Sep 152014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2005/09/05MANILA4322.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
05MANILA4322 2005-09-13 08:55 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Manila
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L MANILA 004322

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/PMBS, EAP/IET, INR/EAP, INR/B

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/14/2015
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM PINR RP
SUBJECT: CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE URGES FILIPINOS TO MOVE BEYOND POLITICAL DIVISIONS

REF: A. MANILA 4271

¶B. MANILA 4199
¶C. MANILA 3946
¶D. VATICAN 500
¶E. MANILA 3167

Classified By: Political Officer Timothy L. Cipullo
for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

¶1. (C) On September 13 the Permanent Council of the Catholic
Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) issued a sequel
to its pastoral statement of July 2005, calling on Filipinos
to move beyond the current political turmoil and to “address
the more important and urgent problem of grinding poverty of
our people.” The statement does not depart significantly
from the group’s Pastoral Statement of July 10, in which it
called on President Arroyo to do what is best for the
country, but stopped short of calling for her resignation.
It appears the CBCP will maintain its neutral position
regarding the current political turmoil, at least during the
tenure of its current president, Davao Archbishop Fernando
Capalla, who will step down in December.

¶2. (U) The Council reminded members of the Church that lay
organizations and movements (“as baptized Catholics”) have a
responsibility in the political arena, but cautioned against
“inordinate involvement in activities that further oppress
the poor and divide the people.” The statement also
cautioned that the search for truth must be “guided by the
principles of the rule of law provided for in the
Constitution.”

¶3. (U) Malacanang praised the statement as “wise” and
“enlightening.” Cabinet Secretary Ricardo Saludo stated at a
September 13 press conference, “Let us all heed the preaching
of the bishops for peach, truth, sobriety, rule of law and
the upliftement of our poor kababayan (countrymen).” On
September 12, the day before the CBCP Permanent Council met,
President Arroyo joined several prominent Church leaders at
the “National Day of Intense Prayer for Peace,” before flying
to New York later in the day. At this meeting, Cebu
Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal hinted at the statement to
come when he called on members of the Opposition to accept
the results of the impeachment process, saying that their
efforts to stir up street protests against the dismissal of
the impeachment complaint were increasing public cynicism.

¶4. (C) Comment: The September 13 statement by the Permanent
Council maintains the CBCP’s position of not taking sides in
the dispute between the Arroyo Administration and the
Opposition. This is in line with the posture of staying out
of politics advocated by the head of the Church in the
Philippines, Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales (ref a) and
encouraged by the Vatican (ref d). Individual members of the
CBCP have expressed widely divergent views regarding the
present political turmoil. However, under the leadership of
current president Archbishop Fernando Capalla, the CBCP
appears unlikely to change its official position. Capalla’s
two-year term as CBCP president ends in December. Archbishop
Angel Lagdameo, from Jaro in Iloilo province will succeed
him. Many observers believe Lagdameo is more inclined toward
political activism than Capalla. However, Lagdameo has thus
far publicly maintained that the CBCP will retain its
position vis a vis the political turmoil after he assumes the
presidency. End Comment

Visit Embassy Manila’s Classified SIPRNET website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eap/manila/index. cfm

You can also access this site through the State Department’s
Classified SIPRNET website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/

JOHNSON

   

 

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