Tuesday, August 4, 2020
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Bishop Urges Government Leaders to ‘Talk Less, Listen More’

"We are hoping that people could be listened more by our government leaders instead of ramming down our throats exercise like changing the constitution."

The people should be given a chance to air their views on matters that affect their future, says Bishop Julito Cortes of Dumaguete.

In light of the 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) that was held yesterday, July 27, Bishop Cortes has called on President Rodrigo Duterte to listen to the Filipinos’ voices. He says the administration needs to listen to the people especially when new measures are proposed and other laws that will greatly affect the people are changed. (Read: How Has the Duterte Administration Fared the Past 4 Years?)

The Bishop’s call is in reaction to the Anti-Terrorism Law that took effect last week and the moves of the legislative branch of the government for Charter change. “We are hoping that people could be listened more by our government leaders instead of ramming down our throats exercise like changing the constitution,” Bishop Cortes said.

The Bishop echoed Pope Francis in saying that “meaningful listening is only possible when we talk less and listen more.”

The Alternative Law Groups (ALG), a coalition of 18 legal resource non-governmental organizations, files on Friday, July 24, a petition to strike down the anti-terror law as it poses dangers to civil society. (Photo Courtesy of Alternative Law Groups / Metro News Central)

“(An) essential for dialogue that bears (the) fruit of harmony and peace is listening,” Bishop Cortes said. He added that in order to be a great listener, one should have “respect for the right of each one, respect for the truth that one stands for, and the freedom which is alienable in every human person.” (Church Leaders Unite To Take Stand Against Anti-Terrorism Law)

Bishop Cortes also asked the government to focus its attention on solving the COVID-19 pandemic before tackling other issues as these will divide the people. 

“Listening is what is needed today,” he said.

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