Palma urges Filipinos to vote according to conscience
CEBU CITY–Six days before the elections, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma reminded the electorate to vote according to their conscience, not because of money or personal affiliations.
“Exercising our right to vote is a sacred duty. And so we must choose leaders not because they are our kumpare or because they gave people money,” he said in an interview after he presided over the fiesta Mass at the National Shrine of St. Joseph in Mandaue City on Tuesday.
“Instead, let us discern well and select candidates who we believe would bring about the good of the community, who will journey with us, and make lives better,” he added.
The 68-year-old prelate appealed to people to shun vote-buying which he said defeats the purpose of the elections and only serves the interests of some candidates.
“The practice of vote-buying is definitely improper. It’s just like selling your sacred right to vote,” he said.
Palma challenged future leaders of the barangays to truly serve the people instead of just enjoying the honor and privileges of the office.
“We’re grateful that a number of Filipinos decided to seek public office in the barangays. But our appeal is for them to really serve the people. The spirit of true leadership is service. The great among us must be the servant of all,” he said.
“We know that many wonderful people aim to really serve and use their life in service of the community,” he added.
As to those candidates who are involved in the illegal drugs trade, Palma urged them to stop their operations.
“If they are involved in illegal drugs, then they have no business being candidates,” he said.
“We, in the Church, support the program of the President against illegal drugs because we know it’s effects in society,” he added.
Palma earlier explained that the Church nonetheless questions the manner some anti-drugs campaign of the government are being carried out as it violates human rights.
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