Below is a Vatican Information Service release on Arroyo’s visit to Pope Benedict XVI, with annotations:
VATICAN CITY, JUN 26, 2006 (VIS) – This morning, Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls released the following declaration concerning the audience granted today by Benedict XVI to Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, president of the Republic of the Philippines, in the company of her family and an entourage:
“In the course of the cordial meeting,” the text reads, “the president explained to the Holy Father the new law banning the death penalty, which was signed last Saturday, Feast of St. John the Baptist.
Si Gloria talaga, pati si Pope binobola. The reality in the Philippines is that death penalty is out, summary execution is in.
“Mrs. Macapagal Arroyo also showed the Pope a plan for reforming the Constitution, which aims at a more harmonious development of the country, reserving greater attention to the poorer sectors of the population.
Now she wants the Pope to dance to the tune of her Cha-cha, which a number of local Catholic bishops oppose because, as the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines said, “It seems that the changes as they are being proposed now will benefit mainly those who already hold positions of power and privilege in the current political system.”
“During the meeting, reference was also made to the favorable prospects for dialogue with the Muslim inhabitants of the country and to the hope for national pacification.
Hmmm. Talking peace with the Muslims while declaring an all-out war with the commies?
“Finally the president noted how Christian values, in which the majority of Filipinos identify themselves, also find expression and support in the legislation of the State.”
Yes, the anti-death penalty law upholds Christian values. But using the legislators to evade the undying “Hello Garci” issue is not.