Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu warned candidates against using “foul play” during campaigns ahead of this year’s national and local elections.
“Considering the sanctity of the ballot, and of course, the nobility of the purpose for which they run for office, let’s use good methods, no foul play,” said the prelate in an interview with SunStar Cebu.
Archbishop Palma made the statement ahead of the start of campaign for local candidates on Friday, March 25.
“Let’s be truthful. Let’s never employ anything that’s much of half-truth or lies or any way that instead of supposedly promoting values, we in fact put down people and other parties,” said the archbishop in the interview.
He also called on the public to refrain from selling their votes and instead let their serious reflection, discernment and prayer be the main bases for their choice, said the SunStar report.
The prelate earlier reminded priests in his archdiocese not to use the pulpit to campaign for any candidate in the coming national elections.
“The pulpit is not the right place to campaign for any candidate,” the prelate was quoted as saying in several media reports, but added that priests as citizens have the freedom to support a candidate.
“As a general rule, [Catholic] Church leaders should be nonpartisan,” he said.
“As a bishop, I would tell priests not to use the Church, the pulpit in particular, to endorse a particular candidate,” said the prelate.