THE administration-backed Team PNoy appealed to Catholic Church leaders on Monday not to use the Reproductive Health (RH) law against senatorial candidates running in the May elections.
Marikina Representative Miro Quimbo, one of the spokespersons for Team PNoy, said the Church should not focus on a particular issue and take into consideration instead all the other accomplishments of senatorial bets.
“We hope that this election is not just about the reproductive health law. There are issues, other problems and other accomplishments that these candidates have had in their life," he said in a press conference.
The Diocese of Bacolod is urging voters in Negros to junk five of the Team PNoy candidates because of their support to the RH law.
They are Senators Francis Escudero, Loren Legarda, Alan Peter Cayetano, Aurora Representative Sonny Angara, and former Akbayan party-list representative Risa Hontiveros.
The diocese also urged the electorate not to support United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) candidate Cagayan Representative Jack Enrile and Bayan Muna party-list Representative Teddy Casiño for voting in favor of the law.
Aurora Representative Sonny Angara, one of the candidates of Team PNoy, said representatives of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) were consulted specifically on the definition of contraceptives.
Angara said while some of the candidates are concerned of the Church’s position, he believes that most Catholics will not judge politicians on this issue alone.
“I think in an election, you have to continue reaching out to non-believers and trying to convert them…It plays a role in their final decision but there are other issues also,” he said.
Several CBCP leaders earlier threatened to use the so-called Catholic vote against senatorial aspirants supportive of the law.
Team PNoy campaign manager Senator Franklin Drilon, who also voted in favor of the measure, said he respects the Church.
“We will present our candidates and their position, too and we leave it to the people to decide,” he said.
The diocese, meanwhile, endorsed the anti-RH candidates.
Included in the so-called "Team Buhay" are former Las Piñas City representative Cynthia Villar, and Senators Aquilino Pimentel III and Antonio Trillanes IV. The three are in the Team PNoy ticket.
San Juan Representative JV Ejercito, Zambales Representative Mitos Magsaysay, and Senator Gregorio Honasan II of UNA also earned the diocese's support. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)