February 25, 2022 | 10:36
MANILA, Philippines – On the 36th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution, the Philippine Conference of Catholic Bishops has urged Filipinos to discern what is true and good amid what it has called a “pandemic of lies”.
In a pastoral letter for the upcoming elections in May, the country’s Catholic bishops also warned Filipinos against historical revisionism and the distortion of truth.
“Dear brothers and sisters, let us defend the truth. Remember: kindness without truth is pretense. Service without truth is manipulation. There can be no justice without truth. Even in charity, without truth, there is only sentimentality,” the CBCP said in a letter published Friday.
“An election or any process that is not based on truth is nothing but a deception and cannot be trusted,” he added.
The bishops also said they were appalled by the “radical” distortion of history or its denial, misinformation and disinformation and the proliferation of troll farms.
“A failure to respect the truth is a failure to respect freedom. When we ignore the truth, we ignore our accountability. Can we fight corruption if there is no truth? We must be ready to face the truth about ourselves,” they said.
Martial law is not an invention
The letter, signed by CBCP President and Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, was released as the country commemorates the 36th anniversary of a peaceful uprising that toppled the dictatorship of the late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., whose the two-decade reign saw an outright violation of human rights. and the massive looting of state coffers.
His son and namesake is leading the presidential race, according to opinion polls, despite the clan’s history.
The bishops said many of them witnessed the injustice and cruelty of Elder Marcos’ martial law. “All of this is written in our history.”
“We are alarmed by this distortion of the truth of history and the attempt to erase or destroy our collective memory through the sowing of lies and false narratives. It is dangerous, because it poisons our collective conscience and destroys the moral foundations of our institutions,” they said.
The CBCP also stressed that the people power revolution was not the invention of one person or one party.
“It was a fruit of love of neighbor and of faith. With you, we were just part of it… It was a triumph of all the Filipino people,” he said.
As the campaigns for the upcoming elections heat up, the Catholic Bishops have urged Filipinos to engage in dialogue and discernment.
“Listen to your conscience. Be the ones who decide. We trust in your ability to discern what is true and good. We all seek the common good,” CBCP said.
“And, in the light of the Gospel of Jesus, let us follow the path of truth, goodness, justice and peace, and not the path of violence, revenge or evil.