Bishop urges Duterte to listen more to people

Bishop urges Duterte to listen more to people

Bishop Julito Cortes of Dumaguete. PHOTO BY RYAN CHRISTOPHER J. SOROTE

By Ryan Christopher J. Sorote

July 26, 2020

Dumaguete City

The people should be given more say on matters of importance that affects their future, a Catholic bishop said.

Bishop Julito Cortes of Dumaguete also called for their voices to be heard when new measures are proposed and other laws affecting them are changed.

The prelate was reacting to the controversial anti-terrorism law that took effect last week and the moves for Charter change.

“We are hoping that people could be listened more by our government leaders instead of ramming down our throats exercise like changing the constitution,” Bishop Cortes said.

For him, the desires to amend the Charter are clearly “self-serving”.

Echoing Pope Francis, he emphasized that “meaningful listening is only possible when we talk less and listen more”.

“(One) essential for dialogue that bears fruit of harmony and peace is listening,” Bishop Cortes said.

In his homily for the Feast of St. James the Greater Parish in Tanjay City on Saturday, he said that other essentials for dialogue are “respect for the right of each one, respect for the truth that one stands for, and the freedom which is alienable in every human person. It is also what one proposes in a dialogue is just mutually beneficial”.

“These elements are so desired for every family, community, and the family of nations for peace and harmony to reign,” he added .

He also asked the government to “consolidate” resources and “attention” in solving and attending the COVID-19 pandemic before going to other issues.

“Stay away from issues that divide us. Clearly, these Charter change and the anti-terror law divides us,” the bishop said. “Listening is what is needed today.”