Macalintal ready to lose votes to defend church, clergy
MANILA, Philippines — Election lawyer and Otso Diretso senatorial bet Romulo Macalintal said on Wednesday that he is okay to lose votes and possibly get sidelined in the senatorial race if it means defending the Catholic Church.
According to Macalintal, people had advised him against speaking on the issues surrounding President Rodrigo Duterte and the Catholic Church as it could become the reason for his downfall.
“Sabi ng iba, nako Attorney Mac, ‘pag kinuha mo ‘yang issue na ‘yan, baka matalo sa eleksyon. Eh hindi na po baleng matalo ako sa eleksyon, basta pinagtatanggol ko ang ating Diyos, ang aking simbahan, ang aking pananampalataya,” he said during a press briefing at the Liberal Party headquarters in Cubao, Quezon City.
(Some people said, ‘Attorney Mac if you take on that issue, you may lose in the election.’ I said it’s OK for me to lose in the election, but I’ll defend our God, our church, and our faith.)
“Sapagkat balang araw, kung sakali mang makaharap ko ang aking Diyos, masasabi ko sa kanya ‘Lord, hindi ako naging senador dahil sa ipinaglaban ko ang mga aral mo’, kaysa sabihin ko sa kanya na ‘Lord, naging senador ako dahil sa itinakwil ko ang mga aral mo,” he added.
(Someday, if ever we face our God, I can tell Him: ‘Lord, I didn’t become a senator because I fought for your teachings. It’s better than saying, ‘Lord, I became a senator because I rejected your teachings.)
Macalintal also urged fellow Catholics to speak out against the tirades and threats that the church and clergy had received from Duterte.
“Isipin ninyo na hinihinging patayin ang mga bishops, holdapin, kuhanin ang mga pera, ano bang klaseng pamahalaan ito, at ang mga kasamahan ng pangulo, ang kanilang mga kandidato nagtatawanan lamang,” he said.
(Imagine this government asking people to kill and rob bishops, what kind of government is this. The President allies and their candidates are laughing.)
“Para bang okay lang sa kanila na bastusin ang mga bishops. Kaya ako nananawagan sa mga Katoliko, patunayan natin, meron tayong Catholic vote […] Panahon na upang ang mga Katoliko ay mag-alsa laban sa mga banta sa buhay at pangungutya sa ating kaparian,” he added.
(It seems OK with them to disrespect the bishops. So I am appealing to Catholics to prove that we have a Catholic vote. It’s time for Catholics to rise against the threats to the life of the clergy.)
Months ago, the President threatened and urged people to rob and kill priests and bishops, including a certain Bishop David — presumed to be Diocese of Kalookan Bishop Pablo David, who has criticized his policies.
According to Duterte, the bishop is involved in the illegal drug trade, aside from stealing the Mass offerings in his parish.
Recently, David and other priests confirmed receiving death threats. Malacañang officials, however, insisted that it did not come from Duterte, who later warned those bothering the clergy that he would be their enemy. /ee