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Catholic vote can influence midterm polls, says election lawyer

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MANILA, April 23, 2013—Amid the dissenting opinion of various groups that the Catholic vote does not exist, an election lawyer on Saturday said the unified vote of the Catholic electorate may greatly influence the turnout of the upcoming midterm polls.

In his talk at the Katolikong Pinoy recollection held at the San Carlos Seminary Lay Formation Center Chapel, Atty. Romulo Macalintal said unity among Catholic voters can change the traditional and personality politics ruling the country.

Ang mga kandidatong hindi marunong sumunod sa pinag-uutos ng Diyos ay dapat nating iwasan sapagkat sila ang sisira sa moralidad ng kabataan,” Macalintal said. “Panahon na upang maipadama natin sa lahat na mayroong Catholic vote na ang ibig sabihin ay karamihan sa ating mga Katoliko ay nagkakasundo sa mga panuntunan ng simbahan kung sino ang dapat nating iboto.

The lawyer added that Catholic lay parishioners must actively campaign the stand of the Church on social issues that threaten the moral uprightness of the people.

Dapat nating ipadama ang suporta natin sa ating Simbahan upang lalo nating mapagtibay sa lahat na ang Catholic vote ay buhay na buhay lalung-lalo na ngayong ang mga issues na ipinaglalaban ng Simbahan ay pilit winawasak o winasak na ng mga pulitiko,” he pointed out.

“Panahon na upang tayo ay magkaisa at madama ng lahat na ang Catholic vote ay mayroong paninidigan,” he said, noting that this can be achieved as Catholics comprise majority of the country’s population.

Voting conscientiously

He called on people to scrutinize the character and campaign platform of running politicians so they may not be easily swayed by the latter’s campaign rhetoric.

Marapat lamang na pag-aralan natin mabuti ang mga katangian ng mga kandidatong lumalapit sa atin. Hindi sariling kabutihan ang dapat pairalin sa ating pagpili ng iboboto kundi dapat lamang na ang mga ihahalal natin ay iyong mga taong tunay na may damdamin para sa bayan at sa mga kababayan,” Macalintal said.

He criticized the promises uttered by candidates during campaign sorties, saying that most of what they say are nothing but empty and hollow messages that leave false promises to people.

Yung tuition na halos ipinangangalandakan ng mga pulitiko ay pera din po natin. Hindi naman nila pera yan para sabihin nilang ‘bibigyan ko kayo ng scholarship.’ Ang dapat sinasabi nila ay, ‘ibabalik ko po sa inyo kung ano ang ibinigay ninyo sa amin’,” he said.

SWS survey not accurate

The election lawyer also chided the recent Social Weather Stations survey results that showed one out of 11 Filipino Catholics consider leaving the Church. It also allegedly revealed that Catholics are gradually becoming less devout and less active in attending church services.

Hindi ako makapaniwala sa resulta ng survey. Hindi ko alam kung sino ang nagpa-survey, ngunit para sa akin, nariyan parin ang mga Pilipino na patuloy sa pagsisimba,” he said, adding that parishes draw the most number of church goers every Sunday.

Pointing out the inaccuracies of the survey, Macalintal said the survey should have asked the respondents a more specific question.

Siguro ay mali din na ang naging tanong lamang ay kung ikaw ba ay nagsisimba pa. Dapat ito ay naging mas specific—ikaw ba ay nagsisimba pa kapag Linggo? Dapat ganoon  dahil bilang Katoliko, ang itinuro sa ating obligasyon ay magsimba tuwing Linggo,” he said.

Separating Church from the State

Responding to criticism that the Church has been intervening too much in state affairs, Macalintal said this was simply a normal reaction for people who could not accept the fact that contraception, same-sex “marriage”, pre-marital sex, and abortion are unacceptable to the teachings of the Church.

Maraming mga tao ngayon ang tutol sa pagpapalaganap ng Simbahan sa kanyang posisyon. Iyong iba ay nagagalit sa pagtutol na ito at sinasabing masyado daw ang pakikialam ng Simbahan, na sobra ang kautusan ng Simbahan. Sa madaling salita, hindi nila matanggap na ang mga nais nilang gawin ay hindi katanggap-tanggap sa mata ng Diyos,” he explained.

He added that this is the truth every individual is bound to face, especially in a world where threats of secularization are looming.

Hindi natin maaaring talikdan ang katotohanang ito dahil anuman ang ating mga balakid sa buhay, nasa atin ang Panginoon. Ang pag-asa ng lahat ay kaya nating balikatin hangga’t nariyan ang Panginoon na ating patnubay,” he said. (Jennifer M. Orillaza)


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