AS CANDIDATES would resort to any gimmick just to get the voters’ attention, a bishop appealed to national and local aspirants in the May polls to spare the celebration of Palm Sunday from their campaigns.

“We know they are also Catholics but they should not use the palaspas or the Palm Sunday observance to promote their political agenda,” said Monsignor Pedro Quitorio, Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines’ (CBCP) media director.

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His statement was made in anticipation that candidates might use the occasion to promote themselves by putting pictures or their names on the Palaspas (palm fonds).

He even teasingly advised the public to immediately burn their palaspas if they see the name of a politician there.

But Quitorio noted that politicians are not barred from attending the Mass on Sunday (March 28), for as long that they will not campaign inside the church.

“They can attend Mass but they should keep their political agenda out of the Holy Week activities,” he said.

The CBCP official said he is worried that some politicians would take advantage of the occasion to promote themselves by shaking the hands of the parishioners, which he finds odd since some of them don’t usually mind the people, but because it is campaign period they are ready to embrace them all.

“They have been going to Mass before why didn’t they shake the hands of the people then?” said Quitorio.

He also asked the priests to remind candidates of the things they should and should not do while inside the Church.

“They should forewarn them so as to avoid any uncomfortable situation,” he said.

Palm Sunday or Passion Sunday is marked with the blessing and procession of the palms and it commemorates the Lord’s triumphal entry to Jerusalem. It officially signifies the start of the Holy Week. (FP/Sunnex)