MANILA, August 23, 2011— President Benigno Aquino III has not demonstrated the inclination and strength to exercise political power on behalf of the powerless, a Catholic bishop said.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said that recent decisions by Aquino have favored the powerful and wealthy over the people struggling of poverty.
He cited for instance the government’s actions on the cases of the Hacienda Luisita farmers and the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA).
“There are many cases like PALEA and Luisita… they are one in favoring the rich and the powerful at the expense of the poor,” said Pabillo.
The prelate chairs the National Secretariat for Social Action—Justice and Peace of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
The Church agency had been ardently supporting the fight by PALEA against the PAL management over its planned spin-off program.
It had also been vocal on the unfair ruling of the Supreme Court (SC) over the case of Hacienda Luisita, which is a sugar plantation owned by Aquino’s family in Tarlac.
Last month, the SC had revoked Hacienda Luisita’s previous stock distribution plan but ordered a secret voting among the 6,296 farmer-worker beneficiaries on what to choose between land or stocks.
Last week, the Executive Department had thumbed down PALEA’s appeal to stop PAL from outsourcing three of its non-core departments, which would lead to the displacement of some 2,600 workers. [CBCPNews]