QUIBOLOY: DU30’S Religious Oligarch, Bagman and Crony?
MANILA, Philippines — Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman said Friday that President Rodrigo Duterte should “confront and subdue religious oligarchies” that “unduly pressure the faithful or their adherents to follow their electoral and policy choices and decisions.”
“It is an open secret that an influential religious group has pressured not a few Members of the House of Representatives to reject ABS-CBN’s application for a franchise renewal because of its perception that the reportage of the network on a particular issue was against its interests,” the lawmaker said in a statement. He did not identify the group he was referring to.
Lagman also said the “altar should be used to propagate the word of God, not to demonize policymakers or encroach on the sanctity of the ballot.”
“These religious oligarchies are more insidious because they do not only control the mind but also the spirit of their followers under the pain of eternal damnation or defeat at the polls of the candidates they oppose,” he pointed out.
He further said that while religious oligarchs can participate in the national discourse on policy questions and support political candidates, they “cannot dictate and enforce their will over their followers.”
“If we want our electorate to develop and mature, we should stop the pernicious practice of candidates trooping to priests and ministers during election time supplicating for their endorsement,” Lagman stressed.
Lagman’s remarks were an apparent reaction to Duterte’s recent pronouncements claiming to have dismantled oligarchy in the Philippines even without declaring martial law. He even vowed that the remaining years of his presidency will be harsh for oligarchs.
Duterte’s speech before government troops in Sulu barely a week after 70 lawmakers in the House committee on legislative franchises voted to deny the franchise bid of the Lopez-owned ABS-CBN Corp.
But presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte was not referring to the Lopezes when the president made such victory claim against oligarchs.
However, in an audio recording of his entire speech obtained by the Inquirer, Duterte launched fresh tirades against the network, claiming that ABS-CBN’s equipment was tax-free.
Duterte also accused the network of having “holding companies” outside the country and “misdeclaring” the land area of its compound on Mother Ignacia Avenue in Quezon City.
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