MANILA, August 14, 2012— In a self-assured statement, the Catholic hierarchy hit back at the Aquino administration and its allies in Congress who managed to sneak a vote that ended the period of debates on the reproductive health bill.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines insisted that they stand firm in their resolve to fight “this deadly measure at every turn and no matter the cost – all for the love of God, flock, and country.”
“Developed countries with dwindling population are beginning to realize the folly of population control, and some, like Singapore, regret having adopted it.”
“Most importantly, the bill’s anti-life features go against our Constitution, our treasured traditions and the basic teachings of the Catholic Church,” he said.
Last Monday, the House of Representatives elected to conduct the voting on the fate of the RH bill a day earlier than the August 7 schedule.
The decision came after some 160 lawmakers had met with President Benigno Aquino in Malacañang earlier that day.
“Unfortunately, in a move remarkable in its stealth and swiftness, the ruling group of the House of Representatives managed to force a vote that terminated the period of debates on the RH Bill. It came a full day too soon, just when no one was looking,” said Palma.
“Except for the cabal of schemers, people were caught off-guard by the suddenness of the execution, especially those who oppose the Bill on faith or principle,” he added.
What is worse, the CBCP head said, is the role played by the president in making the swift move for the bill’s advancement, which they believed, is a “well-funded campaign as envisioned by foreign institutions.”
“Not least, we question the surrender of legislative discretion to an intrusive President, reminiscent of the events leading to the impeachment proceedings,” said the prelates while referring to the recent ouster of chief justice Renato Corona.
“We are dismayed by the display of naked power,” he also said.
The CBCP said they would relentlessly push for the truth and reveal the ills that the measure may cause the society.
The prelates called on the faithful not to give up also and instead intensify the prayer for the junking of the RH bill.
“We urge all devoted Catholics to unite against the Bill. Intensify your prayers and let your voices be heard and your actions seen against this deadly measure,” Palma said.
The CBCP also lauded the legislators who continue to resist the bill “even at the risk of retaliation from the powers-that-be”. [CBCPNews]