As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.” (Luke 19:41-42)
The May 9 polls have left much to be desired.
The Automated Election System (AES) proffered speedy results with uncanny consistency, but these have not generated confidence in a democratic process. Quite the opposite—these have raised both suspicions and a gnawing in the stomach for what is ahead. The wide gap between national contenders is highly suspicious. Our constitution calls for the holding of free, orderly, honest and credible elections. This means secret balloting and transparent counting. The AES system is anything but transparent, especially under weak checks-and-balances in governance.
Before, during and even after the election, the Philippines was and is being drowned by massive disinformation, troll farms, and social-media micromarketing. We were and are an unfortunate example of how those with funds are capable of manipulating the truth. Disinformation maneuvers added to long entrenched political patronage and dynasties, complete with vote-buying, create a formidable foe for genuine democracy.
This being said: As Church leaders, we vow to continue to guard our votes.
The specters of worsening crony capitalism and corruption, rising tyranny and human rights violations, and shrinking democratic space, press freedom, and other civil liberties loom before us. As ruling oligarchs coalesce and join forces, thus heightening prospects for the Philippines to be plunged into another era of darkness and oppression, we stake our claim for truth, justice, and peace.
We stand firmly on the side of democracy and fair play. Our unshakable concern for the rights and welfare of the farmers, workers, fisherfolk, migrants, youth and urban poor impels our advocacy. The future of our people challenges us to greater vigilance.
Applauding the many volunteers who joined in the electoral process, we implore their continued engagement as democracy is under threat. We must speak out. The path before us, though fraught with danger, summons us to continue our watch.
We pray that God’s light will shine upon us and open the eyes of this nation, so that we will choose what makes for peace. We pray for truth to illuminate our hearts and minds, so that we may know and so that truth will us set free.
Bishop Reuel Norman O. Marigza, General Secretary, National Council of Churches in the Philippines
Most Revd. Rhee M. Timbang, Obispo Maximo, Iglesia Filipina Independiente
Most. Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, D.D. Apostolic Vicar of Taytay, Palawan
Bp. Emergencio D. Padillo, Bishop, Middle Luzon Jurisdictional Area, United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP)
Sr. Ma. Lisa Ruedas, DC, Daughters of Charity, Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation
One Faith. One Nation. One Voice.
Ecumenical Bishops’ Forum
Kalipunan ng Kristianong Kabataan sa Pilipinas (KKKP)
Rural Missionaries of the Philippines
Faith and Bayan
Medical Mission Sisters
Missionary Disciples of Jesus
Sisters’ Association in Mindanao (SAMIN)
Rise Up for Life and for Rights
Ecumenical Voice for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines
Promotion of Church People’s Response
Interviews may be facilitated by One Voice at 0928-385-4123 firstname.lastname@example.org FBpage: @OneFaithOneNationOneVoice