Controversial tarps in Cebu taken down
The Team Patay, Team Buhay tarpaulins displayed outside some churches in Cebu have all been taken down even as Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma reminded the clergy to avoid vocal campaigns especially within the church’s premises.
Palma, the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), discouraged the posting within the church compound of tarpaulins of who to vote and to disregard in the 2013 elections.
“As what the CBCP says, if people come up with names of candidates to vote and avoid, it should not be placed particularly on church bulletin boards, outside the church building, and in the convent,” he told reporters as he led the recollection of all Cebuano clergy at the Betania Retreat House in Cebu City last Wednesday.
Palma was referring to tarpaulins of Team Buhay and Team Patay, which were seen on metal posts outside prominent churches in Cebu City starting last Monday.
These tarpaulins were displayed in areas such as outside the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the gate of Patria de Cebu near the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, and one near the Rajah Humabon Park—a corner away from the Cathedral.
Yesterday, unidentified persons took down the controversial tarpaulins displayed in these areas.
Lawyer Paterno Acabodillo, president of the archdiocese’s Council of the Laity, last Wednesday also denied that his lay group was responsible for the tarpaulins.
“We have nothing to do with that,” he said.
NO LIST YET
He agreed that the choice of words in the posters was improper and that they did not adhere to it.
“To use the word, ‘patay’ is just too much. We certainly do not support that,’ he said.
Acabodillo clarified that although they have been open about campaigning for their own set of candidates, they still have not come up with a final list yet.
He said they would not only be basing their list on the candidates’ stand on the Reproductive Health law, but on the pending divorce bill and same sex marriage.
Acabodillo assured that they would only use “tame” language in their posters and they would only use the words “Vote for.”
These posters will be put up in all 147 parishes under the Cebu Archdiocese.
He also promised last Wednesday not to make posters against RH Law advocates similar to those seen in some parts of the city and Bacolod City. The group would just focus on promoting candidates opposing the RH law.
Yesterday, lay leaders also held a coordination meeting to discuss guiding the electorate to choose the right candidates.
Msgr. Rommel Kinatanar told the lay leaders that vote buying and selling were issues that should be taken into consideration.
“Vote buying is sinful. On the same way, accepting anything in exchange of votes is a sin,” he said.
Kintanar said one should discern before choosing who to vote during the May 13, elections.
“Discernment is important. We must be one with the teachings of the Church,” he said./Reporter Ador Vincent S. Mayol, Correspondents Patricia Andrea Pateña, and Correspondent Fe Marie Dumaboc
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