Friday, January 1, 2010

Don’t be swayed by pro-poor propaganda - CBCP

By Dona Pazzibugan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 19:06:00 12/31/2009

Filed Under: Politics, Elections, Eleksyon 2010, Religions

Original Story:

MANILA, Philippines -- Voters, especially the poor, should beware of candidates who have been making promises of getting them out of poverty, only to forget about them after the campaign period, the leader of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines said.

In his New Year's message, Tandag Bishop and CBCP president Nereo Odchimar urged voters to choose only the “reliable leaders” and not to be swayed by the usual campaign favors and dole-outs.

“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 into office, however, the campaign slogans become mere empty promises as the country's leaders fall back to corrupt practices that perpetuates poverty, according to Odchimar.

“If only there is political will, the economic situation of our people would be far better than it was generations back,” Odchimar stressed.

The upcoming 2010 election would be an opportunity for Filipinos “to put into office reliable leaders who would guide our nation in the coming years,” he said.

Echoing the call made by other religious leaders in the past weeks, the new CBCP president urged voters to exercise their right of suffrage wisely in the presidential and 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, as he rued the persistence of patronage politics.

“Admittedly and sadly, a number of us have remained myopic by focusing our attention only to 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 lamented.

“Those who have ... allowed...corruption to thrive in our midst, do not have the right to complain,” he went on.

He reiterated the Catholic Church's support for voters’ education as he urged citizens to be vigilant and to resist attempts by “ruthless politicians” to frustrate the genuine will of the people.

“If we were a part of the problem yesterday, we can also be a part of the solution today. We hold the key to a better tomorrow,” the CBCP president stressed.

“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.

Original Story:

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