Catholic call for Filipino government to stand aside

Philippine Archbishop Oscar Cruz joined the chorus of growing public dissent over the Arroyo government's alleged corruption by calling the "national leadership beyond redemption" and urging the cabinet to resign.

AAP reports Archbishop Cruz (pictures, left) joined more than 50 former top Philippine government officials urging President Gloria Arroyo's cabinet to resign over a multi-million dollar corruption scandal.

While the Archbishop did not name the embattled president, Cruz urged the government to take note of public anger over alleged corruption in the cancelled national broadband network project with ZTE Corp.

"The court of public opinion has already formed a judgment," Archbishop Cruz said.

"The general public appreciates credible individuals and simply uses common sense in firmly deciding who are truthful and who are liars, who are upright and who are corrupt,"

Although Cruz does not speak for the country's Church, he commands widespread support, especially among anti-Arroyo groups.

A presidential election is not due until 2010 when Arroyo's final term ends.

Arroyo has survived three impeachment bids and at least three coup plots since coming to power in 2001 and political analysts have said she will likely see out the remainder of her term because she has the support of the military and the lower house of Congress.

Arroyo cabinet urged to resign (AAP 17/02/08)


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