ABUCAY, Bataan- The Diocese of Balanga has directed priests and lay people in 11 towns and one city in Bataan not to endorse any candidate in both the national and local levelss in the May 2013 elections, the parish priest of Abucay Church said Wednesday.
“Ang directive ni Bishop Ruperto Santos ay walang i-indorsong kahit sino sapagka’t mahirap pumili ng isang kandidato na kumporme sa lahat ng isyung tinatangkilik ng Simbahan. May kandidato na maaaring tumatangkilik sa isang isyu ngunit sa iba naman ay hindi kumporme sa gusto ng simbahan,” said Rev. Fr. Victor de Ocampo.
“Mas safe na hayaan ang layko na mamili ng kandidato na kanilang iboboto batay sa ilang alituntunin ng Simbahan,” he quoted the bishop as saying.
The priest of the oldest church in Bataan said the bishop is giving the laymen a free hand in choosing their candidates based on some criteria – that the candidate is having a good, moral life; can help in uplifting the lives of the poor and anti-jueteng and anti-mining.
De Ocampo said that Bishop Santos has required active leaders of the church like lectors, lay ministers and those serving in communions to take a leave of absence during the entirety of the election period if they are supporting certain candidates.
“Baka nagsisilbi sila sa simbahan pagkatapos may nakasabit palang ngalan ng kandidato sa kuhelyo o bulsa ng kanilang damit,” the priest said in jest.