MANILA, Philippines - The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has urged candidates to refrain from mudslinging in the run-up to the May synchronized elections.
In a pastoral statement following the conclusion of their plenary assembly, the bishops asked candidates to play fair and square and raise the level of the campaign.
“We ask the candidates, already at this point, to start serving the nation by being honest and sincere in educating the people on the situation of our country in their campaign. They should not campaign to manipulate the perceptions of the people but to help them to make good choices for the sake of the country. They are to present their platforms and convictions rather than attack others,” the bishops said.
The prelates noted that there is need to “transform our political order” and urged the people to be agents of this change.
“We appeal directly to you, our fellow countrymen and women, as well as to all members of our Basic Ecclesial Communities and religious lay organizations to exercise your right to vote wisely i.e. Following the criteria indicated several times in our previous pastoral letters,” the CBCP statement, signed by its president Tandag Bishop Nereo Odchimar, said.
In winnowing the right candidate, the bishops told the voters to eschew surveys and political advertisements. “Follow the dictates of your conscience after a prayerful and collective period of discernment. “Winnability” is not at all a criterion for voting! The vote you cast will be a vote for the good of your country and your children’s future.”
The bishops urged the public to “engage in principled politics” by supporting candidates that are “qualified and have a record of striving for the common good.”
They added: “We are asked to first articulate the key values and principles by which we can evaluate individual candidates across political parties. This is the kind of politics in which Gospel values form the bases of our choice of candidates and not party or family loyalties.” - abs-cbnnews.com/ Newsbreak