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Jun 05th
Home Sections Politics Is There a “Catholic Vote” in the Philippines?
Is There a “Catholic Vote” in the Philippines? PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Politics
Written by Bobby M. Reyes   
Thursday, 23 April 2009 16:31

Mamacita, don't make a mistake (of) saying that the Philippines is the only Catholic country (per Ernie Ramos) in that part of the world? What about East Timor? Imagine if he is the Philippine President and he doesn’t know about East Timor, which was under the Portuguese rule for many years? – NaFFAA Midwest Chair Ed Navarra


T hus posted in an online loop Engineer Navarra in his reply of a posting to Ms. Anita Sese. (She is the so-called “Filipino Fairy Godmother of America,” as coined by former University Professor Cesar Torres.) Mr. Navarra is also one of the Filipino-American Republican National Council prime movers.


Mr. Navarra posted the above comments in an Internet discussion on the supposed “Catholic Vote” in the Philippines in connection with the Philippine presidential bid of Ernie Ramos, Ph.D., who is a Florida-based Filipino-American community leader and a former Catholic priest. He is now the president of the newly-organized Democratic Party of the Philippines (DPP). Dr. Ramos belongs also to the Democratic Party in the United States.


The so-called “Philippine Alliance of Ex-Seminarians” (PAX) will hold its convention at the Christ the King Seminary in Quezon City, Philippines, on April 25-26, 2009. Dr. Ramos heads also the supposed PAX chapter in the United States and he claims that more-than 1.5-million ex-seminarians will support his presidential bid. While some PAX founders e-mailed privately this writer that they have not even discussed the bid of Dr. Ramos for the Philippine presidency, other PAX members openly campaign for the candidacy of incumbent Pampanga Gov. Ed “Among” Panlilio, a Catholic priest on leave. To some Ramos supporters, the ideal ticket is Ramos-Panlilio or Panlilio-Ramos. Yes, two Catholic leaders who will rally the Catholic faithful and save the Philippines from eternal political damnation.


Is there a Filipino “Catholic Vote”? Iloilo-born Ernesto Gange, a venerable Filipino-American community leader in Pennsylvania, laughs at the so-called “Catholic Vote” in the Philippines. While Apo Ernie Gange is a practicing Catholic himself, he explains that the “Catholic Vote” was magnified in the United States when John F. Kennedy won the presidency in the very-competitive 1960 elections. Mr. Kennedy was the first and only Catholic President of the United States. On the other hand, he says that there is no “Catholic Vote” in the Philippines as almost all of the candidates were/are Catholics. Apo Ernie says that the only exceptions were Protestant Fidel V. Ramos, who won the presidency in the 1992 election, and Bishop Gregorio Aglipay of the Philippine Independent Church, who lost in the 1935 Philippine Commonwealth presidential election.


Mr. Gange was the first Filipino-American member of the Pearl S. Buck Foundation’s Board of Trustees. He says further that the “Catholic Vote” in the United States usually casts (pun intended) its lot with the Republican Party. He says that it is hypocritical for a Catholic to become a Democrat in view of the Democratic Party’s support of abortion and its liberally-extreme stand on social issues.


Then there is also the criticism by some Filipinos in the homeland that the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) is actually part and parcel of “The Imperial Manila (TIM).”


And there is my essay, Why Not All Filipino Catholics Are Christians.


* Editor’s Note: Please read also its Part II,  Post Script to the Editorial, Why Not All Filipino Catholics Are Christians


A follow-up article will be published about the alleged role of the RCC in the functions of “The Imperial Manila,” which supposedly took over the powers of the colonial masters during the Spanish and American regimes in the Philippines.


In the meantime, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has called for a “year of spiritual preparation for the 2010 polls,” as reported by www.GMANews.TV.


* CBCP calls for year of spiritual preparation for 2010 polls


M ANILA, Philippines - The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) called Thursday for a year of spiritual preparation and change to face another crucial moment in the country’s history - the 2010 elections.

CBCP President Angel Lagdameo said this year of prayer and work for peace-building will include efforts by all sectors for moral regeneration.

“We invite the Filipino faithful to start preparing spiritually for another crucial transition in the life of our nation — namely, the elections in May 2010. For this purpose, we are declaring the post-Pauline year (from June 2009 until June 2010) as a year of Prayer and Work for Peace-building and Lay Participation in Social Change," Lagdameo said in a pastoral exhortation dated April 19.

“We challenge our Catholic laity, in particular, to take the lead in the task of moral renewal towards a deeper and more lasting change in the Philippine society. We challenge all lay people involved in politics to renounce corruption and bond together in the task of evangelizing politics for effective governance and the pursuit of the common good," he added.

The text of the exhortation is posted on the CBCP
Web site.

In his exhortation, Lagdameo also issued a set of challenges to legislators, traders, law enforcers, and those involved in mass communications to do their part.

He particularly urged Catholic laypeople involved in legitimate business to organize selves and consciously practice their trade with a strong sense of corporate social responsibility informed by the social teachings of the Church.

C atholic law enforcers were urged to form associations among themselves that consciously renounce violence, respect basic human rights, and truly work for the preservation of peace and social order.

Lagdameo called on the Catholic laity involved in social communications and the modern mass media to form networks among themselves that can articulate a genuinely Christian ethics in their practice of their profession.

“We urge every Catholic lay person to give a concrete expression to Christian discipleship through responsible citizenship," he said.

Meanwhile, Lagdameo said the CBCP will launch this new thematic year by consecrating the country to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary on their feast days on June 19-20.

