MANILA, Philippines – The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) called for “three days of intense prayer” ahead of election day on Monday, May 9.
In his letter on Friday, May 6, CBCP president and Kalookan Bishop Virgilio David called on archbishops and bishops to hold three days of prayer from Sunday, May 8, to Tuesday, May 10.
“We can only fight this battle in the best way we can – through prayer and well-discerned action,” he said.
David recommended the following to parish churches in the Philippines:
- Keep parish churches open during the whole days of May 8, 9, and 10 for adoration, vigils, and repeatedly praying the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary.
- Upon the opening of polling precincts on May 9 at 6 am, ring church bells for 10 minutes to remind “our faithful to exercise their civic duty as citizens to vote, and to do so in the spirit of prayer.”
- “Consciously pray” that all national and local officials of the Commission on Elections to “faithfully and efficiently carry out their duties as mandated by law.”
- Those who openly support candidates have “no other motive than to allow the conscience-guided, genuine, and sovereign will of our people” to be truly reflected in the result of the elections.
- Meaningful participation of citizens in politics of patronage and promoting of the politics of the common good must be “sustained beyond this election and lead to a greater political maturity for our nation.”
In an unprecedented move on Wednesday, May 4, over 1,200 priests, bishops, and deacons officially endorsed the candidacy of presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo and her running mate Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan.
The Catholic priests’ endorsement came a day after religious group Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) officially endorsed the tandem of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte. (READ: Like in 2016, INC endorses Marcos Jr.-Duterte)
The late dictator’s son has been leading preelection voter preference surveys, with Robredo trailing behind him by a wide margin. In the latest Pulse Asia survey, Robredo’s voter preference was steady at 23%, while Marcos’ voting preference stayed at 56%, in keeping with his numbers from the March survey.
This will be the first time that the Philippines will hold elections in the middle of a pandemic. President Rodrigo Duterte declared Monday as a special non-working holiday to enable Filipinos to exercise their right to vote. – Rappler.com