UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News

Philippines

Philippine bishops remind Catholics to vote with faith

Filipino electorate told not to forget 'mistakes' committed in past elections as midterm polls loom

Joe Torres, Manila

Joe Torres, Manila

Updated: April 29, 2019 09:15 AM GMT
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Philippine bishops remind Catholics to vote with faith

Samira Gutoc, a Muslim senatorial candidate, visits the house of a Catholic family while campaigning in Manila. (Photo by Jire Carreon)

 

Share this article :
As elections in the Philippines near, several Catholic bishops are using the pulpit to urge people to elect “the right leaders” and to learn from the lessons of the past.

In a pastoral message circulated in his archdiocese at the weekend, Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan called on Catholics to bring their Christian faith when they vote.

"Do not leave God when you vote," he said, adding that the winners in elections are "mirrors of the values and aspirations, dreams and hopes of the people who voted for them."

The Philippines will hold national elections on May 13 to vote for 12 senators, members of the House of Representatives and provincial and local leaders.

Archbishop Villegas said peoples’ choices "can also show how far backward our society is moving."

"Look at the candidates and ask: Have they given the orders to kill? Have they protected liars?" he said referring to drug related killings and the targeted killings of activists, lawyers and journalists.

"Truth is not a political issue; it is a moral issue. Human dignity goes beyond political coalitions. It is a godly concern," added the prelate.

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, meanwhile, said voters should learn from their mistakes in the 2016 elections.

"Many have regretted their votes in the 2016 elections. Let this be a lesson to us now. Let us be wiser," he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte, often criticized by church leaders for his “war” on illegal drugs, won the presidency during those elections.

Bishop Pabillo said voters should not be influenced by survey results and polls as they merely serve as a propaganda tool.

He said it is not enough for Catholics to vote for good and deserving candidates but also to campaign for them.

"Tell people whom to vote for," said the bishop. "Let all good people campaign and vote not for winnable people but for those who really can help in good governance," he added.

The National Council of Churches in the Philippines has also called on Filipinos to make a "profound change" by shunning corrupt candidates.

"Let us vote for those who will walk with the masses of the poor in our nation, who suffer under the burden of the cross of poverty," read a statement from the Protestant organization.

"Let us shun those who bear the sins of corruption, those who push for ill-conceived development, and those who seek power but lack real accountability to the people," it added.

The church group said Christians are called upon to keep their eye on the greater good of the people, especially the most disadvantaged.

"Let us cast our vote as an act of faith in practice, not just as an act of self-interest," read the Protestant statement.

The Council for the Laity, meanwhile, said Christian groups cannot remain non-partisan anymore in this election.

"When the sovereignty of the country, the lives of our people, and the honor of the Philippines are at stake, we cannot anymore remain as non-partisan organizations," said the group in a statement in reference to the killings and Duterte’s cozying up to the Chinese.

Support UCA News...

As 2020 unfolds, we are asking readers like you to help us keep Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) free so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world at no cost.

That has been our policy for years and was made possible by donations from European Catholic funding agencies. However, like the Church in Europe, these agencies are in decline and the immediate and urgent claims on their funds for humanitarian emergencies in Africa and parts of Asia mean there is much less to distribute than there was even a decade ago.

Forty years ago, when UCA News was founded, Asia was a very different place - many poor and underdeveloped countries with large populations to feed, political instability and economies too often poised on the edge of collapse. Today, Asia is the economic engine room of the world and funding agencies quite rightly look to UCA News to do more to fund itself.

UCA News has a unique product developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes. Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to - South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters that cover 22 countries and experienced native English-speaking editors to render stories that are informative, informed and perceptive.

We report from the ground where other news services simply can't or won't go. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don't have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.

With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5...
UCAN Donate
UCA Newsletter
YOUR DAILY
NEWSLETTER
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter

Also Read

UCA News Podcast
UCAN Ad
 
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution