On May 10, some 50 million Filipinos will troop to polling places nationwide elect a new set of leaders. The 2010 elections will, for the first time, feature “automated” counting of ballots, yielding results in days, if not hours. While the 76,000 or so counting machines promise to make the chaotic electoral process a lot easier to navigate, the task of choosing the right candidates remains a formidable one.

Many candidates promise change, but in reality, some of them really come from the same mould as the officials they want to replace. Others vow to work wonders in ridding the government of corruption and ineptitude, clutching only at good intentions. Some don’t even have track records to speak of. Those who do have the experience are more experienced at wheeling and dealing and crafting shady deals. They insult our collective intelligence.

In critical periods of history, Filipinos have turned to the Church for guidance. This is the bishops’ admonition to the faithful: “Listening to one’s conscience is the starting point for infusing Christian morality and spirituality into the electoral process. Let circles of discernment multiply and continue to be guided and strengthened by the Church’s spiritual resources and ethical teachings, and let them share the fruits of their discernment. Let us not believe everything that we hear especially those that feed on our fears.”

As the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life said late last year, the 2010 polls pose challenges that are “not only political but also clearly and profoundly moral.” Indeed, “We are a nation that values family and life and yet for years our elected leaders have been attempting to make laws that pose a grave threat to these values.”

The Varsitarian would like to take it one step further. Thomasians, and the rest of the nation, should elect candidates that manifest these core values through a clear “pro-life” platform and opposition to “reproductive health” legislation being pushed by secular forces carrying an insidious agenda.

We dare say that to be pro-life is to espouse good governance. Rather than take the shortcut and simply cut the progeny of the poor by spending taxpayers’ money on contraceptives, the pro-life candidate sees the population as a potent economic resource that can be harnessed to propel the country toward prosperity. The pro-life candidate respects the dignity of the person and would increase spending on education, health, and other social services, rather than tell the poor to stop procreating because the government has no money for them. The government has a trillion-peso budget annually, and the pro-life candidate will spend it on the people rather than waste it on graft-laden projects. Rather than satisfy the country’s foreign creditors and succumb to their neoliberal agenda of more debt and more taxes, the pro-life candidate takes it to heart that the people, the poor especially, are the priority.

The pro-life candidate values the family, recognizing that society’s basic unit must be strengthened by creating opportunities that unite them rather than divide them. Filipinos should be able to find decent work here and stay with their families rather than abroad; parents should be able to educate their children on morality and sexuality more than anyone else; husbands and wives should be able to practice responsible parenthood without being dictated upon by the State with its preferred method.

The pro-life candidate respects religious sensibilities, rather than work to destroy institutions cherished by the people of faith. To respect religion is to recognize that society is better off with an unchanging set of beliefs, ethical practices, and a high moral order. Therefore the pro-life candidate will not pander to the noisy mob and corrupt lobbyists, or practice nepotism or establish a dynasty. The pro-life candidate won’t take bribes and expensive junkets from interest groups, and won’t steal from the nation’s coffers.

Many are called, but few are chosen. We can’t probe the candidate’s minds to establish their intentions, but we can start by examining their track records. In the past, did they oppose insistent legislative proposals imposing the reproductive health (RH) ideology? Are they role models of family life and morality? Are they God-fearing and responsible citizens? Do they practice what they preach?

We can name a few, and on top of our list are senatorial candidates like Jo Imbong and the rest of the Ang Kapatiran Party slate. See http://www.angkapatiranparty.com. There are others, like Alex Lacson, and Gwen Pimentel. This link, http://plcpd.org.ph/AboutUs.aspx, meanwhile shows the list of lawmakers that have embraced the RH agenda.

In the partylist system that has been corrupted by politicians and rent-seekers that are neither under-represented or marginalized, there are a few that are pro-life and pro-Church such as ABA or Alyansang Bayanihan ng mga Magsasaka, Manggagawang-Bukid at Mangingisda. ABA and similar groups pursue what Benedict XVI describes as the “greatest service to development” – Christian humanism that “enkindles charity and takes its lead from truth.”

Politics is not religion, so it’s hard to make a leap of faith holding on to mere promises. These candidates have the track record, competence, and the right intentions. As the CBCP has rightly said: “Voters: Let us choose the way of God during elections by choosing good and rejecting evil, even the lesser evil.”


  1. The Correct Choices of Pinoys:
    For President: 1. Noynoy, 2. Erap
    For VP: 1. Binay
    For Senators: 1. Bong Revilla, 2. Jinggoy Estrada


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