ASIA/PHILIPPINES – Bishop David: “We need to elect reliable candidates”

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Manila – It is important to choose “reliable candidates” in the general elections scheduled for next May 2022. This is the invitation made public in a message by the president-elect of the Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines , Mgr. Pablo Virgilio David, Bishop of Caloocan, who is preparing to take office at the head of the CBCP next December 1st. Quoting a Filipino Jesuit scientist, Fr. Jett Villarin, former president of the Ateneo de Manila University, Bishop David said that candidates would only have to: “Follow the commandments. Do not kill. Do not steal. Do not lie. By observing these principles, we are already well advanced”. “We should be ashamed to call ourselves Christians – he added – if we do not actively participate in obtaining trustworthy candidates for public office. That is, we have to take into account the future of our country”. Political authority, Bishop David explained, does not consist in being “masters of the people” but in rendering a service. “Jesus is not a voter in the next election”, he said provocatively. “But we are. He entrusted us with the task of making this important choice”, the prelate continued. “Will we or will we not respond to his call to be responsible stewards of our nation that the Lord loves so much and that has already saved many times from destruction?” he concluded.
A Catholic lay leader, Mon Santiago, echoing the Bishop’s invitation, asserts: “We continue to pray that voters choose wisely in the May 2022 elections and elect people who are willing to serve the people and our country for the good of this and future generations. May God bless the Philippines”.
As the public debate continues, even within Catholic communities, Jesuit Father Manoling V. Francisco SJ, president of the “Tanging Yaman Foundation” observes: “We must use our sacred duty to vote by electing God-fearing men and women who do not act for personal or national honor and glory, but above all for the glory of God”. In view of the general elections, scheduled for May 9, 2022, the Electoral Commission is expected to publish by January 2022 the final list of official candidates, including those running for the position of president, vice president, for the seats of 12 senators and 308 members of the Chamber of Deputies.
Then there are the candidates for the seats of 81 governors and deputy governors, 780 seats in the provincial councils, 1,634 mayors and deputy mayors of municipalities, 13,546 seats in the municipal councils. According to the 1987 Philippine Constitution, general elections are held every six years, on the second Monday in May.