NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, Philippines – Church premises is private property so the Commission on Election wants to clarify on who gives permission for campaign proganda held there.
After learning that a tarpaulin has been put up in front of San Sebastian Cathedral in Bacolod City showing the names of candidates grouped into “Team Patay” and “Team Buhay”, based on their stand on the Reproductive Health Law, Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes made the statement about the clarification.
He asks, “Private property ‘yan, hindi naman ‘yan common poster area. We really don’t know the rules of the Church so maybe we can clarify that. If the Church will allow the church premises to be used as propaganda area, then who gives the permission? Is it the parish priest? Pope? Bishop?”.
According to Brillantes, Comelec can come up with a rule on the matter because there are a lot of other religious organizations in the country that might put up propaganda materials for candidates.
The Comelec has asked for the removal of the tarpaulin because it was oversized, the poll chief said. He adds that the material was taken down.
Brillantes says, “Even if it [the church] is a private [property], [campaign material] has to comply with the size. Sinabihan na tanggalin nyo yan kasi apparently oversized. Tinanggal naman. That is definitely a propaganda material kasi it is for and against. Patay at buhay e.”
As part of it coters’ education campaign, the Diocese of Bacolod came out with “Team Buhay” and “Team Patay”.
The names listed under the “Team Patay” include senatorial candidates and party-list groups who supported the passage of RH Law while under “Team Buhay” is the names of candidates who voted against the passage of the RH Law.
Regardless of what political party they are in the candidates are divided based on their vote on the RH Law, so there are candidates supported by President Benigno Aquino III on both lists.