By Leslie Ann Aquino
Hours before President Duterte delivered his third State of the Nation Address, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo expressed hope that the former would have the humility to admit his mistakes.
The prelate stressed that there is nothing wrong in apologizing when one is clearly wrong.
“I hope he will change in this SONA. Part of being humble is admitting one’s mistakes. There is nothing wrong in apologizing when one is clearly wrong, instead of covering up for it,” Pabillo said in a Mass which he presided for different groups Monday at the St. Peter’s Church in Quezon City.
The Manila prelate lamented how the previous SONAs of the Chief Executive were filled with arrogance but lacking in substance.
Pabillo said humility is also one of the things that God wants from us aside from justice and love.
“The Lord wants us to change our ways —to be fair, to be loving to others, and humble before Him. This is what we want to do and this is also what we ask from this government,” he said.
That’s why, Pabillo said he expects that in this year’s SONA of the President, he would present the bare facts, however ugly they may be.
“We want to know the real score of government action or inaction, or wrong action, of the past year and even the past two years, however ugly they may be,” he said.
“Enough of the insults, cursing, and accusations. What we want to hear about are his plans regarding our situation,” added Pabillo.
Among them, he said are the President’s plans on how he would give justice to the victims of killings, to workers suffering from ENDO, to indigenous peoples who are in evacuation centers because of militarization, and to the fishermen being harassed by Chinese people in our sea.
“We seek justice!” Pabillo said.
The head of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Laity said it is also the wish of the people that the President would be respectful.
“We wish for the President to be respectful because as Filipinos, we are respectful as a nation. Stop with the cursing. We didn’t want to hear that from our children especially from our leader,” said Pabillo.
He added: if he cannot even stop cursing, then he is not worthy to be our leader.
“Love also needs respect for the right of every person —women, and even those suspected to be evading the law. Every person has a right which the authorities should respect,” Pabillo said.
After his homily, he led the faithful in praying the “oratio imperata” (mandatory prayer) for the country’s leaders.
Among the groups that attended the Mass are Rise Up, CBCP Nassa, the Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas, Promotion of Church People’s Response, United Church of Christ in the Philippines and Iglesia Filipina Independiente, to mention a few.