CBCP issues pastoral letter on 2022 polls

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said taking advantage of the poverty and vulnerability of people in order to acquire votes or advance one's selfish gain is a serious offense against God.


The CBCP said this in a Pastoral Letter on the 2022 Election released late Saturday, March 26.

CBCP President Kalookan Bishop Pablo David then reminded voters why each vote is important.

"Each vote is important, so important that it is sought, bought or even stolen. Our vote is our voice and decision," he said.

"When we sell our vote, we lose our voice and our decision. It is like giving up our freedom and our future," added David.

In their pastoral letter, the bishops also the qualities that voters should look for in a candidate.

"Let us seek those candidates who prioritize life and dignity of the human oerson; protect the family, community, and encourage participation; defend rights and fulfill responsibilities; demonstrate preferential option for the poor and vulnerable; uphold the dignity of work and the rights of workers; work for solidarity; and care for God's creation," David said.

"Let us identify the candidates who put the welfare of the nation above their personal interests. We can employ the 'LASER test' on the candidates. LASER stands for Lifestyle, Action, Supporters, E.lection conduct and Reputation of a candidate," he added.

David appealed to voters to uphold and not compromise their moral principles in the task of political engagement and nation building.

"Let us follow our conscience, striving to maintain an informed and correct conscience," he said.

"While there may be a lot hindrances and challenges in ensuring the welfare of our country, may we not allow ourselves to be overcome by any fear or threat. May we not be paralyzed by evil nor by our own failures, Upholding the good is a fight against evil. Let us not give up the search for truth and our concern for the common good," added David.

The prelate also asked everyone should also be on guard against the suspicious and the dubious.

"Let us be vigilant and call out those who use violence, money and power, or other forms of cheating; those who spread lies and hatred; those who manipulate people for their own personal interest; and those who take advantage of the weak and the vulnerable," said David.

"Let us demand accountability and transparency from the candidates, our leaders and ourselves. We all want a fair election," he added.

Lastly, David asked everyone to pray for a "credible, peaceful and successful election for our common good."