Catholic church rejects idea of bloc voting; bishops say people have freedom of choice

By Leslie Ann Aquino

Although they said that the May 13 midterm poll is going to be “crucial”, Catholic Church leaders thumbed down the idea of bloc voting.

Bishop Honesto F. Ongtioco (Diocese of Cubao / MANILA BULLETIN)
Bishop Honesto F. Ongtioco (Diocese of Cubao / MANILA BULLETIN)

Catholic prelates said they continued to respect the freedom of people to choose.

“We will always respect the freedom of our people to make a choice,” Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco said in an interview.

Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos said the Church does not impose that’s why it will be very difficult to have a Catholic vote.

“She respects individual decisions and freedom,” he said.

“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,” added Santos.

Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes said that, as prelates, all they can do is to guide the people.

“Our duty is to help the faithful form their consciences regarding their choice of candidates,” he said.

Bastes added: “We bishops must respect their freedom, hoping that their choice is good for the nation and their community.”

Santos said they continue to pray and hope that the faithful will vote for “God fearing candidates, with good manners and moral characters and honest and not tainted with graft and corruptions.”

Last January, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), in a pastoral statement entitled “Seek the Common Good”, said the May 13 midterm polls is going to be “crucial”, especially when checks and balances in government are already being undermined.

“It is very crucial therefore that we elect public officials who are principled, courageous and who have the common good as their main concern and not their own political interests,” they said. #MatalinongBoto2019