A Catholic bishop in the northern Philippines urged Filipinos not to vote for candidates who have no “good manners” in next year’s national elections.
“We have to take the elections seriously and conscientiously,” said Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga. He said the results of next year’s elections “can affect us either with gratitude or regret.”
He said leaders should have “good manners” because “words can be inspiring and encouraging, not abusive, offensive, nor life-threatening.”
“Good manners exhibit actions that are pleasing, helpful, and not self-serving,” he said.
“So, before we cast our votes, know your candidates’ character beforehand. They should be right and excellent examples of good morals,” said the bishop.
“To vote is our right, we have to exercise our right to vote with wisdom and choose the righteous persons,” he said in an interview over Veritas 846 on October 8, last day of the filing of certificates of candidacy for those running for national elective posts.
“Let us consider those candidates who firmly believe, have strong faith, and heartily accept God,” said the bishop.
He said the right candidates are those “who revere the Lord and are afraid to offend Him and make decisions according to His commandments.”
“Anyone who professes his or her belief in God, lives according to His ways and makes Him the center of his or her life,” said Bishop Santos.
He said that “anyone who uses weapons or gives grease payments and bribes, should never be considered for any position of leadership.”
The prelate also warned against those who who take advantage of their government positions “as a means of enriching themselves through privileges, perks, and exemption from rules and regulations.”
So far, more than 40 candidates have registered to run for president in the May election, but the field will narrow significantly in the coming months.
Election season kicked off this month, the candidates flocking to the offices of the elections commission to file their nominations.
The process launched a typically noisy and deadly seven months of campaigning for more than 18,000 positions, with the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn caused by lockdowns expected to dampen the atmosphere.