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NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, Philippines -- There's no stopping the Diocese of Bacolod's campaign against 7 senatorial candidates who supported the reproductive health (RH) bill, and its endorsement of 5 bets who voted against it in December.
Three days after it was notified by the election commission to take down the tarpaulin that did not comply with the prescribed size for campaign materials, the Catholic church here hung the tarpaulin again on Tuesday, February 26.
Make that "tarpaulins." The Bacolod Cathedral sliced the original 6 feet by 10 feet material into two, so each part now complies with the prescibed size of 2 feet by 3 feet.
Hung with one below the other outside the cathedral, the "conscience vote" material in effect looked the same as the original one-piece vertical tarpaulin. On top is the list of "Team Buhay" 5 senatorial candidates and 2 party-list groups, and below it is the "Team Patay" of 7 senatorial aspirants and 4 party-list groups.
"Team Buhay" includes the senatorial hopefuls who, in their capacity as congressmen and senators, voted "no" to the RH bill, which became a law despite the Church's opposition. The anti-RH solons are JV Estrada, Gringo Honasan, Mitos Magsaysay, Koko Pimentel, Antonio Trillanes, and Cynthia Villar. Also endorsed by the diocese are party-ist groups Buhay and Ang Pamilya.
"Team Patay" includes those who voted "yes" to the RH bill: Juan Edgardo Angara, Teddy Casiño, Alan Cayetano, Jack Enrile, Francis Escudero, Risa Hontiveros, and Loren Legarda. They also include the party-list groups Gabriela, Akbayan, Bayan Muna, and Anakpawis.
Banners to spread in Negros
"This is a way of educating our voters," Bacolod Bishop Vicente Novara said in an interview.
On February 22, the Commission on Elections wrote Bishop Navara to have the oversized tarpaulin taken down.
"Anything that endorses or condones a candidate in the elections should conform to the regulations of the Comelec," Bacolod city election registrar Mavil Majarucon-Sia said in a local radio interview.
The banner was removed on February 24 to comply with Comelec regulations.
On Tuesday, it came back in the form of two smaller banners.
A church worker said they plan to hang similar banners all over the Negros island. – Rappler.com
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