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Cardinal Quevedo issues guiding principles to voters for 2016 polls

 • 15:03 PM Tue May 3, 2016
Edwin Fernandez
His Eminence Orlando Cardinal Quevedo, OMI, DD (cbcp)

COTABATO CITY – Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Cardinal Quevedo, OMI, DD today issued
six-point guidelines to all voters in the archdiocese as they prepare to choose
the country’s next set of leaders.

In his Circular
Letter on the 2016 Elections,” Quevedo said as chief religious Shepherd of the
archdiocese of Cotabato it is his duty to help the voters’ conscience in
choosing candidates according with the moral-social principles of the Church.

You may have
already chosen your candidates (but) let me stir your conscience,” he told his
flock six days before the national and local balloting. I do so in the light of the social situation
in our country and our region.”

Quevedo, the
country’s second working cardinal, said that the change we need is a radical

I speak of a
profound change in mind, behavior, and values. Sadly a candidate who promises
change could have the same values and behavior that require change,” he said.

Quevedo then
enumerated some points the voters who treasures conscience as God-given have to

First, Is the
candidate a person of moral integrity?” Quevedo asked.

Corruption is a
plague in our country. Billions of pesos go into private pockets every year
instead of being spent to uplift the poor.
Select a candidate that is not tainted by corruption, unexplained wealth
and properties, and enrichment in office,” he said.

Second, he asked does
the candidate respect and defend the right to life?

The prelate said life
is most sacred, a very precious gift of God. The right to life includes the
right of the unborn, of the terminally ill, of innocent people, even of
suspected or convicted criminals, of the old and the dying.”

He added that the
immoral termination of the life of the unborn and of innocent people, the
termination of life even of suspected criminals in utter disregard of due
process, is very serious violations.

Select a candidate
who by belief and practice demonstrates support for the right to life,” Quevedo
advised voters.

Quevedo also asked
voters whether the candidates they have in mind demonstrate respect for and
fidelity to his or her faith?

According to
Quevedo, fidelity to the teachings on one’s faith is the mark of a God-fearing
person. It is illustrated by fidelity to one’s spouse as taught by our faith,
respect for religious leaders, fidelity to the commandments of honoring God’s
name, to the commandments against stealing and dishonesty or against sexual
immorality. Select a candidate who by word and deed is faithful to the
dictates of his faith,” he urged voters.

Quevedo, former
president of the influential Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines
(CBCP), said the candidate should have an option for the poor.

He said option for
the poor” is a treasured teaching of the Catholic faith, adding that it is
expressed in various ways by other religions.”

Quevedo said
majority of Filipinos are poor. Will the candidate help harness – as a
priority -- the resources of government for the integral development of the
poor, the needy, and the deprived? Will the candidate give more attention to
the few who have rather than to the many who have not? Select a candidate who
by deed has demonstrated option for the poor.”

In context in
Central and Southern Mindanao, he asked will the candidate work for a just and
lasting peace?

Quevedo said every
candidate promises to work for peace. But consider this. The phenomenal
minoritization of the Bangsamoro in the past 80 years in the land where they
had once exercised self-determination and sovereignty is an undisputed
historical record,” he said.

He asked voters
whether the candidate they have to choose next Monday has in any way expressed
his biases and prejudices against the Bangsamoro so as to obstruct rather than
promote peace? Will he recognize and promote Bangsamoro self-determination
while preserving national sovereignty? Select a candidate who will be a just

The cardinal askedand
Is the candidate competent to govern 100 million Filipinos and lead them to a
better life?”

Quevedo also urged
the electorate to study the track record of the all candidates.

Are the candidates’
claims to successful governance or management proven by the record? Does the
candidate grasp and appreciate the complexities of a democratic structure of
government, value and protect the freedom of its citizens?” Quevedo asked.

Select a candidate
who does not aspire to be the messiah but is humble as well as respectful of
others’ freedom and competencies,” Quevedo said.

He told voters in
the archdiocese of Cotabato to apply your moral and religious values. Do not
be mesmerized by surveys and claims of change by any means.”

The archdiocese of
Cotabato covers the whole of Muslim dominated Maguindanao province, part of
North Cotabato and the whole of Sultan Kudarat. (Edwin Fernandez)

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