Bishop steps up attack | Inquirer News

Bishop steps up attack

Cruz: Aquino fails to ease poverty
By: - Reporter / @mj_uyINQ
/ 03:15 AM May 23, 2011

ARCHBISHOP Emeritus Oscar Cruz said on Sunday that President Aquino’s support for population control programs was an official admission of his administration’s inability to undertake socioeconomic programs to ease poverty.

“His government’s simplistic option and blatant decision is lessen [the number of] Filipinos to have a better Philippines,” Cruz said in a strongly worded statement issued in the midst of an escalating conflict between Malacañang and the Catholic Church as Congress debates a reproductive health (RH) bill.

“Forgotten is the once proud and loud shout ‘Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap’ (If there’s no corruption, there’s no poverty). Now the maxim sounds ‘Kung walang ipapanganak, walang mahirap’ (If no child is born, there’s no poverty),” he said.


Instead of thinking of ways to produce more food and houses for people, the government had subscribed to this idea that “the less people eat, the more food there is … the fewer people are housed, the more houses there are,” he added.


“Let there be a dedicated, not a laid-back national leadership. Let there be a wise, not a dull national government,” Cruz said.

All about competence

Cruz, 76, earlier slammed unabated “jueteng,” an illegal numbers racket, that was allegedly condoned by high-level Aquino officials. His blast yesterday against the bachelor President was his strongest so far.

The retired archbishop stressed that the national economy, either its level of productivity or incidents of misery, depended much on the kind of leadership the country has.

“It is not really dependent merely on the number of people there are in a given country,” Cruz said.

He continued, “it is competent or incapable, dull or intelligent leadership that makes the difference in the matter of a country enjoying affluence or suffering from destitution.”


Mr. Aquino has been criticized by Church leaders for his support for the RH bill, which seeks to promote sex education from Grade 5 and provide contraceptive pills to parents who wish to plan families.

The President has said that he was prepared to face Church excommunication for supporting the measure, but he warned that RH bill opponents threatening to mount a civil disobedience campaign, including nonpayment of taxes, faced sedition charges.

Gov’t dividing people

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines recently terminated its dialogues with Malacañang on the RH bill but distanced itself from those within its ranks calling for civil disobedience.

Cruz said that if some bishops were “peeved,” it was because they were expecting so much from the Aquino leadership.

If there were some members of the Church and its supporters who have resorted to name-calling, Cruz said the government must take it as an expression of disappointment.

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“There is a lot of frustration going on … the government is becoming successful in dividing the people,” he said.

TAGS: Congress

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