Catholic priests won’t be committing any election offense if they endorse a particular candidate in the May 2022 polls, according to poll lawyer Romulo Macalintal.
Macalintal said this after some quarters questioned the move of some priests to endorse a particular candidate in the upcoming polls.
"There is no election offense to any priest or bishop who campaigns or endorses a candidate. So the question is, can the church and clergy endorse an election, the answer is a resounding yes!" he said during his talk with priests in Lipa, Batangas.
Macalintal explained that the previous provision in the Omnibus Election Code that prohibits priests from influencing parishioners has been already repealed by Republic Act No. 7890, which was passed in 1994.
As to the constitutional provision on "separation of church and state," he said, this provision merely pertains to the prohibition for the government "to extend public funds to any religious organizations or favor one religious group or recognize only one religious organization to the exclusion of others." He then urged priests and parishioners to make a solid stand that Catholic vote is a force to reckon with in an election and asked them to spearhead the One Catholic Vote movement to inspire more Catholics to actively participate in pondering the best candidates to be elected.