Philippine bishops pushing for resignation of President Aquino

Philippine President Benigno Aquino IIIReuters

Bishops in the Philippines will not withdraw their call for the resignation of President Benigno Aquino III because of the Cardinal's lack of support for the move.

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, who holds the highest position in the Philippine Catholic Church recently rejected the calls for resignation and instead called for unity among all parties for a successful government. 

According to Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz, the Cardinal's statement is not enough to dampen the dissatisfaction of bishops over the President's mishandling of unrest in the province of Maguindanao prompted by the death of 44 Special Action Force commandoes in a clash with rebel fighters of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

Some bishops have joined the National Transformation Council, a group composed of Catholic church and Protestant church leaders, in calling for the resignation of the President to give new leaders a chance to effect reforms in the country which they believe he is incapable of doing. 

"He (Tagle) has all the right to say he is not supportive of the NTC. The movement espoused by some churchmen for (Aquino's) resignation continues notwithstanding the expressed opinion of Cardinal Tagle," Cruz said in a media briefing.

He explained that it is high time for the President to step down on his own and be remembered in history as a person who did the right thing.

"There is only a little time left of his term so step down. If he does this, he would be known as a historical figure - as a person who listened to the clamor of the people over the clamor of his allies," he said.