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A call to moral courage in the 2022 elections

A call to moral courage in the 2022 elections

The coming National and Local Elections is an opportunity to exercise our Catholic Christian call to social responsibility and love of country. It is happening at a time when our country confronts unprecedented crises of enormous proportions, with millions of our kababayans suffering from the health, economic, and psychological impacts of the pandemic, and the devastation of typhoon Odette. People are afraid of what the uncertain future holds. We are struggling between hope and despair, even toward the leaders we are electing three months from now.

We, the undersigned members of the National Board of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP), a national network of private Catholic schools in all regions of our country, believe that our Christian values should be proclaimed vigorously in these elections. These values are at the core of our mission of teaching, research, community engagement, and spiritual formation.

We value truth, and thus we deplore the massive disinformation that is deceiving our people, especially our youth, in a way that is unparalleled in our history. We vehemently reject the candidates who run under this platform of lies and historical distortion – disseminated in social media by massively-financed trolls – particularly the brazen presentation of the Marcos dictatorship and Martial Law as benevolent regimes in our political history. We denounce candidates who exploit our people’s poverty through vote buying and intimidation.

We value justice, and thus we reject candidates who have supported the unjust acts of the current administration, particularly its drug war that has killed thousands, mostly poor and powerless, and the blatant lack of remorse and accountability from the country’s leadership. We reject candidates who supported the current administration’s policy toward China’s aggression inside Philippine territory, its rejection of the Hague ruling, and the lack of protection of Filipino fisherfolk.

We value democracy, and thus we support candidates who uphold it and the rule of law in our land. We reject candidates who undermine democracy through intolerance of critique and opposition, influence peddling in all three branches of government, perpetuation of a culture of impunity, traditional and patronage politics, and through rampant human rights violations.

We value integrity, and thus we support candidates with the following qualities: no record of corruption, proven competence in participatory governance, transparency and accountability in public service, love for the poor and their empowerment, ability to sacrifice for the sake of the common good, and readiness to fight for values of truth, social justice, and democracy. We support leaders who wield power as social responsibility and not self-entitlement, and who can connect to the spiritual in their lives, through their conscience, discernment, and faith in God.

We value our work of educating the youth, and thus we support candidates who will uphold, push, and support legislation to strengthen private education and recognize its complementarity with public education, as critical in nation building.

As educators, we humbly pursue our mission to be beacons of light – to bring the light of truth, justice, democracy, and integrity to our society, now languishing in the darkness of lies, injustice, authoritarianism, and dysfunctional leadership and governance. The May Elections is the opportunity that will break this darkness.

Ultimately, the choice is moral – leading us to take prophetic, non-neutral, even partisan positions on behalf of the Gospel values we stand for, discerned prayerfully and critically, and acted on with courage and faith. We call on our member schools, communities, and partners to unite in this great moral imperative of our times.

SR. MARISSA R. VIRI, RVM
CEAP President
Trustee at Large
President, University of the Immaculate Conception — Davao

FR. THADEU ENRIQUE N. BALONGAG
CEAP Vice President
Negros Island Trustee
Superintendent, Diocese of Dumaguete

FR. ALBERT N. DELVO
CEAP Treasurer
Trustee at Large
Superintendent, Diocese of Novaliches

FR. GILBERT B. SALES, CICM
CEAP Corporate Secretary
CAR Region Trustee
President, St. Louis University

MR. JOSE ALLAN I. ARELLANO
CEAP Executive Director

ATTY. SABINO B. PADILLA IV
CEAP Legal Counsel

FR. MAURICIO T. ULEP, CMF
Trustee at Large
School Director, Claret School of Quezon City

FR. ONOFRE G. INOCENCIO, JR., SDB
Trustee at Large
Chair, Technical Vocational Education Commission
Superintendent, Don Bosco Schools

SR. FELICITAS V. BERNARDO, SPC
Trustee at Large
Chair, National Basic Education Commission
Dean, Graduate School of St. Paul University Manila

FR. NOLAN A. QUE
NCR Trustee
Chair, National Christian Formation Commission School
Director, Cluster 5 and 6, RCAM ES,
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila Educational System

FR. RAMON R. CALUZA, CICM
Region I Trustee
President, St. Louis College San Fernando La Union

FR GERARD ARISTON P. PEREZ
Region II Trustee
President, St. Joseph’s College of Baggao

MR. NARCY ADOR F. DIONISIO
Region III Trustee
Principal, Dominican High School,
Diocese of San Jose, Nueva Ecija

SR. LUZVIMINDA G. MOJICA, FdCC
Region IV Trustee
Superintendent, Canossian Daughters of Charity Schools

FR. ODINE L. AREOLA
Region V Trustee
President, Veritas College of Irosin

FR. JOSE GUALBERTO I. VILLASIS
Region VI Trustee
Chair, National Higher Education Commission
President, Aklan catholic College

FR. NARCISO A. CE LLAN, JR., SVD
Region VII Trustee
President, University of San Carlos

FR. REY ANTHONY P. NAVIDAD
Region VIII Trustee
Superintendent, Diocese of Borongan Catholic School

FR. KAREL S. SAN JUAN
Region IX Trustee
Chair, National Advocacy Commission
President, Ateneo De Zamboanga University

FR. MAX V. CEBALLOS, SSJV
Region X Trustee
Superintendent, Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro

BR. NOELVIC H. DELORIA, SC
Region XI Trustee
President, Holy Cross of Davao College

SR. MA. FE D. GERODIAS, RVM
Region XII Trustee
President, Notre Dame RVM College of Cotabato

SR. ROSANNE MALLILLIN, SPC
CARAGA Region Trustee
President, St. Paul University Surigao

FR. EDUARDO SANTOYO, OMI
BARMM Trustee
President, Notre Dame of Jolo College, Sulu

FR. RAYMOND JOSEPH L. ARRE
Chair, Superintendents Commission
Superintendent, Diocese of Cubao

FR. ALAIN P. MANALO
Chair, Philippine Catholic Schools Standard (PCSS) Commission
Superintendent, Diocese of Imus

*The names and signatories appearing on this statement are CEAP National Board members who have, in
their individual capacities, signified their support and concurrence to the statement

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