AMRSP Statement for May 13, 2019 Midterm Elections

This Monday, May 13, is the midterm elections of our country. Once again, the Filipino citizens are urged to vote wisely for the next leaders of our land. This 2019 elections, we will vote for the 12 senators for the Philippine Senate, District representatives and partylists for the House of Representatives.\

We are now facing a very critical situation. In the pastoral letter of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines entitled “Seek the Common Good,” we are reminded that “The midterm election on May 13 is in itself already crucial. In our country today the checks and balances in the government are being undermined. So far only the Senate is the institution in the government that is holding out as our country is inching towards total control. It is very crucial therefore that we elect public officials who are principled, courageous and who have the common good as their main concern and not their own political interests.”

A lot is at stake. Our Constitution, the very heart and soul of our country, which guarantees the democratic process in our country is on the verge of being changed to facilitate the shift of our current form of government from bicameral to federal for dubious reasons.

While this election is crucial, it is also “Kairos,” an opportune moment for action. Our votes are our stand. We stand for truth against the prevailing lies and “fake news.” We stand for justice amidst the pervading injustices in our communities. We stand for life in protest to the massive killings that occur almost everyday in the different parts of our country. We stand for democracy and freedom against the seeping dictatorship and control. But most of all, we stand for light amidst the darkness that seeks to envelop our God-given land.

Take courage! Do not stand as onlookers, but let us be involved!

A good Catholic doesn’t meddle in politics.’ That’s not true. That is not a good path. A good Catholic meddles in politics, offering the best of himself, so that those who govern can govern…. None of us can say, ‘I have nothing to do with this, how they govern.’ … No, no, I am responsible for their governance, and I have to do the best so that they govern well, and I have to do my best by participating in politics according to my ability.” (Pope Francis September 16, 2013)

It is comforting to note that the laity has seriously taken the advice of our bishops and formed discernment circles to collectively discern which candidates should be elected to the various positions in the government. Using the gospels and the social teachings of the Church as criteria, they have come up with lists of best candidates for the government posts. One example is the People’s Choice Movement, a group of Catholic, Protestant and Evangelical lay leaders. We can use their materials as aid to our discernment.

Thus, the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines, together with its eight Mission Partners calls on the Filipino people to fulfill their sacred duty to God and to our country. Go out and vote for the leaders that embody the character of a genuine servant-leader and espouse the ideals of the Filipino people. Let our votes be for truth, justice, peace and genuine development for all!

Fr. Cielito Almazan, OFM,
Sr. Regina Kuizon, RGS,