Priest says running for mayor in CamSur town will allow him to help more people

Aleta Nieva Nishimori, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 28 2021 05:08 PM | Updated as of Oct 31 2021 08:03 AM

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MANILA - A catholic priest running for mayor in the town of Libmanan in Camarines Sur on Thursday said leaving the ministry to pursue another kind of public service was a hard decision to make.

Fr. Granwell Pitapit said he has seen the dismal situation of their town and he knows that he can make a difference.

“I sense that if there is a voice from the people, there is a voice from God. So I have to discern it well," he said. 

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Prior to his decision of joining politics, Pitapit said he went into a period of personal discernment before writing a letter to the bishop in September to be released from his duties and responsibilities in the active ministry.

"I’m willing to go into another kind of public service, not anymore inside the church, serving the spiritual needs of the people, but more on the concrete and real needs of the people right now,” said Pitapit.

On ANC’s Dateline Philippines, Pitapit said running for office will allow him to implement reforms that will uplift the lives of the people in his locality.

Pitapit said he has been a priest for 20 years, and 17 of those were spent in social action works in the ministry involved with the basic sector of the community like farmers, fisherfolk, women and youth.
 
“The triggering point was this kind of intense longing to be more with the people in this desperate time. But I cannot do that while remaining inside the ministry or inside the church with the limited resources that we have," he shared.

"Here, there is a kind of yearning for me to be more closer to the real needs of the people where I can work on this outside the direct authority of the bishop,” he added.

The Catholic Church has already suspended Pitapit.