Sunday, February 21, 2016

CBCP Voters Guide -- for the 2016 Elections

 http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-VGpU-RMbhmc/Um3Hqxt56AI/AAAAAAAAItM/Guz3JULUhxk/s1600/votewisely.png
In sum:
1.      Vote for those who come to serve and not to be served, like Christ.
2.      There are no perfect candidates:  there is a difference between one who has done wrong, and is willing to amend and one who is stubborn.
3.      Choice should not depend on surveys.
4.      Do not vote for one who (1) is in favor of banning religion in public life, and (2) has initiatives  "diametrically opposed to Church moral teachings on such vital issues as abortion, euthanasia, the return of the death penalty, divorce and the dilution of the character of Christian marriage.”
5.      You may be open to vote for a good leader who is non-Catholic.
6.      Be suspicious of one who only spends time destroying a rival, but has nothing good to offer.

WISE AS SERPENTS, INNOCENT AS DOVES
(Mt.10:16)
A Guide to Catholic Voters
As the rhetoric and the noise traditionally associated with Philippine politics and elections reach higher levels of intensity, we wish to offer some guidelines to our Catholic voters deriving from the moral teachings of the Church.
1.      Reject claims by candidates that they are candidates of the CBCP, or of a diocese, or of a particular bishop.  It has never been the practice of the Catholic Church to hold out a candidate to the faithful as the “chosen” candidate of the Church.  Church doctrine has remained consistent: Partisanship is an arena into which the Church should not venture.
2.      We your bishops commit to desist from any action or statement that may give the appearance of persuading the faithful to vote for a particular candidate.  While bishops, as citizens of the Republic, have the right to make their own choices, our office in the Church as well as our stature, of which we are all unworthy, urge upon us that circumspection that should prevent misunderstanding and confusion among our flock.
3.      The desired qualities of leaders as well as the political options open to the people are proper subjects of the collective discernment of the members of our lay Catholic communities and associations, as long as these take place in the context of prayer, a careful reading of the Scriptures in the light of the Church’s teaching, a sense of fairness and concern for the common good.
4.      The Catholic voter must evaluate candidates according to the model of Christ, who came to serve, not to be served.  They must look for the realization of Gospel values in the lives, words and deeds of those desirous of public office, realizing that there are no perfect candidates. There is a crucial difference between one who has been wrong in the past and is willing to amend his ways, and one who exhibits stubbornness and obstinacy.
5.      Surveys and polls show trends, and they are as limited as the methodology that is used to conduct them. The Catholic therefore cannot make his or her choice depend on who is topping or trailing in the polls and surveys.  There is a vocation to authenticity: the Spirit-inspired courage and determination to make decisions for ourselves, setting ourselves free from “trends” and “herds”, to do what is right and to choose who is right!
6.      A Catholic cannot support a candidate who vows to wipe out religion from public life.  While we expect every public officer to give life to the constitutional posture of “benevolent neutrality” in respect to the attitude of the State towards religion, the Catholic voter cannot and should not lend his support to any candidate whose ideology binds him or her to make of the Philippines a secular state that has no tolerance for religion in its public life.
7.      Similarly, a Catholic voter cannot, in good conscience, support a candidate whose legislative or executive programs include initiatives diametrically opposed to Church moral teachings on such vital issues as abortion, euthanasia, the return of the death penalty, divorce and the dilution of the character of Christian marriage.
8.      A Catholic is not closed to the candidacy of a non-Catholic.  In fact, there are worthy candidates from other Christian communities and other religions.  Their qualifications and aspirations must be given serious heed by our Catholic voters, their truly helpful plans and visions must be supported.
9.      A candidate who has thus far spent his time demolishing the reputation and tarnishing the good name of fellow candidates must be suspect.  He may have nothing positive to offer, and he debases the level of political discourse by calling attention to the shortcomings of his rivals and competitors, rather than on the programs and projects he or she might have.
10.     We warn against the use of government resources, the power of government offices and instrumentalities and subtler forms of coercion and intimidation to promote the chances of a particular candidate.  It is God’s will to provide his people with shepherds after His merciful heart!
Finally, we appeal to COMELEC to insure that all the security measures mandated by the Automated Election Law be implemented diligently. The credibility of the elections and the stability of our democracy is at risk if the security and sanctity of the every ballot is compromised.
As Christians we will align ourselves not with powers like Herod who trembled at the news that the King had been born.  We shall, like the wise men, choose a different route, guided by intimations of the Gospel, and so do our part, in response to God’s initiative, to make all things new!

