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NegOcc bishops call for truth in Constitutional reform

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Three Negros bishops called for truth in Constitutional reform, as they aired their concern over the ongoing signature campaign to amend the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

A joint statement signed by Bacolod Bishop Patricio Buzon, San Carlos Bishop Gerardo Alminaza and Kabankalan Bishop Louie Galbinez stressed the need for transparency of the initiative and condemned the alleged unethical practices in gathering signatures by using social assistance as leverage.

A concerning aspect of this campaign, the bishops said, is the ambiguity surrounding its proponents and the sources of funding. The identity of the people behind this initiative and those funding it remains largely unknown, casting doubts on the authenticity of this being a true people’s initiative.

The Church categorically condemns such practices and calls for integrity in all civic engagements, reminding us that our actions must always reflect the values of truth, justice, and the common good, the bishops further said in the issued statement.

The reports of unethical practices, such as using social assistance as leverage to gather signatures and other manipulative practices, are deeply troubling, the three bishops said.

These acts are not only morally reprehensible but also erode the integrity of our democratic institutions, they stressed.

They also called on civic officials to actively support and guide their constituents in making well informed and thoughtful decisions, by providing accurate information, fostering civic education, and creating opportunities for open dialogue.

By empowering our people with knowledge and encouraging a discerning approach, we can ensure that the decisions made at the community level are informed, inclusive, and beneficial for the common good, the Negros bishops further stressed.

They also called on Negrenses to seek a deeper understanding of the proposals, and not be swayed by mere rhetoric, or the promise of “ayuda”, but strive to engage in meaningful dialogue and informed discernment.*

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