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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, March 14, 2007
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Church won't
endorse bets

Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra yesterday said the Church will not endorse candidates, but it is urging the faithful to vote for candidates who live up to the teachings of Christ.

The Church will not name candidates, it is up to the lay people and groups to chose and endorse their candidates on their own, he said. Bro. Mariano "Mike" Velarde Monday urged leaders of the Catholic Church to help the faithful choose the candidates who deserve to be in the Senate by endorsing a list of 18 deserving senatorial candidates from which the laity could choose the 12 names they would write on their ballots.

"They can just whisper their names," he said.

Navarra said the faithful should be mature enough to motivate themselves to be politically aware of those who will best serve the interest of the nation in truth, honesty, love, justice and peace.

They should also be candidates who live by the Church teaching of preferential option for the poor, Navarra said.

Negros Occidental Gov. Joseph Maraņon yesterday said Church leaders are free to endorse candidates if they wish to do so.

When they endorse, it probably will not be for the Church but in their personal capacity as Filipinos, he said.

There have been many who were endorsed by Church leaders in the past who did not win, at the end of the day it will still be the people who will decide, Maraņon said.*CPG

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