Thus, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma is urging the national and local candidates to make the Lenten season an opportunity for them to reflect on their individual political agenda.
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Palma urges candidates to reflect this Lent
May B. Miasco (The Freeman) - March 24, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The political exercises may be different this year as part of the campaign period falls on the Catholics’ observance of Lent.

Thus, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma is urging the national and local candidates to make the Lenten season an opportunity for them to reflect on their individual political agenda.

“(Being in) public service makes them a public servant. The good of the people is the primary good that should be considered,” Palma said in a recent interview.

Amid mudslinging and rivalries, the 69-year-old prelate reminded aspiring politicians to rather promote peaceful engagements in the spirit of the Lenten season.

“Political affairs should be a channel for peace… Now, some hands of candidates are being raised. The question should not be whose hands is being raised by whom but (it should be emphasized that) the hand that votes is the hand that is more powerful,” he said.

Moreover, Palma said the Christian season of Lent is a holy season and should not be used for other “ulterior” motives or selfish reasons.

He discouraged candidates from taking advantage of the religious activities this Lent, especially during the Holy Week.

“We can do good things but not for any selfish or bad reason, more so, the holy season is being used for other ulterior motives. Let’s be fair and trusting to the Lord,” he said.

Lent, which is a solemn religious observance in the Church calendar, refers to the 40-day preparation of Christians leading to the great feast on Easter Sunday. It began last Ash Wednesday (March 6) and will end on Maundy Thursday, which falls on April 18 this year.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) prohibits candidates from campaigning on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, just like in the previous elections.

Candidates for the upcoming May 13 elections are strictly barred from campaigning on these particular days (April 18 and 19) of the Holy Week.

A candidate, who violates the ban, can be charged with an election offense.

Senatorial candidates and party list groups already started campaigning since February 12 while campaign period for candidates for the House of Representatives and other local positions will yet open this March 29. Campaigning for both national and local candidates ends on May 11. —/JMD (FREEMAN)

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