Negros bishop: ‘Change has come, but for the worse’
By CBCP News
July 25, 2020
A Catholic bishop in central Philippines said it is evident that whatever change has come to the country is for the worse.
Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos said the spate of killings in the country and increasing human rights violations are not the kind of change the country needs.
“President Duterte promised during his campaigns that change was coming–and indeed it came, but only for the worse,” Bishop Alminaza said.
His comment was contained in a pastoral statement issued on Saturday ahead of Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) next week.
The church official also criticized the government handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the enactment of the controversial “anti-terrorism” law.
Saying that the health crisis calls for “restraint and discerning governance,” he stressed that all efforts must be centered in addressing the pandemic “with integral medical solutions, and not focused on disguised approaches that are making our people suffer more”.
Bishop Alminaza appealed to Duterte “not to turn a blind eye on the dire state of our people” such as hunger, loss of livelihood, and environmental degradation.
“We are tired of hearing unwarranted jokes and threats in his speeches,” the prelate said.
“We call on the President to listen to the cries of the people, present concrete solutions in his SONA, and serve in the interest of the public,” he added.
The bishop also called on the public to speak up for human rights and to defend democracy.
“Let us unite and defend our rights. Let us unite in caring for life and protecting humanity,” he said.