Bishops call for truthful Sona-A A +A
Monday, July 16, 2012
MANILA -- This year's State of the Nation Address (Sona) of President Benigno Aquino III should only reflect the actual situation of the country, the president of an influential Catholic bishops' group said Monday.
"For us bishops, even to me personally, we just hope that what President Aquino will tell is will be truthful," Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, president of Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), said over Church-run Radio Veritas.
Also, the Cebu archbishop said he is hoping that the Sona will not promote further political division but rather unity.
"When we solicit for the cooperation of many, who have the competence, and when we encourage people to collaborate and work together, then we can really provide solution to most, if not all of our problems," said Palma.
In order to help the government, the prelate said Aquino can be assured the members of the CBCP will pray for guidance on July 23, the day the President will deliver his third Sona.
"We pray for our leader to be inspired by the Holy Spirit to really think and plan for the good of our country," said Palma.
Militant group Karapatan, meanwhile, scored the lack of improvement of human rights situation in the country two years after the unpopular Arroyo administration ended.
Cristina Palabay, Karapatan spokesperson, said they have documented 95 victims of extrajudicial killings from July 2010 to June 30, 2012.
Among the 95 victims, 43 were rights workers in various organizations and institutions. Karapatan data also showed farmers, indigenous peoples and environmental activists being killed.
"The communities opposing anti-people projects are victimized through threats, harassment, torture, and repression by the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and paramilitary groups. This is the real purpose of Aquino's Oplan Bayanihan – to quell legitimate people’s opposition and enable the plunder of the country’s resources at the expense of the people’s economic rights,” Palabay said in an email.
On Sunday, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said that speechwriters are still at work on the Sona's contents one week before the event at the House of Representatives in Quezon City. (HDT/Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)