CBCP official reminds clergy not to run for political positions

CBCP official reminds clergy not to run for political positions

Bishop Buenaventura Famadico, chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Clergy. FILE PHOTO

By Roy Lagarde

October 10, 2018

Manila, Philippines

An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines told priests to avoid partisan politics as filing of candidacy for the 2019 midterm polls begins this week.

Bishop Buenaventura Famadico, chairman of the CBCP Commission on Clergy, urged priests to stick to their mission of spreading the Word of God, adding that government service is better left to the lay people.

“Let us leave the task of serving in government to the laity,” Famadico said. “Our job is to guide the people, and cater to their spiritual needs.”

Clergymen entering the political area, he said, would unwittingly mean that they have failed in their mission as priests.

“It would appear that we have failed in our task if we have to take over the role of the laity,” according to bishop of San Pablo diocese.

“We need not take over the responsibility of the people to take the reigns of the government,” he added.

Famadico reminded the clergy to look at what happened to Fr. Eddie Panlilio who was suspended from his priestly duties when he ran and won as governor of Pampanga province in 2007.

He, however, failed to finish his term after he was removed from the post in 2010 following an election protest.

In 2013, Panlilio again ran for governor but lost.

“Look at him, he was not allowed to come back (as a priest) since that (public office) is not part of our job,” said Famadico.

The election period for next year’s local and national elections begins on Thursday, as the Commission on Elections will start receiving certificates of candidacy (COC) until Oct. 17.