Caritas Philippines said it will remain a non-partisan organization in the May 2022 polls.
The social advocacy arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines also urged all diocesan Social Action Centers to remain the same.
"We are very clear with our stand and it is that Caritas Philippines is non-partisan. This is also true with our Diocesan Social Action Centers. We remain faithful to our mandate with the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) to ensure clean, honest, accurate, meaningful, and peaceful elections," Kidapawan Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, national director of Caritas Philippines, said in a statement on Sunday, Feb. 20.
However, the prelate stressed that the Church can and will never be neutral in the face of social and moral issues.
“We will proclaim what is true, just, and right. That is our moral obligation. That is why we will speak and act in favor of human rights, the sacredness of life, ecology, and the truth, among others,” Bagaforo said.
"This means we are giving our lay leaders and the faithful our full support and even the resources of the Church when they form the circles of discernment," he added.
Through the LASER (Lifestyle, Action, Supporters, Election Conduct, and Reputation) Test, Bagaforo said, they hope that the lay faithful will be able to choose their candidates.
"It is our sacred duty to know our candidates well. Let our choices be a reflection of our life-earned values. Let us choose who among them will help us be better, not the one who only promises instant gratification," he said.
Caritas Philippines and the 85 Diocesan Social Action Centers across the country have already mobilized thousands of volunteers in partnership with PPCRV, Halalang Marangal 2022, I Vote God, and other networks for the election.