Palma tells voters: Be critical in choosing country’s next leaders
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) will remain non-partisan and will not be endorsing candidates in the May 13 elections, but they will be providing guidance to help the voters and lay faithful in choosing the best candidates for the post.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma made his announcement in an interview after his Easter Sunday Mass, where he urged candidates to be the instrument of change in the country that is now faced with various issues on the sanctity of life, marriage, and the community.
But he said that CBDC will not prohibit the lay faithful and their respective organizations to endorse candidates whom they think are worthy to stay in power.
Still, he reminded these organizations not to use the name of CBCP in their endorsements.
“As a person it is your right to campaign for the candidates you deem worthy,” Palma said.
Palma said that he will be casting his vote in Cebu City. He has been a registered voter of the city that has served as his home for the last nine years since his assignment by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to the Archdiocese of Cebu on October 2010.
He too is seriously looking into qualifications of the different candidates.
Palma said that it is always important for the voters to look into the values system of the candidates especially for those who are seeking national posts whose main task is to legislate the laws of the land.
Palma urged voters to look into the stand of candidates on critical issues in the country that also reflects the faith of Christian Catholics including abortion, the sanctity on marriage, extrajudicial killings, integrity and honesty, education, environment, poverty, and drug rehabilitation.
“Daghan kaayog nga angle nga angay pangutan-on then they would reveal ang ilang person. (There are many angles to look into and question to ask for them to reveal their real selves),” said the prelate.
Palma said that responsibility of voting for our next leaders should be taken into serious consideration by the public because these leaders are the hopes for change and reformation in the country’s values system and the people’s way of life.
“We know that there are good people running for position and change for the better can be expected. However, as a principle we will not mention any names of the candidates and will leave (it) to the public the decision on who to vote. I trust the people,” said Palma.
“All of us individually can only be counted as one vote, but ten million people casting their good votes will show the discernment of the nation on who they believe will bring change to the country,” he added./dcb
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