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Negros bishops to gov’t: Don’t rush shift to federalism

By: March 27,2018 - 10:34 PM

BISHOPS from Negros Island have appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte and his allies not to rush the country’s shift to federalism, stressing that the true voice of the people should be reflected in the planned Charter change (Cha-cha).

The prelates of the four dioceses of Negros Island also lamented the “present apathy” of Filipinos and even those in the Catholic Church towards moves to amend the 1987 Constitution.

“We urge the President and legislators not to rush the shift to federalism because what is at stake here is not only the present generation of Filipinos, but future generations as well,” the bishops of the Dioceses of San Carlos, Dumaguete, Bacolod, and Kabankalan said in their joint pastoral guidelines on federalism and Cha-cha issued on March 25.

The statement was signed by San Carlos Bishop Gerardo Alminaza, Dumaguete Bishop Julito Cortes, Bacolod Bishop Patricio Buzon, and Kabankalan Bishop-elect Louie Galbines.

The prelates noted that although the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) had already issued a statement on Cha-cha, they also felt a need to issue their own stand on the issue.

“We also feel the need to make a statement of our own in Negros because of the present apathy we sadly see among our people and maybe even in the Church, and we hope our own statement will add to the collective voice we need so badly to awaken the conscience of the nation,” they said.

The prelates urged the Consultative Committee — created by Mr. Duterte to review the 1987 Constitution — “to be always guided by the principle of the common good in their deliberations and resolutions.” /

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TAGS: don’t, federalism, Gov’t, rush, shift

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