Church launches drive against vote selling

The youth, media, church, police, among others, pledge not to sell their votes during the launching of “Ang Pangako Ko”, a campaign of the Diocese of Bacolod against vote selling, in front of the San Sebastian Cathedral in the city Friday. (Glazyl Y. Masculino)

By: Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – The Diocese of Bacolod is calling on the public to refrain from selling their votes as the elections near.

The church, led by Bishop Patricio Buzon, launched on Friday “Ang Pangako Ko” in front of the San Sebastian Cathedral in the city as a way to discourage people from selling their votes and to refrain some from buying votes. 

Rev. Fr. Cris Gonzales, head of the Social Action Center (SAC), said the movement is also in cooperation with the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), Negros Press Club (NPC), and the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV).

Gonzales believed that vote selling is prevalent now than vote buying which brings a bad image to the local elections.

“May ara gid ya gabaligya na gid sang boto nila (There are those who really choose to sell their votes). Our campaign is aimed at helping the public choose the right leaders. We want to have a peaceful, orderly, and honest elections, he said, adding that the people deserve a better Philippines,” he said.

Gonzales said the right leaders should serve the people just like what God did to humanity.

“Indi dapat kawatan, wala nagapamahog, wala nagapamakal boto kundi nagapangalagad sa tawo (They (candidates) should not steal, does not threaten others, does not buy votes but only serve the people),” he added.

Nevertheless, he stressed that the church does not dictate on the people.

It is a way of reminding them to vote for the right candidates based on Christ’s teachings, he said.

Buzon said the move of the church is to let the people get out from the danger of bandage brought by terror and fear.

“We hope we will all be united to choose the right leaders,” he added. 

This is not politics, he said, adding that the church only wants the people to really think about the future leaders they want to serve the country.

Politics safeguards the common good and through politics we choose our leaders that will bring us to freedom and sustain our freedom, Buzon said.

Thus, it is important for us to unite in this election, he added.

“We should not waste our chance to vote and should not neglect our right of suffrage,” the bishop said.

Part of the program was the launching of the social media page on Facebook, “Ang Pangako Ko 2019.”

Members of the church, media, police officers from Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO), Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (Nocppo), youth, among others took a pledge of commitment not to sell their votes.