Holy Week

Bishop David to Filipinos: Power-hungry politicians are the devil’s toys

Ralf Rivas
Bishop David to Filipinos: Power-hungry politicians are the devil’s toys

MAUNDY THURSDAY. Bishop Pablo Virgilio David leads the Washing of the Feet at the San Roque Cathedral on Maundy Thursday, April 14, 2022.

Diocese of Kalookan

'Delikadong malagay sa pwesto ng kapangyarihan, pwedeng malasing ang tao, pwedeng mahibang. Sila ang mga tipong napaglalaruan ni satanas,' says CBCP president Ambo David in his homily on Maundy Thursday

MANILA, Philippines – Kalookan Bishop Pablo Virgilio ‘Ambo’ David on Thursday, April 14, warned Filipinos of the dangers of electing people in office that are hungry for power, noting that the corrupt are the playthings of the devil.

In his homily during the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Maundy Thursday, David reminded parishioners of the importance of the story of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples at the Last Supper or the night before his crucifixion. He said that this showed Jesus’ humility and sincere effort to serve.

This point led to him asking Filipinos to choose the next leaders carefully.

“’Pag nalagay sa puwesto, nag-aastang panginoon, naghahari-harian na. Delikadong malagay sa puwesto ng kapangyarihan, puwedeng malasing ang tao, puwedeng mahibang. Sila ang mga tipong napaglalaruan ni Satanas. Nagiging bagong klaseng alipin, nahuhumaling sa kapangyarihan. Isang sakit ito kaya magandang itanong, ano bang gamot dito? Ang gamot ni Hesus, paghuhugas ng paa. Ibig sabihin, pagganap sa papel ng alipin, pagpapakumbaba.”

(When some get into a position of power, they act like gods and act like kings. It’s dangerous to be in a position of power, man can get drunk with it and even go crazy. They are the type that the devil can play with. They become a new kind of slave, enthralled by power. It is a disease, so it is important to ask, what is the cure for this? Jesus’ cure is washing of the feet. It means assuming the role of a slave, being humble)

“Napakahalaga na itanong sa darating na Mayo… sino sa pagpipilian ang magtitipong bosing at tipong katulong na hindi mahihiyang maghugas ng paa?”

(It is important to ask this coming May… who among the choices will act like a boss, and who will act like a servant who will not be ashamed to wash feet?)

David also warned Filipinos of the dangers of forgetting the past, emphasizing the consequences it will have in the country’s future.

David used the recent incident where Pinoy Big Brother teen housemates mistakenly called Filipino martyr priests Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora, collectively known as Gomburza, as “Majoha.”

“Kapag nalimot natin ang kasaysayan, uulitin natin ito. ‘Yan ang mangyayari sa alaala natin. Ang Gomburza napalitan na ng Majoha. Ewan ko lang ano pa ang tinuturong kasaysayan sa eskwelahan,” David said.

(If we forget history, we are doomed to repeat it. That will bound to happen to our collective memories, Gomburza will be changed into Majoha. I don’t know what version of history is being taught in schools.)

David, without naming names, went on to take aim at the historical revisionism and disinformation that happened during the dictatorship of late president Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

“Noong lumaya ang Pilipinas mula sa mahaba at madilim na panahon sa pagkawala ng demokrasya, natatandaan ‘nyo ba yun?” he said.

(Do you remember the time when the Philippines was set free from the long and dark era when democracy died?)

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), where David sits as president, earlier released a pastoral letter, rejecting the “radical distortions” about the Marcos dictatorship.

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Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.