By Roi Lomotan
DUMAGUETE CITY (PIA) – “Our people are badly in need of servant leaders who are exposed to serve.”
Bishop Julito Cortes of the Diocese of Dumaguete pointed this out to local candidates in the upcoming elections when he delivered a short speech during the Walk for CHAMP event held here recently.
Bishop Cortes addressed local candidates, students, officers of law enforcement agencies, Commission on Elections (COMELEC) here, and members of the media who participated in the event.
The bishop’s message was centered on leadership and the responsibility of various sectors in achieving Clean, Honest, Accurate, Meaningful and Peaceful (CHAMP) elections.
Cortes described servant leaders as persons who are competent, compassionate of the plight of the people especially the poor, respectful of the dignity and people’s rights and are willing to sacrifice for the common good.
He underscored to candidates that to be a leader is not a privilege and honor but a call to service.
“It bears great responsibility to the one or the people we are serving,” he added.
“Today, it is good (time) for our country to rethink what leadership is and to locate its true meaning in servant hood,” he further said.
He told the politicians to take the life of Jesus Christ as an example of true leadership.
“Jesus Christ was a real king but a different kind of king. He ruled by serving,” he told them.
In relation to this, he said the public should look into a candidate’s Karakter (character), Kakayahan (capacity) and Katapatan (honesty) as their basis for voting.
He also encouraged them to examine a candidate using the LASER lifestyle or their lifestyle, accomplishments, supporters, election conduct and reputation as a way of discerning future leaders of the province.
Meanwhile, Bishop Cortes also emphasized that in order to achieve CHAMP elections there should be a conversion of mind and heart in every person.
He appealed to voters not to patronize vote buying as this promotes corruption.
“Do not sell your votes. Vote buying encourages corruption and corruption encourages vote buying it is a vicious cycle that has to be stopped,” he said.
Bishop Cortes noted that achieving a CHAMP election is a responsibility not only for the COMELEC, PNP, the armed forces, the candidates but for everyone.
Walk for CHAMP is organized by the Diocesan Electoral Board of the Diocese of Dumaguete.
The event culminated with an interfaith prayer service, candle lighting, and covenant signing for peaceful elections. (rmn/ral/PIA7-Negros Oriental/This article was first published at PIA website on Mar. 7, 2016)