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Palawan plebiscite: Bishop urges flock to ‘vote for common good’

Palawan plebiscite: Bishop urges flock to ‘vote for common good’

Bishop Socrates Mesiona of Puerto Princesa. AVPP-UGNAYAN

By CBCP News

February 13, 2021

Manila, Philippines

A Catholic bishop rallied his flock to think of the “common good” ahead of the plebiscite to split Palawan into three provinces.

In his latest pastoral letter, Bishop Socrates Mesiona of Puerto Princesa told Palaweños that their province’s future depends on their votes.

The prelate particularly called for “circles for discernment” to discuss this “very important matter because it has a big impact on our lives in the future”.

He said that voters should also think about the plebiscite’s impact on the environment, indigenous peoples, and the poor communities.

The local church has also released its voter’s guide detailing some pros and cons of dividing the province, which also covers the Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay.

Mesiona reminded the people of their “great duty to know, reflect and discern the true implications of this matter” before they vote on March 13.

President Rodrigo Duterte on April 5, 2019 signed a law dividing Palawan into three provinces, which will be named Palawan del Norte, Palawan Oriental, and Palawan del Sur.

The provinces will be created upon approval of a majority of voters in a plebiscite that excludes Puerto Princesa residents.

The plebiscite was initially scheduled in May 2020 but was suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The bishop encouraged Palaweños to join in the electoral process and not to “waste” their votes.

“Let us remember that voting is sacred, so let us value it,” Mesiona said.

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