Catholic Church leaders in the Philippines called on Filipinos to make a “moral choice” when they vote in the May 9 national elections.
“If we want our country to rise above challenges, let us vote properly. That is the moral choice,” said Bishop emeritus Antonio Tobias of Novaliches during a media briefing on Wednesday, May 4.
He said a “moral choice” means not voting for candidates who are perceived to be corrupt and those who belong to political dynasties.
At least 1,400 Catholic bishops and clergy have earlier formed a group dubbed “Clergy for the Moral Choice” and endorsed the candidacy of Vice President Leni Robredo and Sen. Francis Pangilinan.
The group called on voters to elect Robredo and Pangilinan as president and vice president, respectively, to show “love of country.”
The Church leaders said Robredo and Pangilinan “are the kind of leaders with vision, foresight and dreams for our motherland.”
They justified their choice of candidates as an outcome of “intense study and scrutiny” of the character, abilities, track record, and platform of governance of those running for office.
“We can no longer stay neutral and apolitical, and just let the future of the country be, in the midst of fake, deceptive, and manipulative claims that aim to revise the history of our country,” read the group’s statement.
Bishop Tobias said the call for a “moral choice” is not only for those who will occupy top government posts, but “goes down the line to the local government.”
Earlier, the religious group Iglesia Ni Cristo endorsed the candidacy of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte for president and vice President, respectively.
Activist priest Robert Reyes, a vocal critic of the government, said the coming elections is “crucial to the survival of democracy and our sovereignty.”
He said it is “crucial to the genuine upliftment of the poor to the life of dignity and humanity …. This election is crucial to the survival of the Filipino soul,” said Father Reyes. – with reports from Marielle Lucenio and CBCP News