Saturday, 20 July 2019 05:28

CBCP releases statement on sedition charges against bishops

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines has issued a statement on the accusation of sedition against three Philippine bishops.

Bishop Teodoro Bacani, Jr. (retired Bishop of the Diocese of Novaliches)
File Photo: RCAM-AOC

According to the statement, one of the main newspapers had the front page news item titled: PNP FILES EDITION RAPS VS LENI, OPPOSITION, BISHOPS published on Friday, July 19, 2019.

The police have filed sedition and other criminal charges against the three bishops namely: Bishop Pablo Virgilio David (Bishop of the Diocese of Kalookan), Archbishop Socrates Villegas (Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan), Bishop Teodoro Bacani Jr. (retired Bishop of the Diocese of Novaliches) and Bishop Honesto Ongtioco (Bishop of the Diocese of Cubao).

CBCP President Archbishop Romulo Valles found it hard to believe about the involvement of the four bishops.

Archbishop Valles who is also the Archbishop of Davao also expressed how well he knows those bishops. They are “perceived as very vocal and very critical in their pronouncements” but at the same time they are “bishops whose sincerity, decency, respectfulness and love for our country and our people are beyond doubt”.

“I am very saddened by this news and am greatly disturbed by this development. I know these bishops quite well. I had worked closely with two of them: I functioned as the vice president of Abp. Villegas when he was heading the CBCP, and Bp. David is currently my vice president in the CBCP,” Bishop Valles said.

“These are individuals whose love for country and dedication for the welfare of our people I cannot doubt. Some of us may feel ill at ease in the way they publicly made known their opinions,” Bishop Valled added.

However, Archbishop Valles prayed for those officials who will be involved in the process and for his brother priests to be found innocent.

“I always keep my respect and confidence in the people in government who are involved in the processes regarding the cases filed against these bishops. I pray to the Lord for them, that fairness and truth will guide them,” Archbishop Valles said.

The Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group filed complaints of charges of inciting sedition, cyber libel, libel and obstruction of justice against 3 Philippine Bishops, a religious brother, Vice President Lenny Robredo, and 35 members of the opposition. The charges were filed on Thursday, July 18, 2019.

They were charged for the release of a video that went viral on the internet early this year that linked Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and his family on illegal drug trade. (Jheng M. Prado/RCAM-AOC)



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