No Roman Catholic priest has been “delicensed” or removed from the priesthood for purportedly supporting presidential candidate Leni Robredo and slamming her rival, Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

A video posted Feb. 26 by YouTube channel Philippines Trending News insinuated this in its headline:

JUST IN : KARMA! PARI na HUMARANG at SIRAAN si BBM, TINANG GALAN ng LISENSYA? LENI IYAK (Priest who barred and criticized BBM lost his license? It left Leni crying)

BBM refers to Marcos.

Philippines Trending News did not identify the priest who supposedly lost his “license,” but the video commentator, Facebook user Datu Magsisibya, blasted Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani of Novaliches who clarified on Feb. 14 that El Shaddai Bro. Mike Velarde’s endorsement of Marcos’ presidential bid does not represent the whole movement.

Bacani, who has retired and is El Shaddai spiritual adviser, was interviewed just this month on Radio Veritas urging the faithful to continue searching for the truth ahead of the May polls.

Priests are “defrocked or laicized,” not delicensed, Gascon said, adding that their political affiliation “is NOT a ground for such penalties. Unless I run for a public office, which I have no dream of doing.”

Clerics in the country do not carry licenses to do their work, except when, as Gascon pointed out, they solemnize marriages. The Philippine Statistics Authority, through Administrative Order no. 1, s. 2007, cites no grounds for revoking the license but notes that it needs to be renewed every three years.

Roman Catholicism, the dominant religion in the Philippines, follows the Code of Canon Law, its “fundamental body” of ecclesiastical laws. Under the code, a person is ordained into priesthood by a bishop who marks them with an indelible mark.

Priests can be permanently dismissed through a process called laicization, wherein they lose all their offices, functions and any delegated power.

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