Oscar Cruz for Senator?

by David Dizon, abs-cbnNEWS.com

Posted at Jun 20 2011 08:29 PM | Updated as of Jun 21 2011 04:29 AM

MANILA, Philippines - If given the chance, would you vote for retired Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz for senator?

This seems to be the intent behind the Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz for Senator Movement page, which went live on the popular social networking site Facebook on Monday.

The page has pictures of Cruz and his books, as well as a link to his blog. (http://ovc.blogspot.com/) 

The problem is - even Cruz doesn't know about the movement until he was asked about it. 

"I've heard many things but this is by far one of the best. At my age, malapit na nga akong mamatay tapos may ganito pa," he said, laughing, after hearing about the Facebook page.

He denied any knowledge about the page, or the people behind it.

Cruz, who has publicly clashed with President Aquino due to the latter's support for the Reproductive Health bill, said he has never even considered going into public office.

"Sana barangay tanod pero pati siguro nanay ko hindi ako iboboto," he said with a laugh.

He also noted the experience of Catholic priest Ed Panlilio who had to go on leave from the Catholic Church to run for governor of Pampanga in 2007. Panlilio won the gubernatorial election but lost his re-election bid last year.

Cruz said all priests are barred from running for public office.

"Bawal ang cleric to join an office that exercises power. That's Church law. Take the case of Ed Panlilio. He is neither in or out. Of course, he is still a priest but he cannot celebrate mass, cannot perform his priestly functions. He is on leave permanently. Masyado naman buenas yung ganun if he left his priestly functions to run for public office and then went back to the priesthood after his stint in politics," he said.

Meanwhile, several people have already commented about the Oscar Cruz for Senator Movement.

Manila tour guide and cultural activist Carlos Celdran made one of the first comments on the Facebook page. "For realz? This isn't a parody is it? This man is a joke," he said.

User 1DELIZIOSO, meanwhile, gave his own comment on Twitter. "Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz for senator? Are you guys kidding me? LOL!!! Nuisance candidate is a better term for him."