Thursday, December 31, 2009

Prelate’s wish: Poor would vote wisely

December 31, 2009 19:35:00
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Original Story:

MANILA, Philippines--Voters, especially the poor, should be wary of candidates’ promises to deliver them from poverty only to forget about them after the election, said the new president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

Tandag Bishop Nereo Odchimar, in a New Year message, urged voters to choose only “reliable leaders” and not be swayed by the usual campaign favors and doles.

“The poor constitute the greater part of our population. They are remembered and courted by politicians during the campaign period. ‘Poverty alleviation, more jobs and upliftment of the masses’ are some familiar refrains chanted by candidates and issues incorporated into their attractive platforms,” he said.

Once elected to office, however, the campaign slogans become mere empty promises as politicians fall back to corrupt practices that perpetuate poverty, Odchimar said.

The CBCP president urged voters to exercise their right of suffrage wisely in the national elections on May 10, 2010.

“We must retain what is good, promote what still needs improvement and discard what is base and corrupt,” he said.

“Admittedly and sadly, a number of us have remained myopic by focusing our attention only on the satisfaction of the moment, swayed by the glitter of money and promises of patronage, and do not raise our eyes beyond election time to the resultant situation created by our indiscretion,” Odchimar said.

“Those who have allowed much worse abetted corruption to thrive in our midst do not have the right to complain,” he said.

He said the Church would continue to support voter education even as he urged citizens to be vigilant and to resist attempts by “ruthless politicians” to frustrate the genuine will of the people.

“An election is an opportunity we cannot afford to miss. Over and above the factors beyond our capacity, with our great faith in God and in ourselves, we can still make our wish for a happy new year a reality,” he said. Dona Pazzibugan

Original Story:

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