BACOLOD, March 8, 2015 — The diocese of Bacolod honored on March 8 the lawyers who served as the legal team of Bacolod Bishop Vicente M. Navarra to the Supreme Court concerning the Team Patay/Team Buhay tarp issue of 2013.
Navarra conferred the St. Thomas More Diocesan Award during the 10 a.m. Mass at the San Sebastian Cathedral on Atty. Ralph Sarmiento, Atty. Raymundo Pandan, who served as legal counsels, and Atty. Romulo Macalintal and Atty. Lyndon Ca?a who helped as legal consultants.
Atty. Mitch Abella, a previous St. Thomas More Awardee in 2012, was given a Certificate of Recognition for his role as legal consultant.
Supreme Court victory
The legal team successfully defended the diocese of Bacolod when it was ordered by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to remove tarpaulins with names of senatorial candidates and the party list groups classified into “Team Patay” and “Team Buhay”.
The matter was brought to the Supreme Court (SC) that eventually ruled in favor of the bishop and the Diocese of Bacolod.
Along with the St. Thomas More Awardees, the prelate also acknowledged the Citizens’ Alliance for the Protection of Human Life for their efforts in the campaign against the RH Bill.
The St. Thomas More Diocesan Award is given to lawyers who have significantly contributed their legal expertise for the promotion of genuine peace based on justice after the example of the English statesman.
Patron of politicians
The awardees also received a citation written in Latin and a bust of St. Thomas More, an English saint and lawyer who stood for his faith and the truth at the expense of his life.
St. John Paul II proclaimed St. Thomas More Patron of Statesmen and Politicians during the Great Jubilee Year 2000.
In the Apostolic Letter issued on Oct. 31, 2000, Pope John Paul II said there are many reasons for proclaiming Thomas More Patron of statesmen and people in public life.
Among these reasons is the need felt by the world of politics and public administration for credible role models able to indicate the path of truth at a time in history when difficult challenges and crucial responsibilities are increasing.
In this context, St. John Paul II said: “It is helpful to turn to the example of Saint Thomas More, who distinguished himself by his constant fidelity to legitimate authority and institutions precisely in his intention to serve not power but the supreme ideal of justice.” (Fr. Mickey Cardenas/CBCPNews)