5 May 2019

ON THE last campaign Sunday, Bishop of Novaliches Antonio Tobias endorsed Otso Diretso senatorial candidates Gary Alejano, Bam Aquino, Chel Diokno, Samira Gutoc, Florin Hilbay, Romy Macalintal, Mar Roxas and Erin Tañada.

Bishop Tobias, who has jurisdiction of the diocese that covers a dozen vicariates with 69 parishes, clarified that Catholics are not prohibited from participating in partisan politics.

“Ang Santo Papa na ang nagsabi sa isang general audience sa Roma, ‘You have to be involved so that you allow those who can govern to govern properly,’” he said, addressing not only Catholic Filipinos, but all Filipinos.

“Meron na rin akong listahan. Kailangang makapili nang maayos. So mga kababayan, ini-introduce ko sa inyo ang Otso Diretso. Pag kulang pa, lapit lang kayo sa ako sa akin at dadagdagan ko,” he added.

Tañada, who met with Bishop Tobias, thanked him, the priests, the nuns, and the entire diocese for helping Otso Diretso in their uphill battle for an independent Senate.

“Pinaglalaban natin ang katotohanan, ang honesty, which one of the tenets sa ating simbahan. Kailangan parating sinusundan ito,” said Tañada.

“With 8 days to go (before election day), maraming mamamayan ang naniniwala na importante ang katapatan, ang honesty, sa ating bansa, at di kasinungalingan,” added Tañada.

Gutoc, a Muslim civic leader from Marawi, said he hopes more bishops will follow and endorse her and her fellow Otso Diretsocandidates.

“The work of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines is not just as a moral force, but right now is to be a co-Avenger for all victims of tokhang, victims of Marawi siege, lahat ng Informal settlers na walang boses,” said Gutoc.

Gutoc asked the public to heed the bishops who “will tell you ‘Huwag matakot dahil ang pinaglalaban natin ay isang independenteng Senado.’”

Bishop of Novaliches since 2003, Tobias oversees Catholic parishioners from Districts 4, 5 and 6 in Quezon City, and District 1 of Caloocan City.

The dozen vicariates of the diocese are Christ the King, Our Lady of Lourdes, Sto. Niño, Holy Cross, Ascension of Our Lord, Good Shepherd, Holy Spirit, Our Lady of Mercy, San Bartolome, San Isidro Labrador, Saint Peter, and Ina ng Lupang Pangako. 

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