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PIA Press Release

Palace supports Pope's advice for upright leaders for RP

Manila (9 September) -- Malacanang has supported Pope Benedict XVI's advice for Filipinos to choose leaders who would lead them out of the struggle against poverty.

"The struggle against poverty in the Philippines calls for honesty, integrity, and an unwavering fidelity to the principles of justice, especially on the part of those entrusted with positions of governance and public administration," the Pontiff said in a message to Philippine Ambassador to the Vatican Mercedes Arrastia-Tuason during the presentation of credential last Oct. 2.

Press Undersecretary Anthony Golez and Deputy Presidential Spokesperson for the economy Gary Olivar said: "The Pope's advice is very timely especially now that elections are on the way. The Filipinos should always vote for people with unwavering honesty and integrity. We join the Pope in his call for having upright leaders this coming 2010 elections."

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) News, the official news service of the Catholic Church in the Philippines, reported the meeting between Tuason and the Pope where he revealed the concern of the Holy See on the continuing struggle of Filipinos in the face of two powerful storms that devastated the country in a week.

The Pope said that Filipino public officials should rediscover the real ethical foundation of their political authority.

He cited the need for people to work for charity and persevere in building peace in Southern Philippines.

He praised the "courageous steps" being taken in the Philippines to "foster reconciliation and mutual understanding," hinting at the efforts of the Bishop-Ulama Conference, the Mindanao People's Conference, and numerous grassroots organizations.

Tuason was one of three ambassadors who called on the Pontiff. The two others were Henriette Johanna Cornelia Maria van Lynden-Leitjen of the Netherlands, and Miguel Humberto Diaz of the United States. (PIA) [top]

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