See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.(Matthew 10:16)

From the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, December 30, 2015
+ SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS
Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan
President, CBCP

---

Please see also my article on Presidentiables on RH, Divorce and Same-Sex Unions.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Presidentiables on RH, Divorce and Same-Sex Unions



SUMMARY



RH
Divorce
Same-sex union
Binay
Nothing wrong with condoms.
Against abortifacients (Firmly)
No statement
Against
Poe
For (Strongly)
Against
For
Duterte
For (Strongly)
Against
For
Roxas
For (Strongly)
Against
Against
Defensor
For (Strongly)
For
Against

Many analysts have tended to disregard the socio-moral stand of Presidentiables. I find this disregard as a sign that we are putting more importance on economic development than the core moral development of our people.

Economic development is indeed a crucial aspect of a plan for the nation. But is a nation only as good as the amount of money it has? Didn't we learn from school and from our parents that what matters most in life is to be a good person, and it is being a good person that helps us to be successful?

It should be clear that we are not choosing saints, and that the moral issues are not the only issues. An election is a choice of who has the character and competence to bring out the best of our country. In all aspects. But we only bring out the best if there is order in what we bring out. A disordered prioritization leads to a disordered country.

As I wrote in 2014 as regards a Pro-Morality Vote, it is imperative to regain the "absolute primacy of the objective moral order" over all the other spheres, political, economic, cultural, etc. In fact the moral order "by itself surpasses and fittingly coordinates all other spheres of human affairs." In plain language, it means that a family should give the highest priority to ensuring that their children go to heaven; everything else is secondary, a support for this one goal. 

This survey does not cover all the socio-moral aspects. But policies on marriage, family and sexuality are at the very foundation of a nation: the future of humanity passes through the family. A national leader who supports RH will bring about greater permissiveness, more AIDS, and will destroy the family, as science has shown. He who supports divorce will make a big percentage of women fall into poverty, and harm children.  Same-sex "marriage"is not only insensitive to the need of children for their own father and mother. It empties true marriage of its procreative and complementary meaning, and leads to its decline.

Correct policy in these areas, a recognition of the dignity of the person and of the family, is a foundation for good leadership.

A leader's stand on moral issues is not the only criterion. But it is such a fundamental criterion that to ignore it is simply irresponsible.


QUOTES FROM MEDIA OUTLETS ON THEIR STAND

BINAY

RH
Nothing wrong with using condoms because there is no abortion, just prevention. Abortifacient pills should not be allowed. My position is consistent, as long as there is life, even for one second, that’s abortion already. (Spot.ph)

Divorce
Vice President Jejomar Binay, for his part, has remained silent on divorce. In an inquiry to his media office, VP Binay’s spokesperson confirmed that the vice-president does not have an official statement on divorce. A review of his public stands in the past seems to confirm that he has not said anything on the matter. (Philstar)

Same-sex Union
In an interview with News5 on Tuesday after Pacquiao’s “masahol pa sa hayop (worse than animals)” remark, Vice President Jejomar Binay said, “On my part, I will abide by and follow the position of the Catholic Church on the matter.” (Interaksyon)

POE

RH
“[The RH law] is a good progress in our struggle to address the high prevalence of maternal deaths in the country. I believe, however, that the RH law can still be strengthened by introducing new provisions that would allow Filipino couples to receive financial assistance in their efforts to conceive a child. The concept of ‘reproductive health’ should also include couples who are having difficulties conceiving a child naturally.” (Freethinkers)

