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The Lord’s Day
Pastoral Exhortation

The campaigning has ended. This day before the elections is the Lord’s Day. It is a day of silence and reflection – a day when before our Lord we finally decide for whom will vote. This election is unprecedented in the number and type of officials we must choose – from local to national officials, including, for the first time, our party list choice. Today, each is urged in silence and reflection before the Lord to write down the names of the officials for whom each will vote. Write down these names, as they will be written down on official ballots tomorrow, in personal conviction that these are the officials God wills to serve the common good in public office. As you write down each name, pray earnestly for them and for all those whose names you have not written: that God’s will be done.

This day, before the Lord, I urge you: commit yourself anew to Truth in tomorrow’s elections. There is nothing our People want more than to have clean and peaceful elections. There is nothing that would hurt our People more than that these elections be subverted through massive cheating. Those in the Comelec, those in the PPC-RV and in Namfrel, but also those in the various political parties, who are working to make our electoral exercise tomorrow truly reflective of the will of the people, have the unending gratitude of the Filipino People and the People of God.

Today we ought recall the heroism and martyrdom of Filipinos and Filipinas in the past who put their lives on the line for genuine Philippine democracy and for truth in the electoral process. We ought to recall the remarkable interventions of the Lord and his Blessed Mother in our history to free us from dictatorship and foreign rule and give us the right to choose our own leaders. The grace of what our heroes fought for, and often died for, is our privileged heritage, our sacred responsibility.

In this sacred responsibility let it be clearly said: we must accept the judgement of the Filipino electorate once this judgement is clear, even if this judgement may differ from our personal judgement.

Intervention in the electoral process to gain victory for any candidate by fraudulent means is a grave sin against the people and against God. Collusion by the military in any such fraudulent intervention betrays the sacred trust the People place in their military to defend their sovereignty, and not the interests of any ambitious faction.

Public office gained by fraud is stolen. Wrongfully gained public office must be restored to its rightful incumbent, or, in case of a failed election, to the sovereign People for re-disposition through new and untainted elections. Should this restoration be prevented by any individual wielding stolen power, the People, working from the streets, the churches, the religious houses, the factories, the farms, the business offices, the banks, the villages, the cities and the mega-cities, must resolutely exercise its sovereign power to restore to itself free disposition over public office.

May the People’s will be respected and carried out. In the silence of the Lord’s Day, any plans for cheating and fraud ought be resolutely scuttled. Christians must resolve in conscience to oppose any form of electoral fraud and its poisoned fruit. In case of electoral fraud, People Power, the people empowered by the Lord, will resurface. It will prove anew God’s special care for our People and its democratic institutions.

Jaime Cardinal Sin, D.D.
Archbishop of Manila
May 10, 1998.

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Christian Action for Peaceful and Meaningful Elections
Loyola School of Theology, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City
Tel. No.
426-5966 or 426-6138, Fax No. 426-5967
chapelnet@usa.net or chaplnet@pusit.admu.edu.ph
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