Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan, a vote-rich archdiocese, urged voters to not be easily influenced by pre-election survey results in choosing candidates.
“Do not choose depending on who is topping or trailing in the surveys,” Villegas said in a report posted on the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) news website.
“Be careful in choosing leaders. I say it again – be careful… decided from prayer and conscience. You are called to take courage and make moral decisions. Your vote can make heaven come down and make our country beautiful and good as God sees it,” he added.
Villegas, who also heads the CBCP, issued a pastoral statement Sunday which calls on the faithful to use the Ten Commandments as a guide to assess the worthiness of a candidate for the upcoming national elections. The election guideline is read in all parishes in Pangasinan, the third vote-rich province in the country, after Sunday Masses until the eve of election day.
Some of the issues raised in the election guidelines that are based on the Ten Commandments were:
The bishop asked the voters to be mindful of “our mistakes of the past” when the nation elected “leaders who later on became thieves of government coffers, murderers of the opposition and billionaires from public funds.”
“More than intelligence, we need God-fearing leaders who are also bravely and stubbornly loyal to the flag and to the people,” added Villegas. “The great need of our time is leadership with vision. We need inspired and inspiring leaders who can rally the nation beyond the horizon of our dreams.”
The Catholic Church does not openly endorse any political candidate.