Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle reminded the electorate to respect other people’s choices and to accept defeat shall their own candidates lose in the upcoming national elections.
"Igalang ang iboto ng iba at kung sakaling hindi manalo ang iyong binoto huwag ka namang pikon. Ganyan talaga ang demokrasya," the cardinal said in an interview with DZMM radio station.
In the Philippines, it is a usual case to hear politicians claim they have been cheated if they end up not winning in the elections. Some candidates even claim that pre-election surveys are rigged and that they can only lose thru cheating in the polls.
The cardinal repeated his call for the Filipino voters to be well-informed and to follow their conscience in choosing the next leaders of the country.
“Yung responsibilidad ng paggamit ng biyaya ng demokrasiya, una malinaw na isip, tamang impormasyon. Huwag magpapadala sa mga sabi-sabi, aralin talaga ang mga issue at kilalanin ang mga kandidato," Tagle said.
He even added that values must be factored in, regardless of one’s religion.
"Kailangan pumasok na rin ang mga values, ang ating mga pagpapahalaga na galing sa ating karanasan at galing na rin sa ating iba't ibang relihiyon. Bawat relihiyon naman ay may kanya-kanyang values na pwedeng magamit sa pagkilatis at pagtimbang," the cardinal said.
In the end, Tagle said that casting votes in the elections on May 9 is not the end of the electorate’s responsibility. He enjoined everyone to continue engaging the government and holding it accountable to its people.
"Kailangang makilahok na patuloy pagkatapos ng eleksyon. Panagutin ang ating representatives, bantayan at isulong pa rin ang ating mga panukala," he said.
The Catholic church in the Philippines does not endorse any political candidate, but issues election guidelines based on values and Christian doctrine to help voters choose their leaders.