Bacolod diocese won't remove 'Team Patay' tarp

by Mitch Lipa, ABS-CBN News Negros

Posted at Feb 25 2013 10:36 PM | Updated as of Feb 26 2013 09:19 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Diocese of Bacolod refuses to remove its "Team Buhay versus Team Patay" tarpaulin outside the San Sebastian Cathedral in Bacolod City.

Bishop Vicente Navarra has already received a letter from the Commission on Elections asking him to remove and resize the tarpaulin.

According to the diocese's lawyer, Atty. Mitchell Abella, they have asked the Comelec central office if the tarpaulin is classified as an election material.

Abella said the campaign of the Catholic church against the Reproductive Health (RH) law started long before the election period.

Navarra said they will not remove the tarpaulin until they receive an answer from the Comelec central office.

All Comelec officers are in Iloilo City for a regional meeting and one of the issues being discussed is the move of the Diocese of Bacolod.

Last Friday, the diocese posted the tarpaulin, the same day when Team Pnoy had its grand rally in the city.

The diocese called the candidates who opposed the RH law as "Team Buhay" while those who supported the law were included in "Team Patay".

Rep. Sonny Angara, Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casino from Makabayan, Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile, Senators Francis "Chiz" Escudero, Loren Legarda, Alan Peter Cayetano, and former Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros were included on the list which the diocese dubbed as "Team Patay".

Gabriela, Akbayan, Bayan Muna and the Anak Pawis party-list groups were also included in "Team Patay".

The diocese, meanwhile, urged voters to support "Team Buhay" candidates Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, Sen. Koko Pimentel III, former Las Piñas Rep. Cynthia Villar, Sen. Gringo Honasan, San Juan Rep. JV Ejercito, and Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay.