Proclaim The Message, In Season And Out Of Season (cf. 2 Tim 4:2)
(A Pastoral Statement of the CBCP on Certain Social Issues of Today)
Beloved Brothers and Sisters:
- the promotion of a culture of death and promiscuity. This is due to the slavishness of our political and business leaders to follow practices in Western countries that promote, in spite of examples that we clearly see in the West,
- the continuing corruption and abuse of power by public officials due to lack of information, or still worse, the possible hiding of information from the public. It is ironic that the government that prides itself of treading thedaang matuwid fears the Right of Information (FOI) bill because of possible discovery of wrongdoing by public officials. Why are they afraid to entrust the citizens with the truth of their governance?
- the widening practice of political dynasties. As monopolies in business, monopolies in politics limit the entry that can bring in new ideas and offer better services. Political dynasties breed corruption and ineptitude. We are aggrieved that lawmakers themselves defy the supreme law of the land by not following the mandate of our Philippine Constitution given 26 years ago to make an enabling law to ban political dynasties.
- the issues raised to the COMELEC on automated election concerns. Election is not a matter of speed but of trustworthiness and honesty. If not properly addressed the present automated election system can lead to wholesale cheating. The integrity of a pillar of our democracy – the election – is at stake.
- the inability and unwillingness of those in power to take the road of social justice. This has resulted in failure to share the resources in the country to meet basic rights of the poor, such as secure jobs, decent housing, adequate medicine, ownership of lands that they till, and quality education. New “rights” are being pushed while the most basic rights are being ignored!
- the deepening of the culture of impunity. Extrajudicial killings, unsolved crimes and kidnappings continue and the government is not able or lacks the political will to prosecute the perpetrators and touch powerful people.
- the unabated suffering of the poor in spite of bright economic ratings. Growth itself, that is, more products and more money, should not be the sole aim of development but also equity. The huge gap between the rich and the poor remains. There is little inclusive growth!
- Therefore, we denounce the passage of the Reproductive Health Law, the political and financial pressures imposed on lawmakers, and the imperialism exercised by secularistic international organizations in the legislative process.
- We admire and commend the valiant efforts of lay people and lawgivers to prevent the passage of the law.
- We support the efforts of our lay people in challenging the RH Law in the Supreme Court and in other venues within the bounds of our democratic system.
- We support and encourage the participation of the laity in electing competent and morally upright candidates who are faithful to their correct and informed conscience.
- We shall be vigilant and act against moves that will be destructive of family and life.
- Therefore, we denounce the non-prosecution of alleged perpetrators of corruption and strongly call upon the government to pursue allegations and signs of corruption of power holders not only of the past but also of the present, even of friends and party mates.
- We likewise call upon government to give due priority to the passing of the Freedom of Information Bill at the soonest possible time.
- Therefore, we denounce the continued existence of family political dynasties and the continuing delay of passing a law to implement the constitutional provision banning political dynasties.
- Therefore, we call upon COMELEC to adequately address the issues and respond, place corrective measures if necessary, to the studies of technical experts to the alleged deficiencies of the present system and technology of automated elections. There can be no transparency in elections if the COMELEC itself is not transparent.
- Therefore, as Church of the Poor we direct our social action services towards the development of the poor.
- We shall provide moral guidance to the better off in our society to be in active solidarity with the poor.
- for the growing consciousness among many of the lay faithful that they have to take seriously their political duties. We commend and support lay initiatives to form circles of discernment to choose worthy candidates and even to run as candidates in order to bring values of God’s kingdom in the public discourse. We will help the people to know the stance of those who run for office on important issues of the country.
- for the many programs that promote the Natural Family Planning methods. We commit ourselves to promote these programs in our local churches and to teach our people Christian values on family, marriage and the Gospel of Life.
- for efforts among the young to live chastely even in a world that does not value the sacredness of sex. We commend such movements as TRUE LOVE WAITS, LIVE PURE and similar initiatives of education to chastity. Indeed, purity attracts!
- for the courage and steadfastness of many lawgivers to resist political and monetary pressures. For those who have other opinions, we seek to understand them with patience and charity.
- for the effort and bold steps taken by the government in pursuing peace in the country. It is our hope that these peace initiatives will be matched by equally bold steps to bring about justice, for peace is the fruit of justice.
- for the great clamor among the people to do away with political dynasties. If congress is unwilling to act on this we support initiatives by the lay faithful to pass an enabling law against political dynasties through the people’s initiative which the Constitution provides.