On December 6, 2016 House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez told Catholics not to be afraid if they were looked down upon by their religious leaders for supporting the reinstatement of the death penalty.
In a radio interview with DZRH, Alvarez reminded the public of the separation between church and state.
“Gusto ko na ring ipaalala sa kanila ang separation of Church and State. Gawin nila yung trabaho nila bilang nagpre-preach sila ng faith” Alvarez said, referring to the clergy.
He also urged the Catholics who were reportedly refused communion due to their support of the death penalty to look into other religions if they felt that they were being put down by their leaders.
"Eh 'di magtiwalag! Ang importante naman dito naniniwala ka sa Panginoon eh," Alvarez said.
Alvarez added that the church should focus their efforts towards issues that concern them: such as the hungry and homeless.
Alvarez said, "Kung wala naman silang maitutulong dito ay tumahimik na lang, huwag na silang makialam. Magconcentrate na lang sila sa kawang-gawa, maraming nangangailangan ng serbisyo nila,"
"Maraming nagugutom sa kalye. Bakit hindi nila pagtuunang n pansin iyon?," he added.
Alvarez is one of the prime supporters of the bill calling for the re-institution of the death penalty in the Philippines.
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