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Pre-Election Statement
of the Catholic Bishops' Conference  of the Philippines

Dear Fellow Filipinos:

The Peace of the Risen Christ be with you all!

The May 11 election are a crucial crossroads in our national history.  It is an historic opportunity to elect our national and local government leaders.

We can make this election a real manifestation of our maturity and unity as a people.  Even now, there are many encouraging signs that this election will be generallly peaceful and honest.

We have a very credible and hardworking COMELEC.

We have the Armed  Forces and  the Philippine National Police which  are  both committed  to the  safeguarding of the electoral process and the defense of democracy.

We have a body of dedicated  teachers and volunteers  who will constitute the Boards of Election Inspectors.

We   have  movements   like  the  Parish  Pastoral  Council  for Responsible   Voting,  NASSA VOTECARE,  MAHAL, PEW, CIMPEL,  NAMFREL,   SEMNET  and  many   more  similar organizations  with  hundreds  of  thousands  of  members  who  have volunteered themselves to educate voters and to guard the  polls.

We  have  most  especially  an  awakening  citizenry,  aware of  issues,  who want real change in our politics and who will not  allow themselves to be fooled, frightened, cheated or bought.

Never before in our history have so many positive forces converged on an election.  Though not all things may improve with this election, change has already begun.

We ask you, our dear brothers and sisters, to vote for those whom you believe God wants to put in public office.  Search for the will of God by informing yourselves about the qualifications of each candidate, and by prayer.

Vote for those whom you think are really God's choice.  Be guided by your religious leaders but do not let them or anybody else impose their choices on you.

We have waited several years to vote for our national leaders.  Vote with dignity and freedom.  Do not dishonor yourselves or betray your country by selling your votes.  Your votes are sacred.  Guard them.

We ask the candidates and their followers:  fight fairly.  Do not buy votes, cheat, or use force.  Abide by the covenants you have signed.  We ask the winners to be magnanimous in victory and the losers to be gracious in defeat.  We ask both winners and losers to work together for the unity and progress of our people after the elections.

We ask the media to report faithfully election happenings and irregularities.  But do not concoct news or make exaggerated reports to agitate the people.  Discriminate between speculation, rumor, and fact.

We ask those who would prevent the electoral process or use its failings to disillusion our people, to think more of their country than of their ambitions.

From this electoral process, may we emerge as a unified and mature people who can live and work together despite our differences.

We commend our country to Jesus, our Saviour, the Son of Mary.

For the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines:

(Sgd.)+CARMELO D.F. MORELOS, D.D.
Bishop of Butuan
President, CBCP

5 May 1992
Manila

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