MANILA, March 15, 2016— What the Philippines needs at this time is a national leader who can heal “wounds of society”, according to a Catholic priest.
“Biking priest” Father Amado Picardal, a known peace advocate, said the next leader should have a track record of not being a divider but of bringing people together to get meaningful things done.
“Can this leader help heal the wounds of the Philippines or can just cause the wounds to deteriorate,” said Picardal, executive secretary of the bishops’ Committee on Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs).
The priest, known for biking around the country bringing the message of peace, made the statement during an election forum organized by Radio Veritas on March 14.
Picardal is particularly hoping candidates have a clear platform on how to end the conflict in Southern Philippines.
He said to be a healer, one should understand the historical context of the Mindanao conflict and learn from both sides.
“There are historical roots for the conflicts that we have to understand. A leader must be able to understand what caused these wounds,” he pointed out.
He added that reconciliation can be made if leaders look into the people’s common grounds, and that as Filipinos, “we are brothers and sisters.”
“Once we do not acknowledge that, it will really be difficult,” explained Picardal.
He also said: “For Christian settlers, it is the land of promise. For Muslims and Lumads, it is their ancestral land. “We have to begin with the common ground. We are all Filipinos!”. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)