Bishops prod next president to keep promises

MANILA—The country’s next president and other national government leaders have been told to keep their election pledges.

Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo said these include more transparency in the government, solving poverty and eradicating graft and corruption, ending human rights abuses, among others.

He urged the next administration to draw up plans to ensure that corrupt public officials be held accountable for their acts.

“I really believe that poverty in our country is caused by corruption in the government… by our corrupt leaders,” Lagdameo said.

“I am hoping that they will keep their promises to the people at the time when they were still campaigning,” he said.

Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco echoed the former president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, saying corruption is one of the country’s biggest problems.

According to him, many cases of alleged corruption in the government were exposed to the public “but there’s no closure.”

“I hope real fight against corruption will continue and there will be justice and restitution,” Ongtioco said.

A day after the May 10 automated polls, Sen. Benigno Aquino III vowed to keep his campaign promise to wipe out corruption as he headed for a landslide victory in the presidential elections.

Aquino, whose parents fought to topple a dictatorship, is currently leading by five million votes over his closes rival, former president Joseph Estrada.

He is expected to be proclaimed the country’s 15th president when Congress convenes this month.

One of the most awaited actions from Aquino is how he will keep his promise to give his family’s hacienda to farmers.

Aquino earlier said he has already asked his “extended family” to find ways and means to transfer the assets of Hacienda Luisita to farmer beneficiaries.

“This should be done debt-free to allow the farmers to begin without any financial baggage,” he said.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec), meanwhile, said it will be declaring at least eight of the 12 winning senatorial candidates on Saturday afternoon.

The top eight are: Bong Revilla, Ramon Jr. – 15,064,835; Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada – 14,598,398 ; Defensor Santiago, Miriam – 13,335,800; Drilon, Franklin – 12,375,507; Enrile, Juan Ponce – 12,187,170; Cayetano, Pilar Juliana – 10,631,671; Marcos, Ferdinand Jr. – 10,050,605; Recto, Ralph – 9,814,356. Ronalyn Ramos/Kent Dela Cruz, CBCP News

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