CBCP asks faithful to join prayer campaign for polls

Eva Visperas - The Philippine Star

DAGUPAN CITY, Philippines – The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has asked the faithful to join the rosary prayer campaign less than a month before the May 9 elections.

CBCP president and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas urged Filipinos to pray that every voter may be guided in choosing the country’s next leaders.

“I plead with you to join the Catholic faithful throughout the nation in a rosary prayer campaign until the national elections,” he said.

Villegas called on the people to pray all the mysteries of the rosary (joy, light, sorrow and glory) every day until May 9.  

“Pray while traveling. Pray in the offices or factories. Pray every where for the upcoming elections,” he said.

“By the power of the rosary, we can stop the evil of election violence and cheating, win the battle for peaceful and credible elections and fight stubbornness, cynicism and stupidity in making our choices,” Villegas added.

The archbishop likened the upcoming elections to a battle, with the people using the rosary as a weapon. 

Villegas reminded the Catholic faithful of the importance of prayer for national change. 

“It is God who can enlighten our decisions. It is God who can thwart the plans of evil men and women to destroy social order. It is God who can give us the best leaders for the good of everyone,” he said.

Meanwhile, voters were urged yesterday to choose a leader who is God-fearing and who would uphold traditional Filipino values such as respect for life and the family.

“We should all take an active role in choosing wisely who we want to be our country’s leaders, most specially to choose a president who is pro-life and espouses a culture of life,” Rep. Lito Atienza of party-list group Buhay said.

“We should not vote for a president who has admitted to killing people and who is for anti-life measures like divorce and abortion. No less than Pope Francis exhorts all of us to be part of the election process, saying that ‘responsible citizenship is a virtue, but involvement in political life is a moral obligation’,” Atienza said.

Atienza advised presidential aspirant Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte that he would not be able to solve criminality with extrajudicial killings if he wins the presidency.

“Duterte’s solution of fighting crime with crime and snuffing out lives of poor and defenseless citizens will only aggravate the situation. No society can solve crime with summary executions and even with the death penalty, which only multiplied crimes,” Atienza said.

He said Duterte and other presidential aspirants should not advocate “short-cut solutions” to the country’s problems just to win votes.

Atienza reminded Duterte that Davao City ranked No. 4 in crime in a recent Philippine National Police (PNP) report.

The report showed that Duterte’s city was No. 1 in the most number of rape cases reported to the police.

Atienza is seeking his second term as Buhay representative. – With Jess Diaz

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