On Posters and Poster Boy

So the whole Pedro Calungsod canonization thing did its damage and you’d think that it’s all over for now, right? Wrong. The Catholic Church, it would seem, is not content with digging into the pockets of its faithful. It’s now going to continue doing what it’s been doing pretty consistently for the past hundreds of years: breaching secularism.

Apparently, Pedro Calungsod paper bills are slated to go into circulation this year by none other than the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. That’s right folks, they’re gonna be using state money to put their poster boy on, well, state money. State money, which I might remind you, came from citizens Catholic and non-Catholic alike.

All this blatant asking-for-money and spending-money-that-isn’t-even-theirs is really getting on my nerves, but not so much that I lose it and post something as tasteless as this video:

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-VipL-bF0I’]

Good riddance, Papa Ratzi.

And as if that wasn’t enough, they exceeded their monthly political meddling quota by putting up a giant poster that tells Catholics who to vote for. Aside from endorsements, the billboard included a blacklist and both had lists of senators and party lists. As for what they used to separate the good from the evil, they looked to the handy dandy ever-black-and-whitening Reproductive Health Law. (And just in case you’ve been living under a rock, the Catholic Church is against this particular piece of legislation.)

Personally, I appreciate their very anarcho-communistic choice of colors.

Although the Bacolod diocese that put up this tarp was ordered by the Comelec to take it down for being oversized, they chose to attempt a technical ploy and simply cut the poster in half. Assuming, however that the original poster really was 6 ft. x 10 ft. as reported, I’m having quite a lot of trouble understanding how the halves would fit into the prescribed 2 ft. x 3 ft. areas*. Oh, right! They don’t because it’s physically impossible.**

Original area = 6 ft. x 10 ft. = 60 sq. ft.

Prescribed area = (2 ft. x 3 ft.) x 2 = (6 sq. ft.) x 2 = 12 sq. ft.

(☞゚∀゚)☞ 60 sq. ft. > 12 sq. ft.

What wonders you can do with basic math!

It’s pretty telling, though, how the state’s reason for having the posters taken down is a mere issue of size when it’s a blatant violation of the requirements for tax exemption. The government seems to shy from the fact that the Catholic Church is not entitled to tax exemption, although they clearly act like it. To keep their tax-exempt status, they must comply with the law*** and only use their tax-exempt properties for their stated religious and/or charitable purposes. And to play in politics without having to pay the associated fees is simply not fair, especially given how this institution is chock-full of money. With this, I think it’s high time we started taxing the Church. Don’t you?




* The clauses that I’ve seen (online, at least) say “with an area exceeding two feet by three feet” while it’s enumerating “Lawful election propaganda”, which seems to be missing a “not” before the word “exceeding”. I’m just going to assume sloppy proofreading and not that our lawmakers have such horrible eyesight that they chose to ban anything smaller than 2 ft. x 3 ft.

** It’s pretty disappointing how nobody else seems to have seen or pointed out this technicality, even going so far as to imply that what the diocese did actually worked in this article.

*** Article VI Section 28 (3) of the Philippine Constitution states: “Charitable institutions, churches and personages or convents appurtenant thereto, mosques, non-profit cemeteries, and all lands, buildings, and improvements, actually, directly, and exclusively used for religious, charitable, or educational purposes shall be exempt from taxation.”





Image from Rappler


  1. Several comments in that Rappler article made a fun of the Diocese's lack of knowledge related to measuring the size of the tarps. I say it again, Math skills needed.

    Diocese of Bacolod, please learn geometry before telling people who to vote for. I'll pray to your god that he gives wisdom related to measurement as well as eyes to clearly see the difference of standard sized posters to their tarp, and common sense to know that they can't change the meaning of internationally accepted units of measurement

  2. Oh, it "educates" its sheep who to vote and who not to vote – who would bring them to salvation and who would have them condemned in hell. That, sirs, is how they would define education.

    I am still wondering, to date, why this kind of poster can't be taken down. It is…

    1) Offensive. If the Victoria Court poster has sexual overtones, this is a direct threat. Written. Visible in public. Displayed in a public area. The Catholic Church is blatantly stating here that those who vote for TEAM PATAY do not exactly value life. They are questioning the citizen's choice. No – they are imposing what the citizens should choose. Isn't this coercion, or harassment, even?

    2) This qualifies for libel, too, for all those in "Team Patay". Libel is defined as defamation by written or printed words, pictures, or in any form other than by spoken words or gestures. This is defamation, in large print as the church accuses these candidates as lewd, evil, even perhaps, satanic.

    3) Those in Team Buhay, and not just the Catholic proponents, should also be incarcerated or disqualified, at least, for Political Libel.

    Part of the Election Laws under the Comelec Rules of Procedure is this:

    Sec. 38. Conduct of elections. (cut) No person who files a certificate of candidacy shall represent or allow himself to be represented as a candidate of any political party or any other organization; and no political party, political group, political committee, civic, religious, professional, or other organization or organized group of whatever nature shall intervene in his nomination or in the filing of his certificate of candidacy or– Wait for it– give aid or support, directly or indirectly, material or otherwise favorable to or against his campaign for election:

    Under Article 10, on Campaign and election propaganda, it states that making speeches, announcements, commentaries or even having campaign literature against another candidate is prohibited. And these people ALLOW it to happen.

    The posters are also posted on a Church. Is the Church even a Comelec Registered Posting Area? If it's not, it should be definitely taken down. REMOVED. As it is unauthorized.

    I don't see why it isn't being tackled this way. Poster size? Wow. That's just too simple. Yes, they could just cut it off and make their own mathematical explanations.

    Why can't the government or those who know and who has law with them scrutinize the intention behind?

    It's just preposterous.

  3. Freethinkers, I recommend that you look into the seemingly huge conflict of interest here – the Church is recommending who to vote/not vote, while simultaneously working with the PPCRV. (Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting). This raises a stink – how can you be partisan then be an electoral watchdog?

  4. The Bacolod diocese is sneaky. They have replaced the original list which contained the names of Honasan, JV Ejercito, Trillanes, etc. with the Ang Kapatiran names plus Mitos Batikos. Probably an admission the first tarp was problematic. har har

  5. You just know that some bigwig lawyer will claim that the poster above is "educational." Educational about what, we may never know.

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