AS THE campaign period for local candidates draws near, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma has reminded the candidates seeking elective posts to refrain from sowing lies that would put down other candidates and parties.

In an interview on Wednesday, March 23, 2022, Palma asked candidates to be truthful and respectful of each other and avoid violence.

“Considering the sanctity of the ballot, and of course, the nobility of the purpose for which they run for office, unta ang atong pamaagi maayo (let’s use good methods), no foul play,” he said ahead of the kickoff of the election campaign for local candidates on Friday, March 25.

“Let’s be truthful. Let’s never employ anything that’s much of half-truth or lies or any way that instead of supposedly promoting values, we in fact put down people and other parties,” he added.

The archbishop also urged the general public, particularly voters, to refrain from selling their votes and instead let their serious reflection, discernment and prayer be the main bases for their choice.

He said the Archdiocese of Cebu is coming out with a pastoral letter that will highlight the main reasons for choosing candidates, including the character, competence and commitment to sincerely serve the people.

The archbishop also noted the issues of sovereignty, citing the war between Russia and Ukraine as an example of how people should consider the candidates in terms of how much they care for the country.

Palma also advised voters to consider how the candidates look at poverty and what they have shown in the past to show their concern for the poor.

He further said how the candidates look at problems about work and employment, education, housing, family life, and values of children, should also be considered as well as their projects in relation to these matters.

Palma urged voters not to be carried away by whatever they hear and see, saying election surveys are not the best way to decide on one’s vote.

He also noted the importance of debates, citing this as one of the best ways of learning about the programs of the candidates.

He said he had been inspired by the debates where candidates made known their stance on various issues.

For the sake of transparency, truth and knowing the candidates better, Palma said on a personal note, that debates, presentations and interviews are encouraged.