MANILA, April 18, 2013—Despite its open endorsement of candidates in the coming May elections, the White Vote movement said it does not impose on Filipino voters, but encourages them to follow its lead.
The White Vote movement, a coalition of various lay organizations in the Catholic Church, is endorsing senatorial candidates who are pro-life, pro family and sacredness of marriage, and encourages Filipino voters to do the same.
Atty. Aurora Santiago, president of Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas and convenor of the movement, clarified during a forum that the endorsement is not a mandate and not to be considered as a bloc voting.
“This is just an endorsement and a guide for voters, we are not imposing. We respect the freedom of our fellow Filipino voters and their freedom of conscience,” Santiago, who also serves as executive secretary of the Episcopal Commission on the Laity, added.
Santiago pointed out that young people are also part of the movement such as the Family Rosary Crusade Youth and the CFC-Youth for Family and Life.
“Currently, our facebook page is being managed by the youth. And our endorsed senatorial candidates can also be candidates of our youth voters. We are telling them to review the track record of a certain candidate and they must vote for those who are for life, family and sacredness of marriage,” she added
“What we are avoiding now are the so called death bills which are divorce, euthanasia, abortion, population control and same sex,” Santiago furthered.
The endorsed candidates signed a covenant stating that they will not support the passing of any “death bills”.
Aside from senatorial candidates, the movement is also eyeing for partylists who voted against the Reproductive Health (RH) bill before it was enacted as a law.
Meanwhile, Novaliches bishop-emeritus Teodoro Bacani is pleased that there is a white vote movement.
“The establishment of this kind of movement is putting the decree of the 2nd Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP II) into life which is [about] lay men and women involvement in politics, lay people should actively participate in political affairs. It is through the lay that the Church is involved,” Bacani said.
Bacani stressed that lay people can promote those candidates that are responsible, who are God-fearing, pro-life, family and sacredness of marriage.
“Coming together, praying together, discusses reason together and act together, that’s what people in the white vote movement are doing. They are not limited in endorsing candidates but they can also propose and proposing is not imposing. I think lay people should limit themselves in announcing because they have a right to propose,” Bacani furthered. (Jandel Posion with reports from John Florence Granado)