MANILA — Since the elections is just over a year away, an official of the Catholic Church appealed to the people and would-be candidates in the forthcoming polls not to take advantage of poor voters during electoral exercises.
“Nakikiusap tayo sa lahat lalo na sa mga kakandidato na huwag naman sana samantalahin ang mga naghihirap na, ang mga kapos na kapos na kasi paglapastangan ‘yun sa dangal…you capitalised on the need of somebody in order to manipulate emotionally, spiritually vulnerable na nga ay pagsasamantalahan pa,” said Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle at the launch of the “One Good Vote” (OGV) by the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) on Thursday in Manila.
With this, the Catholic prelate noted the role of the clergy during election season, is not to support a particular candidate but to educate and encourage voters to support those who will lead them to a better life.
“Ang involvement po ang simbahan sa pamamagitan ng PPCRV ay hindi para suportahan ang ilang kandidato at ibagsak ang ilang kandidato. Ito po ay nasa larangan ng edukasyon paghuhubog upang maisulong ang kabuthin panglahat,” he explained.
Tagle also urged voters to maintain the sanctity of the ballot.
“Hindi naman masama na gamitin ‘yung salitang sacred or holy para sa boto lalo na kung ito ay nagmumula sa kunsensya,” he added.
The head of the Archdiocese of Manila also shared his experience during the Papal Conclave in 2013, where they voted for Pope Francis, the successor of Pope Benedict XVI.
“Ang dami ko natutunan sa sacredness of the ballot. Mababasa ninyo naman ang reglamento kung paano magboto ng papa. Naranasan ko po ‘yun,” he said.
On the other hand, PPCRV Chairperson Henrietta de Villa said the OGV is different from the group’s Voter Education program since it will be community-conscience based and it is people-driven.
“PPCRV will select one sitio in every province (80 provinces in all) or in out PPCRV structure one sitio in every diocese (86 dioceses). Each sitio will be the pilot area for One Good Vote’s No to Vote-Buying, No to Vote-Selling. Yes to KKK Candidates. Yes to CHAMP – Clean Honest Accountable Meaningful Peaceful – Elections,” she said.
De Villa added, “OGV includes everyone, each and all Filipinos, though its main proponents in these sitios will be the Poor and the Youth, because they are many – more than half of our electorate and also because they are the most affected victims of bad elections and bad electoral habits.”
The PPCRV is the accredited watchdog group of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for the May 9, 2016 national and local polls