KORONADAL CITY - Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said Wednesday the tirades against the Catholic Church of her father will not affect the chances of administration candidates in the midterm elections, as the opposition ticket claims it will get the “Catholic vote” because of the chief executive's "disrespectful comments."
President Duterte, leader of a country considered the bastion of Catholicism in Asia, routinely attacks the Church and its teachings. Last year, he drew flak and his popularity dipped after calling God “stupid.”
“Iyung Hugpong-supported candidates, hindi din affected by the pronouncements ng President. I think they will also get the Catholic votes on their own,” Duterte-Carpio told reporters on the sidelines of regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) campaign sortie in this city in South Cotabato.
(HNP-supported candidates are not affected by the pronouncements of the President. I think they will also get the Catholic vote.)
Otso Diretso bet, veteran election lawyer Romulo Macalintal, said he is confident many Catholics will support Otso Diretso candidates because of Duterte’s attacks against the Church.
“Nagigising na ‘yung mga Katoliko, dahil sa pag-atake sa ating simbahan, dahil sa pag-atake sa ating pananampalataya, dahil sa pambabastos sa pangalan ng ating Diyos, sa pananakot sa ating mga kaparian,” Macalintal said in a senatorial forum in Cagayan de Oro on Tuesday, April 16.
(The Catholics have finally been awakened because of the attacks against the Church, on our beliefs, on the name of God, and on the members of the clergy.)
“At dahil diyan, ako’y naniniwala na ‘yung Catholic vote is a force to reckon with in the forthcoming political exercise,” he added in a separate media interview.
(Because of this, I believe that the Catholic vote is a force to reckon with in the forthcoming political exercise.)
Recently, Catholic and Christian lay leaders endorsed Otso Diretso bets Macalintal, reelectionist Sen. Bam Aquino, Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, Marawi civic leader Samira Gutoc, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, former Senator Mar Roxas, and former lawmaker Erin Tañada, as well as reelectionist Sen. Grace Poe and former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares.
While the Philippines is predominantly Catholic, the religion’s faithfuls do not vote as a bloc, unlike the politically influential Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC), which can deliver bloc votes for its preferred candidates at the national and local levels.
Duterte-Carpio said it is up to the individual candidates whether to actively pursue the endorsement of the INC leadership.
INC votes can be crucial in close national races but are more crucial in local contests.
The INC's chosen candidates are cascaded to its members days prior to an election.