This file photo shows CBCP President Romulo Valles.
The STAR/Miguel de Guzman, File
Valles, Tagle not endorsing candidates for midterm polls
(Philstar.com) - May 10, 2019 - 6:03pm

MANILA, Philippines — There is no truth to reports that the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines is endorsing 10 senatorial candidates for the May 13 elections, its president said Friday.

In a statement, Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles stressed that the CBCP did not make any endorsement.

“This is PURE FAKE NEWS! Absolutely not true!” Valles said.

The CBCP president added: “Bishops and priests are not allowed to do that! That is clearly partisan politics.”

Valles also appealed to Filipino voters to vote wisely in the upcoming midterm polls. “Let us continue to pray to the Lord for a peaceful, credible and honest elections!”

Tagle endorsing ‘discernment,’ not Senate bets

The Archdiocese of Manila clarified that Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle is not endorsing any candidate for the midterm polls.

Fr. Roy Bellen, commissioner of the archdiocese’s communication office, said Tagle was only endorsing the process of discernment used by the lay group People’s Choice Movement in a circular dated May 7.

“What he is endorsing is the process of discernment that each person can do as they prepare and choose candidates to vote for the coming election, as example made by the People’s Choice Movement,” Bellen said in an interview over Radio Veritas.

The Archdiocese of Manila made the statement after several personalities shared a list of senatorial candidates supposedly being endorsed by Tagle.

The list includes Otso Diretso bets Mar Roxas, Chel Diokno, Samira Gutoc, Gary Alejano, Erin Tañada, Florin Hilbay, Bam Aquino, Romulo Macalintal, as well as Neri Colmenares and Grace Poe.

These names were the same individuals endorsed by PCM—a religious movement composed of Catholic, Evangelical and Protestant lay leaders—last March.

Bellen added the results of the group’s discernment may differ.

“It will differ based on the person’s experience, research and perception of the candidate. What the Cardinal is emphasizing and giving importance is the personal experience of discernment and taking full responsibility of their choices in voting. Thus it becomes a choice that is informed, prayerful and product of discernment,” he said. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

2019 MIDTERM ELECTIONS ARCHBISHOPS LUIS ANTONIO TAGLE OF MANILA CATHOLIC BISHOPS CONFERENCE OF THE PHILIPPINES FACT CHECK ROMULO VALLES TSEK PH
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