Malacañang denounces 'Nazi' ways of Butuan bishop

Butuan Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblo

MANILA, Philippines (June 11 2011) - Butuan Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblo’s uses ways of the Nazi propaganda machine to serve the interests of his benefactor, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

This was how Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda described the Butuan bishop's penchant for spreading lies after lies apparently hoping that the people accept them as truths.

The pro-Arroyo prelate had asked President Aquino to resign and he had been harping that he is privy to a destabilization plot aimed at removing Aquino from office.

“This is the typical propaganda machine of the Nazi. What they are doing is precisely to keep on spreading lies and lies upon lies, until they have the semblance of truth," Lacierda said of Pueblo's conspiracy theory.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda observed a pattern among President Aquino’s critics, starting from the purported probe of his alleged cronies, to the destabilization plot that the pro-Arroyo prelate had been harping about.

Lacierda said as a pastor, Pueblos should not engage in lies and propaganda and instead dwell and reflect on what he did.

“This is not a role, not the primary duty of a shepherd or a pastor. And the way he is doing it, he is leading his flock astray. As of now, he is spewing lies, propaganda and innuendos, very shocking for a man of the cloth to do so," he added.

Lacierda also expressed doubts if Pueblos can name the conspirators in the alleged Aquino ouster moves.

“I doubt if he will speak the truth. Let him discern the truth if he is man enough to speak out the truth," he said.

Lacierda noted that Pueblos was one of the talking heads of the previous administration, whose ramblings were part of an orchestrated campaign to vilify P-Noy.

“Bishop Pueblos displays the zeal of a Grand Inquisitor and not the Christian humility of a shepherd. Instead of pastoral concern, he seems ignorant of the virtues of charity, humility, and prudence and instead fires from the hip, armed with a fanciful imagination, and utterly without any effort to discern the truth. He is practically a conspirator in a cassock, which makes him anathema to responsible citizenship, the duty of every Filipino whether in the lay or clerical state," Lacierda's statement said.

He said Pueblos deserves to be rebuked in the strongest terms for being a long-standing advocate of impunity, from the time he opposed attempts by the CBCP to discern the moral culpability of former President Arroyo for “Hello, Garci” scandal and his more recent opposition to establishing a Truth Commission.

Lacierda made it clear that it is not the task of the Church to set forth political solutions and to propose a single solution as the acceptable one, but has the right and duty to provide moral judgment on temporal matters when required by faith or moral law.

“This is a prelate who has substituted the proud record of his diocese exemplified by Archbishop emeritus (Carmelo) Morelos and his principled fight against martial law for the partisan ramblings of a petty politician,” he said.

Senator Franklin Drilon also lashed out at Pueblos for asking President Aquino to resign taking a cue from accusations from House opposition leaders that he allegedly appointed his friends and allies to high government posts.

Drilon, a stalwart of the Liberal Party, said those who conveniently kept their mouth shut when the Filipino people expressed their outrage against the massive corruption under the Arroyo administration are the least credible persons to make the same accusations against President Aquino.

“Being an avid supporter of former President Arroyo, Bishop Pueblos is the least credible person to ask for President Aquino’s resignation over unfounded allegations of cronyism,” Drilon said in a statement.

“Where was Bishop Pueblos when President Arroyo appointed her manicurist and her gardener to important positions in government?” said Drilon, noting that it was the former president, and not President Aquino, who was guilty of appointing her friends and cronies to key public posts

“Where was Bishop Pueblos when the Catholic Church criticized Mrs. Arroyo for her extravagance when she and her cronies spent almost a million pesos on a single dinner in an expensive restaurant in New York during her 2009 USA trip?” Drilon queried, referring to the public outrage that erupted after a New York Post article reported that then President Arroyo and her entourage racked up a $20,000 bill at the French restaurant Le Cirque in New York as they wound up the President’s trip.

The show of extravagance came at a time when a vast majority of poor Filipinos were suffering from the devastating effects of the 2009 global financial crisis, Drilon added.

Drilon said he was “appalled by the gall of Bishop Pueblos to call for the resignation of President Aquino who is only doing his best to institute reforms in government.”

He added that if Pueblos intended to stop the government reforms being pursued by President Aquino, he should resign as bishop of Butuan and “join the ranks of the pro-Arroyo opposition in the House.”

Lacierda also described as “juvenile” the calls by the president's critics in the House of Representatives led by House Minority Leader Edcel Lagman for an inquiry on alleged cronyism in the Aquino administration,

Lacierda said now that Congress is on recess, members of the House minority bloc seemed to have nothing better to do than attack close allies of the President, who remain clean and popular until now.

Malacañang instead challenged members of the minority bloc in the House of Representatives to produce results rather than try to get media mileage.

“I’m challenging the opposition to be more diligent with their work. They just keep on mouthing off these accusations. Be a little more diligent when they are talking,” Lacierda said.

He again denied allegations that his boss had been keeping allies whose transactions remain questionable, among them Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, PCSO chair Margie Juico and Local Government Undersecretary Rico Puno.

Reassuring the public that the Aquino administration shall be transparent, Lacierda said that the present administration, unlike the Arroyo administration, shall not prohibit Cabinet members from attending congressional inquiries.

During her tenure, former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued Executive Order 464 that required her approval before a cabinet member could attend a congressional hearing on corruptions in her administration. (From