We, members of Halalang Marangal and Halalang Marangal Vote Care, both faith-impelled and inspired groups advocating clean, honest, and transparent electoral exercises, join the Servants of God from different Christian churches in the Philippines, in calling “all Filipinos to love our nation and safeguard her future for the next generation.”
We associate ourselves with this call of the Servants, which we dare say are deeply rooted in Scripture, with alarm and concern. Even a rudimentary analysis and survey of political, economic, social, legal and environmental, and sustainability factors, clearly show that the mandate of achieving justice, genuine freedom, peace, transparency, equitable distribution of goods and opportunities is still far from being achieved.
On the social front, the quality of Philippine education retrogressed over the years and is now one of the lowest in the world. Such low quality is due to a number of factors like poverty and corruption. This sad state of education put into question the effectivity of Philippine education as one of the tools to improve the condition of mankind, a development goal of society. The cost of health care is hardly affordable to the poor and, if things persist, even to the middle class.
On the economic front, national debt at the end of 1986 was US$25 B. In 2016, the national debt was P5 trillion and now it is P14 trillion. The level of national debt would be less offensive to the senses if the funds borrowed went to real projects or high-quality materials and services were utilized for these to implement such projects. One commentator wondered how many times P50 bills would go around the earth’s circumference if these P50 bills, equivalent to P14 trillion, were pasted together lengthwise.
In the political and related legal field, there are real attempts to railroad into law charter change funded by taxpayers’ money. This change in the fundamental law of the land, a sacred document, is caught in the crossfire between warring dynasties which want to protect their power and everything else that comes with it.
What is our response to these developments and machinations as Christians? We see our participation in the country’s political and civic life, in accordance with Scripture and Scripture-based Encyclicals as our response.
What are Christians to do in the light of these developments? Consistent with the Gospel, we participate actively in political and civic affairs. Without vigorous participation, democracy is worthless. Democracy comes from the Greek words dēmokratia, dēmos (the people) and kratia (power, rule).
Freedom and truth go hand in hand. If democracy is worthless without people’s participation, freedom without truth is also worthless.
In safeguarding the future of the next generation, as Christians, we must believe and live out in the concrete Our Lord Jesus Christ’s proclamation, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.”