Atty. Aurora A. Santiago
Duc in Altum
TAGBILARAN, Bohol. December 12, 2012, Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a very momentous event in Philippine history unfolded.
At a very short notice, all lay faithful and believers of family and life went to St. Peter’s Church at Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City for the Concelebrated Mass led by Most Rev. Gabriel “Gabby” Reyes, Bishop of Antipolo and Chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, together with several archbishops, bishops and priests.
It was really a very touching scene to observe the anti-RH lawmakers, in the midst of the sea of priests, seminarians and lay faithful all wearing red, walked from St. Peter’s Church to Batasan. Even senior citizens and persons with disabilities joined them.
It was really courageous on their part to stand firm in their fight for the non-passage of RH Bill, despite the pressures from the powers that be. We really admire and appreciate their show of unity and solidarity in rejecting the culture of death that RH Bill brings to the Filipinos.
Like what happened during the Prayer Vigil against RH Bill last August 04, 2012, Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas (Laiko) again mobilized its members by issuing circular to all its members – composed of 51 Councils of the Laity from different Archdioceses and Dioceses and 50 national organizations – in support of the call of Bishop Gabby for their presence in the Eucharistic Celebration and prayer vigil at Batasan on the scheduled voting on second reading of the infamous RH Bill.
The pro-RH lawmakers in the House of Representatives attempted to vote viva voce – voting by shouting altogether either “aye” or “nay”.
By voting viva voce, the people will not know who voted in favor or against RH Bill, indeed a very cunning and scheming strategy. They wanted to vote yes to RH Bill but they do not want their vote recorded, hoping that the people will not know how they voted – why? Are they afraid that when they voted for RH Bill, the pro-lifers will definitely not vote them come May elections? It is a matter of having their cake and eat it too, tsk tsk tsk.
Thanks to the motion of Hon. Toby Tiangco, our Congressman from the Lone District of Navotas City, that nominal voting was adopted. By nominal voting, each and every members of the House had to state his “yes” or “no” vote, giving reasons for his vote.
The reasons given by the anti-RH lawmakers for their “No” vote were very surprising; they are scientific, supported by documents and statistics, practical, and down-to-earth. The “Yes” vote of the lawmakers appeared to be given under pressure, which majority of politicians succumbed to — the pressure of the promise powerful position in the government for those who are 3rd termer and cannot run for re-election anymore; the pressure of the pork barrel being dangled right at their very nose and could be pulled away once they did not toe the line; the session being watched and observed with the personal presence of cabinet members DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, Budget Secretary Butch Abad, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda and Comunications guy Ricky Carandang.
It was a very long session ending at past 2 a.m. the following day – with the result: Yes – 113, No – 104, a difference of only 9 votes; 50 lawmakers were absent.
Before the voting on 3rd reading was made, more pressures came; Malacaňang certified RH Bill as urgent; the rest is history. December 17 was a Day of Betrayal, RH Bill was passed by both the Lower House and the Senate.
The story does not end here. Christmas had come and gone. The tri-media reported that the President will sign RH Bill into law before the year ends. Then Lo and Behold! On the Feast of the Holy Innocents (December 28), when the Church commemorates the massacre of children under King Herod, news spread about the secret signing of RH Bill into law on December 21, days before Christmas. Wow, what is the mystery in the secret signing? It reminds me of the secret signing of Martial Law and its announcement several days after it was signed! History repeating itself?
As of press time, Attys. James and Lovely-Ann Imbong filed a taxpayers’ class suit docketed as Case No. 204819 vs. The Executive Secretary, The Secretary of DOH, DBM, Department of Education, and DILG questioning the constitutionality of RH Law, with a prayer for temporary restraining order. May our Lord Almighty save the Philippines and the Filipinos!
With all these lessons learned, let us reject all pro-RH candidates this coming May 2013 elections. It is our constitutional right to vote candidates who value life and reject those who promote the culture of death.
We thank the Lord for the gift of life and family. At age 95, my mother Gloria Angeles-Santiago can still hurdle the long flight from Los Angeles, California to Manila. Except for my brother Roy, my other siblings Vicky, Bobby, Nito and wife Nisa, and my nephew Glenn Rosales, all flew to the Philippines for a Christmas family reunion.
Happy Birthday to Monsignor Alex V. Amandy, Vicar General of Kalookan Diocese; also to Jun Hio and Gigi de Lara of Hello Father 911 Saturday Edition, and Marlon Lacquio of Kalookan Chancery.
Praying for a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2013 to you and your family!
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