ELECT RIGHTEOUS LEADERS INTO THE GOVERNMENT
A Pastoral Letter on the May 2013 Elections
“He that walks
righteously, and speaks uprightly; he that despises the gain of oppressions,
that keeps his hands from the holding of bribes, that stops his ears from
hearing of bloodshed, and shuts his eyes from seeing evil; he shall dwell on
high: his place of defense shall be the fortresses of rocks: bread shall be
given him; his waters shall be sure.” (Isaiah 33: 15-16)
The May 2013
elections presents to the Filipino people another occasion to exercise their
democratic right. But elections are not just times to elect government
officials, rather, a precious opportunity for our people to exercise their
political power towards building a democratic government in the country that
promotes and protects the best interest of those who have less in life.
forthcoming elections a true instrument of genuine political change in the
country necessitates a responsible vote from our people. In this, it becomes our sacred duty to form
our people’s conscience in casting a vote that would confront the reality of repressive politics in the country
that is dominated by the biggest landlords, business elites, and traditional
people need political leaders who can bring change in the politics of the
country and serve the common good. Our nation needs leaders
who walk in righteousness, who stand to the defense of public interest and people’s wellbeing, righteous
leaders who live-out the true principle of the politics of democracy,
characterized by a real sense of political and social power that rest in the
hands of the people.
In the backdrop
of the forthcoming elections, we reiterate the position of the Iglesia Filipina
Independiente in assessing candidates for election and the criteria by which
political parties should be judged to help our people in making a responsible
There is great
richness in our Christian faith and our Church’s national democratic heritage to
guide the faithful in making judgments during the elections. We urge our
faithful to take into account in the May 2013 elections these criteria in
choosing candidates and supporting political parties:
q National Sovereignty. A candidate must be an
advocate of national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and does not
support foreign domination and intervention in the country.
q National Economy and Patrimony. A candidate must
be opposed to full liberalization, deregulation, privatization and other
globalization policies that place our local agriculture and industries into
unfair competition with big foreign or multi-national companies.
q Peasants and Workers Issues. A candidate must be
an advocate of genuine land reform, and supports the poor workers’ struggle for
just and decent wages, and job security.
q Good Governance. A candidate must have a clean
record of public service, steadfastly fights against graft and corruption in
government, and committed to eradicate the culture of impunity.
q Justice and Peace. A candidate must be an
advocate of the peaceful resolution of conflicts with the National Democratic
Front of the Philippine (NDFP) and opposed to any form of aggressive war and
violation of human rights.
q Human Rights. A candidate must be a staunch
advocate of civil and democratic rights, respects political differences, and
denounces, opposes and puts to stop political persecution and extrajudicial
killings in the country.
q Women and Children Rights. A candidate must
promote gender equality, protect the reproductive rights of women, work against
patriarchal exploitation of women, and uphold the rights of children to
education, home and nationality.
q Ecological Justice and Stewardship. A candidate
must oppose the exploitation of the environment and works for its preservation,
protection, and promotes responsible use of the rich natural resources of the
Let us make our participation
in the May 2013 elections an integral
part of our pro-active engagement towards the establishment of a people’s
democratic government in the country. Let us exercise
our right to elect leaders of the country who will join us in our journey
towards a nation that stands upon the strong foundation of just peace, respect for human dignity, good governance and
We appeal to the
Filipino people to practice what is right during the elections and ensure that
the outcomes of these elections would lead towards the building of a genuine people’s
government that serves and works for the common
† The Most Revd Ephraim S. FajutaganaObispo Maximo, Iglesia Filipina Independiente