PASSION SUNDAY. Dumaguete Bishop Julito Cortes celebrates Palm Sunday Mass at St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral in Dumaguete City on April 10, 2022. During the homily, the prelate advised voters to use truth as basis when they cast their ballots on May 9. (Photo courtesy of Dumaguete Cathedral Facebook)

DUMAGUETE CITY – Bishop Julito Cortes of the Diocese of Dumaguete on Sunday said voters must choose candidates who shall stand for truth, justice, and love of country in the May 9 national and local elections.

Cortes ushered in the Holy Week observance with the traditional blessing of “palaspas”, made out of of palm or coconut leaves, during a Mass at the St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral here.

“May we not stop shouting about the truth coming from God,” Cortes said in mixed English and Cebuano, noting that like fake news and lies which led to Jesus’ death, there are those “hungry for power” who want to silence the truth and their critics.

The prelate pointed out that the people who believed and supported Jesus at first were the very same ones who asked for His crucifixion after being blinded by the Pharisees and those who sowed false truths against Him.

“Whose voice do we heed, that of God or of the world”? he asked.

The 65-year-old prelate said that in this age of modern technology, people must do fact-checking first before innocent people are judged, condemned, penalized, and even killed.

The faithful must choose candidates who will sincerely “serve the people, stand by the truth, give voice to their constituents, protect the environment, and defend human rights”, he advised.

“And may they govern, fearful of the Lord while fighting for truth and justice, and promoting development and unity in our society,” he said.

Cortes likewise called for prayers for the war in Ukraine and other countries to end, for the poor and homeless, and for those affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

“Let us also pray for our own country as we prepare for the coming May 9, 2022 elections. After the example of the Lord Jesus who gave up His life for us, may we also offer our sacred votes to do what is right and good,” he said. (PNA)