MANILA, Philippines -- The Catholic Bishops? Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) should support street protests against the Arroyo administration, a militant lawmaker said Monday.
Bayan Muna Representative Satur Ocampo believed that protest actions against what he described as ?corrupt and morally bankrupt? administration? would succeed if this would be supported by the religious sectors.
Ocampo?s call stemmed from allegations by Rodolfo Lozada Jr., the key witness in the Senate investigation into the national broadband network controversy, that the cancelled $329 million NBN contract with China?s ZTE Corp. was overpriced.
?The people?s enlightenment from the truth behind the multi-million dollar NBN-ZTE scandal, coupled with sustained street protests backed by the Church could lead to the boiling pint of isolation of this corrupt and morally bankrupt administration,? Ocampo said in a statement on Monday.
The latest testimony by Lozada has prompted the CBCP to call for communal action, which was supported by Ocampo and Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran.
Ocampo said, ?It?s high time for the people to translate the Bishops? call into direct street protests.?
Beltran said all concerned citizens must work collectively ?to protect the truth and bring justice to all the crimes committed by this administration against out people.
The lawmakers then reiterated their call for Arroyo?s resignation.
Beltran said the only way to weed out high-level corruption was to remove the President, who represented the extent and depth of the crisis of the Philippine Bureaucracy.
Ocampo said the President should resign to preserve any remaining respect for the presidency, for herself, and her family.
?She [Arroyo] should not wait for the time that even resignation will no longer be an option,? Ocampo said.
Gabriela Women?s Partylist Representative Liza Maza criticized Malacañang for allegedly resorting to ?dirty tactics? to discourage people from joining rallies and mass actions.
Maza was referring to the text messages that circulated over the weekend, warning people of the supposed bombings in malls and public places following Lozada?s testimony in the Senate.
?Creating a scenario of destabilization is but a ploy that has been abused so many times by the Arroyo regime,? she said in a separate statement.
?Once more, it is an attempt to give Malacañang the license to launch more repressive measures, scare the public from joining protests, militarize communities, and crackdown on the opposition,? she said.