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#CAThrowback: Religious 'bloc voting,' paksa ng 'Dong Puno Live' pilot noong 1995

Sherwin Tinampay, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 21 2022 03:47 PM

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MAYNILA - Mainit na usapin ngayon ang tinatawag na 'religious vote' kung saan nagkakasundo ang religious group at kandidatong kanilang ieendorso o ikakampanya sa halalan, hayagan man o hindi. 

Sa unang pagtatanghal ng programang 'Dong Puno Live' sa pangunguna ng batikang mamamahayag at abogado na si Dong Puno Jr. noong 1995, naging paksa ng talakayan ang kapangyarihan ng religious groups na makapaghalal ng mga lingkod bayan.

Nang mga panahong iyon, ibinasura ng Kongreso ang House Bill 10911 o ang kontrobersiyal na 'Ecclesiastical Voting Bill' na nagpapanukala ng religious bloc voting. Dahil dito, mas mainit na inabangan ang ieendorso ng mga kilalang religious groups sa Pilipinas.

Nakapanayam ni Puno sina El Shaddai Founder Bro. Mike Velarde, Jesus is Lord Spiritual Director Bro. Eddie Villanueva, Representative of the Archdiocese of Manila Bishop Teodoro Bacani at Davao Islamic Dahwa President na si Atty. Adbul Dataya.

Sinang-ayunan ni Bacani na may religious vote sa Simbahang Katolika.

"Meron, Dong, pero ang extent niyan ang mahirap i-determine. I think there are people who will really be voting according to criteria set by different groups but the criteria need not be exclusive to one group," paliwanag ni Bacani.

Wala umanong listahan na ibinibigay ang simbahan sa mga kandidatong dapat iboto pero para kay Bacani, mas madali siyang makapagpayo tungkol sa kandidatong hindi dapat iboto ng mga Katoliko.

Siyam na taon makaraan ang EDSA People Power Revolution na nagpatalsik sa diktador na si Ferdinand Marcos, pangunahing pinipili diumano ng simbahan ang kandidatong walang 'dictatorial tendencies.' Matatandaang malaki ang naging papel ng Simbahang Katolika sa pangunguna ni Jaime Cardinal Sin sa naging rebolusyon noong 1986.

"Si Cardinal (Sin) hindi lang dictatorial ang tendencies ang gusto niyang sabihin but people who were associated with the dictatorial regime," ani Bishop Bacani.

Noon pa man, sa opinyon ni Bacani ay maituturing na direktang nakadikit ang anak na si Bongbong sa kanyang amang si Ferdinand Sr. 

Tumakbo noong Halalan 1995 sa pagkasenador si Bongbong pero hindi ito nagtagumpay. 

May guidelines naman na sinusunod umano ang El Shaddai sa mga kandidato na kanilang susuportahan sa halalan.

"We are now experiencing a moral and spiritual revival in the Philippines. I think people are being transformed and so we are expecting total transformation of the society out of these in a few years. Now, in fact, people are already aware of what kind of people we are. So, we are looking even deeper beyond the family source of these people, of these candidates, and their behavior and also we have instructions to keep what's on their talks and speeches during the campaign period," paliwanag ni Velarde.

Mainit na inabangan ng mga panahong iyon ang mga kandidatong ikakampanya ng grupo ni Bro. Eddie Villanueva.

Noong Halalan 1992, nagwagi ang kandidatong sinuportahan nila sa pagkapangulo, si Fidel Ramos, na inendorso rin ni dating pangulong Corazon Aquino bilang kaniyang kapalit.

"Noong nakaraang presidential election when Cardinal Sin was boldly supporting Speaker Mitra and the INC was boldly campaigning for Ambassador Cojuangco. So, all of the members of our movement sent inquiries to us asking what should be the leading of the Lord. So, we made a, through a season of prayers and fasting, we seek the Lord and the Lord revealed to us that Mr. Ramos is the choice of the Lord."

Naniniwala rin si Villanueva na may 'unity' ang mga Born Again Christian sa pagboto.

"Genuine Born Again Christians are perfectly united in the spirit because of the common Holy Spirit dueling our lives. So, we do not need what other churches need that it is legitimizing the so-called dictatorial rights in dictating their members whom to vote because as far as Born Again Christians are concerned, we are only after the welfare of the nation and the perfect will of God," ani Villanueva.

Ang mga kababayang Muslim, nakabatay umano sa tinatawag na 'tribal o clan voting.'

"Basically, the Muslim does not have a so-called religious vote. Maybe, perhaps, what has been referred to are the so-called tribal or clan voting because in some areas in Mindanao, there are good leaders like 'datus' who controls certain areas simply because some of them are their relatives, the others are their friends and also they're good leaders. So, in effect, when they choose a certain person as their candidates, the followers will also go with this decision," paliwanag ni Dataya.

Sa pagpanaw ng isa sa haligi ng ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs, muling panoorin ang unang pag-ere sa telebisyon ng programang 'Dong Puno Live' kasama si Atty. Dong Puno, Jr. na unang ipinalabas sa ABS-CBN Channel 2 noong Pebrero 1995.

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