Running priest to go on hunger strike, hits Church's ‘pro-admin stance’

Running priest to go on hunger strike, hits Church’s ‘pro-admin stance’

Catholic priest Father Robert Reyes, who has gained a reputation for running to advocate causes he believes in, will not run this time but refuse food, as he decried the pro-administration stand of a ranking Church official who rejected people power if the May 10 elections fail.

Fr. Reyes on Wednesday announced he would go on a hunger strike from 10 a.m. on May 8 to 10 a.m on Election Day “to appeal to the Comelec for a credible elections,” in the wake of increasing public concern caused by the failure of counting machines in field tests this week.

At the same time, the “running priest” chided the Catholic church for following what he called “the Malacañang line.”

Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales on Sunday rejected the possibility of a people power uprising if the May 10 election fails or is tainted by massive cheating, dismissing such calls as irresponsible and “crazy, crazy, crazy.” (See: Cardinal Rosales rejects people power if elections fail)

“Many Catholic churches are badly compromised, kaya hindi na kailangang mag-dalawang isip kung ano ang ibig sabihin ni Cardinal Rosales noong isang araw na hindi siya magtatawag ng People Power (so they didn’t need to think twice about what Cardinal Rosales meant the other day about not calling for People Power). That is definitely the Malacañang line. Unfortunately, the Church has become the mouthpiece of this administration,” the running priest told reporters.

Reyes also joined the call for a manual count by the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) led by lawyer Harry Roque, who had accused Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales of planning a military junta in case of a failure of elections. (See: Lawyer condemns Gonzales’ plan to effect ‘transitional junta’)

“The moral scandal here is that she [Macapagal-Arroyo] will stay in power. This is the worst thing that could ever happen to us. It is like a priest telling us, ipagpatuloy mo ang kasalanan mo, basta ‘wag kang papahuli, tayong dalawa lang ang nakakaalam (continue your sinning, just don’t get caught, only the two of us will know),” Reyes said.

“Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a public sinner. She should not even be allowed to receive communion, but she receives communion from all the bishops,” Reyes lamented.

Despite Cardinal Rosales’ rejection of people power, Reyes urged the rest of the Catholic Church to take a ‘pro-people’ stand.

Ito ang malungkot, walang posisyon ang simbahang Katoliko (This is so sad, the Catholic church not having a position). And even if I risk being excommunicated, I’d like to ask the bishops to [abandon their] political loyalties to a corrupt and immoral president and decide in favor of democracy and our people.”

Reyes joined the CCM’s calls to take protests to the streets in case of a failure of elections.

“We’re reaching a point where people have to take a stand. If our institutions are all badly compromised, people should go out to the streets. Prepare for people power and let us save this country from irrelevant and compromised leadership,” the outspoken priest added.—JV, GMANews.TV

Karen Ang

A plebeian who is trying to make small changes in this world.