Church did not violate election law—Catholic election lawyer

MANILA, March 5, 2013—A Catholic election lawyer on Tuesday stressed that the Church, particularly the Diocese of Bacolod, did not violate any election laws.

Election lawyer Atty. Romulo Macalintal said in a media forum that the Church cannot be liable on the Commission on Election’s (Comelec) Resolution 9615 which is only applicable to candidates and those incumbent officials who are running for public office in the May 13 polls.

“They are saying the diocese violated resolution 9615 which is the unlawful size of election materials that must be 2 feet by 3 feet. The question is, who are those liable to that law?” Macalintal asked.

“It is stated in the resolution that the law applies to all parties, which is defined as to either a political party, sectoral party or a coalition of parties, and party-list organization duly registered/accredited with the Commission. But the Church is neither a political nor a sectoral party, so [it is] not liable for an offense,” Macalintal said.

The lawyer explained the term “candidate” refers to any person seeking an elective public office, who has filed his or her certificate of candidacy.

“Did the Church file a certificate of candidacy or seeking for public office? No, therefore, the Church is not covered by the definition of candidate and is not covered by the said election law,” he added.

He reiterated that Comelec is asking the diocese to remove the said tarpaulin, but so far, it has not filed a case against the diocese.

Macalintal suggested that the commission review the law wherein there is no mention that it also applies to private citizens or private areas.

“A person can use or abuse his/her private property unless it will not endanger the lives or property of other people. There is a freedom of expression and religion that can be used by the private entity. What the commission needs to do now is not just to concentrate on illegal posters but focus on educating the voters in their rights to suffrage,” Macalintal furthered.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court (SC) today has issued a temporary restraining order against the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) order for the removal of the controversial “Team Patay / Team Buhay” tarpaulin at the San Sebastian Cathedral in the Diocese of Bacolod.

The SC ordered Comelec to file its comment on the petition for certiorari and prohibition with application for injunction and TRO of Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra within 10 days. Oral arguments on the controversial case have been set on March 19.

In its petition to the SC, the diocese pointed out that the Comelec order is unconstitutional since the tarpaulin only represents the Church’s exercise of the freedom of expression. And by virtue of the separation of Church and State, the Comelec’s order should be stricken down by the high court. (Jandel Posion)


  • BagongPilipino

    Kung ganito din ba naman ang laban ng simbahan sa Jueteng eh di magkakaroon ng katahimikan ang ating bayan. Ang mga pulitiko ay nagpapatayan para lamang mahalal at makinabang sa kanser na ito ng ating lipunan.

  • Rap Tingin

    cbcp is a haven of hypocrites. practice what you preach!

    • Mark joseph Bernal

      tama ka! they are doing what they are preaching! hindi indifferent sa mga nangyayari. It’s the right time of the catholic church to make a stand! We support you on this endeavor!

  • Rap Tingin

    they act as if they know everything. napakaarrogante.

  • Helen Palma Dureza

    Sa mga Catholic bashers, kahit ano ang gawin ng simbahan may negative comment kayo parati….kasi di kayo Katoliko or katoliko kuno!!

  • DominadorMedina

    Medina what if other institutions and private persons (secret friends,
    supporters of candidates) who have not filed certificates of candidacy
    put up their own tarpaulins in their private properties facing the
    street (public)? then politicians
    can put up propaganda materials of any size within any private
    property, the excuse being that the owners of the private properties are
    the ones responsible for said advertisement.

    we have seen the abuse in the PARTY-LIST system – almost anybody, including politicians have been creating party-lists.

    we have to be careful in this matter of propaganda materials too – or else we might be creating another monster.
    about an hour ago · Like

    Nolette Evangelista corek ka dian Father ….
    about an hour ago · Like

    Medina nolette, minsan kasi hindi comprehensive ang tingin natin. para
    tayo doctor na nagrereseta ng gamot na tama magaling para sa rayuma,
    pero may fatal side effect naman sa puso ng particular patient. kelangan
    malawak ang pananaw natin, hindi makitid na kapiraso lang truth ang
    ating pinapansin.
    14 minutes ago · Like

    Nolette Evangelista DAPAT MACRO HINDI MICRO
    12 minutes ago · Like

    Medina para yang larong chess – ang isa mong move dapat mong planuhin
    bago mo gawin, dahil baka ang move mong yon ay nagbubukas ng moves na
    kalaban na lugi ka, talo ka. yung gusto mo ma achieve ay lalo hindi
    CONSEQUENCE. the important thing is not winning or losing a battle. the
    important thing is winning the war.
    9 minutes ago · Edited · Like

    8 minutes ago · Like

    Dominador Medina perfect, nolette. macro yes, hindi micro.
    6 minutes ago · Like

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