June 21, 2024

Aside from scrutinizing the qualifications and background of individuals seeking elective posts, the Diocese of Baguio has asked voters to also listen to their conscience and evaluate their criteria in choosing the people who will lead them in the next three to six years.
In a pastoral statement, Baguio Bishop Victor Bendico advised voters to evaluate their standards in voting and if these are geared towards catapulting into power leaders whose agenda are for the common good.
“As children of God, we urge voters to exercise discernment in evaluating those who want to serve. May the leaders we elect be the result of our prayerful and conscientious consideration of the candidates who have shown or have the genuine intention to serve the public and work for the common good,” the statement, written in Iloko, stated.
The Diocese said voters should choose candidates who lead an honest and honorable lifestyle, those who contributed to the achievement of the common good and helped resolve problems besetting the communities, and candidates who are supported by reputable donors or sponsors.
It provided tips to help the voters come up with wise choices in the May 9 elections, among which is for voters to evaluate the qualifications and track records of the candidates.
“Are these truthful or fabricated? If they are seeking reelection, did they fulfill their promises? Were there improvements in the lives of their constituents? Did they abuse their power? Did they respect human rights and worked for environmental protection, and preservation of culture? Did they tolerate gambling and other vices that destroy families?”
Voters were also advised to evaluate the candidates’ platforms and to scrutinize their character and lifestyle.
“Let us discern where they intend to lead us. Are they able to fulfill the mandates expected of them? What are their stand on issues, such as vegetable smuggling, and red-tagging, and issues involving the local electric cooperative? Are they able to oppose evil and uphold the truth and human rights?”
“If they cannot, shouldn’t we doubt their intention in running for office and suspect that when they assume office, they will only advance and protect their interest, that of their families, and that of their allies?” the pastoral statement added.
The voters were also advised to be wary of candidates who switch political parties to suit their interests and those who claim that only their families are able to lead.
“Let us remember that a better politics starts with the change in the mindset of critical voters who choose their leaders wisely,” the Diocese said. – Jane B. Cadalig