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El Shaddai leader Mike Velarde
El Shaddai leader Mike Velarde

Catholic Groups Promote the “Catholic White Vote”

El Shaddai leader Mike Velarde
El Shaddai leader Mike Velarde

Filipino Catholic groups launched the Catholic White Vote Movement aiming to gather millions of votes for senatorial candidates who opposed the Reproductive Health (RH) law in the upcoming midterm elections


The movement is composed of the Council of the Laity of the Philippines, El Shaddai, Couples for Christ Foundation for Family and Life, Catholic Women’s League, Focolare Movement, and Ang Lingkod ng Panginoon.


Headed by El Shaddai leader Mike Velarde, the movement would campaign pro-Church candidates who could help battle possible legislation to legalize same-sex marriage, divorce and abortion.


Velarde said that the group could deliver up to 6 million votes in about 3,000 Catholic communities across the country, enough to ensure the victory of pro-church candidates.


With Velarde’s campaign, he said that the Catholic Church is alive and shows it has power and could unify the people with its Catholic vote come May 13, 2013.


El Shaddai has 7 million members and said it will endorse ten senatorial candidates based on their stand on the controversial issues.


Earlier, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines urged the faithful to choose pro-life candidates where churches in Bacolod and Tarlac are endorsing names with their “Team Buhay” versus “Team Patay” posters.


In other Catholic churches in the country, announcements are made during masses encouraging the church-goers to vote for the “Team Buhay” or pro-life candidates in the midterm elections.


The RH law has caused debates against the pro and anti since its inception, but still was passed into law despite the Catholic Church’s outright opposition to it.


Catholic leaders consider the law an attack on the Church’s core values and say it promotes promiscuity and abortion.


The government on the other hand says the law would help the poor with family planning and provide maternal health care.


Debates continued to surge as the Supreme Court delayed the law’s implementation until June.


Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said that it still depends on the voters on how they would assess their candidates and who to vote.


It would also depend on the political analysts to determine whether there is such a thing as Catholic vote, added Valte.


Pro-RH Law Reps. Simeon Datumanong, Edcel Lagman and Rodolfo Albano showed no fear on the said Catholic vote since it is yet to be proven and has no empirical basis as they say.

Corabelle is the Bayanihan's Phillippine News Correspondent.