BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bacolod will not be endorsing any local/national candidate or party in the May 2022 presidential and vice presidential elections.
Bacolod Bishop Patricio Buzon yesterday said everything is political but when it concerns partisan politics or endorsing a candidate or a party, they cannot participate because the Church is mother of all parties and candidates. If they will endorse or campaign for anyone, this will become divisive.
This (election) will be a life-changing event for all those who will be elected in all offices from the national down to the local, he said during the launching of GuBan Movement yesterday at the Bishop’s House.
GunBan or Gugma Banwa means a group of people who have love for the community and have a common objective of maximizing meaningful youth participation in the May 2022 elections and beyond.
“This (election) will greatly affect our lives, even how this pandemic will be managed by our leaders. How we can be led out of it will depend on the leaders we put there who should be competent, sincere and who will think of the common good and not just their interest,” the prelate said.
Buzon said he is proud of the young people in Negros who are always in the forefront of trying to effect real change in society and in areas where there is really a need to have change.
He recalled that in the past, he was pessimistic about elections since the choice of candidates was only limited to who was the “lesser of evil,” he said.
“But in this election, seeing the list of candidates, we have a choice, a real choice between the good and the bad, between the competent and the incompetent, a very clear choice between the honest and the corrupt,” Buzon said.
There are new breeds of politicians. With the track record and life of some candidates, he is very hopeful that the people will have good choices, he said, referring to national and local candidates.
“So, this is a real election that can work out if it is well exercised by us. I hope the time will come when we will become mature as a country in choosing our leaders,” he added.
Buzon called on the young people to help their fellow youth through education by informing their hearts and minds to see the real truth. The battlefield today is in social media. There is so much lies, deception, which are the works of the devil.
“When you go against the truth you are an agent of the devil. So, we need to help the people to know what is true and then they can make their choice,” he said.
The second reason he is very hopeful is if one is well guided towards the truth and have the capacity to truly elect the deserving candidate, “you can make or unmake this election,” Buzon said.
Young people who are registered voters make up 52 percent or 40 million of the electorate. They have the power in their hands if they put their acts together, he said.
“So, we need to help our young people to think right, to see the truth, and to form the heart to love the truth and to love our country,” he added.
Meanwhile, Buzon said people we should put into office should be true to the truth and be motivated by true love of God, country and our people.
He appealed to all candidates to be fair, just, and honest. He also hopes that there will be an end to vote-buying because it is not doing any good to the country.
There should be no mud-slinging but candidates should only raise issues or present their programs which he believes is an intelligent way of running the elections, Buzon added.*