Priest backs DepEd order against politicians in graduation rites

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(Photo: CBCPNews)

MANILA, March 1, 2016— A Catholic priest said it was a “wise” decision by the Education department to keep  graduation ceremonies in public schools free from politicking.

Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the bishops’ Committee on Public Affairs, said it was a prudent move to avoid the occasion from being used as a campaign venue.

“Students will be shielded from the political gimmickry of candidates. Besides, graduation is a moment for graduates and not for politicians,” Secillano said.

Education Secretary Armin Luistro urged schools to refrain from inviting political candidates in graduation rites and maintain their “neutrality and non-partisanship.”

The DepEd has earlier reminded school administrators that the use of schools in political rallies is also prohibited.

The priest, however, said the matter whether or not to invite politicians to speak at graduation ceremonies in Catholic schools “is best left to the judgement” of the school heads.

The Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) said its member-schools have the freedom to engage in socio-political discussions that promote the common good and sustainable development, among others.

“Inviting individuals to speak to audiences who are both mature and concerned citizens remain to be the critical task of our learning communities,” said Anthony Coloma, CEAP’s advocacy and information officer. (CBCPNews)

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