MANILA, Feb. 17, 2013– The crusade against the proliferation of anti-life measures is far from being over, especially now that the midterm elections are fast approaching.
Catholic lay organizations on Saturday called on Filipinos to vote according to morals, saying the next set of political leaders may greatly influence the moral stability of the Philippines as a predominantly Catholic nation.
Dr. Ricardo Boncan, spokesperson of Catholic Vote Philippines (CVP) and secretary of Defensores Fidei Foundation, said Filipinos must vote for politicians with “uncompromising moral principles” derived from the divine law.
Boncan, one of two speakers at a forum dubbed “Advocating Catholics to vote as Catholics: Voting in defense of life, marriage and family” held in Greenhills, San Juan, noted that the corruption of morals is the worst that could ever happen to a nation as it turns people to the crooked path of sinfulness.
“Corruption at its highest level is not the corruption of money. Yes, graft and corruption, malversation of funds, and stealing—masama lahat ‘yan. But the greatest of all is moral corruption. If you can corrupt a person and distort his end, anything is doable. Stealing becomes nothing,” Boncan said.
“You are free to choose [the candidates you will vote] and the best gauge is what they uphold as their moral principle. If they can give you moral principle, they can give you anything. If moral principle can be bought, it is easy to buy everything else,” he added
He urged Filipinos to look after the integrity of public officials, stressing that those who will win in the polls will be more involved in enacting laws that may not contribute to the common good of the society.
Money-dangling in Congress
Boncan said that prior to the present administration’s swift passage of the Reproductive Health (RH) law, the Church and life advocates were confident that it would not get the needed support from lawmakers since many opposed its anti-life provisions.
However, what happened in reality was the opposite as the bill gained the needed support for it to be successfully passed late last year.
“In 2011, we knew they were not going to pass this bill. That is how many lawmakers are opposed to it, but unfortunately they figured out how to get the lawmakers, which is through dangling money,” he said.
Boncan also noted the high pervasiveness of moral corruption in the country, adding that voting according to Catholic virtues is an attempt to “reclaim the moral landscape of the society.”
He bemoaned the plurality of morals practiced by many lawmakers, especially when they take morality as a personalistic concept that is subjected under one’s freedom to choose.
“Morality is absolute. It is either something you ought to do or something you ought not to do,” Boncan pointed out, explaining morality as a concept with predefined standards not meant to be subjected to man’s conditional beliefs.
Church’s right and duty to provide moral judgment
He called out the population control aspect of the RH bill and said that it is not the solution for the high poverty incidence in the country.
“Why are they always fighting about the issue of promoting contraception use among the poor? Why don’t they educate them, give them jobs, or put them to vocational trainings?” he said.
Boncan also answered criticism repeatedly thrown against the Church, specifically that which asserted that it must not meddle with the current political affairs of the State.
“The Church has the right and duty to provide moral judgment to the temporal man whenever it is required by faith. It is our duty. You cannot tell us to keep quiet or to mind our own business because we oversee the greater good and end of man,” he said.
He said that despite being misjudged as intruders to the political life, the Church strives to make the lives of lay Catholics—especially those running for public office—morally coherent.
“You could not claim [to be] a Catholic and act opposite to its morals. There can never be two parallel [kinds of] existence of the spiritual and secular life,” he said.
Boncan urged the public to go back to prayer and fight the predominance of moral corruption hounding the country.
“We need to do a lot of prayer and soul-searching. This culture of decadence is exactly what’s destroying our conscience,” he said. (Jennifer M. Orillaza)