Comelec adamant vs ‘Team Patay’ list

Poll chair tells Church leaders they face raps if tarpaulin is not removed

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The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will file criminal charges against officials of the Catholic Church if they continue to refuse to take down an “oversized” campaign material hung outside a cathedral in Bacolod City, Comelec chair Sixto Brillantes Jr. said Thursday.

Brillantes said the Comelec had written Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra and ordered him to take down the tarpaulin at San Sebastian Cathedral, which identified the senatorial candidates that Catholics should support and reject based on their position on the reproductive health (RH) law.

The Comelec chair said the tarpaulin should be taken down because it exceeded the allowable size for campaign materials.

“If they don’t take it out, we will simply charge them … You don’t enjoy privileges just because you belong to the Catholic Church or what,” Brillantes said in an interview.

Those violating Comelec rules on campaign posters commit an election offense punishable by up to six years’ imprisonment.

“They wrote us saying, ‘We will remove it only after you clarify certain points.’ In a sense, they will not remove it. We wrote back and told them to take it down and then we talk,” Brillantes said.

“In my opinion, if everybody will say, ‘We will not take this down until we say so,’ what is this? … (If we let that pass), we won’t be able to go after anyone. My position is when we say, ‘Take it out,’ that is our finding,” he added.

Brillantes said the Comelec ordered Bishop Navarra to “immediately take down” the tarpaulin, because it comes under the category of “campaign propaganda material,” and should therefore follow the Comelec rules on the size of campaign materials.

“The Supreme Court has said that even product endorsements, which have nothing to do with elections, should be considered as propaganda,” he said.

“Here, the candidates are clearly named (under) Team Buhay … Team Patay … That is an endorsement of candidates. Definitely, that’s campaign propaganda material,” he added.

Brillantes said the Comelec is now in the process of determining the actual owner of the tarpaulin or the person who ordered it hung.

“They could have made it smaller … If I were them, I would have taken it down and replaced it with one normal in size and there would be no problem,” Brillantes said.

Msgr. Joselito Asis, secretary general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, said the Church was ready to cut down the tarpaulin so that it would conform with Comelec rules.

“I think the case can be easily resolved because the size is not a big deal. They could always follow the size (prescribed by Comelec). That is very easy to remedy,” Asis said.

Other Catholic archdioceses and dioceses in the country like Lipa, Tarlac, Sorsogon and Borongan are reportedly planning to put up similar tarpaulins to guide voters on who to vote for in the coming elections. With a report by Carla Gomez, Inquirer Visayas

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FPVUYCML46QCAJM5N2O4GNID24 tony

    In the eyes of the CBPC it is okay for their members to sexually abuse young children but the same acts are crimes if committed by anybody else/

    • pnoyjudge

      and they claim that it is their church that Christ founded…sick

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FPVUYCML46QCAJM5N2O4GNID24 tony

    why are the npa & asg not eliminating abusive priests?

    • Marx Louis Wang

      Baka tumanggap ng lagay o kaya lagi silang nag-uusap ng ma-“bote”.

  • richard ortega

    sa ginawa ng bacolod church lalo lang nababawasan ang pannampalataya na katoliko

  • Marx Louis Wang

    Marami pa talagang isip-musmos ang karamihan sa atin lalo na sa simbahang katoliko. Napakasimple ng regulasyon. Sa tingin nila hindi sila papansinin dahil simbahan sila and they are above the law. Samantalang hindi naman nila pinag-aralan ng mabuti ang nilalaman ng RH bill. 

  • Philcruz

    Another Damasonian display of arrogance by the clergy. Bacolod Bishop Navarra was reported to have said the giant tarpaulins were not political, just a guideline. Tell that to the marinos. When you name specific names as to whom to vote and not vote for, that is clearly being political. That too is clearly the kind of double-talk one would expect to hear from a politician.

    Arrogance and juvenile rebelliousness just because you lost in your advocacy in Congress is immature. No wonder the Church is losing credibility, moral ascendancy and parishioners.

    But perhaps these juvenile priests and bishops are only a minority. But they are noisy and they dominate those more moderate and more mature but silent ones. Is this the tyranny of a noisy radical few? We will soon see. Will they defy the Comelec? Will the other parishes do the same (put up giant tarpaulins on their Church walls naming specific names on who to vote and not vote for)?

    Gone are the days when one felt the holiness of priests and bishops. Gone is the sense of comfort and peace when one is in Church. Nowadays, one feels surrounded by anger and rebelliousness instead.

  • 33Sambuang2

    dapat ikulong ang obispong gunggong na yan…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TNASVGXZ23VCJWV7KO7WPDIKKI George

    padre damaso aka navarra, a town in antique has an alcoholic and pedophile priest. instead of dwelling in politics, paki ayos mo nga.

  • pnoyjudge

    Parang INC ah hehe…..”indirect” nga lang na inuutos sa mga followers kung sino dpat iboto hehe

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PAGAV4BF6TFGEFC73TTZNA5NRE Leo

    KUNG MANANALO ANG MGA HINDI NINYO NA ENDORSED ANONG MUKHA IPAPAKITA NG MGA PARING ITO? KAHIYA HIYA KAYO IBIG SABIHIN DI KAYO PINAPANIGAN NG MGA TAONG SAKOP NYO….

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QVMFTFICBWVVFZC7MPI765G2Q4 sigbinko

    team PNOY will dominate the election..you bet!

    not all Catholics will obey what these priests are  promoting

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NV25ZPWMBDYFXEYR3AWQ43ZS5E Hein S

    TEAM PEDOPAYL = cbcp

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