In principle, however, Poe believes that condoms, pills and injectibles are not abortifacient. She believes in the woman’s right to choose, and a support system that builds on the family unit. She believes in day care centers for women, and the proper enforcement of detention centers for children in conflict with the law. (Rappler)

Divorce
Not in favor of divorce  (Youtube)

Same-sex unions
When asked for her stand on the issue in September 2015, Senator Grace Poe told InterAksyon.com in an e-mail, “I support the right of two consenting adults to contract civil marriage, regardless of their sex. All persons are guaranteed equality in their rights. Human rights accrue to them from birth. Our Constitution mandates the State to guarantee full respect for human rights. Our laws cannot discriminate against persons because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.” (Interaksyon)

ROXAS

RH
The vote drew cheers from Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, whom President Aquino earlier tapped to talk to congressmen regarding the bill. "History in the making! Freedom of Choice!" Roxas said on Twitter. (ABSCBN)

Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II’ presidential ambition in 2016 could be affected by his active role in pushing for the reproductive health (RH) bill, a Catholic bishop said Tuesday. Bishop Gabriel Reyes, chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, said Roxas was one of the administration officials who went to the House of Representatives to ensure that the RH bill was passed. (Inquirer)

Divorce
Administration presidential candidate Manuel “Mar” Roxas II said on Sunday that he was not in favor of legalizing divorce and same-sex marriage. “Hindi, hindi ako payag... I’m one of the 40 percent na hindi payag,” “Para sa akin ang pamilya ang sentro ng buhay ng bawat tao ,'di ba? So dapat gawin nating lahat na manatiling matatag ang pamilya, paniwala ko rin na ang katatagan ng ating bansa,” Roxas said. (GMANews)

Same-sex union
And neither was Roxas in favor of same-sex marriage as a public policy. “Bilang public policy para sa akin ay hindi ako pabor dito. Subalit... may mga kamag-anak ako na close na close na have partners and nirerespeto ko sila, minamahal ko sila, tinatanggap ko sila, bukas-puso, bukas-loob kong ang aking pagtrato sa kanila,” the Liberal Party bet added. (Interaksyon)

DUTERTE

RH
A vocal reproductive health advocate, Duterte has gained the approval of women and reproductive health organizations who have asserted that he is the ideal presidential candidate who can represent gender sentivity issues in the country. (Inquirer)

Divorce and Same-sex union
The move to legalize same-sex marriage could soon see the light of the day if Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte becomes president, though he stuanchly opposes making divorce legal. Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has been consistent in his stand on same-sex marriage.

In July 2015, during a guesting at “Gandang Gabi Vice”, he said when asked for his view on the issue, “It’s good. Everyone deserves to be happy.” In May 2012, he was quoted in a News5 report as saying, “Being married and marrying the person that you love is a matter of choice. Gays are supposed to have the equal rights and freedom as heterosexuals, including the freedom to marry and build a family.” (Interaksyon)

DEFENSOR

RH
Sen Miriam Defensor Santiago bid 2012 goodbye by hailing the Reproductive Health (RH) law as the peak of her year. “The RH law is the highlight of my year as a senator and as a woman. I thank all those who made this possible,” Santiago posted on her Twitter account @senmiriam on Monday, December 31.  (Rappler)

Divorce
After the powerhouse wedding anniversary rites at the Manila Cathedral last Sunday night, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago has expressed her support for the divorce and Reproductive Health (RH) bills, two controversial measures that might bring her at odds with the Catholic Church. Santiago said divorce should be made available to couples who can no longer stand the sight of each other.

