In the wake of the first plunder case filed against her, former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has turned to Catholic bishops for prayers of courage to accept things she could no longer change.
Arroyo’s plea for prayers was announced by her lawyer, Anacleto Diaz, at the weekly forum hosted by the Catholic Media Network (CMN). Diaz expressed disappointment that members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) were not present to receive the appeal.
“We thought this was a forum of the Catholic bishops so I thought they would be here… I actually did not know this would be a press conference, so we thought we would be able to give the personal plea of the [former] president,” Diaz said.
The CMN forum is held every Tuesday in Intramuros, Manila, with varying guests to tackle current political and social issues facing the country.
Only retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz, who had been a staunch critic of Arroyo, was the guest from the CBCP to talk about another issue—the prevalence of HIV-AIDS in the country.
“I was asked by the [former] President to attend this forum to make a plea to the bishops to please help her pray for courage to accept the things she could no longer change. She also asked that I request the bishops to pray for the Ombudsman and the courts to steadfastly perform their duty of deciding cases solely on the basis of evidence produced during the proceedings,” Diaz said.
He also said that Arroyo had requested that the bishops pray for President Benigno Aquino so that he would not make decisions based on “vindictiveness, vengeance, spite and ill will.”
Cruz assured the former President of his prayers. “I was not known to be a GMA (Arroyo’s moniker) admirer during her term and she knows this… but when she was down, I did not step on her anymore. As far as prayers are concerned, please tell her I do that,” the prelate said.