ASIA/PHILIPPINES - Bishops to the faithful: "Vote responsibly, to fight corruption"

Wednesday, 8 May 2019 politics   corruption   faith   civil society   youth  

Manila (Agenzia Fides) - "We need to vote responsibly and wisely. People cannot expect a change if they continue to vote for corrupt politicians: this is the appeal launched by Bishop Francisco De Leon, at the head of the diocese of Antipolo, while the mid-term elections, scheduled for May 13, are approaching: the Bishop tells Fides: "Corruption is still a big problem in the country because corrupt politicians continue to be elected. If we continue to vote for candidates who are known to be corrupt, we cannot expect our lives to improve".
Bishop De Leon complained about the way in which politicians often take advantage of the poorest vulnerable people who "are even willing to sell their votes for survival", and condemn "vote buying" or the "exchange of vote", a widespread phenomenon. The bishop urged voters "not to sell their votes, as this meant selling their conscience and the credibility of the nation, for a sum of money". "If we allow ourselves to be involved in corrupt practices like this - he reiterated - nothing will change in the country".
The Bishop appeals "to the Christian conscience of the electors, called to discern according to the principles of faith, justice, honesty and transparency not to leave Christian values out of the voting booth. Follow your conscience. And let us follow all that God tells us to do".
"The appeal for a wise and responsible vote, which can be shared, should be addressed in a very special way to young people", commented to Agenzia Fides Jayeel Cornelio, sociologist and director of the Catholic University development program "Athenaeum of Manila ", of the Jesuit fathers. In this election, the sociologist reports, young people between 18 and 30 make up 31% of the registered electorate: around 18.8 million young Filipinos can influence or determine the result of the vote. (SD) (Agenzia Fides, 8/5/2019)