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MANILA, Philippines - The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines will not endorse any candidate for the 2013 midterm elections, its president said Monday.
The role of the church, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said in an interview over church-run radio Veritas, is to guide the public about what they should look for in a leader and not endorse a certain politician.
“The Church only provides guidelines [for] action… we will never name politicians but help guide,” Palma added.
Aside from getting such guidance, the citizen has the duty to choose wisely before voting a candidate, added the prelate.
He urged voters to know first the candidates’ track record, personality and platform before they vote.
Meanwhile, Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani urged the people not to vote for senators and congressmen who endorse passage of the controversial Reproductive Health bill.
In elections of recent years, religious organizations such as El Shaddai, Iglesia Ni Cristo and Apollo Quiboloy’s Kingdom of Jesus Christ, have wielded a huge influence in the political arena, advising millions of followers whom to vote for.
Aside from the endorsement, some religious groups have been accused of using the elections to pressure politicians on social issues.