The head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines called on the Filipino faithful not to surrender to the “forces of evil at work in our society.”
Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan made the statement a week after the country’s national elections that swept into power the son of former strongman Ferdinand Marcos Sr.
“It is important to keep a good attitude and remain focused as we ‘move forward’ together,” said the bishop. “We should not surrender our hope to the forces of evil at work in our society,” he said.
Bishop David said “well-funded trolls that are very successful in conditioning minds through mass disinformation in the social media” continue to challenge the country’s democratic institutions.
He cited, for instance, massive vote-buying that has been made easier by online cash transfers, becoming more obvious in last week’s elections.
The prelate, however, said young people and the “reawakened sense of patriotism among many sectors in Philippine society” offered hope.
He noted that the Filipino youth “have discovered the power of solidarity for the common good.”
“Their desire to give a more concrete expression to responsible citizenship as the key to achieving good governance has been strongly manifested in their many spontaneous acts of volunteerism,” said the bishop.
“I call it a rediscovery of what we used to call ‘people power,’” he said.
Bishop David said these initiatives have to be “harnessed through the creation of well-thought out, well-planned, and better organized mass movements that will “contribute proactively towards community development” and the formation of “a better, more mature political culture.”
He urged everyone to use Pope Francis’ encyclical Fratelli Tutti and the Catholic social teachings as guide in putting these initiatives into action.