Cardinal: Beware Politicians With Pricey Campaigns

Filipinos Pray for Peaceful Elections

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MANILA, Philippines, MARCH 15, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The archbishop of Manila is warning against politicians who spend excessively in campaigning to win a government position.

Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales said this in a pastoral statement publicized Saturday, which he signed along with 15 other prelates.

The statement was released in view of the upcoming May 10 elections and was read in most of the parishes of the region on Sunday.

It included an outline of important issues about the candidates and the vote in order to inform the people, the Filipino bishops’ conference reported.

The statement encouraged the people to “choose freely the leaders of the country who shall be accountable to serve them.”

It affirmed that a free election implies “no physical coercion,” and should exclude the use of threats or money “to influence or to buy votes.”

“Excessive campaign expenses in the past did not augur good and responsive governance,” the bishops observed.

They highlighted the issues of corruption and poverty, the two major issues “disabling the country today,” which haunt the country with “destructive mutuality” because “as corruption increases, poverty worsens.”

The prelates urged the people to analyze the worthiness of the candidates based on whether they are “God-fearing, moral, not given to vices, reverent of life and its deserved decency.”

They underlined the importance of concern for the poor and the environment in government leaders.

The statement urged people to pray for a peaceful vote and “a unified people before, during and after the election.”

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