BACOLOD CITY—The Diocese of Bacolod has called on the faithful not to vote for six senatorial candidates it had tagged as “Team Patay” (Team Dead, a play on the administration’s Team PNoy monicker) for supporting the controversial Republic Health (RH) Law.
At the same time, the diocese identified six senatorial candidates who it said belonged to “Team Buhay” (Team Life) who should be supported by Catholics for being prolife.
The names of the candidates were listed in a statement released by the diocese on Thursday and approved by Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra. The full statement also came out as an advertisement in local papers in Bacolod on Friday.
A giant tarpaulin emblazoned with calls for a conscience vote, and which identified the 12 senatorial candidates, was hung in front of the San Sebastian Cathedral, the seat of the diocese of Bacolod City.
The statement and the tarpaulin were apparently timed for the arrival of the Team PNoy senatorial candidates who undertook campaign sorties in Negros Occidental on Friday.
The diocese also announced it would lead an anti-RH law protest early yesterday evening in front of the cathedral as Team PNoy was to hold a rally across the street in the Bacolod public plaza.
The diocese identified the “Team Patay” candidates as Francis Escudero, Loren Legarda, Alan Peter Cayetano, Jack Enrile, Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel and Teddy Casiño. The candidates had voted in favor of the RH law.
“These people should not have our support,” the diocese said.
On the other hand, the diocese urged the faithful to support candidates JV Ejercito, Antonio Trillanes IV, Gregorio Honasan, Mitos Magsaysay, Koko Pimentel and Cynthia Villar, saying the candidates belonged to “Team Buhay”for being prolife.
“These people should have our most wholehearted support,” the statement said.
In the statement, the diocese reiterated its stand that the RH Law was antilife, antimorals, antifamily, antimarriage and contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church.
“We call on the Catholic faithful and all Christians: Stand in your faith, especially during this year of faith. Be strong. Be bold. Our faith is not negotiable. Let us deliver a very strong message to the government: No to death! Yes to life!” the statement said.