MANILA, Philippines?Although Liberal Party standard-bearer Sen. Benigno Aquino III and Nacionalista Party presidential candidate Sen. Manuel Villar may be leading preference surveys, the Catholic Bishops? Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) does not hold them as the top candidates.
According to the CBCP, Ang Kapatiran presidential hopeful John Carlos ?JC? delos Reyes is the candidate most in tune with issues and policies that the Church considers weighty.
Delos Reyes, a former Olongapo City councilor, is at the bottom half of the nine-man presidential derby. He has been receiving support from various Catholic bishops for his pro-life stance and reformist agenda.
The Church has devised a scorecard for candidates based on the ?Matrix of Presidentiables on Key Issues,? which was published this week at CBCP Monitor, the official publication of the CBCP Media Office.
The candidates were judged based on their positions on such issues as reproductive health, the death penalty, gun ban in public places, political dynasties, transparency in government transactions and pork barrel.
The CBCP has presented the 13 issues to the presidential candidates, but only Delos Reyes got the perfect score. His policies matched with the Church?s stance on every issue.
Independent candidates Nicanor Perlas, Ana Consuelo ?Jamby? Madrigal and Eddie Villanueva of the Bangon Pilipinas Party got the next rankings.
Villar was ranked fifth based on the scorecard. He was followed by Aquino, Richard Gordon of Bagumbayan Party, administration candidate Gilbert Teodoro of Lakas-Kampi-CMD and Joseph Estrada of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino.
Aquino, who is topping the surveys, differed with the Church?s line on nine of the issues, including on the reproductive health bill, the review of the Mining Act and the removal of illegal gambling.
Villar, who is second to Aquino in the surveys, held a view different from that of the Church on political dynasties and on a total gun ban.
Villar and Aquino?s positions on harnessing nuclear power as an energy source are not known.