Reading Time: 4 minutes
BISHOPS SOC DAVID ONGTIOCO TED
Bishops tagged in the supposed plot to destabilize the Duterte administration (photo from CBCPnews.net)

Idadaan na lamang sa dasal ng ilang mga opisyal ng simbahang Katolika ang isinampang sedition case laban sa kanila.

Ayon kina Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco at retired Novaliches Bishop Teodoro Bacani Jr., sa kanilang fraternal message, ipagdarasal na lamang umano nila ang Department of Justice matapos na idawit sila kaso sa tangkang destabilisasyon laban sa Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte.

“Prayer is our best weapon against every evil. Prayer is power. This is a good time to be reminded of this. We prayed instantly, even until now, for our accusers,” ayon sa mga obispo.

Kasamang ipinagdarasal daw ng mga ito ang mga nag-aakusa sa kanila na sila ay maliwanagan tulad na lamang ni alyas Bikoy.

Kasabay nang pagtitiyak na hindi sila patitinag sa takot at hindi rin maapektuhan daw ang kanilang misyon.

Magugunitang kabilang ang apat na opisyal ng simbahan sa 36 katao kasama si Vice President Leni Robredo at Sen. Risa Hontiveros na pinangalanan ng PNP CIDG sa sedition complaint na inihain sa DOJ.

“We cannot and we will not participate and we will never help in anything that will bring about social change through illegal means,” bahagi pa ng sama-samang statement ng mga bishops. “There can be no justice without truth. Justice without facts is no justice at all. We cling to the belief that our officials in the Department of Justice adhere to these values.”

Nilinaw naman ng mga obispo na kailanman ay hindi sila nagpatawag ng press conferences, magpa-interview o kaya dumalo sa mga rallies at sa halip ay mag-alay na lamang ng panalangin.

Narito ang buong statement ng mga bishops:

Fraternal Message
We address you as your brothers in the faith.

When we received the news about our inclusion as respondents in the case of sedition and other crimes filed by the CIDG-PNP before the Department of Justice, our first response was prayer. We held no press conferences together. We begged off from interviews. We attended no rallies. We chose to pray.

PRAYER
Prayer is our best weapon against every evil. Prayer is power. This is a good time to be reminded of this.
We prayed instantly, even until now, for our accusers. May they meet the God of all Truths, be touched by His grace and stay away from the prince of lies. We invite Bikoy to turn back to God whose offer of mercy and forgiveness is without limits.
We have been praying fervently too for the team of prosecutors tasked to evaluate the case. May they be guided by nothing but the spirit of justice and truth. There can be no justice without truth. Justice without facts is no justice at all. We cling to the belief that our officials in the Department of Justice adhere to these values.
Indeed there is separation of Church and State but there must be no separation between God and country.

We have been praying too for ourselves and for you our brothers and sisters in the faith, that none of us may be led into confusion, upheaval, error or sin by these charges. Our land needs healing not turmoil. We cannot and we will not participate and we will never help in anything that will bring about social change through illegal means.
We thank our brothers and sisters who have offered prayers, sacrifices and legal assistance to us your bishops and the others accused with us. We thank you all for your kindness in this time of need.

TRUTH
Now that all respondents have filed their respective pleadings, we renew our faith in the power of truth to set us all—accusers, accused and justice officials together—free. And we renew our appeal to those who accuse us. There is joy and peace in living in the truth. We reach out to you in peace.

MISSION
We are shepherds of God’s people. The Lord did not send us to defend ourselves; He promised to do that for us and we trust in the Lord. But, as citizens, we comply with the due processes of law.
We renew our commitment to serve, to teach and to bless without relent, without repay. We will not allow this splinter from the cross of Christ to distract us from our mission, to dampen our zeal or to intimidate us.
This cross we carry now is nothing compared to the agony and passion of the Lord and the pains and aches of the poor. Our defense for human life and the sacredness of marriage remains. Our message of peace based on truth will not be perturbed. Our zeal for souls will not falter. Our mission is yet incomplete. We will not be discouraged.
We are your brothers in our love of God and country. Pray for us. Together with you we place our trust in the Lord.

September 7, 2019
+TEODORO C. BACANI, JR
Bishop Emeritus of Novaliches

+HONESTO F. ONGTIOCO
Bishop of Cubao

+PABLO VIRGILIO S. DAVID
Bishop of Kalookan

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS
Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan