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Archbishop Soc: Selling your vote not a sin if…

Robertzon Ramirez - The Philippine Star
Archbishop Soc: Selling your vote not a sin ifâ¦
This photo shows Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas.
Screengrab

MANILA, Philippines — While vote buying and selling is illegal, a well-known bishop said accepting money when the situation calls for it may not necessarily be a sinful act.

In a video message he posted on his official social media pages, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said accepting money in exchange for one’s vote is not a sin if the voter will not agree to the conditions set by the politician buying the vote.

“Vote buying and selling is a sin to God and against the law. But if you are hungry, if you are needy, you may accept it but do not fulfill that which is asked of you because if a candidate is doing something illegal and awful and you’re being involved, tell him – ‘perform that misdeed on your own, leave me out of it,’” Villegas said in Filipino.

“You may accept the money, but not because you promise to fulfill your end of the deal, but because you are in dire need for yourself and your family. You are not obliged to fulfill an immoral, illegal contract. This means, when something bad was agreed upon, something awful is asked of you, so whatever you do, choose God, not the candidate buying your vote,” he added.

Villegas reminded the faithful that they are “priceless” and that they should choose God over any politicians who insult them by buying their votes, as he emphasized their price is the body and blood of Jesus Christ.

“Choose God, not the candidate who wants to insult you by buying your vote and saying to you that you have a price,” said the former president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

Villegas made the remarks following the controversial statement of presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo, who told the “kasambahay” group to accept the money of a politician who attempts to buy their votes, but vote according to their conscience.?Robredo’s statement did not sit well with Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesman James Jimenez, who said that vote buying is an election offense regardless of financial situation or noble intention.

Jimenez emphasized that accepting the money peddled by vote buyers should not be done and should not be suggested to voters.

ARCHBISHOP SOCRATES VILLEGAS

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