Video courtesy of PTV
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines on Thursday denied that a voter education campaign it supports is meant to endorse any candidate in the 2022 elections.
The "One Godly Vote" aims to inform the public about issues that affect the whole country and bring about the "evangelization of politics," said CBCP Executive Secretary Fr. Jerome Secillano.
"We want to evangelize politics. Meaning to say, we want to put Christ at the center of politics," he said in a televised public briefing.
"Iyan lang po ang layunin namin. Wala po kaming i-endorso na mga kandidato. That is not in the nature of Catholic Church," the priest continued.
(That is our only goal. We will not endorse any candidate.)
Prospects for president, vice president, and senator are set to file their candidacies from Friday until Oct. 8.
The CBCP and the Catholic Church in several instances have drawn President Rodrigo Duterte's ire since 2016.
In May 2016, Duterte called the Catholic Church the "most hypocritical institution", days after the CBCP urged the public to reject a "morally reprehensible" candidate who has shown "scant regard" for the rights of others.
Throughout Duterte's term, Catholic leaders rejected his unsuccessful push for the revival of death penalty and the killings in his drug war.
Before getting elected to the country's highest post, he cursed Pope Francis for causing traffic jams in Metro Manila during the latter's January 2015 visit.
About 80 percent of Filipinos are Catholics.