Cebu priest suspended for poll bid

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CEBU Archbishop Jose Palma has ordered the suspension of a priest who is running for chairman of barangay Kawit in Medellin town, north Cebu, despite an earlier warning that doing so would violate church rules.

Palma yesterday said he already sent the suspension letter of Fr. Oscar Banzon to the Archdiocesan Chancery, the office which handles all written documents used in the local church.

Palma, who described the suspension as “unfortunate”, said the letter will be sent to Banzon to confirm his suspension.

“As much as possible, I don’t want to elaborate on this because it’s like washing dirty linen in public. The truth is it’s painful on my part to give the suspension letter. (But) I have to do it because this is the rule,” Palma told reporters.

Admonition

Palma had earlier admonished the priest not to proceed with his plan to run for public office.

“I told him (Banzon) I don’t have a choice but to suspend you because I already told you not to and yet you still did it,” Palma said.

Banzon filed his Certificate of Candidacy last Oct. 16 before the Commission on Elections in Medellin town. He listed “Padre” (Father) as his nickname.

He is running against the incumbent barangay captain Charito Areglado. Reporter Ador Vincent Mayol

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