Dated 19 April 2009, the CBCP issued a Pastoral Exhortation, one key call therein is the active and concerted participation of the Catholic lay faithful in the social change of the Philippine national community, specifically such as in matter of politics and the issue of governance. The call akin to an ardent plea if not a kind directive, is deemed in order for basically three reasons: First, politics in the Country has long since been qualified as “dirty” primarily because of many deceitful and corrupt politicians in possession of wealth and in position of power. Second, governance in all levels of its hierarchy from the local to the national has practically become synonymous with graft and corrupt practices. Third, more than anybody else, it is the millions of Filipino men and women, young people and children who are the infallible and continuous victims of such politics and governance.
The question may be asked: Why has the CBCP issued such an earnest and impassioned Pastoral Exhortation? The Conference must have a good number of crucial reasons, must be confronted with many urgent causes for doing so. There appears the spectacle that it is from the ranks of the few Religious, the Priests and even Bishops who are seen in rallies for truth and actions for justice. There is also the perception that millions of Filipinos specially in Luzon and the Visayas have been rather long harboring indifference and apathy in demanding for honest politicians and in the working for good governance.
And the end-result of all the above depressed and depressing situation is too obvious to mention: The politicians by and large are having much fun in holding on to their lofty offices, and greatly enjoying the perks and pork appended to their respective positions. And governance has practically become of itself, by itself and for itself. For those who think and say otherwise, they must be aliens in the land who came from distant planets. Or they simply have no acre for others, no love for the Country.
No wonder therefore that the Senate itself has been having its divisive and destructive intramurals, that the House has now more representatives that it can accommodate, and that the Malacanang tenant would spare no ways and means to eventually become a permanent resident. So what if the present highest executive in the land is much disgraced, largely discredited and deeply distrusted? So what if the ruling administration is synonymous with odious machinations and obvious hypocrisy. And so what if the billions of Filipinos have no work, suffer from hunger, wallow in helplessness.
Social change for trustworthy politicians and dependable governance, for the rule of truth and the reign of justice, for the respect of human life and human rights, for national harmony and peace – all these would be but an impossible dream, a futile aspiration if the Laity do not take part in their actualization – slowly but surely.
May 1, 2009