Months before the choosing of our new sets of local and national government officials, Davao Church’s prelate Most Rev. Romulo G. Valles, D.D. encouraged the public to engage for the common good. 

On the initial airing of “PILIPINAS 2022 A Talakayan Series” last February 25 over DXGN 89.9 Spirit FM and their official Facebook page, Abp. Valles highlighted the role of the Church in politics.

The Davao Archbishop said Church members must engage in the democratic political arena.

Remembering what Pope Francis has said, he added that this is considered a noble engagement.

Anchoring on these engagements, Abp. Valles emphasized that our decisions should be according to the late Davao Archbishop Antonio L. Mabutas’ motto, “Sentire Cum Ecclesia” which means Thinking and Feeling with the Church.

Several topics regarding the current political atmosphere were discussed together with different guests from Davao local church including Rev. Msgr. Paul Cuison, Ignatian Institute of Religious Education Foundation Executive Director; Rev. Fr. Leonardo Dublan Jr., Director of Archdiocesan Social Action Center; Rev. Fr. Russell Bantiles, parish priest of the St. John Paul II Parish; Br. Noelvic H. Deloria, S.C., HCDC and DACS President; and Atty. Edgar Pascua II, Ateneo de Davao University Professor.

Do not demonize any candidates or better yet, help in political education but not being partisan; your choice of a candidate – keep it on your own” Abp. Valles said while expressing his concern on endorsing a candidate in their proper setting.

The discussion mainly highlighted the common good, the lay faithful choice of candidates and the church being non-partisan.

Niingon pud si Pope John Paul nga, ang pari pud daw he must strive to shed the light of Christ on other parties and social groups too. Kung mohisgot ta og common good dili lang sa usa ka partido kung dili, hisgutan pud nato na siya sa uban pud na mga grupo kay dili lang man na exclusive ana nga grupo (According to Pope John Paul, priests must strive to shed the light of Christ on other parties and social groups too. When we say common good, we shall not discuss a single party but we shall include other groups as it is not exclusive to a specific group),” Fr. Bantiles said.

The speakers pointed out the church’s teachings on moving through people’s conscience while wise choices can serve as a guide in casting their votes in this year’s national and local elections.

Ang common good para sa akoa, in this context sa election is to respect the autonomy and freedom of the individual to choose on who the candidate is – the freedom of choice (Common good for me, in this context sa election is to respect the autonomy and freedom of the individual to choose on who the candidate is the freedom of choice),” Msgr. Cuison added.

Meanwhile, Br. Deloria highlighted his stand on choosing what is right.

Ang importante is what is right. Mao man ni ang gisulti sa Canon Law, mao man ni ang gisulti sa Magisterium. If they claim about they are right, we are not talking about who is right but what is right (What’s important is what is right. This is what the Canon Law states, as well as the Magisterium. If they claim about they are right, we are not talking about who is right but what is right),” he said. (Precious Lyn Bonilla & Faith Del Rosario, BA Comm Interns)