Church groups urge pols, voters to reflect-A A +A
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
IN preparation for next year’s national and local elections, some Catholic groups have come out to promote among voters the need to discern the ideal characteristics of a political candidate.
Anti-graft and corruption group Dilaab Foundation Inc. and the Couples for Christ (CFC) organized a “new approach” to the election process, by providing candidates and voters “spiritual space” for discernment.
The anti-Reproductive Health (RH) Bill campaign will also be part of the voters’ education and awareness campaign.
The groups jointly organized a recollection attended by eight political candidates and about 50 voters at the Mariner’s Court last Sunday.
The recollection carried the theme “Whoever is not against us is for us: A day of reflections in preparation for elections 2013.”
Fr. Carmelo Diola, Dilaab overall coordinating steward, did not disclose the names of the politicians who attended out of respect for the participants.
“Dilaab respects the space of every participant to discern. In line with this, Dilaab shall keep the names of the participants confidential until such time when they have decided,” he said.
The activity provided “space where candidates can discern their personal truths for entering public office and voters can discern how they can help leaders shape the government they need.”
He added that during the recollection, the participants shared their actual experiences of winning without resorting to vote buying.
“For now, these public servants form a tiny minority. But their experiences, their stories ignite the hope that the myth of vote-buying will eventually be put aside,” he said.
Diola said they are planning two or three similar activities.
He added that all political candidates from all political parties would be given the “Laser” test, or “Lifestyle, Action, Supporters, Election Conduct, Reputationz” questionnaire.
The test was launched in 2010, and one of the first who replied was the late Department of Interior and Local Government secretary Jesse Robredo.
“That’s why we call him the Laser Man,” said Diola.
In a separate interview, Human Life International country director Dr. Rene Bullecer said he supports the discernment process of Dilaab and the CFC.
“Dili ra mi kutob sa pag (We’re not limiting ourselves to just) discern. We have to come out and support candidates who will oppose the RH Bill,” he told reporters yesterday.
“All voters, especially Catholics, have to go with the guidelines of the bishops, to listen intently and discern whom to support. Nag anam og kadaghan ang pro-RH nga congressmen (The pro-RH congressmen are increasing in number),” he added.
Bullecer said pro-life groups would continue their campaign against RH bill supporters, as he voiced hope that even newbies in the congressional race, including Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, would join their cause.
But he frowned on the candidacy of former representative Nerissa Soon-Ruiz, who will be fielded by the One Cebu Party in the sixth district of Cebu.
“We call on people to look at the anti-RH track record of congressional candidates,” said Bullecer.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 02, 2012.