Green groups back CBCP’s call for discernment on the elections

March 29, 2022

Environmental organizations have echoed the call of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines for the public to seek candidates who “prioritize” the life and dignity of the human person.

In a pastoral letter issued on March 27, the bishops urged the public to “continue with our conversations, scrutiny, and evaluation (circles of discernment) of the political and social situation; and national and local candidates.”

“Let us seek those candidates who prioritize Life and Dignity of the Human Person; protect the Family, Community, and encourage Participation; defend Rights and fulfill Responsibilities; demonstrate preferential option for the Poor and Vulnerable; uphold the Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers; work for Solidarity, and care for God’s Creation,” the pastoral letter read.

Rodne Galicha, executive director of Living Laudato Si’ Philippines, said the pastoral letter is “not only a voter’s guide for discernment but an overview of issues the candidates should prioritize.”

He said candidates “who value and respect the rights of nature, value the life and dignity of a human person, especially the most vulnerable.”

“Ecological injustices, for instance, is not a separate issue left to scientists and environmental advocates. It’s a challenge that needs a whole of nation approach,” said Galicha.

Jaybee Garganera, convenor of Green Thumb Coalition, lauded the issuance of the pastoral statement saying that it “encourages people to vote for a leader who is conscious of environmental issues.”

“The next six years is a tight window for us to address climate change and protect Mother Nature. Electing the correct leaders is necessary to inspire and mobilize us to better protect our environment,” Garganera told OeconoMedia.

Bro. John Din, national coordinator of Laudato Si’ Movement Pilipinas, said his organization welcomes the pastoral statement “with gratitude.” 

He urged the public to heed the call of the bishops to choose the “leaders at the service of our common good.” 

“Agenda for the care of creation is an essential criterion in choosing good leaders,” he said.

He said the pastoral letter inspires people to imitate those “who have offered their lives in defense of the seas, land, forest, mangroves, and in the defense of the environment.”

Early this year, the bishops issued a pastoral statement on ecology that calls for prayer and action for the recovery of the planet in the face of climate emergencies.

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