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The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has urged Filipinos to vote with their conscience and fight disinformation as the May 9 general elections draws ever closer.
According to Good News Pilipinas, CBCP president and Kalookan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David appealed to the faithful to “not gamble away the country’s future” in light of the national polls
Delivering his homily during the “Solidarity Mass for the Moral Choice” at the Baclaran Church, which was streamed live on the CBCP Facebook page, Bishop David called on the Filipino electorate to choose the right leaders. The cleric also reminded them not to be neutral or indifferent to the plights of others, and to treat each other with respect regardless of political beliefs.
“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.”( Let us contribute by fulfilling our duties. We cannot sustain the future without us. Let us not depend on others. We need to be involved.)
The Bishop added, "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." (Let us change even little by little our political culture. If we remain low in our view and actions in politics, it will not result in progress. Let us not gamble away our future.)
As Christians, added the CBCP president, voters should seek the truth and not fall for deceitful lies and disinformation on social media. He said that “social media trolls” who peddle lies are no different from those who once called for Jesus Christ to be crucified.
Bishop David also named several criteria to help voters choose their leaders. In addition to having honesty and integrity, a good leader will uphold and protect the democracy of the Filipino people, abide by the law, and respect human rights.
Such a leader will also respect women and will combat illegal activities such as illegal gambling, illegal drug trade, illegal logging and illegal mining, he added.