CBCP President Archbishop Orlando B. Quevedo, O.M.I.,
reiterating the Church's position of "critical collaboration" with the Arroyo administration, underscored the need for the country's leaders to "concentrate on the essentials and not on petty things that create petty
"I do not see any realistic and nationally beneficial alternative to President Arroyo," Quevedo said, when sought on a reaction to the reported breakaway of former allies of the president, primarily led by
the Council for Philippine Affairs (COPA) recently. "Right now it would seem to me that the best option for the country is for President Arroyo to finish her term and be allowed to succeed without nitpicking by
the opposition and some sectors of media - and without needless political infighting."
The Church's position then continues to be "critical solidarity", he added, "Solidarity with her Presidency, critical regarding
specific issues, for example, if there are particular cases of graft and corruption, if there is inaction regarding vices and criminality, etc."
The CBCP President said he did not perceive any grave national crisis
that would seriously destabilize the Arroyo administration, except for the present political problem resulting from "the weird rearrangement in the Senate manipulated by the political opposition in order to grab
power, an act that many people have denounced as a gross disregard of the common good."
The problem, he continued, also seems to come from two sources: the political opposition and the militant Left.
"Both have their own different political agenda. The fall-out caused by these two sources has also affected one or two small but vocal groups from civil society, such as COPA, whose allegiance to the Arroyo
administration from the very beginning has always been suspect since they have their own agenda," he explained.
"What might raise widespread countryside dissatisfaction would not be the political infighting in Manila
but economic issues that affect the people badly such as the energy problem. Even then one problem or five economic problems that do not involve massive presidential corruption do not make a national crisis that
would seriously threaten the Presidency," Quevedo said.
"Therefore, based on the above considerations," he concluded, "I do not see the Church supporting any artificially created 'people power' trying to raise the
banner of a contrived and artificially created 'national crisis'."