The head of Manila’s Roman Catholic Church delivered a powerful message on servant leadership to the candidates for national positions during a Mass at the Manila Cathedral on Monday.
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle said the election of any candidate carries with it a great deal of responsibility more than victory.
“In being candidates, you need to know that it is a blessing that comes with a responsibility. If you win, it means you must represent the people’s dreams and common good,” stressed the prelate.
“You are blessed but you have a great responsibility. Blessings cannot come without responsibilities. They go hand-in-hand,” he said.
The cardinal made the statement in his homily during a Mass before the candidates’ signing of a covenant “Truthful, Responsible, Upright, Transparent, and Honest” for the May 9 elections.
To do so, the church leader urged the presidential and senatorial candidates present to evaluate what the real needs of the people are.
Over the next six years, he urged the country’s next leaders to do everything in their power to live up to those responsibilities, building better and safer communities in the country.
According to him, assessing the needs of people refers to what will be good for majority of Filipinos, and not just their allies.
“The candidates also need to study. Study what are the real needs of the people that voted for him. That will go beyond party politics because we are already talking about common good,” said Tagle.
At least two presidential and 17 senate bets attended the signing of the covenant for clean polls.
Of the five candidates for president, only Vice President Jejomar Binay and administration bet Mar Roxas were present during the event held with only a week before the elections.
No vice-presidential candidates attended the event, although Liberal Party bet Leni Robredo sent a representative.
Senatorial aspirants present included Rep. Martin Romualdez, Rep. Roman Romulo, Sen Tito Sotto, Susan Ople, among others.
“We would have preferred their physical presence as this would show their solidarity with the moral position of the Church for this coming election,” said Radio Veritas president Fr. Anton Pascual.
He revealed all 66 candidates had been sent invitations, but many were unavailable due to their scheduled campaign sorties.
“Basically, in spirit, those who are not here also support this TRUTH Covenant of the Church,” said Pascual.