There is no Catholic vote?By Antonio Montalvan II
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The hypothesis, nay, the generally favored conclusion, is that there was no Catholic vote in the last elections. The point has been belabored in several commentaries.
But what are the facts based on the election results? On this question, mainstream media have been mute. If this is a deliberate response, we can only let the facts speak.
If there was no Catholic vote in the last elections, why did six senatorial candidates who were against the Reproductive Health Law make it to the winning circle of 12? How explain this fact if the Catholic vote did not exist? Constituting half of this circle of winning senators, six is certainly not a bad number.
If there was no Catholic vote, why, despite the hard push for the candidacy of Risa Hontiveros, did she lose in the last elections—and it was a worse beating than in her previous run for the Senate three years ago? If her pro-RH position truly stood on solid Catholic teaching, why didn’t Catholic voters shower her with votes? Isn’t it possible that Hontiveros was junked by voters who wanted to uphold their Catholic beliefs and thus, theirs may have also been an expression of the Catholic vote?
To insist that there was no Catholic vote only invites more questions than answers. In fact, when we look at the election results, the claim that there was no Catholic vote seems to collapse even more as a hypothesis.
Consider, for instance, the results in the congressional elections. In the period following the voting in both houses of Congress on the RH bill, it was often said that both the proponents and the opposers would rally their constituents to their side. How did it go?
Assuming there indeed was no Catholic vote, why were there many winners among those who were anti-RH? In fact, 55 of them won. Count with me as I enumerate who they are.
1. Roman Romulo (Pasig) 2. Benjamin Asilo (Manila) 3. Naida Angping (Manila) 4. Trisha Bonoan David (Manila) 5. Amado Bagatsing (Manila) 6. Toby Tiangco (Navotas) 7. Maximo Dalog (Mountain Province) 8. Imelda Marcos (Ilocos Norte) 9. Pol Bataoil (Pangasinan) 10. Gina de Venecia (Pangasinan) 11. Randolph Ting (Cagayan) 12. Dax Cua (Quirino) 13. Albert Garcia (Bataan) 14. Joseph Violago (Nueva Ecija) 15. Czarina Umali (Nueva Ecija) 16. Sonny Collantes (Batangas) 17. Mark Mendoza (Batangas) 18. Isidro Rodriguez Jr. (Rizal) 19. Lani Revilla (Cavite) 20. Karlo Nograles (Davao City) 21. Budoy Madrona (Romblon) 22. Antonio Alvarez (Palawan; last termer, but his son won)
23. Rufus Rodriguez (Cagayan de Oro) 24. Scott Lanete (Masbate) 25. Dato Arroyo (Camarines Sur) 26. Sal Fortuno (Camarines Sur) 27. Al Bichara (Albay) 28. Fernando Gonzales (Albay) 29. Cesar Sarmiento (Catanduanes) 30. Deogracias Ramos (Sorsogon) 31. Elmer Panotes (Camarines Norte) 32. Paolo Javier (Antique) 33. Arthur Robes 34. Arthur Yap (Bohol) 35. Benhur Salimbangon (Cebu) 36. George Arnaiz (Negros Oriental) 37. Henry Teves (Negros Oriental) 38. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez (Leyte) 39. Lucy Torres Gomez (Leyte) 40. Boying Cari (Leyte) 41. Emil Ong (Northern Samar) 42. Rosendo Labadlabad (Zamboanga del Norte) 43. Jorge Almonte (Misamis Occidental) 44. Robert Puno (Antipolo) 45. Romeo Acop (Antipolo) 46. Peter Unabia (Misamis Oriental) 47. Pedro Romualdo (Camiguin; he passed away during the campaign, his grandson XJ Romualdo replaced him and won) 48. Thelma Almario (Davao Oriental) 49. Pedro Acharon 50. Manny Pacquiao (Sarangani) 51. Francisco Matugas (Surigao del Norte) 52. Guillermo Romarate Jr. (Surigao del Norte) 53. Florencio Garay (Surigao del Sur) 54. Tina Plaza (Agusan del Sur) 55. Bebs Mellana (Agusan del Sur).
Please note as well that of the anti-RH representatives, only nine didn’t make it. Still that makes for an 86-percent winning rate for those who voted against the RH bill. Would that not make for a Catholic vote?
Of the party-list groups that voted against the bill, eight easily made it. Of course, the top vote-getter on the list is Buhay of the Catholic group El Shaddai. The rest are Ako Bicol, Ating Koop, An Waray, A Teacher, 1-Care, Abamin, and LPGMA. Abamin—Abante Mindanao—swept the Northern Mindanao provinces and cities.
If there is no Catholic vote, then what is this?
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