FACT-CHECK: Cardinal Tagle not endorsing official set of candidates for 2019 polls

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Social media posts claiming that Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle is endorsing an official set of senatorial candidates for the 2019 midterm elections are erroneous.

Posts about “One Catholic Vote,” made it appear that the cardinal backed the candidacy of Otso Diretso candidates and independent bets Sen. Grace Poe and former Bayan Muna partylist representative Neri Colmenares.

But in a pastoral letter, Tagle merely urged the priests in his diocese to share “the process of discernment” by lay group People’s Choice Movement (PCM).

There was no direct endorsement of candidates.

“I urge you to share this initiative of the lay faithful with the lay groups, youth organizations, circles of discernment in your parish as a guide to their own discernment,” Tagle said in the pastoral letter dated May 7.

PCM endorsed a list of candidates on March 27 which included Otso Diretso bets Gary Alejano, Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno, Samira Gutoc, Florin Hilbay, Romulo Macalintal, Manuel Roxas II and Erin Tanada. Also in the list were former Bayan Muna representative Neri Colmenares and Sen. Grace Poe, who is seeking a second term.

The PCM screened 62 senatorial candidates and filtered them based on two standards–if they believe in God or if they are against charter change. The 10 highest scorers were selected based on their “GabayKristo” guide, which included four categories: competence and abilities, character and honor, faithfulness to public service and faithfulness to God, the Constitution and the law.

In a Facebook post, Korina Sanchez, wife of Roxas, thanked Tagle for endorsing the former senator.

Screen grabbed from official Facebook page of Korina Sanchez.

“For the very first time, nagsalita ang Arsobispo ng Simbahang Katolika, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle. Ngayon lang s’ya nag endorso sa ngalan ng Simbahan,” the post read.

Radio station DZRH’s online report titled “CBCP supports Otso Diretso candidates for the 2019 senatorial elections” is also erroneous, as the country’s bishops have said they are leaving “partisan politics” to the Catholic faithful.

Screen grabbed from official Facebook page of Otso Diretso.

“The CBCP did not make any such endorsement. Bishops and priests are allowed to do that. That is clearly partisan politics,” Davao Archbishop and Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines president Romulo Valles was quoted by CBCP News on Friday, May 10.

Editor’s Note: This story first appeared on Pintig.ph 

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