He said this Year of Prayer and Work for Peace-Building and Lay Participation in Social Change will begin and end with the feasts of the Two Hearts from June 2009 to June 2010.

“From the wounded Heart of Jesus flowed the grace of healing and reconciliation. Let this grace flow through us, the community of Christ’s disciples, into the bloodstream of our nation. Let it find a concrete expression in serious advocacies for peace and dialogue, healing and reconciliation amidst conflict-situations in all possible circumstances of life," he said.

Lagdameo pushed for all church groups all over the country to focus on peace-building and genuine reconciliation through dialogue.

“Let us consciously lay the moral foundations on which we can build a more stable, more mature Philippine society. Let this foundation be not just a change of leaders or a change of social and political structures, but above all, a radical change of heart, commending ourselves to Jesus and his Blessed Mother as we entreat them to ‘make our hearts so like to (theirs) that we may holy be!’" he said.

Bishop Lagdameo pointed out that while pastors exercise spiritual and moral leadership, they cannot just extend that leadership into the spheres of politics and governance. Neither can they do this in areas of business and economics, in the sciences and the mass media, without running the risk of being misconstrued as engaging in power play or over-extending their sphere of influence beyond their offices.

He said this is where the participation of the laity in moral leadership pertaining to every specific discipline and institution in the Philippine society is most essential.

Lagdameo also pushed for the recitation of a prayer at least every Sunday after communion in all Catholic churches and chapels all over the country from June 2009 to June 2010.

The prayer is as follows:

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, the reality of our deeply wounded and broken country impels us to respond with new urgency to the most pressing problems of our times.

We are a broken people; our hearts are fragmented and we are discouraged. We need Your Heart, O Lord, as we seek to be made whole.
Rooted in our faith in You and love for our country, we want to participate in Your work of transformation of persons, families, organizations, and society.

Through the transforming power of the love of Your Heart, we draw a new dynamism, a strong inspiration, a fire, which can change and transfigure our lives as individuals and as a nation. (please pause for a specific intention)

Love of the Heart of Jesus, give us courage and patience. Wisdom of the Heart of Jesus, teach us to pray and to act with hope and charity at all times. Amen.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.

May Jesus, the Source of Divine Mercy, and His mother Mary accompany us in our work of peace-building and social and moral regeneration. - GMANews.TV # # #


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Last Updated on Friday, 24 April 2009 11:30
Comments (3)
1 Thursday, 23 April 2009 19:43
Posted by Institute of Federal-Parliamentary Government, Kalayaan College, No. 24 Mango Road, corner Aurora Boulevard, beside the Betty Go Belmonte Station, LRT2. New site from May 15, 2009

Analysis on the position of the Catholic Church on Charter Change

The Church is for Charter Change after 2010, not before;
The Church wants to help in making amendments to the Constitution as it did in 1986-87;
The Church is against removing term limits on Pres Arroyo, “the present power holder.”
Apparently, the Church may not be against removing the term limit on the leader (not President Arroyo) who will be elected President in 2010. This could mean an amendment that the next President may be allowed by constitutional amendment to succeed himself/herself either as President again, or as the Prime Minister in a parliamentary system.
This analysis is based on the following news item published by Philippine Star, on August 23, 2009.

Church to push for Cha-cha after 2010, says official - Thursday, April 23, 2009

MANILA, Philippines – The Catholic Church will be pushing for Charter Change (Cha-cha) after the 2010 national elections, an official said today.

Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), said they are even willing to help in making amendments in the Constitution.

"In fact, that is what had happened in the Constitution of 1987 that some of our Canon lawyers and Bishop Ted Bacani was there and Fr. Joaquin Bernas," Lagdameo said.

He reiterated that the CBCP's stand on Cha-cha is for amendments to be made after 2010.

"It's always connected with the idea of removing term limits for the present power holder. That is what we do not like," the CBCP head noted.

The CBCP is set to meet on May but the issue of Cha-cha might not be tackled. - By Dennis Carcamo (Philstar News Service,

The Office of Dr. Jose V. Abueva
President, Kalayaan College at
Riverbanks, 1803 Marikina, Philippines
Telefax (632)934 4865
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
2 Friday, 24 April 2009 05:55
Sorry, I am not interested in Catholic votes, I am not a Catholic, I am not that religious, as long as a person is doing something right, not hurting anybody, it is a-okay for me.

Besides, I am not an intellectual like you guys, I would rather collect husbands.

3 Friday, 24 April 2009 06:42
Congrats, Anita, for making the right assessment. I'm Catholic, but don't believe there's such a thing as a "Catholic vote". As most of us know, the only "solid vote" among religious sectors would be...the Iglesia ni Cristo vote. Trust me, I won't vote for any candidate just because he has the "Imprimatur" of the CBCP. As a rule, I let my conscience guide me at the voting booth. In previous elections here in the U.S. - there were occasional "pastoral letters" coming from some diocese "instructing" the faithful on how vote, hinting at "who" or "what" to vote for, and then...towards the end of the letter...raising the spectre of "excommunication" or threat of the fires of hell if one didn't vote "right".

If I recall, I hit the "reply all" button saying in effect that I'd much rather disobey the pope than disobey my conscience, and if I were to be "excommunicated" I should at least be given the privilege of performing the ceremony myself: let any bishop bring me a missal (preferably in Latin), incense, candles, holy water - and I'll commit religious hara-kiri like a good samurai. The funny is, I NEVER GOT A RESPONSE. Nananakot lang pala! Anong akala nila sa Dios - na ang panginoong Dios ay utu-uto, at basta na lang susunod sa kahit anong sulsol ng mga obispo?! He, he, he!


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