Archbishop to voters: choose a leader with TIBAY qualities

By Myrna S. Bermudo

Caceres Archbishop Rolando J. Tria Tirona, OCD, DD, presents guidelines for discernment as the faithful prepare for the May 2022 elections. In his homily during the Eucharistic celebration for Leni Robredo, Kiko Pangilinan, and their senate slate, he offered a five-point guide with the acronym TIBAY.


“Whom should we choose and vote as our leader according to God’s will?” Tirona said the word TIBAY came to mind. He further said that “In the Bible, God chooses persons who are “matitibay at matibay mamuno sa sambayanan ng Diyos.”


He said “T” is for Totoo at Tapat.


“Dapat siya ay totoo at tapat. Yon bang nangangampanya, totoo ba yan? Tapat ba siya? Ang kabaligtaran niyan ay kasinungalingan at ka-plastikan. Ang dami ngayon ang pinapakalat ay hindi ang totoo kundi kasinungalingan. Binabaliktad ang ating kasaysayan. Tinatago at gustong kalimutan ang kasaysayan. Yun ganyang tao, nakasisiguro tayo na hindi yan ayon sa kalooban ng Diyos. Gusto ng Diyos na ang namumuno ay tapat sa Kanya, tapat sa tao, tapat sa kasaysayan at maka- totoo,” explains Archbishop Tirona.


“I” is for Integrity.


He said: “Balewala ang kakayahan at energy kung walang integrity. Integrity, from the Latin word “integer” means “buo” hindi sabog, hindi durog. Ang lider ay dapat walang bahid ng corruption, malinis ang puso, malinaw ang pag-iisip at lalo na, ibinibigay ang buong pagka-tao sa Diyos. Ibinibigay ang buong pagkatao sa sambayanan.”


“ B” is for Bayan.


“Kapag bumubuto tayo, isipin natin ang ating bansa, ang ating bayan. Ang iluluklok natin ay dapat iginagalang ang ating kasarinlan o independence at ang karapatang tao. Inaalagaan niya din ang karapatan ng kalikasan, the rights of nature,” Archbishop Tirona explains.


He further elucidates: “Minsan naririnig natin, kailangan ng unity. Magkakaroon lamang ng pagkaka-isa o unity kung may hustisya. Magkakaroon ng hustisya kung may pagpapakumbaba. Hanggat hindi ka nagpapakumbaba, hindi ka matututo magbigay ng hustisya at di mo mabubuo ang bayan o ang iyong pamilya. Kaya wag tayong magpalinlang sa mga pananalita ng pagkakaisa. Tingnan kung may kaakibat ba yang kapakumbabaan..may kasama bang katarungan? It is good to seek the counsel of God’s Word: God unites His people when He sees them humble, ready to forgive and ready to seek forgiveness for their sins. Then they will become united, because they have expressed their sorrow and they have become instruments of justice and peace.”


“A” means Alalay


“Ang isang lider na tutulong sa kapwa, lalo na sa mahihirap ay iyong mag-aalalay sa kanila. Iginagalang ang kanilang dignidad at tinatanggap na sila ay may kakayahan upang tumayo sa kanilang sariling paa at kumilos ayon sa kanilang pag-isip. At ang pag-alalay ay habangbuhay,” he continues.


“Y” is for Youth.


“Let us vote for the good of the youth o kabataan. I-angat natin ang napupusuan natin kandidato dahil alam natin na ang kanyang mga programa at pagkilos ay para sa kabutihan ng kabataan,” says Archbishop Roly.


He concluded: “iyong may “T -I- B-A-Y” ang hanapin natin sa mga gusto nating iluklok at mamuno sa ating bayan.”


In his homily, Bishop Tirona said that the mass is being offered as thanksgiving and for a peaceful, fruitful and meaningful campaign and a clean election.


Also present during the Mass who are part of TRoPa or Team Robredo-Pangilinan were Atty. Sonny Matula and Atty. Alex Lacson, candidates for senator.


Daet Bishop Rex Andrew C. Alarcon, DD, Sorsogon Bishop Jose Alan Dialogo, DD, and some of the Caceres clergy join as concelebrants.


The mass was held at the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral on February 8, the start of the campaign period.