Do not vote for candidates who are anti-poor—Bishop Pabillo

    With millions of Filipinos still suffering from the adverse impact of the coronavirus pandemic despite the easing of restrictions to invigorate business activities and help in the speedy recovery of the country’s economy, former Manila apostolic administrator Bishop Broderick Pabillo reminded voters to give the “ultimate test” in order to see if a candidate is pro-poor or not.

    MANILA, Philippines — In a pastoral message, Pabillo advised voters that before making their choice in the list of aspirants for national and local positions in government, the electorate must first check whether a candidate had helped the poor before or during his term in public office.

    “Don’t believe that they will help the poor when they get elected when they aren’t able to help the poor now,” the prelate pointed out.

    “The presence of poverty is always a challenge and we should respond not because we feel merciful to them but because it is what our faith calls us to do,” he noted.

    “We can never accept the kingship of Jesus if we do not accept the poor as part of our lives. Let us remember that the poor are our brothers and sisters.

    “They too were made in the image and likeness of God. They too were saved by Christ and we shall all be together in heaven,” he added.

    Bishop Pabillo clarified that comforting the poor does not only entail giving those in need with food because it also has to go hand-in-hand with opposing a system that made them poor, such as corruption in government.

    “Part of our effort in fighting for them is to fight systems that oppress them like corruption and environmental degradation,” he stressed.

    The former apostolic administrator cited environmental concerns on Palawan island over mining, which has allegedly caused landslides and fish deaths.

    He revealed that indigenous peoples (IPs) in the region have repeatedly voiced out concerns over illegal logging due to the prospect of a resurgence of mining activities by private corporations after President Rodrigo Duterte lifted a nine-year moratorium on issuing mining permits in April.

    Bishop Pabillo said that a politician cannot claim he is pro-poor if he takes advantage of the environment. (TRC/The MiNT)

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