A church official reminded politicians who are planning to file their certificates of candidacy on Friday, October 1, to first examine their motives in running for public office.
“I hope that before filing their certificates of candidacy they ask themselves first if their intention to serve the people comes from the heart,” said Father Jerome Secillano.
The executive secretary of the Committee on Public Affairs of the bishops’ conference told Radio Veritas 846 in an interview that politics should not be used for selfish interests.
“The pope said that [politics] is an instrument to serve others,” said Father Secillano.
The filing of certificates of candidacy for next year’s elections in the Philippines opened this week for 77 national positions, including the presidency, 12 senate seats, and for 63 party-list representatives.
Father Secillano expressed hope that the “One Godly Vote” campaign will provide Filipino voters guidance to elect their leaders.
The priest clarified that the campaign, spearheaded by Radio Veritas 846, is not about endorsing candidates.
“This campaign will not focus on personalities,” he said in a separate media briefing on September 30. “We will not endorse any candidate. That is not the nature of the Catholic Church,” he said.
“Actually, it will dwell more on the issues that affect the country and the Filipinos,” said Father Secillano.
The “One Godly Vote” campaign was launched early in September to educate voters to choose candidates using the framework of Catholic social teachings.
“The evangelization part will emphasize morality and ethics in governance. Legal and secular principles alone are not sufficient in addressing our country’s ills,” said Father Secillano.
He noted that “there is a great deal of leaving morality and ethics out of the public sphere” these days.
“This campaign seeks to reclaim these principles and ultimately make them as one of the standards by which we measure the candidates,” said the priest.
“I hope that the people will have enough choices during the elections,” said the priest during the radio interview.
“I hope that the candidates will be honest and true to their responsibility to serve the people,” he added.
The priest urged the Catholic faithful to pray the rosary for the success of the elections.
He said it is timely that the start of the filing of certificates of candidacy falls on October 1, the first day of the Month of the Holy Rosary in the Philippines.
“Let us ask the Blessed Virgin Mary by praying the Rosary to guide us in choosing the right and good leaders who will serve our country,” said Father Secillano.