ucanews.com reporter, ManilaUpdated: April 26, 2016 06:54 AM GMT
A member of a church-based poll watchdog assists voters during 2013 midterm elections in the Philippines. (Photo by Joe Torres)
An international Catholic lay ecclesial movement has called on Filipinos to choose leaders who uphold family values in next month's national elections.
"Support candidates who value the family, respect the sanctity of life, and uphold, protect, and nurture the time-honored institution of marriage and family," said Jose Tale, head of the Couples for Christ.
Filipinos are set to elect new leaders from the president down to members of town councils May 9.
Tale said the right to elect the country's leaders "comes with the foremost duty to every Filipino family" that will "either benefit from or endure the consequences of the results of the elections."
Couples for Christ believes that leaders who value the family are "truthful in word and action and respect the rule of law which makes them a good example for children," said Tale.
"Support candidates who value the family," says Jose Tale, chairman of the Couples for Christ. (Photo by Roy Lagarde)
Respondents to a survey conducted by church-run Radio Veritas to assess Filipinos' perception of the candidates' "servant leadership qualities" chose Grace Poe, a 47-year-old senator, as their top pick among the best qualified presidential candidates.
Poe, who is running as an independent, was chosen by the majority of respondents in the Veritas Truth Survey.
The respondents were asked to rank candidates based on 10 qualities found in a servant leader — listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of the people, and building community.
Poe came first in nine out of 10 qualities of a servant leader, with an over-all percentage of 59 percent. The only quality that she was not ranked first in was awareness.
Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago consistently ranked second in half of the given traits and had an over all percentage of 51 percent.
Controversial Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and ruling Liberal Party candidate Manuel Roxas tied for third spot garnering 44 percent.
Vice President Jejomar Binay ranked last in half of the given traits, which includes healing, persuasion, foresight, stewardship, and commitment to people's growth.
Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo of Manila, however, stressed that the result of the survey is only a guide to voters and not an endorsement from the church.
"The survey was not done so that the church can say you should vote for this. This was done by Radio Veritas to help people in assessing candidates," said Bishop Pabillo.
"This is not an endorsement from the church for them, rather the church wants to help people to verify if what other people are saying is true or not, and whether or not they agree with it," said the prelate.
The Veritas Truth Survey was conducted by the station's research department during February to March. The survey was conducted among 1,200 respondents from urban and rural areas nationwide.
Radio Veritas 846 is owned and operated by Manila Archdiocese.