𝗕𝗜𝗦𝗛𝗢𝗣 𝗠𝗔𝗬𝗨𝗚𝗕𝗔 𝗗𝗘𝗖𝗘𝗜𝗩𝗘𝗗?
𝗟𝗲𝗻𝗶-𝗞𝗶𝗸𝗼 𝗰𝗮𝗺𝗽 𝗵𝗮𝘀 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗹𝗶𝗲𝗱 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗿𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗺𝗶𝘁, 𝗟𝗮𝗼𝗮𝗴 𝗖𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗛𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝘀𝗮𝘆𝘀
According to the Administrative Section of the Laoag City Hall, the camp of the Leni Robredo-Kiko Pangilinan tandem has not filed any application for permit for a rally in the city.
Bishop Renato Mayugba announced in a meeting of priests yesterday that he is allowing the use of the St. Mary’s Seminary for the gathering of Leni-Kiko supporters because “no public place was approved for their (Team Robredo’s) use.” It now appears that there was nothing to approve because no request has been made.
Talking to members of the local media, City Hall staff said what was not permitted last month was a gathering of Leni-Kiko supporters at the Laoag City Aurora Park, but only because the venue had been reserved for another purpose. Organizers then went to the Carmelite Monastery where the sisters, having been made to believe that the disapproval is deliberate and unfair, opened their grounds for the political gathering.
Priests who were dismayed by the bishop’s decision talked to The Ilocos Times on condition of anonymity. They said many of them were silently in disagreement. One of them shared, “When it was announced, there were no reactions from priests, they were quiet… agrebrebelde iti uneg dagti papadi ngem saan a maiexpress gapu iti buteng.” (They were revolting inside, but they did not show it because of fear.) Another priest lamented that the name of the church is again being dragged into controversy because religious leaders do not exercise “prudence when it comes to political matters.”
Today, a couple of priests expressed their pity on the bishop “who appears to have been deceived by self-proclaimed victims of political persecution.” One priest sympathetic to the prelate said, “these political propagandists took advantage of his kindness and compassion.”
Still, a growing number of lay people are considering writing a letter to Papal Nuncio to the Philippines, Archbishop Charles John Brown, about Bishop Mayugba’s actions that cause “discord and confusion in the church community.”
Located in Brgy. Mangato, Laoag City, St. Mary’s Seminary is adjacent to a parish church and a monastery: the St. Lourdes Parish and the Clarisas Capuchinas Sacramentarias.
This reporter went to the Bishop’s Residence to get Bishop Mayugba’s side. He was told by a staff member that the prelate is not inclined to grant an interview on the matter. The Ilocos Times is open to any reaction from the Diocese of Laoag.