Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan has called on the lay faithful to be active in their engagement in politics, especially with the aim of transforming society in next year’s national elections.
“Politics is part of our faith,” said Bishop David, incoming president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.
“I am glad that we now openly encourage political involvement,” the prelate said during a laity forum in his diocese on the issue of “social transformation through civil and political involvement.”
The activity was part of this year’s observance of National Laity Week.
“It is wrong that we avoid political issues … to care for our country is part of our social life,” said the bishop.
“We should never equate politics with bad politics,” he said, adding that this kind of attitude will only result in the deterioration of politics in the country.
Bishop David said everyone should reflect on the importance of every vote. “A vote is a pledge, and a pledge for a Filipino is a devotion, and devotion means love,” he said.
He warned, however, that not all pledges are right because there are also “wrong pledges” and there are those who “pledge to the camp of Satan.”
Meanwhile, the head of the organization of Catholic laity in the Diocese of Kalookan stressed the important role of the faithful in political engagement.
“We are the so-called sleeping giant who when awakened can create something great and do something big for the common good both for the Church and for the country,” said lawyer Aurora Santiago, president of the Council of the Laity in the Diocese of Kalookan.
“We must be informed to answer the needs of the time, we must inform others the value of exercising their right of suffrage, their right to vote, we must convince them how to vote intelligently,” she said during the same gathering.
“We the Laity must actively participate in this endeavor, it is about time for the sleeping giant to wake up, stretch and act, we are all in this together for God and for our country,” she added.
The Philippines’ Commission on Elections has announced that the filing of certificates of candidacy for next year’s national elections will start on October 1 until the eight of the month.
The poll body has also set the campaign period for candidates for president, vice president, senators and party-list representatives from Feb. 8 to May 7, 2022.
The campaign period for candidates for congressmen and elective local officials is from March 25 to May 7, 2022.