The January 2010 open letter written by a group of Filipino Lay Catholics and addressed to the Bishops, Priests and Religious of the Church in the Philippines, cannot but draw the attention and appreciation of its readers for the following reasons: First, it is written with due respect, not to mention its tone of sincerity and candor. Second, it amply manifests the genuine regard and appreciation of the writers towards the mission and pursuant ministry of the addressees. Third, it truly demonstrates the great concern and love of the same writers for their Country long since besieged with a good number of big errant local and foreign character causing formidable social problems.
The letter specifically points out the eight following beneficial realities or malevolent factors that respectively build or destroy the present and the future of the People of the Philippines: One, the reign of peace by honoring human dignity, protecting human rights and thereby doing away with violence and cruelty. Two, the protection of the weak through justice, livelihood, health, education and other socio-economic ventures. Three, the denouncement of globalization with its negative impacts such as the loss of jobs, the exploitation of the land of labor and trade, the turning of women even into but commodities. Four, the promotion of a culture of integrity and stewardship in society and in the Church, plus the censure of corruption in all forms and in all levels, both in the public and private sectors. Five, the castigation of the abuse of power, the culture of impunity and unaccountability of those thus therein involved. Six, the counteraction to the breakdown of the OFW families through Parish plans, programs and projects. Seven, the care for the environment, conserving this for the future generations by preventing its abuse. Eight, the call of the citizens to assume an active role in ensuring that the coming elections are credible.
While all the above opted and proposed agenda are not only demanded by reason but also postulated by sound moral principles, it might be more pressing and practical to take into particular consideration, the last desideratum, viz., ensuring the credibility of the May 2010 national and local elections. Needless to say, this is a very tall order – attending to the following more critical considerations: First, it is possible that elections could be postponed or declared a failure after it was held. Second, it is practically a standing reality in the Country precisely not to expect honest, orderly, peaceful and thereby credible elections. Third, even during the present pre-election period, the infamous traditional triad of the blatant use of guns, goons and gold is already well in place. Four, most of the candidates for elective positions from the national to the local pubic Offices are not really known for the tenure of the composite of integrity, competence and character. Five, a good number of the key and subordinate election officials in the Country do not appear that capable, serious and dedicated.
But then, if even but the majority of all Filipino Christian Faithful decidedly move and accordingly act for a “credible” forthcoming elections, with their collective strength of good will plus the generosity of God in backing them up with His abundant and efficacious grace: Nothing is invincible! Nothing is insurmountable! Nothing is impossible!
January 22, 2010