Prayer for peace

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By Godofredo M. Roperos

Politics also

Monday, December 31, 2012


IN PRAYING for reconciliation and unity, 81-year-old Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal said that he is not referring solely to the ongoing tension at the Provincial Capitol. He said that there’s need for reconciliation, for without it there is no peace.

“It is the principle of reconciliation that is needed in all aspects,” the prelate said, as he called on Cebuanos “to pray and reflect on the occurrences or incidents in the past year.” He added, “The people should reflect and pray, especially on what are your options and what to do or think what you have to do.”

The cardinal had subdued his feelings and views regarding the results of the vote on the reproductive health bill. Nonetheless, he relented when the bill, despite their effort, was approved by Congress and signed by President Noynoy Aquino as Republic Act 10354 or the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012.

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But the point that is really at issue here is the future that the country is actually challenged with. In fact, the cardinal said that he “prefers incumbent Cebu Archbishop and Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines president Jose Palma to give the annual message in behalf of the church.” The prelate may be right in sort of passing the buck of Catholic responsibility to the CBCP head.

The problem at the Capitol appears to be getting further from a peaceful resolution. The suspended governor, Gwen Garcia, is holding on to her post despite strong pressure from Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale, her political opponent (who holds the support of Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas), and is prepared to stick it out for whatever it takes to make her point, that she was “illegally” suspended, and will stay on until the court kicks her out.

But the suspended governor is getting support from various sources. When rumors went the rounds that the police was preparing to take Guv Gwen out of her office by force, Vice President Jejomar Binay, in a statement to the press, “asked the Central Visayas police director to 'abandon his plan to physically remove’ Governor Garcia from her office.” But Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Marcelo Garbo Jr. said there’s no order to physically remove the governor “from the Capitol today.”

Garbo apparently just expressed his personal view that the Capitol problem may not be resolved at all unless the suspended governor leaves her office. “We are just making suggestions. We need not set a time frame.”

In any case, regardless of how anyone would look at it, the political impasse at the Capitol will remain the way it is for some time unless the Cebuanos would be successful in praying for unity and peace.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 01, 2013.

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