FOUR bishops on Saturday declared support for Ang Kapatiran presidential bet John Carlos "JC" de los Reyes, joining the other two who vowed for “a conscience vote” this May.

The list now includes Bishops Antonio Tobias of Novaliches, Joseph Nacua of Ilagan, Antonio Palang of San Jose, Mindoro and retired Bishop Teodoro Bacani.

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In a statement posted on the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines’ (CBCP) website, Bacani said Ang Kapatiran party’s platform based on Christian teachings is “worth supporting” by “any intelligent Catholic.”

He said a “peculiar feature” of the party is that all its candidates are committed to the entire platform and principles of the party without any mental reservations.

“I hope that it will catch fire in the imagination and hearts of our formation of this political party. I hope people would join it in great numbers and promote it among fellow Filipinos,” said Bacani.

For his part, Nacua said the party does not represent personality politics, which have been the norm in Philippine political landscape for decades.

“The Kapatiran stands on principles for the common good not on personalities. That is the way of genuine representation in government,” said Nacua.

Last Tuesday, Palang joined Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles and Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra in openly campaigning for De los Reyes.

Last week, Arguelles and Navarra have resigned from the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) in view of their support of Ang Kapatiran, a party that is vocal on pro-Church stands on reproductive health, among others.

Navarra said it was a “personal position (and that) I just wanted to be consistent with my advocacies here in Bacolod for good governance, to eliminate graft and corruption.”

“I guess it’s time for us to come out. It’s really a matter of conscience this time. That is what my conscience is telling me so I will stand for what I believe is right," he said.

Arguelles, meanwhile, said he opted to follow Navarra’s “move to resign from PPCRV” because of his open bias and support for De los Reyes.

“We will stand by our position. We really have to do something now and be sincere to what is happening in our country," Arguelles said.

Earlier, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz said the two bishops did not violate any provisions in the Canon Law by openly supporting a candidate.

The youngest presidential contender at 40, meanwhile, thanked the bishops for believing in the party’s principles.

"We remain humble with the gestures of the bishops to come out openly for the party's principles and platforms. And if we may quote a pastoral advice from Bishop Navarra, he says in his text message to us [that we must] not glory in numbers, rather let us glory that God works mysteriously in the hearts of his people," Ang Kapatiran said in a statement.

The February 21-25 Pulse Asia survey released Friday showed de los Reyes without any of the respondents supporting him, compared to a 0.2 percent preference in the January 22-26 polling. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)