I think that divorce should be availed by people who become homicidal at the sight of each other. That is much better than making each other miserable for the rest of their lives, and impacting the lives of their children as well,” Santiago told reporters at the dinner reception of her 40th wedding anniversary celebration at the Manila Hotel. (Philstar)

Same-sex union
In her explanatory note for Senate Bill No. 1282, “An Act Amending the Family Code, Article 26 on the Validity of Same-Sex Marriage Solemnized Outside the Philippines”, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago wrote, “Marriage is a union founded on the distinction of sex. That contracting parties must be of different sex is, in fact, a requirement under the provisions on legal capacity. Accordingly, this bill seeks to amend Article 26 to remove a misleading presumption, until society changes attitude while exhibiting compassion for same-sex relationships.” (Interaksyon)

Presidentiables on RH, Divorce and Same-sex unions



Here I present what I have found about the stand of the Presidentiables on key socio-moral issues that many analysts have tended to disregard. I find this disregard as a sign that we are putting more importance on economic development than the core moral development of our people.

Economic development is indeed a crucial aspect of a plan for the nation. But is a nation only as good as the amount of money it has? Didn't we learn from grade school and from our parents that what matters most in life is to be a good person, and it is being a good person that helps us to be successful? Doesn't the science of leadership and management confirm the importance of the development of moral character?

It should be clear that an election is not a choice of the saintliest. It is a choice of who has the character and competence to bring out the best of our country. In all aspects. But we only bring out the best if there is order in what we bring out. A disordered prioritization leads to a disordered country.

As I wrote in 2014 as regards a Pro-Morality Vote, it is imperative to regain the "absolute primacy of the objective moral order" over all the other spheres, political, economic, cultural, etc. In fact the moral order "by itself surpasses and fittingly coordinates all other spheres of human affairs." (Vatican II) In plain language, it means that a family should give the highest priority to ensuring that their children go to heaven; everything else is secondary.

This survey does not cover all the socio-moral aspects. But policies on marriage, family and sexuality are at the very foundation of a nation: the future of humanity passes through the family. A national leader who supports RH will bring about greater permissiveness, more AIDS, and will destroy the family, as science has shown. He who supports divorce will make a big percentage of women fall into poverty. Same-sex "marriage"empties true marriage of its procreative and complementary meaning, and leads to its decline.

Correct policy in these areas, a recognition of the dignity of the person and of the family, is a foundation for good leadership.


A leader's stand on moral issues is not the only criterion. But it is such a fundamental criterion that to ignore it is simply irresponsible.

SUMMARY




RH
Divorce
Same-sex union
Binay
Nothing wrong with condoms.
Against abortifacients (Firmly)
No statement
Against
Poe
For (Strongly)
Against
For
Duterte
For (Strongly)
Against
For
Roxas
For (Strongly)
Against
Against
Defensor
For (Strongly)
For
Against

QUOTES FROM MEDIA OUTLETS ON THEIR STAND

BINAY

RH
Nothing wrong with using condoms because there is no abortion, just prevention. Abortifacient pills should not be allowed. My position is consistent, as long as there is life, even for one second, that’s abortion already. (Spot.ph)

Divorce
Vice President Jejomar Binay, for his part, has remained silent on divorce. In an inquiry to his media office, VP Binay’s spokesperson confirmed that the vice-president does not have an official statement on divorce. A review of his public stands in the past seems to confirm that he has not said anything on the matter. (Philstar)

Same-sex Union
In an interview with News5 on Tuesday after Pacquiao’s “masahol pa sa hayop (worse than animals)” remark, Vice President Jejomar Binay said, “On my part, I will abide by and follow the position of the Catholic Church on the matter.” (Interaksyon)

POE

RH
“[The RH law] is a good progress in our struggle to address the high prevalence of maternal deaths in the country. I believe, however, that the RH law can still be strengthened by introducing new provisions that would allow Filipino couples to receive financial assistance in their efforts to conceive a child. The concept of ‘reproductive health’ should also include couples who are having difficulties conceiving a child naturally.” (Freethinkers)

In principle, however, Poe believes that condoms, pills and injectibles are not abortifacient. She believes in the woman’s right to choose, and a support system that builds on the family unit. She believes in day care centers for women, and the proper enforcement of detention centers for children in conflict with the law. (Rappler)

Divorce
Not in favor of divorce  (Youtube)

