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Palace to bishops: ‘Be more responsible’

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 17:03:00 10/30/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang called on Catholic bishops critical of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to be “more responsible” with their statements so as not to sow confusion and panic.

On Tuesday, five Roman Catholic Bishops called on the faithful to “rebuild” the country, with the government beset with corruption allegations.

The bishop’s call came hours before former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn Bolante, the alleged brains of the P728-million fertilizer fund scam, returned to the country after being deported by the United States.

“Anybody is free to say what they want to say. We respect the bishops and the institutions [they represent, but] they should know better kung saan nila dapat iposisyon ang kanilang mga sarili [where their place is],” deputy presidential spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo said.

“We have to be more responsible because, as I said, you cannot create confusion or panic especially at this time,” she said.

“I think this is not the right timing to call for destabilization. Such criticism is unwarranted. As I said, we need to be productive,” she added.

At the same time, Fajardo appealed to the public to be “wary of the motives” of people who criticize government.

Bolante allegedly funneled P728-million in fertilizer funds to Arroyo’s campaign kitty in 2004. He is confined at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City, under the custody of the Senate, which is set to revive its inquiry into the scandal.

Like the “Hello Garci” election fraud scandal in mid-2005 and the controversy generated by the allegedly overpriced $329-million national broadband network deal earlier this year, Fajardo expressed confidence the Arroyo government would surpass the Bolante controversy.

“We are confident, yes, that we can…We can surpass any issue,” Fajardo said, adding that Arroyo is focused in keeping the economy afloat amid the global financial crisis.

She said the Palace trusts the Ombudsman to investigate the alleged misuse of fertilizer funds.

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Written by joelguinto

Thu+00:002008-10-30T15:11:30+00:00+00:0010b+00:00Thu, 30 Oct 2008 15:11:30 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 pm10

Posted in Uncategorized

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