Vote for country’s future, say church officials

·3 min read

OFFICIALS of the Archdiocese of Cebu’s official social action arm urged voters to decide for the country’s future once they cast their votes during the national and local elections on Monday, May 9, 2022.

During an online forum they organized on Thursday afternoon, officials of Cebu Caritas Inc. also enjoined the country in ““ensuring and praying for credible, honest, accurate, orderly, and peaceful national and local elections.”

“Do we cast our lot with those who will lead us on the road to redemption? Or do we waste this golden opportunity and, instead, vote for those who will lead us to perdition?” said Fr. Alex K. Cola, Jr., Cebu Caritas Inc.

president and Archdiocese of Cebu Commission on Service chairman during yesterday’s online forum “Pili-a ang Kamatuoran.” Cola was quoting a statement prepared the Cebu Caritas.

“The May 9 national and local elections is not a popularity contest. It is about choosing the right people who are true servant leaders. They are the women and men who can rise above their own personal interests and put the welfare of the Filipino people above everything else. They are the principled public servants who believe in and practice the core values of good governance,” the statement said.

“How we vote and whom we vote for is a vote for our country’s future,” the Cebu Caritas statement continued.

The “Pili-a ang Kamatuoran” was the first online forum by Cebu Caritas and focused on the problem of disinformation and “fake news.” The forum started with a statement on the rationale by lawyer Maria Jane Paredes., a trustee of Cebu Caritas Inc. and a member of the Good Governance Committee.

Paredes said Caritas decided to create a Good Governance Committee in July 2021 because the organization believes “it is important that in everything that we do — whether it be about fulfilling our roles at home, in the office, in our barangay, in our church, and, most of all, in our country — we live and breathe good governance.”

“Good governance may come across to you as high- sounding and too sophisticated. But it is not. Good governance simply translates to fairness, integrity, transparency, and accountability,” Paredes said.

“We believe that these universal principles of good governance should be practiced and embedded in everything that we do. Until eventually, it becomes a way of life for all of us.” she added.

Fr. Alden John Baran, vice chairman of the Commission on Service of the Archdiocese of Cebu, then talked about the group’s Pili-a ang Paglaum initiative that highlights video interviews on voting during the elections.

Max Limpag, InnoPub Media co-founder and Caritas Cebu volunteer, then discussed how people can spot and fight disinformation. He said people should verify what they share because the sharing of disinformation damages one’s personal and professional reputation.

This was followed by a session on fact checking and the tsek.ph collaboration by journalist and mass communications teacher Annie Perez-Gallardo. She highlighted the importance of verifying information on sites like tsek.ph or using tools and processes to verify them ourselves.

Msgr. Daniel Sanico, head of the Good Governance Committee, then talked about how people can use the LASER framework to whom to vote. LASER stands for Lifestyle, Accomplishment, Support, Election conduct, and Reputation. (PR)

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