TO OUR HONORABLE SENATORS, CONGRESSMEN AND CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION
In our democratic society, election is a fundamental process. It is through an honest and free election that lawful authority, which resides in the people though ultimately derived from God, is
communicated and constituted. If an election is fraudulent, the officials thereby "elected" are usurpers.
It is a grave duty of our lawmakers to safeguard the sanctity of the ballot by
appropriate legislation. Past elections have shown some defects in our present electoral system. In view of the forthcoming November elections, which could be very crucial for our country, the duty of
our lawmakers to institute immediate electoral reforms is imperative.
The feeling of frustration on the part of our people makes such duty of our lawmakers even more urgent.
We the Catholic Bishops of the
Philippines strongly appeal therefore to those charged with the formulation of our national policy to heed the cries of our long suffering people for the much needed reforms.
We congratulate the Senate and the House
of Representatives for the passage, finally, of their respective electoral reform bills. We regret, however, that certain important reforms recommended by the Comelec and several civic organizations were left out.
We believe that such recommendations reflect the sentiments of the general public. Thus, while we respect the opinion of our legislators, we submit, nevertheless, that at these times the people in a democracy
be listened to.
We beg, therefore, our legislators to approve said recommendations, as we implore Almighty God, "who guides the destinies of men and nations" to enlighten, strengthen, and bless us all, in
this crucial stage of nation building.
For the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines:
(SGD.)+MARIANO G. GAVIOLA, D.D.