Bishop asks Filipinos to support trial against President Estrada
A prominent Catholic bishop has said that Filipinos should support the Senate trial of the impeachment case against President Joseph Estrada rather than carry on with demonstrations that could lead to violence, the Manila Bulletin reported.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Teodoro Bacani Jr. warned that some sectors of the opposition want to stage an event similar to the Mendiola massacre during the Aquino presidency in 1987 in the hope that it will cause an international uproar that would move the US to intervene.
Bishop Bacani is a staunch ally of Cardinal Jaime Sin, the archbishop of Manila, who is in the forefront of the opposition campaign to unseat Estrada over allegations that he received bribes from numbers-game operators and tobacco tax kickbacks.
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines on Friday clarified there is no division brewing among their ranks regarding the Church's call for Estrada to step down for the sake of the country.
CBCP President and Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo said the bishops have not softened on their common position that Estrada should step down for the sake of the common good, the Manila Bulletin said.
However, to achieve this one common purpose, the bishops opt for three legal and peaceful methods available: forced resignation, impeachment, and impeachment plus forced resignation.
Archbishop Quevedo denied reports that the bishops are split in their call for Estrada's resignation.