BISHOPS in the country have issued guidelines on selecting political aspirants for the May 10 elections.

However, a pro-life advocate said the guidelines issued by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) will not ensure a Catholic vote.

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“The Catholic vote is still a dream, but the guidelines issued by CBCP hope to unleash a Catholic voice that may cause a swing vote during the elections,” said Dr. Rene Josef Bullecer of the Task Force for Life Movement.

The guidelines, entitled “A Catechism on Family and Life for the 2010 Elections,” which was formulated by the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, aims to guide Filipino Catholics in dealing with major issues that concern electoral candidates on the May 2010 elections, particularly those dealing with anti-life and anti-family issues.

Reproductive health

One topic discussed is the House bill on reproductive health, responsible parenthood and population development, commonly known as the RH Bill.

The church also mentioned the necessity of catechism in teaching Catholics what to expect during the elections, and the possible “evils” of the controversial RH bill and other anti-life and anti-family policies being crafted by legislators.

According to CBCP, the guidelines hope to help the Filipino family choose a candidate who can help strengthen the foundations of the family.

“Whenever we explain our desire to further strengthen the Filipino family, we should base our arguments primarily on legal, medical, economic, educational, psychological, sociological and other scientific data rather than on religious teachings alone. This translation of our faith into legitimate inputs to the policy-making process helps our elected officials see more clearly the reasonableness of our advocacy,” the CBCP said.

Challenge

The guidelines are based on a challenge made by former CBCP president and Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, Bullecer told Sun.Star Cebu yesterday.

“(Lagdameo) is challenging die-hard Catholics to not only vote for the right officials, but also run as candidates who can embody the teachings of the church,” he said.

But Bullecer, a known lay official here in Cebu, said Catholics still have a choice whether to follow the guidelines or not.