2022 Philippine Elections

Bishop David likens trolls to those who pushed to crucify Jesus

Jairo Bolledo
Bishop David likens trolls to those who pushed to crucify Jesus

CBCP PRESIDENT. Kalookan bishop and Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines president Pablo Virgilio David delivers the homily during the 'Solidarity Mass for the Moral Choice' at the National Shrine of the Mother of Perpetual Help in Paranaque City on April 6, 2022.

Angie de Silva/Rappler

'Alam din ni Pilato na ang mga sumisigaw na ipako si Hesus ay mga bayaran. Wala silang ipinagkaiba sa mga trolls...na napakahusay kumontrol sa opinyon ng publiko sa pamamagitan ng pagpapalaganap ng kasinungalingan bilang katotohanan,' the CBCP president says

MANILA, Philippines – Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president and Kalookan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David said online trolls were like the people who pushed to crucify Jesus Christ – they distorted the truth by spreading lies. 

Alam din ni Pilato na ang mga sumisigaw na ipako si Hesus ay mga bayaran. Wala silang ipinagkaiba sa mga trolls sa social media sa panahon natin ngayon na napakahusay kumontrol sa opinyon ng publiko sa pamamagitan ng pagpapalaganap ng kasinungalingan bilang katotohanan,” David said on Wednesday, April 6, during his homily at the “Solidarity Mass for the Moral Vote.”

(Pilate knew that those who shouted to crucify Jesus were paid. They’re no different from trolls on social media who effectively control the public opinion by spreading lies packaged as the truth.) 

The CBCP president then asked, “Uulitin ba natin ang pagpapako kay Kristo sa krus nitong darating na eleksiyon? (Would we allow Christ to be crucified again this coming elections?)” 

In explaining the need to fight for the truth, David narrated how Pontius Pilate, a Roman official, remained neutral to retain his power. 

Ayon kay San Juan, nag-imbestiga rin naman si Pilato, kaya alam niyang walang katotohanan ang mga paratang laban kay Hesus. Ngunit dahil sa takot na matawag siyang taksil sa interes ng emperador at maalis sa kapangyarihan, naghugas-kamay na lang siya imbes na manindigan,” David said. 

(According to St. John, Pontius Pilate himself investigated, so he knew that the accusations against Jesus were baseless. But because he was afraid to be called a traitor to the emperor’s interests, and of losing his power, he washed his hands instead of standing up for the truth.) 

SOLIDARITY. Manila Archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula leads the Holy Mass. CBCP president Bishop Ambo David delivers the homily. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

The Holy Mass, celebrated at the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Baclaran, was intended to pray for the people to choose the “moral vote.” David had earlier shared a set of criteria for Christians as they elect the next leaders of the country. 

‘Ibong Adarna analogy 

David also mentioned Kalamansi sa Sugat, an album of Filipino singer Heber Bartolome. The bishop said the singer got his inspiration for the album from the Filipino folktale Ibong Adarna, which tackled the story of brothers in search of a mythical bird to cure their father. 

David said in the story, the youngest brother was told to cut himself and squeeze some kalamansi on his wound to stay awake and capture the Ibong Adarna. The bishop likened the healing powers of the mythical bird to the pursuit of truth.

Ang paghahangad sa katotohanan para sa ating mga Pilipino ay katulad ng pakikinig sa awit ng Ibong Adarna. Kung ibig nating awitan nito ang ating bayan upang mapagaling ito sa kanyang sakit, kailangang manatiling gising,” Bishop David explained. 

(The pursuit of truth for our fellow Filipinos is like listening to the music of the Ibong Adarna. If we want the Ibong Adarna to sing for our country so that it may be cured of its illnesses, we must stay awake.) 

TOGETHER. Hundreds of Catholics attend the ‘Solidarity Mass for the Moral Choice’ at the National Shrine of the Mother of Perpetual Help in Parañaque City on April 6, 2022. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

The bishop added, “Ang katotohanan kasi kung minsa’y mahapdi ang dating, ngunit ito’y panlaban sa mga awit na nakabubulag at nakapagpapatulog sa atin hanggang sa tayo’y maging mistulang mga bato.” 

(The truth sometimes hurts, but it is the antidote against songs that deceive and turn us into stones.) 

He also said that while disagreements may arise during the elections, we must not consider people with different opinions as enemies.

“Alam ‘nyo, natutuwa akong marinig ang mga tinig ng…tulad ng, ‘Hindi namin kayo kalaban; kasama kayo sa aming pinaglalaban.’ Ito ang tamang attitude ng isang Kristiyano dahil wala naman talaga tayong ibang kaaway dito sa mundo kundi ang prinsipe ng kasinungalingan, si Satanas,” David said. 

(You know, I feel happy whenever I hear the line, “You are not our enemies; you are part of what we are fighting for.” This is the right attitude to have as a Christian because we really don’t have any other enemy in this world except the prince of lies, Satan.) – with reports from Gabriel Joseph Barroso/Rappler.com 

Gabriel Joseph Barroso, a Rappler intern, is a Philippine Studies student from the University of the Philippines-Diliman. Learn more about Rappler’s internship program here.

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Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering the police, crime, military, and security.