Stepping up the Catholic Church’s campaign against pro-reproductive health (RH) candidates, an archbishop in vote-rich Batangas province said Sunday his archdiocese will distribute sample ballots containing the names of its favored candidates come midterm elections in May.
Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, however, said a candidate’s stand against the reproductive health law alone was not enough to assure him or her of a slot on this sample ballot.
Those to be included in the sample ballot “should not only share the Church’s stance against the RH law but should also share its distaste against political dynasties and its concern for the environment,” Arguelles said.
“It’s not just RH. Even in our tarpaulin (giant poster), you will see there the ideals on environment, antidynasty and corruption because there are those who are against RH but are corrupt and incompetent,” Arguelles said in an interview.
The archbishop said that individual parishes will produce the sample ballots and make these available to those who seek guidance for the coming elections.
Not in churches
Arguelles said the parishes under his archdiocese will distribute the sample ballots “when the election is already near.”
“It won’t be distributed inside the church because we are there only to pray. We will give it to those who are asking because many are asking us (for guidance),” Arguelles said.
He added that the sample ballot was also the archdiocese’s way of helping “worthy” candidates who do not have enough campaign funds.
“I’m campaigning for those who don’t have campaign materials. That’s why I’m encouraging the people to multiply the ballot by using cheap paper,” Arguelles said.
Arguelles also said that the archdiocese would later put up tarpaulin posters listing the names of the Church’s favored candidates. The archdiocese currently hangs tarpaulin posters that identify the values that voters should look for in candidates.
“What we placed there are the ideals and not the persons. Later on we will put names,” Arguelles said.
The prelate said that he already had four names in mind among the senatorial candidates—Ang Kapatiran’s JC delos Reyes, Marwil Llasos and Rizalito David, and the United Nationalist Alliance’s Milagros “Mitos” Magsaysay—who would be included in the sample ballot.