Saturday, July 08, 2006

My Duty to God and Country

When House Majority Leader Prospero Nograles criticized Bishop Deogracias Iniguez for having joined the impeachment bid and called it once more a violation of the constitutional provision on the “separation of Church and State,” I decided to break my silence. I have been silent and apparently too far away to be involved with anything of importance in the homeland. I realize once again that it is time for any conscientious and law-abiding citizen to get involved.

I was involved in the impeachment process against Erap. I was also involved in the first impeachment process against Gloria last year. It is therefore quite natural that I get involved in the second impeachment process against Gloria this year. My involvement both as citizen and priest is not contradictory and inconsistent to both my inalienable right as a Filipino and my moral duty as a priest. The much vaunted and abused principle of the separation of Church and State must already be put to rest. Repeated use and abuse of the principle betrays a pathetic intellectual poverty and even dishonesty.

Even Archbishop Angel Lagdameo in his recent address to the BBC in Makati called it self-serving (PDI, p. A1, July 8, 2006). Why doesn’t Malacanang squirm and sweat when it manages to somehow silence and manipulate certain clerics and even prelates into becoming their mouthpieces? Clearly, Malacanang, beginning with Gloria and her most despicable lackeys will not hesitate to use anything from veiled threats to bribes in order to destroy and undermine consciences and minds in order to muffle and if possible thoroughly silence the moral and intellectual environment.

I salute and thank Bishop Deogracias Iniguez for exercising his natural right as citizen and his moral duty as Christian and Bishop when he added his name as one of the proponents of the impeachment process. Maraming salamat po Obispo Deo Iniguez!!!

Thank you for your noble move which in turn has reminded and inspired me to come out of my shell to also add my name to be counted among those who believe in the democratic processes and the need to defend and expand the constantly threatened constituency of democracy. It is natural for dictators and defenders of elitist democracy and the status quo to quell dissent and opposition.

If citizens begin to keep quiet then only official charlatans will be heard. When prophets are silenced, then even God will seem to lose voice. Last year, on March 24, 2005 Latin America, especially San Salvador celebrated the anniversary of the martyrdom of Archbishop Oscar Romero. Because of such brave and clear prophetic voices, God’s voice, the voice of truth, justice, freedom and peace is never silent.

I join the many and increasing voices of those who clamor for the truth about the Garci Tapes; corruption of COMELEC officials through the questionable contract involving billions in the purchase of computers and other questionable use of Government funds for President Arroyo’s presidential campaign; as well as those who condemn the widespread violation of human rights and civil liberties and the extra-judicial execution of the so-called “enemies of the state.”

I thank my friends Congresswomen Risa Hontiveros and Etta Rosales for helping me add my voice to further amplify and strengthen the voice of those who have not ceased to fight and sacrifice for the people and the Mother Land.
Impeach President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo!

Fr. Roberto P. Reyes
July 8, 2006


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