The Supreme Court Tuesday stopped the Commission on Elections' order for the removal of the "Team Patay, Team Buhay" tarpaulin at the San Sebastian Cathedral in Bacolod City.
In a text message, SC Public Information Office Chief Atty. Theodore Te said during Tuesday's en banc session, the SC issued a temporary restraining order against the implementation of the Comelec's order.
The SC also directed the Comelec to file its comment within 10 days on the petition for certiorari and prohibition with application for injunction and TRO filed by Bacolod City Bishop Vicente Navarra.
The SC set the oral arguments on the case on March 19, 2013 at 2 p.m.
The tarpaulin lists down the names of senatorial candidates in the May 13, 2013 elections that the Bacolod City Diocese said should not get the public's votes because they favored the Reproductive Health Law.
The senatorial candidates tagged as members of "Team Patay" are Juan Edgardo "Sonny" Angara, Francis "Chiz" Escudero, Loren Legarda, Alan Peter Cayetano, Risa Hontiveros, Teddy Casiño and Jack Enrile.
Party-list groups Gabriela, Bayan Muna, Akbayan and Anak Pawis are also on the "Team Patay" list.
Those in the "Team Buhay" list are senatorial candidates Joseph Victor Ejercito-Estrada, Antonio "Sonny" Trillanes IV, Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan, Mitos Magsaysay, Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III and Cynthia Villar for opposing the RH Law.
In their petition, the Bacolod City Diocese said the Comelec order is unconstitutional since the tarpaulin merely represents the Church's exercise of freedom of expression.