MANILA, May 11, 2016— Only one of the three Catholic priests-turned politicians succeeded in their bid to be elected to public office.
Fr. Jeemar Vera Cruz of Iligan diocese was proclaimed the new vice mayor of Iligan City for a first term Tuesday, May 10.
Vera Cruz, a former vicar general of the diocese, defeated acting vice mayor Providencio Abragan with a more than 12, 000-vote lead.
Meanwhile, two other priests lose their election bid in Norther Samar province.
According to the latest results from the Commission on Elections, Fr. Walter Cerbito, who is also former vical of the Catarman diocese, is losing to reelectionist Governor Jose Ong Jr.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Ong was leading with a total of 176,991 votes while Cerbito was trailing in second place with only around 69,000 votes so far.
Although the total and final votes have not yet been transmitted, it would be impossible for the priest to surmount Ong’s lead.
Retired priest Jack Sapa, from the same diocese, also failed to win as councilor in the provincial capital, Catarman.
The three priests have been suspended from their priestly duties since they announced their intention to run for the said positions.
Church law bars priests from running for public office or accepting a position that includes the exercise of civil power. (R. Lagarde / CBCPNews)