• Melo Acuna

Government should listen to criticism or contrary views

Democracy needs a free press; suppress press freedom and you weaken the country

MANILA – Former Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines president Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas said democracy requires a free press.

In a statement released to the CBCP News Wednesday afternoon, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Villegas said the government should be willing to listen to criticism or contrary views to further improve governance. Should the freedom of expression be suppressed, abuses will increase and weaken the country and endanger the people’s freedom.

Crafting laws is an honorable duty but along with it is the power to close a network which has contributed to the nation’s well-being. He said it is dangerous for the country when people abuse the power vested in them in acts contrary to the provisions of the Constitution.

He asked if it is at all reasonable for government to close the network during this pandemic. He added he is also aware of the thousands who stand to lose work in a country beset with unemployment due to the prevailing contagion.

Archbishop Villegas said what is needed is healing with COVID-19 one of the challenges that need to be addressed.

“I call on members of Congress from Pangasinan to act immediately on the issue,” he said as he called on ABS-CBN to use this time to reflect on their role in society and leave obscene and uncalled for programs on television. He explained such do not help in the development of good character which is imbedded in Filipino culture.

He called on the network to lead in the pursuit of knowledge good citizenship.

“Do not be afraid to criticize for the common good if it is founded on truth,” he concluded. (Melo M. Acuña)

Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas. He also served CBCP President. (Melo Acuna File Photo)

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