Retired Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, as chairman of the National Transformation Council (NTC), urged President Benigno Aquino III to step down from his office following the death of the 44 Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) police commandos in the gruesome Mamasapano clash on January 25.
“Various assemblies convened by the National Transformation Council (NTC) has strongly advocated that the President should step down. Recent developments have made this call even more urgent and imperative,” he said in a press conference.
Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, Archbishop Emeritus Fernando Capalla, Archbishop Romulo dela Cruz, Bishop Filomeno Bactol and Bishop Ramon Villena all supported Vidal’s calls.
Vidal, however, clarified that they have no plans of joining any alleged coup d’état plots against President Aquino. NTC’s intention was only to prompt the public to stand united for change.
According to Presidential Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma’s text message, the President maintained that he would not heed to calls of resignation.
“While we respect contrary views, we affirm the President’s firm commitment to fulfill his sworn duty until the completion of his term of office,” he said in the text.
Meanwhile, Cebu Bishop Jose Palma veered away from Vidal’s demands and said that the other bishops and archbishops in Cebu have no plans of getting involved in political issues.
With report from Cyra Moraleda