As I read the daily headlines in the news and listen to TV talk shows, I am disturbed by the issues and concerns that have surfaced during this election campaign. Where are all the good people in this country?

We need to ask ourselves the hard questions. Who do you want your children to model their lives on? Would the candidate that you plan to vote for be a good role model for your children? Do you want your children to mold their morality and values after his/her morality and values?

During the 1970 campaign for ConCon, my husband, Jun, a candidate of District 1, Negros Oriental, was often asked for money for tuba or cigarettes, and to join in the men’s drinking sessions. He always replied, “I want to serve as an example for your children so please don’t let me drink or smoke with you.” Then he would have a heart-to-heart talk with them about providing good role models for the future generation. Some listened, some didn’t; some thought about what he said, others just laughed at his “youthful innocence”.

Young boys idolize their fathers, their uncles, or elder brothers; young girls want to grow up to be like their mother, their aunties, or older sisters. Or, they look outside the family to community leaders, to T.V. personalities, to movie characters. As a reality check, I often ask myself: What do I want my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to learn from me? Am I a good role model for them?

The fact is that the youth of today are the future leaders of tomorrow.  But how can the youth of today be good leaders of tomorrow if they do not have upright, honest, courageous, strong, and transparent leaders as their role models?

Proper discernment and careful selection of candidates who can be true leaders is the direction of the advocacy “BUMOTO NG TAPAT, BUMOTO NG NARARAPAT” that the BCBP, Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals, the PPCRV, and the COMELEC are undertaking during this campaign period. Their banners ask voters to discern candidates based on the following criteria:

Iboto ang Maka-Diyos: May moral na batayan ang bawat kilos at gawa.
Iboto ang Makabayan: Kapakanan ng bawat Pilipino ang saloobin.
Iboto ang Marunong: Bihasa sa pamamahala.
Iboto ang Masipag: Handang igugol ang pagod at panahon sa pag-ganap sa tungkulin.
Iboto ang Marangal: Di nasisilaw sa salapi, matapang na lumalaban sa katiwalian.

Jun, as a member of the PPCRV’s National Executive Board representing the BCBP says that their battle cry is to let every voter know not only the issues involved, but more importantly, the true character of the candidates they will be voting for or against come May 10 elections. We need voters and leaders who are honest, sincere and capable of taking the first step in transforming our towns, our provinces, and our country into the paradise that God intended it to be, not for their own hidden agendas, but for the common good of the people.

Does your candidate think clearly about important issues? Will he or she be a loyal, honest, and dedicated servant of his/her constituency? Will he or she work to make the best better for your town, your province, our country? Does he/she live a life of simplicity, following the Golden Rule? Is he/she healthy physically, emotionally, morally and spiritually? Do you believe your candidate is sincere and trustworthy? Will he/she be a good role model for our youth, for your children and grandchildren to emulate?

Every vote counts. Make yours count by voting for candidates who can honestly influence the future for good, by not voting for those candidates who espouse guns, gold and the power of goons, or whose lives reflect the bad side of humanity or are living examples of dishonesty, lies, corruption and deceit.

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