Catholics free to choose among bets in Monday polls: prelates

MANILA Catholic prelates said the faithful are free to decide who to vote for in Monday's mid-term polls.

We will always respect the freedom of our people to make a choice, Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco said in a text message on Friday.

Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes said what they always do is to advise the faithful and use their conscience in choosing candidates.

We Bishops can only give a solemn brotherly admonition to our faithful (through) Pastoral Letters, radio messages and other social media means, preferably outside Liturgical celebrations, he said in a separate text message.

Our duty is to help the faithful form their consciences regarding their choice of candidates. We Bishops must respect their freedom, hoping that their choice is good for the nation and their community, the Catholic prelate added.

Bataan Bishop Ruperto Santos noted that it is difficult for the Church to have a block vote as it does not impose on the faithful.

"She (Catholic Church) respects individual decisions and freedom. She guides and teaches what is right, legal and moral. And she leaves her faithful to exercise their rights and free will, without coercion or conditions, Santos said.

At the same time, he reminded voters to support candidates who possess good values.

National and local 2019 elections are very crucial, important and essential. We have to vote for God-fearing candidates, with good manners and moral characters and honest and not tainted with graft and corruption, he added.

On May 13, more than 61 million registered voters are expected to exercise their right of suffrage and choose national and local candidates.

They will be voting for senators, a party-list group, and members of the House of Representatives; provincial governor, vice governor, and members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Council); mayor, vice mayor, and members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (City Council); and members of the Sangguniang Bayan (Municipal Council). (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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