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Aquino: Catholic Church to be on side of right in polls

By Philip Tubeza
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 18:33:00 05/03/2010

Filed Under: Elections, Politics, Religion & Belief

BACACAY, Albay, Philippines -- Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales may frown on another display of "people power" but Liberal Party standard-bearer Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III said on Monday that he still expected the country's Catholic Church to be on the side of right should push come to shove.

In a press conference, Aquino clarified that it would be the public that would decide if another people power revolt was necessary should massive cheating happen during the elections. He added that the country's Catholic leaders, not just Rosales, have also been closely watching the days towards the elections.

On Sunday, Rosales said that warnings of another people power revolt should the elections fail were "irresponsible" and "crazy."

"From what I saw, it was (only) Cardinal Rosales who spoke. He also said that he did not hear me or read my statement. We respect his opinion," Aquino said.

"But as I understand it, they will also look at how events will unfold. The Catholic Church is clear on what is right and wrong. And if something wrong is happening, they will make a stand like what they did on different occasions in our society's history," Aquino said.

With five days remaining in the campaign, Aquino said it would already be "very difficult" for his opponents to cut down his 19 percent lead in the surveys or a lead of around eight million votes.

"Is there a possibility of losing? You know, the 20-point spread--can I just round it off, it is 19 points but I can beg the one percent--so 20 percent in a 40 million turnout translates to about 8 million advance," Aquino said.

"So, they have to recover eight million, and they have to add more votes on top of the 8 million to overcome our lead. With five days left in the campaign, that?s practically two million votes they will have to be getting and I think that?s very difficult," he added.

However, Aquino said that the public would decide what to do if they felt that the elections results were rigged.

"We have been maintaining that this is a people's campaign. We are but servants of the people. Therefore, it will be the people who will decide the appropriate action in case there is cheating. But, we are there to defend and uphold the rights of everybody," Aquino said.

"As to what the people will do, they have in this whole campaign stood up, buttressed this campaign, supported this campaign, and advanced this campaign. If at the end of the day, clearly there is a majority with us and their voices are not heard, then they will take I think appropriate action," he said.

"And we hopefully will avoid a situation that will be as interesting or as tense as the 1986 elections," Aquino added.

He also explained that Rosales might have used strong words like "irresponsible" and "crazy" because he might have been "fed incorrect quotes" about Aquino's original statement on the possibility of another people power revolt.

"I assume he was fed certain quotes attributed to me which might or might have not been correct and he was reacting to those quotes. If he had seen or read exactly what I said, I don't think he would have rendered that opinion," Aquino said.

He said he issued his original statement after someone asked him what he would do if there was cheating and he lost the elections.

"My answer was people have been waiting for the elections to address what we perceive as the wrong governance happening in the last nine and a half years. Having waited patiently for the elections and having their patience rewarded with frustration, they will rise up?and you know sovereignty resides in the people?they will exercise their sovereignty," Aquino said.



Copyright 2014 Philippine Daily Inquirer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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