By Leslie Ann Aquino
A Catholic priest has discouraged the faithful from campaigning and wearing campaign shirts to church this Holy Week.
Father Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines National Secretariat for Social Action, reminded candidates and their supporters that the church is a place for worship and not for campaign.
“Even if there is no law that prohibits it, they should be sensitive. We appeal to their delicadeza,” he said.
“Respect the church by not campaigning in a place of worship,” added Gariguez.
If one intends to go to church after a campaign, he advised them to change their shirt first especially if the shirt they are wearing happens to bear the face or name of a candidate.
“You can always change your shirt. If you want to campaign, do it somewhere else but not in church,” said Gariguez.
“You go to church to attend Mass, pray and be with the Lord,” he added.
The priest also previously appealed to candidates in the May 13 midterm polls not to use the Ash Wednesday observance to advance their interest, noting how some candidates used the religious occasion for photo opportunity.
“This is a temptation to candidates this Lent as it provides an opportunity to be seen entering the church to show that they are pro-God because people vote for those they believe are pro-God,” Gariguez said.
In Resolution No. 19429, the Commission on Elections prohibits campaigning on Maundy Thursday (April 18) and Good Friday (April 19).