Philippine Catholic bishops have joined the campaign to thwart the presidential bid of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte who has said he would bat for the return of the death penalty if elected president in the 2016 election.

The apparently anti-Duterte stance is contained in a 10-point guide for Catholic voters issued by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Tuesday, December 29.

A standout in the guide is the warning  against electing candidates advocating death penalty.

Among presidential candidates, only Duterte is pushing for the return of capital punishment that has been abolished by the Philippine government.

Earlier, the CBCP and other presidential candidates had taken turns in lambasting Duterte who said if elected president he would return the death penalty, as part of his iron-fist anti-crime policy, carried out preferably by hanging in public.

In the 10-point guide, the CBCP asked Catholics to reject candidates who push for divorce, advocate the return of the death penalty and those who promote programs against the teaching of the church.

CBCP president Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said a Catholic voter “cannot, in good conscience, support a candidate whose legislative and executive programs include initiatives diametrically opposed to Church moral teachings on vital issues.”

Among others, he cited the issues as abortion, euthanasia, the return of the death penalty, divorce, and the dilution of the character of Christian marriage.

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