President Rodrigo Duterte has to confront and subdue the religious oligarchies which unduly pressure the faithful or their adherents to follow their electoral and policy choices and decisions.
The pulpit or the altar should be used to propagate the word of God, not to demonize policymakers or encroach on the sanctity of the ballot.
These religious oligarchies are more insidious because they do not only control the mind but also the spirit of their followers under the pain of eternal damnation or defeat at the polls of the candidates they oppose.
While religious oligarchs can participate in the national discourse on policy questions and can support political candidates, they cannot dictate and enforce their will over their followers.
If we want our electorate to develop and mature, we should stop the pernicious practice of candidates trooping to priests and ministers during election time supplicating for their endorsement.
It is an open secret that an influential religious group has pressured not a few Members of the House of Representatives to reject ABS-CBN’s application for a franchise renewal because of its perception that the reportage of the network on a particular issue was against its interests.
EDCEL C. LAGMAN