LUCENA CITY, Philippines – Lucena Catholic Bishop Emilio Marquez urged the faithful here to collectively reject candidates who voted in favor of the controversial reproductive health (RH) law as the Diocese of Lucena also put up its Team Buhay (Life) and Team Patay (Death) tarpaulins in Quezon churches.
In his pastoral letter read in 36 churches in central parts of Quezon on Sunday, Marquez recalled that at the height of the debate on the RH bill, the Church was criticized for its failure to muster the votes of Catholic lawmen in Congress.
In his pastoral letter, Marquez said events in society today makes it imperative for the church to take a common stance and “determined unity” so there would be far reaching changes in politics.
Several tarpaulins, each measuring 2 x 3 feet, were posted on the wall of the Saint Ferdinand Cathedral here.
Seven senatorial candidates were tagged by the Lucena diocese as members of Team Patay for supporting the RH law.
They are Team PNoy candidates – Senators Francis Escudero, Loren Legarda and Alan Peter Cayetano, Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara, and former Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros; Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile (United Nationalist Alliance) and Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño (Independent)
Leftist party-list groups Gabriela, Bayan Muna, Akbayan and Anak Pawis are also on the Team Patay list.
Senatorial candidates listed under Team Buhay for opposing RH law includes Sen. Gregorio Honasan, Rep. JV Ejercito Estrada and Mitos Magsaysay, all under the opposition UNA; and Parañaque Rep. Cynthia Villar and Senator Koko Pimentel, both with Team PNoy.
Senator Antonio Trillanes, who also voted against RH law, was not included in Team Buhay list of the Diocese of Lucena.
Marquez said similar tarpaulins have been posted in all churches under the diocese supervision.
The bishop said he sent copy of the pastoral letter to the leaders of the Diocese of Gumaca and Prelature of Infanta, who still have no resident bishops.
Marquez their tarpaulin message was not put up as a form of campaign against any candidates.
He said the Church was just enlightening the faithful in its expression of its stand that the RH Law must be repealed because it is an insult to God and to the Catholic doctrine.
“This is not a form of political campaign but just a clear and determined manifestation of the truth,” Marquez said. He said the final decision on whom to vote rest with the citizens.