PPCRV role as citizen's arm questioned

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 13 2013 03:27 PM | Updated as of Mar 13 2013 11:27 PM

MANILA - Pro-Reproductive Health Law personalities expressed concern at the role of the Parish Pastoral Council for responsible voting as an accredited election citizens' arm due to its closeness to the Roman Catholic Church in the country.

The PPCRV is chaired by the former Ambassador to the Holy See, Henrietta de Villa.

Filipino Free Thinkers president Red Tani cited comments by de Villa over the "Team Patay" poster of the diocese of Bacolod against pro-RH lawmakers.

Tani wondered what de Villa meant when she reportedly said that part of the PPCRV's voter education program will be the study of candidates' characters, especially their pro-Life and pro-God stance. He asked the PPCRV if they will only support pro-life candidates.

Marina Demetrio of the PPCRV said that de Villa's comments were her own and not the entire organization.

Demetrio also clarified that de Villa's comments were meant to get voters to examine the personalities and stand of each candidate along with their competence and integrity and not as a dig at Team Patay.

"Ano ba values ng kandidato? What are things important to candidates, will candidate reflect basic value system?" he said.

Demetrio said the PPCRV will be non partisan and will advocate that voters pick their candidates with "meaningful discernment."

He said the PPCRV will undertake voters education along with its quick count and poll watching functions.

University Professor Ernesto Pernia asked the PPCRV to advise the CBCP not to get involved in campaigning. "It may be legal to speak about candidates but it is divisive," he said.