By Leslie Ann Aquino
A Catholic prelate has asked voters to elect independent-minded people to the Senate in the May 13 midterm polls.
In a statement, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said it was only by electing independent-minded people in the Senate that the country will preserve democracy.
“This coming election is crucial. If we are able to elect independent-minded people, who are courageous and truthful in serving the country, we have a fair chance of preserving democracy in the land,” he said.
“If not, then we fall into de facto control of the President who is bent on exercising power without any control and who is very sensitive to criticisms,” added Pabillo.
The head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on the Laity lamented how the Lower House of Congress was subservient to the President and the Supreme Court was also under the control of the President.
The Ombudsman and the Comelec Chairman, Pabillo noted were also appointees of the present President.
He said the military and the police were being wowed by increased salaries and political appointments of retired generals in civilian positions; business threatened by the controls of the bureaucracy; press freedom likewise threatened by spurious allegations and false news.
Even the church and civil societies, Pabillo said are fair game for vicious jokes and outright threats.
He said this was why it will be important for the people to vote for candidates who can assure an independent Senate.
“We need strong opposition to preserve our democratic space. We need a strong Senate who can prevent the onrush of totalitarianism. Let us vote for an independent Senate!” added the prelate. #MatalinongBoto2019