CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – Archbishop Paciano Aniceto called for the priest-turned-governor Eddie Panlilio to “respect the decision of the Commission on Elections (Comelec)”.

The archbishop has sent the message to Panlilio over the Ash Wednesday mass following the recent decision of the Comelec Second Division.

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The Comelec earlier announced former Board member Lilia Pineda as the rightful governor of Pampanga after the ballots recount showing Pineda’s win over Panlilio by 2,011 votes.

Aniceto told Sun.Star Pampanga that the parties involved in the Panlilio-Pineda row must obey the decision of the poll body and accept democratic processes.

“We will respect Nanay Baby Pineda as our new governor and the decision of the Comelec,” Aniceto said.

Last year, Aniceto and the whole Pampanga clergy had begged Panlilio to return to priesthood and to his church ministries. He said Panlilio’s actions hurt and tarnished the church.

The highest prelate of the archdiocese also asked Panlilio to uphold his promise to return to the church when his term ends.

Meanwhile, Monsignor Jun Mercado of the Lourdes Parish in Angeles City has questioned the governor’s move of holding street rallies to express their opposition to the decision of the Comelec.

On Wednesday Panlilio’s supporters, members of the Kapampangan Kontra Recount held a protest against the Comelec decision. Last week the group, led by the governor, also conducted a vigil or a “silent protest” and a run on Sunday.