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Of Team Patay and Team Buhay

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The Archdiocese of Bacolod came up with a very innovative way to express its position or opinion on the candidates who  voted for or against the Reproductive Health Bill.

They classified them into two groups; Team Patay who voted for and Team Buhay who voted against the RH bill.

The tarpaulin posted in front of the Church caught the attention of some people and became controversial.

Those who fell under Team Patay complained and asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to take out the tarpaulin because it violated election laws.

The Comelec  asked that the tarpaulin be taken out because it is in violation of the election laws.

But with due respect to the Comelec I think the tarpaulin posted inside a private property is beyond their reach because it is not favoring any candidate nor endorsing any candidate.

The tarpaulin merely informed the public candidates that the Church deemed to belong to Team Patay and those who are in Team Buhay.

I think what the Archdiocese is doing is exercising its freedom of expression and the Constitution is very clear that no law shall be passed abridging the freedom of expression etc.  Freedom of expression is guaranteed by the Constitution and should be upheld.

Besides the pro RH Bill advocates ridiculed the Catholic Church by asserting that there is no Catholic vote.

The tarpaulin does not say vote for or against certain candidates but is only informing the churchgoers who among the candidates belong to Team Buhay and Team Patay.

I think the Catholic Church sector is constrained to exercise its right of information and expression given the fact that they were ridiculed by some sectors about the existence of the Catholic vote.

And of course they are flexing their muscles against the real threat that another controversial bill will be pushed in Congress like the divorce bill or the same sex marriages.

The Comelec should not fear about the tarpaulin found in the church in Bacolod.

With due respect to the Comelec it is not an election material but the Church’s visible expression of its opinion on the RH bill vote in Congress.

and by the way more archdiocese are supporting the move of the Archdiocese of Bacolod and more tarpaulins bearing the same content will come out and posted in the Catholic Churches.  The Comelec is over acting to what is a legitimate exercise of the freedom of expression of the Church.

It is better if the Comelec should ensure that the PCOS machine to be used in the election is “cheat-proof” and will ensure accurate, transparent and tamper-free results.

It should also regulate the posting of clear campaign materials all around the country because so far the Comelec is all talk and no action in this area.

* * *

Finally Pope Benedict the 16th bowed out of the papacy in a very emotional farewell speech before the cardinals all over the world.

Many were sad with the Holy Father’s decision but many also realized the supreme sacrifice he made by yielding tremendous power in his hands.  This is a rare and humbling gesture in a world where many politicians still cling to power.

Benedict XVI recognized his physical limitations and this should be followed by some of our leaders in the Catholic Church in our country and by our political leaders like Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Councilor Jun Pe.

I think our leaders should be reminded that many of our youths look up to them as examples.

By clinging to power at all costs, these leaders send the wrong message that tragically will be repeated in the next and succeeding generations.


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