Palace open to dialogue with clergy

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MALACAÑANG on Thursday said it is willing to hold a dialogue with members of the clergy and other sectors who have been calling for the resignation of President Benigno Aquino 3rd.

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In a news briefing, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the Palace is always prepared to sit down with its critics for an intelligent discourse.

“We have been expressing the readiness of the government to dialogue [with them]. As long as the discussion will be reasonable and where we can have an understanding of the issues at hand,” Coloma told reporters.

He, however, maintained that amid calls for the President to step down, Aquino is determined to finish his mandated term and fulfill his “social contract” with the people.

“He [Aquino] promised that the government will do everything to alleviate the poor and establish a good government through the straight path, which will transform society from hopelessness to optimism,” Coloma pointed out.

Last week, the National Transformation Council (NTC), which is composed of civil-society groups and officials of the Catholic Church, said Aquino has to go because he already lost the moral ascendancy to lead the country.

From Lipa City, Batangas on August 27 to Cebu City on Wednesday, October 1, assemblies convened by the council pursued their call for the President to step down.

The Cebu assembly called on the council to “pursue all necessary and available lawful means to compel President Aquino to step down at the soonest possible time” and “to immediately organize an alternative government, consisting of men and women of integrity and proven worth.”

But Coloma earlier said real “transformation” has been achieved by the President for the people.

“The transformation of the country from being regarded as ‘the sick man of Asia’ to Asia’s fastest-growing economy has been achieved because of the people’s robust support for the administration’s reform programs,” he added.

Instead of listening to the NTC’s call, Coloma said, the government will “move forward.”
“The government will continue to invest in improving the quality of life and developing the fullest potentials of its most valuable resources, the Filipino people,” he added.

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