June 10, 2015, 12:18 p.m. – LESS than a year before the
2016 national elections, the head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the
Philippines (CBCP) warned voters against “spin doctors,” political dynasties,
and “inexperienced” candidates.

CBCP President and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates
Villegas reminded voters that the right to suffrage was not merely a political
right, but a moral obligation. He urged them to vote for the “right reasons.”

“Vote, not because you have been paid, or promised bounty,
not because you or your relatives have been promised employment or privilege,
but because you trust a person to lead the community and to lead the country,”
he said in a June 5 pastoral letter.

Villegas said voters should turn down the “notoriously
corrupt” politicians. But he also cautioned them against political rivals
smearing one another without “incontrovertible evidence.”

“Reject the notoriously corrupt, but neither should one
readily jump on the bandwagon of condemnation in the absence of
incontrovertible evidence for one’s reputation (…) can so easily be tarnished
by the truly evil work of ‘spin-doctors’ in the payroll of one or the other
political aspirant,” he said.

Villegas also asked voters to reject political dynasties.

“When it is clear that one politician clings to public
office, seeking election to some other position after he has run the length of
the permissible number of terms in one elective office, the Christian voter
should prudently choose others who may have equal if not superior abilities and
competencies for the position,” he said. K. J. V. Baylon and L. M. P. Vicencio

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Heed bishops; vote wisely; junk ‘Bongbong’

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