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Church’s anti-crook drive seeks end to ‘vote trade’

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MANILA, May 10, 2015—Starting out as a campaign against “systemic thievery,” the Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM)’s “Huwag Kang Magnakaw” has recently included in its mission the task of fighting vote-buying and -selling in the country ahead of the forthcoming 2016 elections, urging every Filipino to stop trading their votes at the expense of their future.

Caritas Manila Executive Director Fr. Anton Pascual (second from left) and Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo (third from left), among others done the "Huwag Kang Magnakaw" shirts. Photo: Huwag Kang Magnakaw Facebook page

Together with Radio Veritas, Adamson University, the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP), the Diocese of Balanga, the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa, and Archdiocese of Iloilo, among many other church organizations, the “Huwag Kang Magnakaw” movement has expanded its thrust in a bid to “enliven and revive the culture of honesty” among Filipinos a year before they cast their votes.

Obedience, respect

In a statement, the campaign led by Fr. Nono Fajardo underscores its desire to challenge incumbent Commission on Elections (Comelec) officials, as well as those seeking elective posts not to use foul means of securing votes, to obey the law, and to respect voters’ rights.

Moreover, it exhorts citizens to practice vigilance in order to ensure a transparent, peaceful, and orderly 2016 presidential elections.

With the concerted efforts of all, the drive hopes to end nationwide corruption, and speed up the “rebirth of honesty in people’s hearts.”

Seed of renewal

Manila Archbishop Luís Antonio G, Cardinal Tagle stated in an earlier report that the advocacy is a continuing journey in uprooting the culture of stealing on all levels of society by planting the “seed of honesty, integrity, and generosity.”

He stressed this will enable Filipinos to reclaim their stolen dignity as a people.

“Let us ask forgiveness for sins committed against the 7th Commandment and ask God to heal our land,” he added.

Corruption at home

Meanwhile, Fajardo, who also chairs RCAM’s Ministry of Public Affairs, told CBCP News that the Philippines has “practically become a country of thieves,” with almost everyone guilty of violating God’s 7th Commandment at some point: from the highest bureaucrat who dip their fingers in the taxpayers’ coffers, down to the grade-schooler who copies his classmate’s homework.

“Corruption is not the monopoly of politicians. Without us being aware of it, we’ve all been guilty of corruption … Children stealing coins from their parents’ pockets, students cheating during exams, etc.,” he noted.

Support

The public may show its support to the campaign by tuning in to the “Huwag Kang Magnanakaw” program aired over Veritas 846 on Fridays from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.

For more updates, visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Huwag-Kang-Magnakaw/940390972644341?fref=ts(Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCPNews)


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