BACOLOD CITY, March 5 (PNA) — The posters bearing the list of anti-life senatorial candidates hanging at the facade of the San Sebastian Church here will stay following the release of temporary restraining order by the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday.
The high tribunal also set an oral argument on the matter on March 19 and ordered the poll body to answer the petition filed by the Diocese of Bacolod within 10 days from the receipt of the order.
The urgent petition filed by the Diocese of Bacolod to SC maintains that the order of the Commission on Elections (Comelec)infringes their right to freedom of expression and violated the principle of separation of Church and State.
In previous interviews, the Comelec in Negros Occidental said they have no choice but to pursue the case against the Catholic Church for they argued that such campaign materials have exceeded their standard.
The posters appeared in time when the Team Pnoy, known to be the standard party bearers of the administration party, held their campaign sorties here last month.
Provincial Election Supervisor Will Arceno said that the issue has become “a legal issue” and this time already contradicts the Commission’s ruling, “so we were left with no choice but to pursue.”
But as to the decision of whether the Church will be found guilty or not, he opined that the law department of the Comelec central office will be the one to rule on the matter.
After releasing the list of anti-life and pro-life candidates, the Diocese of Bacolod hanged red ribbons and small flags around the entire edifice of the church as a sign of protest against advocates of reproductive health (RH) law.
It even threatened to come up for a more political campaign against candidates who are pro-RH and called it as “Catholic Vote.” (PNA)