FR. Carmelo Diola of Dilaab Foundation expressed concern that reliance on surveys has kept voters from going through the decision process based on their search for truth.

Diola, who also chaired the solidarity of communion committee of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC), said that some voters will also wait for names to be endorsed by their religious leaders.

Diola said that voters should decide based on their conscience and not to choose out of fear or desolation.

Diola said that the clamor for a “political Messiah” who will solve all problems also cuts corners.

Diola, who is advocating for clean and honest elections, said that good and effective leaders and active citizenship should go together.

Diola said that the clamor for change is understandable.

He said that when Edsa 1 happened 30 years ago, there was a heightened expectation for real socio-economic and political changes.

“Has this been achieved? Not as far as those who want rupture is concerned,” Diola said.

He said that when Adam and Eve chose to eat the forbidden fruit, they did so thinking that the fruit and their action were good.

“Nobody chooses evil for the sake of evil. We choose evil always under the guise of good. This is the gist of Jesus’ temptations: each option seems good but the discerning Jesus revealed them for what they really were and he acted according to God’s wisdom and plan,” said Diola.

Diola said candidates at the local and national levels present themselves as good for the public.

“How do we discern the real thing?” Diola asked.

Diola said that shortcuts often hinder one’s discernment of the true good. He cited vote-buying that takes advantage of the poverty of majority of voters.

“Doesn’t this take advantage of utang-na-loob mentality that distorts our capacity to judge correctly?” Diola asked.

Diola said it will be the individual consciences that will have the last say and this should be respected and protected.

Quoting Archbishop Antonio Villegas, Diola said “not voting for a particular position, when no one is fitted for it is a valid Christian political choice. Voting for lesser evil is still voting for evil.” “Adam and Eve did not have to eat the fruit.”