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Bishops Vary Opinion on Charter Change

MANILA, Jan. 28, 2011— Catholic bishops have differing persuasion over the revived talks on amending the 1987 Constitution.

While they are united in faith and moral issues, the bishops interviewed over church-run Radyo Veritas have different opinions on the proposed Charter change.

Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco said it would be better if Cha-cha would be set aside first and focus on other urgent issues first.

“Maybe we should think first how corruption, poverty, political dynasties and land reform issues should be addressed,” Ongtioco said.

A prelate from Mindanao also echoed Ongtioco’s concern saying there are more issues that needs immediate attention than Charter change.

“Not now. Government should eliminate first the widespread poverty and environment degradation,” said Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez.

Baguio Bishop Carlito Cenzon, however, said talking about Constitutional amendments is a ‘good’ start under a new administration.

“It’s good… and what will be amended must be carefully studied,” said Cenzon.

Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez has no problem with amending the Charter as long as its real intention is clear.

“The public must be informed on what provisions of the Constitution will be changed,” he said.

Former president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, earlier said that any proposed changes in the Charter must be consistent with the people.

It is important, according to Lagdameo, that the people are properly informed on the issues surrounding the proposed Charter change.

Iñiguez said information should reach the grassroots level to inform the people and enable them to make informed choices. [CBCPNews]