BY ROGER M. BALANZA
The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay has lectured a Catholic bishop on the separation of powers between the Church and the State, saying that the Catholic Church should limit its concerns on spirituality and morality and not dabble with politics.
Lawyer JV Bautista, United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) interim secretary general, unleashed the verbal blast as a Catholic bishop said he cringed at the thought of seeing Binay sitting in Malacanang.
Binay is the presidential candidate of the opposition UNA in the 2016 election.
Fr. Edu Gariguez, executive secretary of the National Secretariat for Social Action of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), said earlier that he does not want President Aquino to resign because Binay would be a worse leader.
“I don’t want to call for Aquino’s resignation because Binay will replace him. And that’s even worse, it’s scary,” Gariguez said in a Philippine Daily Inquirer report.
He said Binay as President would be a combination of the administration of President Joseph Estrada and former First Lady Imelda Marcos “with houses as big as a palace.”
Binay is the acknowledged presidential candidate in the 2016 elections of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) of Estrada, now the Manila mayor.
On ABS-CBN’s Umagang Kay Ganda, Bautista said the Binay camp continues to respect leaders of the Catholic Church especially when it comes to spiritual matters.
But he had a mouthful to say about Gariguez fearing about Binay succeeding Aquino. Anti-Aquino critics have called on Aquino to resign over alleged misuse by his administration of funds under the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
Binay is himself facing inquiry over alleged massive corruption when he was the mayor of Makati City.
According to Bautista, the law must be followed when it comes to leadership succession and that the Vice President must take over if anything happens to the President.
“Mataas ang paggalang natin sa ating mga taong simbahan. Sinusunod natin sila lalo na sa mga bagay na may kinalaman sa ating spiritual na pangangailangan at sa ating moralidad.”
Bautista said the Church should not dip its fingers in the process of succession because this is a political issue.
“Sa bagay na ito dahil ito ay patungkol sa gobyerno, kailangan susundin ang sistemang umiiral sa atin, ito po ay sistemang demokratiko,” Bautista said..
Gariguez’s statement came after Binay met with CBCP leaders regarding allegations that he benefited in the alleged overpricing of the P2.2 billion Makati City Hall Building II.
Earlier, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo met with seven of Binay’s accusers to find out more about the allegations.
Gariguez said Binay’s explanations to the CBCP were “unconvincing.”