was reported to have reprimanded Lagdameo regarding his call to a change of government, saying that such will only create division among the Filipino people in the midst of an impending crisis.
Contrary to Dee’s claim, Villanueva said that the problems of the nation have prevailed long before the global financial crisis, saying that using the recession as an excuse demonstrates the Arroyo administration’s underestimation of the Filipino people.
“The crux of the matter is credibility and good governance. From ‘Hello Garci’, ZTE, Northrail, Fertilizer Scam, and many more issues pointing to rampant corruption – the Filipinos are at their saturation point and know that real reforms that will have lasting results must be radical and intense,” he said.