Politicians told: Leave legacy of good performance, dev't-A A +A
Sunday, July 1, 2012
CEBU CITY -- Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma assured President Benigno Aquino III of prayers as he begins the third year of his term. He also reminded elected leaders to focus on public service, even in the run-up to the May 2013 election.
He encouraged politicians to “leave a legacy of good performance and development that the people would be grateful for.”
They should “not enrich themselves and take advantage of their position of power,” he said.
Palma, who is also Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president, was reacting to reports about politicians who are confirming or shifting alliances in preparation for the 2013 elections.
“We urge people to take part in politics. Politics is not bad, it is a way of serving the community,” he said.
As to Aquino, Palma said as a church leader it is difficult for him to assess the governance style of the President.
“Daghan aspeto sa iyang performance (There are many aspects of his performance). We grant him that he is doing his best. It is not easy to be up there,” he said.
President Aquino, who surfaced as a candidate for the presidency after his mother’s death in 2009, has not been as openly deferential to the church as his mother Corazon was when she was president. While he has not endorsed the Reproductive Health Bill, for example, neither has he expressed any opposition to it.
Question of sincerity
“He (Aquino) has the assurance of prayer, which is our way of supporting leaders. On reflection, we are given an opportunity to lead and govern (but it is) history that will judge us, how we did our task,” he said.
In reaction to the plan of former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to seek a second term, Palma noted that there are no legal impediments for her.
“(There is) just the question on how sincere is the person as they seek (public) office. In this regard, only God knows,” said Palma.
“If the intent (of the political candidate) is not for the good of the people, ayaw na lang unta (they might as well stay away),” he added.
Under the Constitution ratified during the first President Aquino’s time in 1987, the President cannot seek reelection and must serve only one six-year term. But local officials, like members of the House of Representatives, can serve up to three straight terms of three years each. (BAP of Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 01, 2012.