Ignore coup rumors, says Cebu bishop
MANILA, Philippines—The president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines on Tuesday warned Filipinos not to be swayed by rumors of a plot to oust President Benigno Aquino, saying that it won’t do the country any good.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said such a rumor should be ignored as it would only “complicate matters” and cause unfounded fear among the people.
“I just hope that people won’t be susceptible into believing that such report is true and if there really is such a plan. This doesn’t show love at all for the country … it’s not the way to hope for change,” Palma told reporters in an interview at the CBCP office in Intramuros, Manila on Tuesday.
Palma was in the capital Tuesday to preside over the quarterly Permanent Council meeting of the CBCP. The council is composed of 12 bishops representing the three regions of the country.
The leader of the Church hierarchy said he personally didn’t believe in reports of such nature. “I don’t know where it came from and what purpose it serves,” he said.
On Monday, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV divulged that the ouster plot against Aquino was real and that some retired military officers were behind it.
The senator further disclosed that those behind the plot were spreading the rumor that the President had offered communist leader Jose Ma. Sison a Cabinet post.
Trillanes made the disclosure after Aquino said during the anniversary of the Presidential Security Group last week that there were people who wanted him out.
In 2003, Trillanes led the so-called Magdalo group of junior military officers in the Oakwood mutiny, a short-lived coup against then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
“My personal opinion on this is that such rumors don’t help because for one, it may bring about fear to others and … it might complicate matters and lead other people to believe there is something very serious happening,” Palma said.
“In general, the reaction of many is that it’s not good that stories like this are spreading and we don’t even know how true is this,” he added.