How many priests won in Halalan 2016?

ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Only one of three Roman Catholic priests who ran for public office in the 2016 elections succeeded in their bid, according to the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

Rev. Fr. Jeemar Vera Cruz of the Diocese of Iligan was proclaimed the new vice mayor of Iligan City. This is the priest's first term in the office.

Vera Cruz, a former vicar general of his diocese, received 61,417 votes to defeat his rival Providencio Abragan who got 48,716, according to the Comelec's transparency server.

Meanwhile, Fr. Water Cerbito of the Diocese of Catarman is losing to re-electionist Governor Jose Ong Jr.

As of Wednesday, according to Comelec's transparency survey, the priest has 69,852 votes, placing him behind Ong who is leading with 176, 991 votes.

Although the total votes have not yet been transmitted, it is believed that it would be impossible for the priest to surmount Ong's lead.

Retired priest Jack Sapa, also from Cataraman diocese, also failed in his bid to become a city councilor.

The three priests have been suspended from their priestly duties since they announced their intention to run for public office.

According to the Church's Canon Law, cleric are "forbidden to assume public offices which entail a participation in the exercise of civil power."

One of the most popular priests who forayed into politics is Ed Panlilio who served as Pampanga's governor from 2007 to 2010.

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