ucanews.com reporter, ManilaUpdated: March 19, 2019 09:51 AM GMT
Opposition senatorial candidates for the Philippine election in May launch their campaign in an urban poor community in Manila. (Photo by Jire Carreon)
Several Catholic priests in the Philippines have unofficially thrown their support behind opposition candidates in upcoming national elections in May, despite warnings for them to remain neutral, according to a church official.
Father Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of the social action secretariat of the Catholic bishops’ conference, said the priests are supporting candidates because of their "track record and what they stand for."However, he said the members of the clergy have been warned against openly supporting candidates in public."We agreed that they will not endorse [candidates] publicly," said Father Gariguez. "They will just whisper [their endorsement] to people they know because the Church, in principle, will never endorse a candidate," he added.
Church leaders urged lay groups to organize "discernment circles" to help the electorate know their candidates and choose those promoting the common good.