Inter-faith movement calls for fair, honest and peaceful elections
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Religious stakeholders in Cebu unite to express a common prayer: a peaceful 2019 midterm elections for the Philippines on May 13.
In a press conference on Monday, May 6, the group composed of leaders from different religious denominations launched the “Inter-Faith Convergence for Peace in Our Elections,” a movement which encourages the public to be vigilant and guard each and everyone’s vote.
Present during the launching at the Filipiniana Hall of the Archbishop’s Residence in Cebu City were representatives from various religious institutions including Islam, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, United Churches of Christ in the Philippines, the Roman Catholic Church, and the United Methodist Church.
Ustadz Najeeb Razul, president of the Voice of Islam Foundation in Cebu and chairman of the Council of Elders in the Visayas, said that as an Islam leader, it is his responsibility to educate and inform his congregation and guide them in their day-to-day affair.
“In the spirit of brotherhood, we have to unite ourselves on this political exercise. This is something we have to consider very, very seriously,” Razul said.
He said that the public should know the implications of the elections and should be meticulous and pragmatic in choosing leaders and politicians.
Razul added that voters should choose leaders who are pro-God, pro-people, and pro-constitution and should have inherent good values.
For his part, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma expressed his gratefulness upon seeing his fellow religious stakeholders united for one goal: the exercise of fair and honest elections.
“We should realize how important this election is, particularly as we hope to be able to make the people aware that every poll is sacred, that every vote should count, that every vote should be done prayerfully and courageously and not because of the influence of other factors like money, utang na loob or fear,” Palma said.
Palma is also hoping that after the elections, every branch of the government should carry out their duties and responsibilities.
Palma encouraged people to pray for discernment and cast their votes this coming May 13 elections guided by their conscience.
“Let it be a product of prayer for discernment. Whatever we choose, whatever we put in the ballot, this is what our conscience has decided in prayer. Meaning, between me and God, and this is who I think, what I believe, is a good vote,” he said.
He added that people should elect a leader who will not only look after the good of the country today but will look into the future of the nation as well. / celr
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