Three rules to remember when voting | Inquirer Opinion

Three rules to remember when voting

05:02 AM May 13, 2019

When the government charged the Church of politicking in the pulpit, Rev. Msgr. Jerry V. Bitoon, the new cathedral rector and parish priest of St. Paul the First Hermit in San Pablo City, clarified that it is the Church’s moral obligation to guide the parishioners on the truth.

In a homily, he offered three rules that we could apply in today’s midterm elections.


First, don’t sell your votes. Selling your votes is not obeying God. Trading your votes is what allows politicians to continue with their nefarious ways of bribing, conspiring, employing force and dishonesty to accumulate ever more power.

Second, don’t rely on surveys. Instead, God wants you to survey who is good, honest God-fearing — and not the corrupt and self-serving ones who mislead, cheat and ensure their win through commissioned and self-serving polls. Doing your own survey puts you on strong footing — a sound basis for choosing the good candidates, sorting out conflicting claims, weighing down evidence, letting go of personal biases and obeying God’s tenets in choosing the right leaders.


Third, pray for guidance. Electing a candidate who buys votes is not obeying God. The belief that whoever wins in the election is blessed and chosen by God is not true. How can a candidate who won by vote buying, muckraking, sowing fear, using government resources be the chosen one?

Monsignor Bitoon asked his congregation to pray for guidance that politicians be farsighted and conscientious enough in fulfilling their roles as public servants, and for voters to see the light in choosing candidates who will obey godly principles in leading us.

“Most evil acts are committed in momentary weakness or inability to see what is morally right or wrong,” said Monsignor Bitoon.

The reason most government officials fall into wrongdoing is not that the mind lacks knowledge, but that the will is weak. To gird up the will, people in power must see what is morally right and realize that violating both human and divine laws corresponds to punishment for the soul, not to mention harm for the people and society they rule over.

Yet, no such internal reform, redress or repentance is apparent in our traditional politicians. No apology has come from any of them for their wrongdoing.

It’s a form of moral neglect that we let evil flourish by doing nothing to defeat them. With our silent and willing complicity, rules become a technical convenience for the powerful to cheat and fool the weak.

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TAGS: 2019 elections, Inquirer letters, Jerry V. Bitoon, Pit M. Maliksi, Voting
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