Mindanao nuns: Arroyo committed “serious immoral act in governance”

The nuns, who are members of the Sisters' Association in Mindanao (SAMIN), said in a statement: “We have been unequivocal in the past. We continue to be unwavering despite the perceptible absence of a uniting spirit within the Church. But we are inspired by the Church where the Spirit permeates to bring about righteousness and morality in governance and in our communal life.”

Signed by Sr. Elsa Compuesto, SAMIN’s executive secretary, the nuns reiterated the call for Arroyo’s stepping down in the light of the ZTE-National Broadband Network anomaly.

“We stand by our belief that President Arroyo has committed the grave sin of stealing her legitimacy from the people. She has committed a serious immoral act in governance,” she said.

When she refused to heed the people's clamor for her resignation following the "Hello Garci" controversy, she morphed into a more vicious sinner, Compuesto said.

The statement pointed out that Arroyo betrayed the 10-point agenda which she signed with people's organizations at the time the People Power 2 catapulted her to power. Arroyo had broken her covenant with her people and had already lost the moral ascendancy to govern, it added.

“‘Evil’ has been her ultimate change as illegitimacy, corruption, idolatry of foreign powers and globalization, and tyranny have merged and is now responsible for the malevolent spirit of poverty, hunger, extrajudicial killings and human rights violations,” the group declared.

They said that Ms Arroyo has now become a “recidivist sinner” with the ZTE-NBN scam and the “serial corruption dipped into by the presidential family and the various conspiracies to suppress the truth.”

Ms Arroyo, they said, should be removed from power not “because we lose our own self-dignity and righteousness if we tolerate Arroyo's sins until her term in 2010. We waver in our faithfulness to God if we allow the regime to further commit sins that are a direct affront to the Gospel values of truth, justice, and peace,” the SAMIN executive secretary said.

Taking the cue from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’s statements that empower the laity to assert their sovereign will and take communal action, SAMIN also called on a prophetic call for societal change and church unity.

"Citizens are not obligated in conscience to follow the prescriptions of civil authorities if their precepts are contrary to the demands of the moral order, to the fundamental rights of persons or to the teachings of the Gospel,” the nun added.

In an attempt to allay fears as to what will happen after Arroyo’s ouster, SAMIN said “there is a ray of hope after Arroyo.”

“The continuing history of our salvation gains valuable learning from our struggle to remove her from power. It provides us a momentous opportunity to put forward a people-centered program for national renewal,” Compuesto said.

SAMIN pledged to "support our people by joining them in prayer and in action until Arroyo is booted out from office.” (Antonio M. Manaytay / MindaNews contributor)