Cagayan de Oro archbishop backs Robredo fight vs martial law lies

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 23 2022 01:22 AM

Vice President and Halalan 2022 presidential candidate Leni Robredo greets supporters during a people’s rally at the Iligan City Public Plaza, Iligan City on February 22. VP Leni Media handout
Vice President and Halalan 2022 presidential candidate Leni Robredo greets supporters during a people’s rally at the Iligan City Public Plaza, Iligan City on February 22. VP Leni Media handout

MANILA—Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Jose Cabantan on Tuesday expressed support for Vice-President Leni Robredo's fight against disinformation on martial law, which he called the country's "darkest moment." 

Robredo's rivals for the presidency in the May 9 elections include the son and namesake of former President Ferdinand Marcos. Rights groups and activists have said that thousands of Marcos' opponents were arrested, many tortured, beaten and killed. The Marcoses were accused of plundering billions from state coffers, allegations it refutes.

Cabantan said “military atrocities” also touched his hometown Lagonglong, Misamis Oriental during this period. He said Fr. Rudy Romano, a missionary who visited Lagonglong and led the anti-Marcos movement in Cebu, was picked up by authorities and disappeared.

“We cannot really change that time of martial law as a golden age of the country . . . That was really the darkest moment in the history of the country,” Cabantan said in a meeting with religious leaders.

He then told Robredo: “We are one with you, praying with you . . . We are supporting you, that we hope that truth will really prevail in our land.” 

“From our discernment, priests have come out in the open because they said this is not just partisanship in terms of political parties. But this is partisanship in terms of truth over lies, for the moral good of the country, the common good,” Cabantan said.

“That’s why priests, nuns are coming out in the open for truth and we hope that you really embody these principles that you also see here this afternoon,” he added, addressing Robredo. 

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LENI SEEKS HELP IN DISINFORMATION FIGHT 
    
Robredo said disinformation has been the main problem of her campaign. 

"I think this is where the Church can help us, not just us as candidates, but this should be the concerted effort of everyone, barring all political colors aside . . . If the elections would be based on misinformation, wala tayo na 'yung integrity ng elections," she said. 

(If the elections were to be based on disinformation, we will no longer have integrity of elections.) 

"'Yong (the) integrity of facts will be what will give us integrity of the elections."

She said volunteers who call out fake news cannot match “paid” trolls. 

"Iyong mga bayad, meron talagang command kung ano ‘yong ilalabas… It’s a well-oiled infrastructure," said Robredo. 

(Those who are paid get commands on what to release.)

But the presidential contender said she was "not losing hope," given that media outlets have also banded together for fact-checking efforts.

"Naniniwala ako na walang sinabi 'yung ganoon na architectures sa pinagkaisang lakas ng taumbayan eh," Robredo said.

(I believe that architecture is no match for the united forces of the people.) 

"Naniniwala po ako na 'yung simbahan — and I'm not just referring to the Catholic Church, but I'm referring to all the other denominations —because of the kind of influence that they exert over your flock, ’pag 'yung pagco-correct ng fake information manggagaling sa inyo, it is not political anymore because people will respect it," she added. 

(I believe that if the Church — and I'm not just referring to the Catholic Church, but I'm referring to all the other denominations — because of the kind of influence that they exert over your flock, if the correction of fake information comes from you, it is not political anymore because people will respect it.) — With a report from Reuters