Sen. Drilon: Bishop Pueblos should resign and join pro-Arroyo opposition in the House

Those who conveniently kept their mouth shut when the Filipino people expressed their outrage against the massive corruption under the Arroyo administration are the least credible persons to make the same accusations against President Benigno Aquino III.

Thus said Senator Franklin Drilon as he lashed back at Butuan Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos, a known supporter of the Arroyo administration, who earlier said President Aquino should resign in view of accusations from House opposition leaders that he allegedly appointed his friends and allies to high government posts.
"Being an avid supporter of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Bishop Pueblos is the least credible person to ask for President Aquino's resignation over unfounded allegations of cronyism," Drilon, a Liberal Party official, said.

"Where was Bishop Pueblos when President Arroyo appointed her manicurist and her gardener to important positions in government?" said Drilon, noting that it was the former president, and not President Aquino, who was guilty of appointing her friends and cronies in key public posts.

"Where was Bishop Pueblos when the Catholic Church criticized Mrs. Arroyo for her extravagance when she and her cronies spent almost a million pesos on a single dinner in an expensive restaurant in New York during her 2009 USA trip?" Drilon further said.

Drilon was referring to the public outrage that erupted after a New York Post article reported that then President Arroyo and her entourage racked up a US$20,000 bill at the French restaurant Le Cirque in New York as they wound up the President's trip. This came at a time when a vast majority of poor Filipinos were suffering from the devastating effects of the 2009 global financial crisis, Drilon noted.

Drilon said he was "appalled by the gall of Bishop Pueblos to call for the resignation of President Aquino who is only doing his best to institute reforms in government." He added that if Pueblos intended to stop the government reforms being pursued by President Aquino, he should resign as bishop of Butuan and "join the ranks of the pro-Arroyo opposition in the House."

When asked to comment on the claim of House opposition leaders that cronyism had become rampant under the Aquino administration, Pueblos said the President should resign.

He questioned Mr. Aquino's resolve to fulfill his duty as President. "He is not interested to be President. I can see that. He does not plan, does not study, does not make his own decision, and just lets his friends [make] it. Poor Philippines," Pueblos said.