May kinikilingan! Papal Nuncio urged to act vs Legazpi bishop backing disqualified Rosals
The Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines has been asked to act on a complaint against Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon for allegedly siding with Albay Governor Noel Rosal and his wife, Legazpi Mayor Carmen Geraldine Rosal, who were recently disqualified by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
In a letter addressed to The Most Reverend Charles John Brown, Joseph San Juan Armogila called Baylon out for mentioning the “alleged injustice against the elected governor” in a mass he held in support of the Rosals.
Armogila said Baylon also held prayer rallies and released text blasts in support of the couple.
“The action of the bishop [Baylon] is divisive among Catholic faithful as he shows partiality towards a certain group or individual. His actions directly contradict his basic function as a Bishop of the Church,” said Armogila, the complainant in the disqualification case against the Rosals.
The couple was disqualified by the Comelec for violating the ban on spending public funds during the campaign season for the 2022 elections. They are accused of illegally disbursing financial aid to tricycle drivers and senior citizens.
The Rosals have appealed the Comelec’s ruling.
“Being a candidate at that time, I feel that it is my civic duty to correct certain acts and report the same to the duly recognized agency of the state so that the same maybe corrected. Despite my initial report with the local COMELEC, the said candidates continued with what I perceive [to be] a violation of the law; thus, the filing of the said disqualification case,” Armogila said.
He said the Catholic Church should not meddle in political issues, saying the matter regarding the couple’s disqualification should be left to the Comelec to resolve.
“I do believe, being a good Catholic, that it is not the Church’s task to set forth specific political solutions – and even less to propose a single solution as the acceptable one – to temporal questions that God has left to the free and responsible judgment of each person, specifically if it involves interpretation of a law which does not oppose the teachings of the Church,” Armogila said.