4 dioceses to follow Bacolod 'Team Patay'-A A +A
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
FOUR dioceses in the country plan to post propaganda materials naming candidates they support and reject based on the bets' stance on the controversial reproductive health (RH) law, a move started by the Diocese of Bacolod.
Fr. Melvin Castro, Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) – Episcopal Commission on Family and Life executive secretary, said he has received word that the Archdiocese of Lipa and the Dioceses of Tarlac, Borongan, and Sorsogon are set to make the similar move.
Last week, the San Sebastian Cathedral in Bacolod City posted a "Team Patay and Team Buhay" tarpaulin, which identifies both the anti and pro-Reproductive Health (RH) senatorial candidates.
The tarpaulin identified senatorial candidates Juan Edgardo Angara, Francis Escudero, Loren Legarda, Alan Peter Cayetano, Risa Hontiveros, Teddy Casiño, Jack Enrile and partylist groups Gabriela, Bayan Muna, Akbayan and Anak Pawis as members of Team Patay.
Included in Team Buhay were Joseph Victor Ejercito-Estrada, Antonio Trillanes, Gregorio Honasan, Mitos Magsaysay, Koko Pimentel, and Cynthia Villar.
Msgr. Joselito Asis, CBCP secretary general, said he does not see anything wrong with the initiatives of individual bishops.
"The pastoral statement is very clear the CBCP denounces the RH law. Now, as to how to implement that in every diocese that's already up to the bishops," said Asis.
The move comes despite the letter sent to the CBCP leadership by Akbayan party-list and other groups on Wednesday appealing for the bishops' group to restrain the different dioceses in the country in making similar actions.
The groups held a brief picket outside the CBCP office in Manila before giving the letter to the security guard posted at the gate.
"To campaign for and against particular candidates in the coming elections impinges on the constitutional guarantees to a secular society," said the groups.
"Thus, we call on the CBCP, being the official organization of the Catholic hierarchy, to ask its members not to mimic the discordant campaign initiated by the Diocese of Bacolod," they further said.
Akbayan and company said they are concerned with the actions undertaken by the Bacolod diocese and its possible snowballing effect to other dioceses.
"We hope the Catholic Church hierarchy will refrain from fanning unnecessary discord among the people. Instead, we ask the Catholic hierarchy to help us provide the people with comprehensive guideposts for them to arrive at informed decisions," said the groups.
Other signatories of the letter are Likhaan, Catholics for Reproductive Health (C4RH), Alliance of Progressive Labor-Women (APL), Akbayan Youth, Malayang Tinig ng mga Kababaihan (Matinik), Center for Popular Empowerment (CPE) and Women Advocacy for Gender Equality (Wage).
Asis assured that the letter will be given to CBCP president and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma. (HDT/Sunnex)