“Even before the election campaign began, the 2004 elections were poisoned by an atmosphere of confusion, cynicism and lack of credibility,” says a note published Monday by the Catholic bishops’ conference following their three-day plenary assembly.
“The electoral process is more than ever before dominated by favoritism, corruption, personalities, and not by principles, party platforms, and the genuine participation of the people,” the note states.
Archbishop Fernando Capalla of Davao, president of the episcopate, told the Inquirer newspaper: “There are threats to democratic life, but the best way to protect freedom is a vigilant and well-formed citizenry. Otherwise, there would be recourse to violence, coup d’etat attempts and anarchy.”
National and presidential elections in the Philippines are scheduled for May.
The bishops urged citizens to participate in the elections as an exercise of social responsibility and to remain vigilant during the campaigning.