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SC to Comelec: ‘Team Patay’ tarp stays for now

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President Benigno S. Aquino III shares the stage with the Liberal Party (LP) candidates and members from General Santos City and the Province of South Cotabato for a group photo souvenir during the meeting with local leaders and the community at the Lagao Gymnasium in Barangay Lagao, General Santos City on Wednesday (March 6).In photo are General Santos City Mayor Darlene Antonino Custodio South Cotabato 1st District Representative Pedro Acharon, Jr.South Cotabato 2nd District Representative Daisy Avance-Fuentes Mindanao Development Authority (MinDa) chairperson Luwalhati Antonino. (MNS photo)

MANILA  (Mabuhay) — The Supreme Court (SC) has issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) order for the removal of the controversial “Team Patay, Team Buhay” tarpaulin at the San Sebastian Cathedral in Bacolod City.

The poll body was also ordered to file its comment on the petition for certiorari and prohibition with application for injunction and TRO of Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra within 10 days, while oral arguments on the controversial case has been set on March 19.

The tarpaulin lists down the names of senatorial bets in the May polls that the diocese said should not get the public’s votes because they favored the Reproductive Health Law.

The candidates tagged as members of ‘Team Patay’ are Juan Edgardo Angara, Francis Escudero, Loren Legarda, Alan Peter Cayetano, Risa Hontiveros, Teddy Casiño and Jack Enrile.

Party-list groups Gabriela, Bayan Muna, Akbayan and Anak Pawis are also on the Team Patay list.

In their petition, the diocese said the Comelec order is unconstitutional since the tarpaulin merely represents the Church’s exercise of freedom of expression.

The petition also pointed out that by virtue of the separation of Church and State, the Comelec’s order should be stricken down by the high court.

Senatorial bets Joseph Victor Ejercito-Estrada, Antonio Trillanes, Gregorio Honasan, Mitos Magsaysay, Koko Pimentel and Cynthia Villar are on the ‘Team Buhay’ list for opposing the RH law. (MNS)

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