Vote conscientiously in polls, lay people told

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MANILA, Feb. 7, 2013—A  non-government organization on Sunday called on Filipinos to be more scrutinizing in choosing  politicians they will vote into public office, saying political leaders in the country hold a vast amount of power capable of influencing Catholic traditions and morals that are now facing grave threats of secularization.

Pro-Life Philippines president Eric Manalang said the nearing 2013 midterm polls and 2016 presidential elections play important roles in preserving spiritual ideals in the country because these are under the coming years in which “we will see a president who will witness 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines.”

“The office of the Philippine president is one of the most powerful presidential offices in the democratic world,” he said. “That power can actually be translated into different political activities.”

‘Railroad master’

Manalang pointed out the chief executive’s power to give all of the necessary “prerogatives” to government officials—from the local levels up to the national posts—as long as they would follow whatever the president prefers.

He noted the trend in Philippine politics in which enemies of the incumbent president get removed from their posts, while allies enjoy security of tenure, if not promotion to a higher office.

“We have a president who is a ‘railroad master.’ Kapag gusto niyang gawin, gagawin niya. Kapag kayo ay humarang, sasagasaan kayo. Pasensya na lang,” Manalang said, quipping that the “matuwid na daan” mantra followed by the present administration seems to refer to a one-way railroad track.

He called on the public to act against the political ills of the country by voting wisely and conscientiously in the nearing polls.

Communication challenge

Manalang said the teachings of the Catholic Church have become distorted with the passage of time, adding that the problem of secularization and modernization has been hounding the conservatism of the Church for quite a number of decades now.

He pointed out that the biggest challenge in this aspect of the advocacy lies in preserving the authentic teachings of the Church and relaying the correct message to the people, especially to the masses who are mainly influenced by the social media.

The presumed lobby fund of Reproductive Health (RH) advocates contribute to the propagation of liberal ideologies among the public, Manalang noted.

“This lobby fund makes it easier for [those in power] to mouth what their principals want. All the lies have been accepted (in this kind of setup),” he explained.

Repeal via lawful means

Despite the looming challenges, Manalang urged Catholics to be more discerning in figuring out the true teachings of the Church from those that promote false propaganda.

“For Catholics who love the Church and who are loyal to their faith, I encourage them to put together an equivalent medium that is able to counter all these lies and misleading discussions,” he said.

He noted the RH law as an example of a measure blindly embraced by the masses.

“That should never be the attitude of the people. We must strive to repeal this legislation in whatever lawful means possible,” Manalang said.

Referring to Philippine politics as a battle of “name and face recall,” Manalang called on those who have the means, to go against anti-life legislation.

“I just pray that as part of the social responsibility of Catholics, we would invest in the different forms of media—particularly in radio and television—so we may put up a good fight against [legislative measures] that oppose the Church’s teachings,” he said.

Foreign imperialism

Manalang said the increasing secularization of Filipino values is a manifestation on how foreign interest greatly manipulates values and resources rightfully possessed by Filipinos.

“There is no doubt that [there are attempts on our country to be] manipulated by foreign interest. Sooner or later, highly developed countries would dominate the Philippines not through geographical means, but more so through taking advantage of our material and non-material resources,” he said.

“I am urging not only the Catholics but Christians, Muslims, and others as well to fight for the traditions we have. At the end of the day, let us fight for our faith, let us fight for our country.” (Jennifer M. Orillaza)

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