MALOLOS CITY—Team Patay candidates are likely to face bigger challenge in the vote rich province of Bulacan as lay leaders of the Church here vowed that they will not vote for candidates who voted in favor of the Reproductive Health (RH) Law.
This came as some political and Church leaders claimed that there is Catholic vote in this predominantly Catholic country is nothing but a myth.
The decision of the lay leaders, however, remains independent, as Bishop Jose Francisco Oliveros of the Diocese of Malolos is still preparing a pastoral letter that sources said was greatly influence by the passage of the RH law.
The bishop’s letter is expected to be issued after next week when the Church completed its second diocesan synod that will be held from April 8 to 13.
Father Dars Cabral, chair of the Commission on Social Communications admitted that there is not Catholic vote in the country for simple reason that Filipino voters are mostly Catholics.
He warned that said point of view might change in the coming May polls as the Church in Bulacan with almost 3-Million population has started working to educate the province’s over 1.4-M registered voters.
Cabral disclosed that there is no official communication yet from the Church hierarchy telling voters who to vote.
But he added that members of the church laity has already made a vow not to vote for candidates who voted in favor of RH Law last year.
He also disclosed that Bishop Oliveros is preparing a letter on the stand of the church.
But he stressed that while the Diocese did not make a clear cut stand in the past, its stand in the May poll is greatly influenced by the outcome of the passage of the RH law.
“There will be modification because of the influence of the RH Law, yung mga di pumanig sa paninindigan ng simbahan laban sa RH ay pinaninindigan din ng mga layko na hindi nila iboboto,” Cabral said.
Cabral also disclosed that all congressional representatives in the province gave their word to Bishop Oliveros that they will not support RH bill which was passed into law last year.
However, only Rep. Arthur Robes of the Lone District of San Jose Del Monte remained true to his words, while others either voted in favor of the controversial law or wne out of the country at the time that it is being ratified in Congress.
Cabral admitted that he still don’t what will be content of the bishop’s pastoral letter, but he stressed that Oliveros is interested in awakening the members of the church to vote based on their conscience.
He also said that the Parish Pastoral Councils (PPCRV) in Bulacan has started their voter’s education campaign as early as February.
As the citizen’s arm of the Church, the PPCRV campaign is parallel with the teachings of the church.
The provincial chapter of the PPCV is also responsible for the translation of its materials into Filipino. Dino Balabo