IN BACOLOD Priests to mobilize vs Charter change

By Carla Gomez
Visayas Bureau
First Posted 19:38:00 12/01/2008

BACOLOD CITY — The Catholic church here reiterated on Monday its opposition to renewed moves to amend the Constitution and vowed to mobilize protest actions against it.

“We are against Cha-cha [Charter change], that’s final,” Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra said in a text message on Monday in answer to a query by the Philippine Daily Inquirer (parent company of

Fr. Anecito Buenafe, head of the diocesan Social Action Center, said the church would be at the forefront of protests and would use all means against renewed moves for Charter change.

Reacting to the diocese’s position, Representative Ignacio Arroyo Jr. (Negros Occidental, 5th District), brother-in-law of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, said the “church should take care of our souls.”

Arroyo also said that he hoped the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi, Partner of Free Filipinos), of which he is a member, gets the numbers in the House to go ahead with Charter change through a constituent assembly of both houses of Congress.

Kampi president Luis Villafuerte (Camarines Sur) earlier said they had the signatures of 167 congressmen, 30 short of the 197 needed to achieve their goal.

Arroyo said they would push for Charter change to change the system of government from bicameral to unicameral.

“We need a parliamentary form of government to move forward. We are against term extensions,” he said.

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