Atty. Aurora A. Santiago
Duc in Altum
IT is fitting to start this column by storming heaven with our prayers, seek the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to enlighten our lawmakers to reject the Responsible Parenthood Bill, a.k.a. Reproductive Health (RH) Bill.
God, our loving Father,
Creator and lover of all life,
You fashioned in your own image and likeness every human person.
Give us the strength and courage
to defend and protect human life from conception to natural death.
We pray for your divine healing, comfort and peace
for all affected by past abortions.
Help us serve actively in alleviating the sufferings and troubles
of all women with pregnancy problems.
We pray that all our leaders and legislators
may be guided by the grace of the Holy Spirit
to act responsibly on this critical present issue.
Mary, our loving Mother, to you we entrust the cause of life.
We make our prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.
Saint Rosa of Lima, pray for us.
Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, pray for us.
Responsible Parenthood was given a different meaning by the lawmakers who want RH Bill passed into law. In their desperate effort, our congressmen resorted to terminology intended to deceive the people. Legislators must never forget that they were elected into office by their constituents and it is the primordial duty of all elected officials to provide the basic needs of the people.
In his third State of the Nation Address, Pres. Aquino mentioned the problems of education system such as the shortage of textbooks and lack of classrooms. He stated in Tagalog “We are ending the backlogs in the education sector, but the potential for shortages remains as our student population continues to increase. Perhaps Responsible Parenthood can help address this.”
Pres. Aquino’s all-out endorsement of the Responsible Parenthood Bill or RH Bill, drew several passionate and heated comments from the Catholic clergy.
Archbishop Jose Palma, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) stated that “It is about time to remind our congressmen and senators that they have responsibility to our people to come up with a sincere evaluation of what they believe for the good of the nation.” He said that the Church would support rallies against the RH bill which destroys morality, family and cultural values of Filipinos.
Lipa, Batangas Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, former Vice-Chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (ECFL), commented that “Aquino declared an open war, a head-on collision against us and against the Catholic Church. So terrible, so blatant, Aquino missed the point. We in the pro-life movements are so disgusted with these vigorous pronouncements in support of responsible parenthood a.k.a. RH bill.” Abp. Arguelles stated that the real machine that will keep the country’s economy going is the robust population and the serious education of the youth.
San Pablo Bishop Leo Drona chided the President as confused to the real reasons for the backlogs in classrooms and facilities, instead he used the increasing student population as scapegoat to drum up support for the RH bill. The bishop said the President was misleading the nation into believing that aggressive population reduction through an RH law would be better for the country. He noted that no less than US State Secretary Hillary Clinton said in one of her speeches on reproductive health: “And if we’re talking about maternal health, you cannot have maternal health without reproductive health. And reproductive health includes contraception and family planning and access to legal, safe abortion.”
Malolos Bishop Jose Oliveros, Vice-Chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on the Laity, asked President Aquino to listen to the voice of the people if they are really his boss.“Now, he is imposing to the Filipino people his own stand on the RH bill. He should listen to the voice of the majority of our people who are Catholics. I think he is listening more to the external voices like that of the present US administration. This is in contradiction to the theme of his SONA.”
Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes, member of the CBCP Permanent Council, said the President’s remark is a bad omen for what the Catholic Church stands for. He is undermining the moral force of the Catholic Church.’”We have to move our people to vigilance and teach more our congressmen about the dangers of the RH bill.”
Fr. Melvin Castro, Executive Secretary of the CBCP-ECFL said “it is now clear that the proposed reproductive health bill or Aquino’s version of it called ‘responsible parenthood’ is not about health but about birth control.” He said that the President’s latest pronouncement has only affirmed the Church’s concern that RH bill is nothing but a population control bill “disguised” as a health measure. He further stated that “We do not see any connection between the education problem and RH bill because these are about promoting and funding of contraceptive usage.”
Our shepherds had spoken. Our lawmakers should reject RH Bill due to dangers that it would bring to our country. (1) Contraceptives are “abortifacients” or abortion-causing. The World Health Organization itself published studies that contraceptives are cancerous. (2) It is pure selfishness to use taxpayers’ money to finance the government’s contraception, sterilization, and questionable sex-education program instead of delivering the basic services to our countrymen such as medicines in barangay health centers, emergency lying-in clinics, classrooms, jobs, etc. (3) Overpopulation is a myth, there is a downtrend in population growth rate in the country as reported by government agencies. The Wall Street Journal reported, passing the RH Bill will hurt the Philippine economy; that the Philippines should learn from the experience of Singapore and Japan which are now suffering from a deficient workforce due to an aging population. (4) “Sexuality Education” should be left to the parents and not taught to Grade V pupils
Those interested in Laiko 10 days Pilgrimage on the Occasion of the Canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod from October 18 to 27, 2012, land arrangements are also available. You may get pilgrimage flyers from Laiko office or please contact Joseph S. Jesalva/Catherine Buenconsejo, LAIKO Building, 372 Cabildo Street, Intramuros, Manila; Telephone No. 527-5388; Fax No. 527-3124; Mobile No. 0919-863-4218, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Birthday to Laiko Vice President for Ecclesiastical Province of Manila, Dr. Marita Wasan and Diocese of Kalookan clergy Fr. Boyet Pedroso, Fr. Luis Zapata and Fr. Joel Sabijon. Also Happy 18th Sacerdotal Anniversary to Fr. Jun Bartolome, Oeconomus of the Diocese of Kalookan.
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