MALITA, Davao Occidental (MindaNews/March 27) – Here is the statement from the Missionaries of Jesus (MJ), “to advance the struggle for nation building and to support the candidacies of Leni Robredo and Kiko Pangilinan.”
We, the Missionaries of Jesus (MJ), an institute of religious priests, brothers and lay missionaries in the Philippines and abroad, join our fellow Filipinos in their quest for a better life for our nation through honest governance , fair and effective through the upcoming May 9 elections. We are currently
working with the urban and rural poor, indigenous peoples and our Muslim brothers and sisters in Mindanao.
WE DECLARE THAT WE CHOOSE LENI ROBREDO AND KIKO PANGILINAN TO BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT AND VICE
PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES.
As a civil servant, Leni Robredo has already demonstrated her concern for the poor. During her short stint as chairperson of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), she was able to provide “low-cost housing to 46,000 families and set up an urban development assistance fund worth one billion pesos as an incentive for local government units.”
If elected, she pledges to let the poorest sectors participate in the development of reforms to improve their social situation. She promises that her government will “legislate laws that would eliminate or curb the widespread use and abuse of the practice of contracting out labour.” and to bring “the minimum wage closer to a living wage for all types of workers”. She also said she was committed to “ending
extrajudicial killings, in particular of trade unionists, social activists and journalists, by thoroughly investigating all cases of killings and holding those responsible fully accountable and by establishing and strengthening mechanisms that would respect freedom of association .
We are confident that Leni will not forget the plight and struggles of indigenous peoples. She swore to them that “…gaano man kakaunti kayo, gaano man kalayo kayo, sisiguraduhin po natin na ‘yung ating gobyerno ay inaalagaan kayo” (…even if you are a minority, no matter how far
you are, the government will take care of you). She also pledged “to rescind the Duterte administration’s order authorizing new mining deals.” and to pass a law stipulating which areas of the country should be declared non-mining zones.
The mining industry in the Philippines has always been a major cause of displacement for indigenous peoples, destroying their homes and livelihoods. Added to this is its assurance of promoting sustainable development by preserving the country’s ecological landscapes.
We join many Muslim groups and movements who believe that Leni would be able to sustain the gains of the peace process in Muslim Mindanao. They see her as a partner in the campaign for moral governance because of her steadfastness in her fight against corruption. Leni claimed that the Muslim people, who have been left in poverty and neglect, will be part of her governance. We are confident that Leni will guide us through moral governance. It’s bribery!
We dare not look on the fringes of history as the Marcos attempt to reign once more over this country which has already suffered enough due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the despotic rule of the Duterte administration. We refuse to be deceived by the absurd lies peddled as facts on social media about martial law in the Philippines. We add our voices to those who cry: “No, never again! Now is a “kairos moment” in our history with a new movement marching and calling for a government that serves those who have less and governs with justice and not with caprice. Regardless of the May election results, we declare that we are choosing to be on the right side of history by choosing to support Leni and Kiko!
As we issue this statement, we remain aware that we must respect the opinions of those who do not share this statement.
March 26, 2022, City of Antipolo
In the name of the Missionaries of Jesus (MJ)
(Sgd) Fr. Euginius L. Canete, MJ
(Sgd) Fr. Manuel U. Gacad, MJ
(Sgd) Fr. Aris D. Villanueva, MJ
MJ PH-Northern District Coordinator
(Sgd) Fr. Primo M. Fagel, Jr., MJ
MJ PH-South District Coordinator
(Sgd) Fr. Michael Ariel M. Montoya, MJ
MJ Americas District Coordinator
(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Fr. Joey Gánio Evangelista, MJ, leads the Malita Tagakaulo Mission of the Diocese of Digos. The mission is based in Malita, Davao Occidental)