Monday, June 28, 2010

It's time to move on with honest leadership

Homily of Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo
Jaro Cathedral, June 25, 2010

We appreciate the initiative that brings us today together to offer this Mass in thanksgiving for the recent election and its welcomed result. We congratulate and thank all of you who worked for it, together with the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting.

From where we have been in the last national and local election, with its results, some very much welcomed, prayed for and expected, some very surprising and unexpected results. We have to move on with the grace of God and look forward to the future with trust and confidence.

Our congratulations, best wishes and prayers go to all the incoming national and local leaders of our country, the incoming new administration under the Presidency of Noynoy Aquino.

We call upon the new and incoming government the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit: knowledge, understanding, wisdom and insight, fortitude, piety and fear of the Lord.

Yes, indeed, these gifts are also available to politicians in that they are concerned with the common good and welfare, order and harmony of the governed, the Filipino people.

To whatever political party politicians and public servants belong, they must remember that the primary and ultimate common goal of politics, of political parties and of elected politicians, is their beneficial contribution to the common good of society. We categorically affirm that our duly elected government officials have people as their priority, not themselves, not their families, not their political parties, but the people who are their mandated beneficiaries. Otherwise, they would become irrelevant and detrimental, and they would be disappointing the people.

When the newly elected President Aquino takes his oath of office on June 30 and all the others after him, they will be pronouncing their oath before the Filipino People and to God. More than the Justice of the Supreme Court, the witnesses of that oath are the Filipino People and God Himself, whom they will invoke with the phrase: “So help me God.”

President Noynoy has made a good start. He had told reporters lately: “You have to be humble to say that you are not Superman and Einstein combined. You don’t have all the solutions at your finger tips.” (Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 17, 2010)

President Noynoy, I think, was spirit-inspired when he stated as follows and I repeat it to all elected officials now: “Once you are aware of your limitations, at the end of the day, there are certain things to be left to God. You ask to be His instrument in making His Kingdom on Earth apparent and, at the same time, you ask for His protection to do what has to be done.” (cf. Inquirer, June 17) Noynoy said that in an interview by media. In saying this, he must have been thinking of his parents, the late Senator Ninoy and President Cory, whom President-elect Noynoy recalled as teaching him “ Do whatever you can and entrust the rest to God.”

Many suggestions and advice have been given to the President-Elect, both from the private and public sectors, and from the Church sectors, which I am tempted to repeat because they are good ones. Let us pray that our new President will be guided and listen to the Holy Spirit.

Now is the time – June 30, 2010 – to put into action what he has eloquently articulated: “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap.” People who are corrupt must be converted and renewed. Institutions which are corrupt and are sources of corruption, must be “demolished” and replaced by institutions that work for the common good.

We must continue to pray for the newly elected government officials, that they may be true and faithful, honest and transparent in fulfilling the mandates of their respective offices. Prayer is not enough; each one must be an exemplary citizen himself/herself.

As we expect our government officials to be exemplary so must we be as citizens: for the love of God and country. It was not enough that we have voted, we must likewise actively follow up whether they are honestly serving the common good or not. If we had been vigilant during the election so must we be now for good governance.

Heavenly Father, give our newly elected government officials, President-Elect Noynoy Aquino, and all of them down the line, with the gift of servant-leadership: that the best form of leadership is service of the least, the last and the lost, giving life to the articulated vision: “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap.”