Filipino bishops urge conscience vote, fight against disinformation in May elections

Filipino bishops May elections
Filipinos are asked by Catholic leaders to choose the moral vote. Screengrab CBCP election forum video.

Filipino voters are being urged by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to exercise the conscience or moral vote and fight disinformation leading to the May 9 general elections in the Philippines.

CBCP president and Kalookan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David urged voters to be discerning of political parties and candidates during the “Solidarity Mass for the Moral Choice” special mass held at the Baclaran Church which was streamed live on the CBCP Facebook and other diocesan social media channels.

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In his homily during the Mass, Bishop David appealed to the Catholic faithful to “not gamble away the country’s future” in light of the national polls that will decide the next leaders of the country in the midst of a global pandemic and beyond.

“Mag-ambag tayo sa pamamagitan ng pagtupad ng ating mga tungkulin. Hindi natin maitataguyod ang kinabukasan na wala tayo. Huwag nating iasa ito sa iba. Kailangang kasangkot at kabahagi tayo,” CBCP president and Kalookan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David said in Filipino during his homily on April 6, 2022.

“Baguhin natin kahit unti-unti ang ating kulturang pampulitika. Kung mananatiling mababa ang pagtingin at pagkilos natin sa pulitika, hindi pag-unlad ang ibubunga nito. Huwag sana nating isugal ang ating kinabukasan,” the CBCP leader added.

Bishop David called on the Filipino electorate to choose the right leaders, reminding them that they should not be neutral or indifferent to the plights of others. He also encouraged Filipinos to treat each other with respect despite the differences of opinion in politics.

CBCP president and Kalookan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David delivers his homily in Filipino during the “Solidarity Mass for the Moral Choice” at the Baclaran Church. Diocese of Kalookan photo.

“Mga kapatid, hindi natin dapat ituring na kalaban ang sinuman sa mga kababayan natin, pati na ang mga hindi sumasang-ayon sa atin. Natutuwa akong marinig ang mga tinig na tulad ng, “Hindi namin kayo kalaban, kasama kayo sa aming ipinaglalaban,” Bishop David said.

“Ito ang tamang attitude ng isang Kristiyano, dahil wala naman tayong ibang kaaway kundi ang prinsipe ng kasinungalingan, si Satanas. Siya lang ang itinuro sa atin ng simbahan na dapat itakwil, mula pa sa ating pagkabinyag,” Bishop David added.

The CBCP president echoed his statement released in February about seeking the truth at all times, especially during the democratic process of elections.

As Christians, the Filipino Bishop said that voters should seek the truth and not fall for deceitful lies and disinformation propagated on social media. He warned Filipinos to be vigilant against disinformation campaigns, adding that “social media trolls” who peddle lies on the internet in this modern age are no different from those who once called for Jesus Christ to be crucified.

The CBCP leader also named several criteria to help Filipino voters choose their leaders wisely as the country’s national elections approach in May.

Bishop David emphasized that Filipino Catholics must vote by their conscience and faith when choosing their candidates. He added that among the qualities that voters should look for in their leaders are honesty and integrity, among others.

Bishop David mentions some of the following to consider when voting for a candidate in the general elections:

  • will uphold and protect the democracy of the Filipino people, abide by the law, and respect human rights
  • defend national sovereignty in a peaceful manner
  • will fight against corruption in government
  • will respect women
  • will combat illegal activities such as illegal gambling, illegal drug trade, illegal logging, illegal mining, and other industries that threaten to destroy the environment and Filipino nationhood
  • has integrity, is honest, and able to appoint good leaders in the government
  • will listen and is open to criticism
  • embodies the spirit of EDSA “people power”
  • is God-fearing, patriotic, and benevolent

The Holy Mass was celebrated at the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Baclaran ahead of the Holy Week to help guide Filipinos in making the moral choice to vote in the elections. Here is the full text of Bishop David’s homily.

CHECK OUT this final list of candidates for the May 2022 general elections in the Philippines.

SHARE this article to help Filipinos exercise their right to vote wisely and fight disinformation ahead of the upcoming May 9 general elections in the Philippines.

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.