By Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda, Jr.
Clearly the show of oneness and support by the members of the clergy during the concelabratory mass for re-elected second district Representative Deogracias ‘Ding’ Ramos put to shame the detractors of catholic votes.
The rites officiated by Bishop Arturo Bastes together with the parish pastors of the second district was solid proof that they took part in the electoral victory of the re-elected congressman. What makes the occasion worth analyzing is the fact that even the bashing of Ramos political opponents in all fronts did not made a dent in his bid to retake his seat in congress. This is where the church influence came-in.
The pastoral councils down the barangay level became Ramos foot soldiers, the laity whispered ear to ear to church goers and the bishop might have openly endorsed Ramos to his pastors.
What earns Ramos the blessing of the Sorsogon Church? The octagenarian Ramos is a graduate of the Our Lady of Peñafrancia Seminary, a strength that was overlook, his opposition to the Reproductive Health Bill though a party mate of the president earned him the backing of the catholic faithful and his integrity as an old hand in public administration matter most to the voters.
These were the qualities that the church opted to cast their votes to him.
Shall I add that the benefactor of Ramos opponent publicly blast the leader of the Sorsogon Roman catholic’s as if they belong to the same shoes, did it matter in their decision to go all out for re-elected Deogracias Ramos?
The bishop in his homily pleads to him that he should not work with the “devils in congress” referring to those who will propose for same sex marriage, divorce and anti-church measures. He calls for Ramos voice to achieve peace with our brother muslim’s, leftist and its armed wing. What the bishop was telling the crowd was the political agenda of Congressman Ramos in congress.
Without disguise, Bastes set the parameters of a good leader for Sorsogon, he laid the church plan for its flock that we choose our leaders on the strength of their character, God fearing and is bounded by the commitment of public service.
To tag the church as partisan in politics is absurd for who is not nowadays. The Sorsogon Diocese and its Churches knows that politics is amoral, but politics maybe for them is for people who have the moral ascendency to lead.
The diocese has its own upheaval, they have internal squabbles but they have the integrity to preach and being listened to, a plus for them. Politicians have forgotten that a sect could not win an election, they always trooped making beelines for endorsement, the catholic church of Sorsogon silently prayed for God’s deliverance. It was heard.
Whatever influences the Church and its clergy have to the voters of Sorsogon is a wakeup call. Time to cast your lot with the angels not the demons.