Priest to voters: Don’t be blinded by money

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Fr. Arc Ryll Conos Burere of St. Isidore Parish, Merida, Leyte, PPCRV Ormoc Vicariate Priest Coordinator (Archdiocese of Palo), shows off their latest election campaign banner against vote-buying. (Photo: Archdiocese of Palo PPCRV)

TACLOBAN City, May 2, 2016 – With barely a week to go to before elections, a priest encouraged voters to pray more fervently and resist being blinded by money.

Fr. Oscar Lorenzo stressed this point in the face of massive vote-buying during elections inspite of the Commission on Elections’ reminder that the practice is against the Omnibus Election Code.

“This time voters are not anymore terrorized by bullets, but by money,” he exclaimed, saying he has received reports that local candidates will still use this dirty tactic to win votes.

“On the last two nights before the elections, May 7 and 8, as one coordinator had told me, the (leg men) of candidates will be going around to distribute money to the voters in exchange of votes for their candidates,” said the priest.

Breeding lies

According to him, “truth is compromised” when votes are sold or bought, saying it “breeds falsehood.”

He likened this dilemma to the first-ever election in the history of Christianity when on what is now called Good Friday, the people preferred the hardened criminal Barabbas over Jesus Christ to be released from prison.

“For any reason and influenced by the politicians of those days, the people chose Barabbas even though we all know that Jesus truthfully was blameless while Barabbas was a criminal,” he said, alluding to falsehood.

“Our nation needs reconciliation [to heal], but how can we reconcile if we have false election?” added Lorenzo.

Voters’ criteria

He instead reiterated the criteria voters should remember in electing a candidate that is, charism, competence, and character.

The PPCRV also underscored similar criteria in choosing a candidate, namely: 3K – Kakayahan (competence), Karakter (character), and Katapan (honesty).

Lorenzo also said since the eve of election day falls on Ascension Sunday and World Communications Day, there is even more reason for people to pray.

He said Christ, before ascending to heaven called on his disciples to work for reconciliation among men.

According to Lorenzo, untruthful elections brought about by vote-buying will make reconciliation hard to achieve. (Eileen Ballesteros – Nazareno / CBCPNews)

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