|Pastoral statement: Let us claim our right for the truth!|
|Written by United Church of Christ in the Philippines.|
|Monday, 25 February 2008 19:00|
"If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." John 8:32
Truth is central to the Christian faith. As Jesus had said to his disciples, it is possible to know the truth, and that knowing the truth will make one free. The apostle Paul echoed this when he said "God desires that everyone be saved and come to knowledge of the truth." 1Timothy 2:4
Yet today, many people find it difficult to see the truth.
The events in the past weeks have once again exposed the ills of the Arroyo government. With the people still reeling from the scandals of the North and South Rail projects and the fertilizer scam, the abduction of Rodolfo Noel Lozada Jr., and the revelations on the ZTE deal with the national broadband network (NBN) is now bound to bring the country into the brink of chaos.
The spectacle that was the Senate hearing showed how administration allies would do everything to preserve personal interest. They were incoherent with their lies, weaving a string of allegations, which only further exposed a larger network of conspiracy. Indeed, the Senate hearing was but another episode in the attempts of the Arroyo administration to cross constitutional boundaries, subvert democracy, trample on civil liberties, and violate human rights.
"Justice is turned back, And righteousness stands afar off; For truth has fallen in the public squares, And uprightness cannot enter." Isaiah 59:14
This brings into question Ms. Arroyo's integrity and legitimacy as President. The people can no longer ignore the shameless greed, systemic corruption and the blatant misuse of power by those to whom the people have entrusted the governance of the country.
"Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of falsehood…
There is a sense of both pain and freedom that comes with telling the truth. The truth might set one free, but it will also shatter one's life. Yet, it took one Rodolfo Noel Lozada Jr., a flawed man himself by his own admission, to have the courage to confess what he knew despite serious threats against him and his family, and knowing fully well that telling the truth would change his life forever. In an act of contrition, he told the truth.
In this season of Lent, let us have the courage to be set free from the sins of injustice, oppression, suppression, violence. Let us claim our right for the truth. Let us be in solidarity with those who risk their lives to bring meaning to our own lives as a people, and to put pressure to this government to be truthful in its governance, respect the will of the people, and establish appropriate structures, not for their own interest, but for the common good.
Bishop Eliezer M. Pascua
Bishop Marino I. Inong
Bishop Jessie S. Suarez
Bishop Ebenezer C. Camino
Bishop Dulce P. Rose
Bishop Anacleto G. Serafica