Same-sex unions
When asked for her stand on the issue in September 2015, Senator Grace Poe told InterAksyon.com in an e-mail, “I support the right of two consenting adults to contract civil marriage, regardless of their sex. All persons are guaranteed equality in their rights. Human rights accrue to them from birth. Our Constitution mandates the State to guarantee full respect for human rights. Our laws cannot discriminate against persons because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.” (Interaksyon)

ROXAS

RH
The vote drew cheers from Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, whom President Aquino earlier tapped to talk to congressmen regarding the bill. "History in the making! Freedom of Choice!" Roxas said on Twitter. (ABSCBN)

Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II’ presidential ambition in 2016 could be affected by his active role in pushing for the reproductive health (RH) bill, a Catholic bishop said Tuesday. Bishop Gabriel Reyes, chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, said Roxas was one of the administration officials who went to the House of Representatives to ensure that the RH bill was passed. (Inquirer)

Divorce
Administration presidential candidate Manuel “Mar” Roxas II said on Sunday that he was not in favor of legalizing divorce and same-sex marriage. “Hindi, hindi ako payag... I’m one of the 40 percent na hindi payag,” “Para sa akin ang pamilya ang sentro ng buhay ng bawat tao ,'di ba? So dapat gawin nating lahat na manatiling matatag ang pamilya, paniwala ko rin na ang katatagan ng ating bansa,” Roxas said. (GMANews)

Same-sex union
And neither was Roxas in favor of same-sex marriage as a public policy. “Bilang public policy para sa akin ay hindi ako pabor dito. Subalit... may mga kamag-anak ako na close na close na have partners and nirerespeto ko sila, minamahal ko sila, tinatanggap ko sila, bukas-puso, bukas-loob kong ang aking pagtrato sa kanila,” the Liberal Party bet added. (Interaksyon)

DUTERTE

RH
A vocal reproductive health advocate, Duterte has gained the approval of women and reproductive health organizations who have asserted that he is the ideal presidential candidate who can represent gender sentivity issues in the country. (Inquirer)

Divorce and Same-sex union
The move to legalize same-sex marriage could soon see the light of the day if Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte becomes president, though he stuanchly opposes making divorce legal. Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has been consistent in his stand on same-sex marriage.

In July 2015, during a guesting at “Gandang Gabi Vice”, he said when asked for his view on the issue, “It’s good. Everyone deserves to be happy.” In May 2012, he was quoted in a News5 report as saying, “Being married and marrying the person that you love is a matter of choice. Gays are supposed to have the equal rights and freedom as heterosexuals, including the freedom to marry and build a family.” (Interaksyon)

DEFENSOR

RH
Sen Miriam Defensor Santiago bid 2012 goodbye by hailing the Reproductive Health (RH) law as the peak of her year. “The RH law is the highlight of my year as a senator and as a woman. I thank all those who made this possible,” Santiago posted on her Twitter account @senmiriam on Monday, December 31.  (Rappler)

Divorce
After the powerhouse wedding anniversary rites at the Manila Cathedral last Sunday night, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago has expressed her support for the divorce and Reproductive Health (RH) bills, two controversial measures that might bring her at odds with the Catholic Church. Santiago said divorce should be made available to couples who can no longer stand the sight of each other.

I think that divorce should be availed by people who become homicidal at the sight of each other. That is much better than making each other miserable for the rest of their lives, and impacting the lives of their children as well,” Santiago told reporters at the dinner reception of her 40th wedding anniversary celebration at the Manila Hotel. (Philstar)

Same-sex union
In her explanatory note for Senate Bill No. 1282, “An Act Amending the Family Code, Article 26 on the Validity of Same-Sex Marriage Solemnized Outside the Philippines”, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago wrote, “Marriage is a union founded on the distinction of sex. That contracting parties must be of different sex is, in fact, a requirement under the provisions on legal capacity. Accordingly, this bill seeks to amend Article 26 to remove a misleading presumption, until society changes attitude while exhibiting compassion for same-sex relationships.” (Interaksyon)