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Palace to CBCP: What truce offer?

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 17:56:00 11/10/2008

MANILA, Philippines—Malacañang has expressed dismay over the Catholic prelates’ statement rejecting President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s supposed political truce offer.

Press Secretary Jesus Dureza said Monday that while the President was calling for “everybody” to “set aside politics” and “come together as a country” during her speech last week, there was no mention of a political ceasefire.

Dureza issued the statement in reaction to reports that the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) rejected Arroyo’s truce offer.

In a speech at a Local Peace and Security Assembly (LPSA) at the Subic Bay Freeport last November 6, Arroyo said: “Our communities must pull together and set aside personal feuds and political differences. We must focus instead on what positive things we can all do together to improve the lives of our people.”

Asked what the President meant, Dureza said: “It’s a general call… Let’s set aside pulitika muna [Let’s set aside politics for now]. There’s a time for it when we near the 2010 elections. Now is the time to come together as a country.”

“So that’s a general call for everybody, that’s how it is, and it’s exactly stated in the words she mentioned specifically,” he told a news conference at the Palace.

Over the weekend, CBCP President Angel Lagdameo said the Catholic church would not enter into a political truce with government. Two weeks ago, he led a group of bishops in calling for a change in government.

“We’re not taking offense [at Lagdameo’s statement] but we are dismayed that it [was made] in that context. There is no call for a ceasefire, yet they rejected it,” Dureza said.

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Written by joelguinto

MonUTC2008-11-10T10:25:42+00:00UTC11bUTCMon, 10 Nov 2008 10:25:42 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am11

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