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Catholic bishops present 13-point agenda for Noynoy

June 30, 2010 5:12pm

Catholic bishops on Wednesday bared a 13-point agenda for President Benigno “Noynoy" Aquino III to address in his administration, most of which involved social issues the Arroyo government allegedly failed to prioritize in its nine-and-a-half years in power.

“The CBCP insists 13-point advocacies as guidance to President Benigno Simeon Aquino III when he assumes office for moral and social transformation of the country especially the poor," said former Manila auxiliary bishop Teodoro Bacani Jr. in an article posted on the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) news site.

On top of the list was the implementation of land reform through Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program with extension and reform (CARPer).

The CARP law, which paved the way for the redistribution of agricultural lands to tenant-farmers from landowners, was a landmark legislation under the term of Aquino’s mother, the late President Corazon “Cory" Aquino.

The bishops also demanded from Aquino the rejection of the controversial reproductive health bill, same-sex union, abortion, divorce, euthanasia and contraceptives. They also urged him not to allow the demolition without relocation of urban poor families.

On the other hand, they demanded that the new chief executive put a stop to human trafficking of children and women.

The other nine Church advocacies are:

• Protect the environment by stopping large scale mining and illegal logging.

• Stop corruption and prosecute the people involved in graft and corruption.

• No to nepotism and political dynasty in Philippine politics.

• Uphold human rights of all the accused.

• Educate the poor by improving educational system and give the poor access to quality education.

• Peace and security: negotiate with the rebels with public consultations to all stakeholders.

• Stop illegal gambling by arresting and prosecuting gambling lords.

• Alleviate poverty by improving the living condition of the marginalized, under-represented and oppressed people.

• Food security by eliminating structures that hinder the growth and development of those in the agricultural sector.

Mass for new government

Before baring the list, the bishops attended a Mass for the new government at the Manila Cathedral.

Leading the Mass was Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, while co-celebrants included San Fernando Auxiliary Bishops Pablo David and Roberto Mallari and Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez Jr.

Rosales, in his homily, urged Aquino to use “sight" and not “statistics."

“Statistics can still hide the truth of mass poverty and much hunger through ‘numbers.’ The attempt to build buildings that reach up to the skies cannot hide the millions of slums, cardboard houses, cart homes and the misery of the great majority," he said.

Rosales also led prayers that the country’s growing number of poor people may be given due attention by the new administration.

“We also pray that the new governance themselves will ease the need and the hunger of many, by providing the people with honest service that assures a genuine transition of the impoverished from the less human to a more human existence," he said.

Bacani, who served as spiritual adviser of former President Joseph Estrada, called on Aquino to rise beyond giving an average performance during his six-year stay in Malacañang.

He said the “sorry state of the country" left by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has brought such high expectations and hopes for the incoming president and that they will expect no less than a “heroic" performance.

He also said Aquino should use the legacies of his parents as an inspiration to always strive to do better. — KBK/RSJ, GMANews.TV
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