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Novaliches bishop endorses Otso Diretso

Mara Cepeda
Novaliches bishop endorses Otso Diretso


‘Hindi po totoo 'yung 'pagka Katoliko ka ay wala kang, dapat 'di ka involved,' says Novaliches Bishop Antonio Tobias, as he explains his support for the opposition bets

MANILA, Philippines – Novaliches Bishop Antonio Tobias is backing the Otso Diretso ticket, urging his flock to vote for the 8 opposition senatorial bets.  

On Sunday, May 5, Tobias held a press conference together with Otso Diretso candidates Samira Gutoc and Erin Tañada along with the representatives of the candidates who were not able to attend the event at the Visitation of Our Lady Parish in Novaliches, Quezon City.

“Hindi po totoo ‘yung ‘pagka Katoliko ka ay wala kang, dapat ‘di ka involved…. No, that’s wrong, very, very wrong! Ang Santo Papa na ang nagsabi sa isang general audience sa Roma…. ‘You have to be involved so that you allow those who can govern to govern properly,'” Tobias said.

(It’s not true that if you’re a Catholic, you shouldn’t be involved…. No, that’s wrong, very, very wrong! The Pope himself said during a general audience in Rome…. “You have to be involved so that you allow those who can govern to govern properly.”)

“So mga kababayan, ini-introduce ko sa inyo ang Otso Diretso (So to my countrymen, I introduce to you the Otso Diretso),” the bishop added. (READ: ‘Enthusiasm edge’ props up Otso Diretso, says Constitution framer)

A week before the May 13 elections, the Otso Diretso slate barnstormed in Quezon City, which boasts a whopping 1,330,118 registered voters.

Gutoc, Tañada, and the representatives of the other Otso Diretso bets started the day with an “honesty run” toward Welcome Rotonda along with Father Robert Reyes, the “running priest” critical of President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody anti-drug campaign.

The senatorial candidates then met with tricycle drivers who are part of the Batasan Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association along Commonwealth Avenue.

The Otso Diretso bets also paid a courtesy call on Sultan Hadji, the father of the Muslim community in Quezon City, a day before Ramadan.

Otso Diretso then headed to Novaliches, where they also visited the General Luis Market.

They were set to end the day by holding a dialogue with sectoral representatives and residents of Area 5 in Barangay Sauyo on Sunday evening.

In the final stretch of the campaign, the odds are stacked against Otso Diretso. Only reelectionist Senator Bam Aquino made it to the first 12 spots in the latest Pulse Asia senatorial survey conducted in April. But the senatorial bets are unfazed, hoping the support from their volunteers will be enough to propel them to the Senate. – 

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at or tweet @maracepeda.