Balanga City: All the churches in 11 towns and one city in Bataan under the Diocese of Balanga held prayer-vigils starting on Friday night, or three days before the elections, aimed at stopping allegedly rampant vote buying in the cited province.
The prayer vigils were held from 9 p.m. to 12 midnight every day for three days. “Para sa bumibili ng boto ang vigil na ito na sana makonsensiya sila at huwag nang mamili ng boto [The vigils were held for those who are buying people’s votes, that they may be guided by their conscience and stop vote buying],” said Andrei de Cosme, an altar boy in one of the churches of the province.
De Cosme was with other altar boys of the Saint Catherine of Siena Church in Samal, Bataan watched over lighted candles arranged to form a cross outside the church.
Rev. Fr. Abraham Pantig, parish priest of Saint Joseph Cathedral in Balanga City and other priests of the 12 parishes in the province led the prayers. Bishop Ruperto Santos, for his part, said that he has received reports that vote buying is usually done on the night before the polls.
“Ginagawa raw ang barilan sa gabi ng linggo hanggang lunes ng madaling-araw o ilang oras bago ang botohan kaya ang prayer vigil natin ay hanggang linggo ng hating-gabi [Vote buying happens on Sunday night until Monday dawn or a few hours before the elections which is why our prayer-vigils will last until Sunday midnight],” the bishop of the Diocese of Balanga said.
Ernie B. Esconde