Saturday, April 08, 2006

Oro archdiocese: Honest discussion needed

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (cagayan journal / April 10) THE local archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church Saturday called for a no-nonsense public discussion into the proposed Charter change, saying those who worked for the just-held signature drive merely asked people to sign without explaining what the campaign was all about.

"The archdiocese is not really against charter and it recognizes the efforts of the politicians who want constitutional reforms," said Monsignor Rey Monsanto, a chancellor and the spokesman of the local Catholic archdiocese. "We're only questioning the process... how it is being done."

He said the church wants a public discussion between the people and those initiating the move to change the Constitution so citizens would have a clear understanding of the pros and cons of shifting from a presidential to a parliamentary for of government.

Monsanto said this after Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, president of the Catholic Bishops'Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), released a pastoral letter expressing alarm over the government's "haste" in pushing for Charter change.

Monsanto called on local politicians to be "fair" and square."

"There must be a widespread participation and transparency," asked Monsanto. "Is this truly a people's initiative or the initiative of self-serving politicians who want to stay in power? Monsanto said.

"Others would not understand of what they were signed, they signed it as they seen others signed it," said Monsanto.

Meanwhile, the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) made a stronger message against moves to change the Constitution through the so-called "people initiative."

IFI Bishop Felixberto Calang said the people's initiative campaign is morally questionable.

Calang also called on citizens to be vigilant and not allow themeselves to be "deceived by those involved in the campaign."

"This needs further study. The people should noy be deceived by those who are giving gifts," said Calang, adding IFI is totally opposed to the campaign.

Religious leaders also expressed alarm over reports people were bribed into signing during the people's initiative campaign in the city.

Emano: CdO ready to host Int’l Whitewater Rafting tilt

THE city government is bracing arms for the upcoming 2007 International Whitewater Rafting competition slated to be held in Cagayan de Oro next year.

Mayor Vicente Emano said the international organizers of the competition has already finished evaluating the venue.

Emano said international water rafting director Mark Joffe visited the city last week and conducted ocular inspection of the Cagayan de Oro River particularly the stretches along Barangay Mambuaya and Sitio Cabula.

“They also made some inspection regarding the necessary accommodation, security and other concerns of the said activity,” Emano said.

The mayor said he gave the organizers assurance that the city has all the facility that can accommodate all the participants and guests during the competition, boosting the luxury and world class hotels that are ready to house them.

At least 40 teams consisting of about 500 competitors from all over the world are expected to participate in the event.

For his part, Joffe expressed optimism that the city will be chosen as the site for the world event over other contender cities in Japan and Mexico.

“The water [in the Cagayan de Oro river] is clear as crystal. I love the area because it is still clean,” he said.

Emano said he will coordinate with the police and the military to set up security measures during the event.

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