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Arroyo wants bishops as gov’t ‘partners’

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 15:43:00 11/06/2008

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, Zambales — Upon the instruction of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the government will tap Catholic bishops as “partners in governance” and involve them in the government procurement process, a Cabinet official said.

Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya said he made the offer to Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President Angel Lagdameo in a meeting last Tuesday.

Andaya said Lagdameo had agreed but that he would have to get in touch with “each and every bishop” in the country.

“We would welcome it very much if they could be with us, participate with us, join with us in procuring all these things,” Andaya said.

The budget chief said he gave Lagdameo a list of items to be procured in 2009 and that they could choose which ones they would want to monitor.

Last week, Lagdameo and several other bishops criticized corruption in the Arroyo administration but stopped short of calling for her ouster.

“Mas gusto nga namin kinukuha partner mga kritiko ng gobyerno hindi para makuha sila kung hindi para maintidhan nila kung ano nangyayari din [We really want to get as partners government critics not to get them on our side but so that they will also understand what’s happening],” he said.

However, Andaya clarified that the meeting with Lagdameo “wasn’t meant to appease him, it wasn’t to ask him not to talk, not to criticize, wala [nothing], we never even entered that discussion.”

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Written by joelguinto

ThuUTC2008-11-06T08:03:44+00:00UTC11bUTCThu, 06 Nov 2008 08:03:44 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am11

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