Bishop Socrates Mesiona called on voters to exercise due diligence as he emphasized the need to be critical with disinformation from spreading fake news and history revisionism, ahead of the coming national and local elections on May 9.
Bishop Mesiona, Vicar of the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa (AVPP), said in his pastoral letter that politics is a gift from God to the lives of humans and electing leaders is considered sacred. He encouraged each voter to listen to their conscience and consider the common good.
“Magagawa lamang natin ito kung tayo ay nasa liwanag ng katotohanan – makatotohanan sa pagsasaliksik para sa makatotohanang pagpapasya. Iwaksi natin ang anumang uri ng kasinungalingan; iwasan ang paninirang-puri; at maging kritikal sa pagtanggap ng mga impormasyon lalo’t nagkalat ang mga fake news at pagmamanipula ng kasaysayan,” he said in the pastoral letter on Thursday.
The prelate said he believes that a circle of discernment must be conducted in parishes, Munting Sambayanang Kristiyano (MSK), and other religious organizations of different sectors, particularly the youth. He said such practice will help assess the issues and discussions helping in choosing leaders.
He added that the destructions left by typhoons Ulysses and Odette are proofs that Palaweños should also elect leaders who care for the environment.
“Ngunit parang hindi tayo natuto dahil mukhang patuloy pa din ang pagsira natin ng ating kagubatan at kabundukan. At ang isa pang nakababahala ay ang balitang palalawakin pa ang pagbubukas ng mga minahan dito sa Palawan. Kaya higit kailanman, kailangan natin ngayon ng mga pinuno na mapagkakatiwalaan at tunay na mangangalaga sa ating likas-yaman,” he stressed.
Bishop Mesiona added that locals should use the power to vote in choosing leaders who are fit to lead according to the will of the Lord.
Earlier, the Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay (AVT) also encourage the involvement of youth in exercising voting rights.
Bishop Broderick Pabillo also provided reminders such as avoid electing political dynasties, vote buying, disinformation and relying decisions on surveys.