Sorsogon Bishop, other Church leaders appeal to God-fearing Filipinos: ‘No more Marcoses in Malacañang’

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Sorsogon Bishop Arturo M. Bastes. BICOLTODAY.COM PHOTO
Sorsogon Bishop Arturo M. Bastes. BICOLTODAY.COM PHOTO

By BicolToday.com News Team

SORSOGON CITY, 28April2016 – Bishop Arturo M. Bastes, SVD, Diocese of Sorsogon opposes the return of another Marcos to power, specifically to oppose the bid of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for the vice presidency.

“As a victim of Martial Law myself, I believe that it is essential to call: NEVER AGAIN TO A MARCOS IN POWER AS VICE PRESIDENT OR OCCUPANT IN MALACAÑANG! When I was a diocesan pastoral coordinator of Bishop Miguel Cinches, SVD in the Diocese of Surigao, the soldiers killed Lito Mahinay, who was simply giving a Bible seminar to lumad in the mountains of Surigao. The soldiers and authorities were extremely arrogant when we filed a Habeas Corpus case in the court; after that, I was #3 in their list to be liquidated following the bishop and a lay leader. Marcos’ Martial Law was a REIGN OF TERROR!” said Bishop Arturo M. Bastes, SVD, Diocese of Sorsogon.

In a program held Tuesday, April 26, at Plaza Miranda in Quiapo, Manila, Church leaders released a statement advising Filipinos that to vote for Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. in his bid for the vice-presidency is to ignore the truth of the will of God as lived by Jesus Christ.

“Remembering the accounts of torture, detention, disappearance and salvaging during the dark days of Martial Law should still make the people shudder. The threat of the return of such evil is really just too much to bear even if we know that these persist since then. As Church leaders, we usually focus in helping the citizenry to think through the responsibility of their vote, but when faced with Bongbong’s seeming popularity despite the unfathomable atrocities and plunder of the Marcos family which they do not own up to, we must sharply voice our protest. We hope that voters still have ears to hear,” said Rev. Rex B. Reyes, General Secretary, National Council of Churches in the Philippines.

Not only did the Church leaders point to the horrible human rights violations from the Marcos dictatorship, but also to the loot and plunder of the nation’s resources by the Marcos family.

“It is just not true that Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. was not involved in what was happening during Martial Law; his father had appointed him as chair of one of the companies that served as conduit for their plunder. During Martial Law, Bongbong lived like royalty, while the people starved. His mother’s Imeldific grandeur enveloped the whole family, including him. After the people’s protests culminated in EDSA 1 and the family’s expulsion, Bongbong Marcos played a key role in seeking to secure his family’s stolen and plundered assets abroad. For three decades where the Philippine government worked to recover the US$10Billion ill-gotten wealth and victims of human rights violations sought for acknowledgment of injustices perpetrated against them, Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. has always responded in defense and denial,” said Bishop Elmer M. Bolocon, Executive Secretary, Ecumenical Bishops Forum.

Church leaders stood in unity and lit candles to remember the martyrs who were slain by the Marcos dictatorship.

“The truth of history moves us to concern and prayer for the welfare of our nation. We really cannot remain silent when Martial Law victims and their families, including our own Church leaders, urge us to speak out. We must not forget the dark days of Martial Law. We pray for the Filipino people that they will vote responsibly when they go to the polls on May 9. We pray for the unity of our nation. And we sincerely pray that people will see the truth and hear the cry of those who cannot bear the threat of another Marcos in Malacañang. We must stand together and say, Never Again!”, said Bishop Deogracias Iniguez, D.D., Ecumenical Bishops Forum. [BicolToday.com]

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