Palace ‘raids’ anti-RH bill ranks—CBCP official

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Fr. Melvin Castro

MANILA, Dec. 5, 2012— A Catholic Church official has criticized Malacañang for allegedly pressuring members of the House of Representatives to favor the reproductive health (RH) bill.

Fr. Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the CBCP’s Commission on Family and Life, claimed that the Palace “continues to raid the pro-life ranks” of lawmakers to muster enough votes for the enactment of the measure.

“Malacañang is monitoring the ‘solid’ votes of the anti-RH bill and calls them up and persuades them to soften up because it’s ‘shameful to the Speaker, it’s shameful to the President,” Castro said.

The solid anti-RH bill votes, he said, is shown by those who affirm the call for nominal voting by standing up during last Monday’s deliberation.

“Our congressional friends believe that some within pro-life ranks of the House of Representatives continue to be at the receiving end of the arm twisting tactics of President Aquino,” said Castro.

Aquino on Monday met with lawmakers and gave them a week to wrap up amendments to the RH bill and vote on it.

The President claimed he would not pressure his allies in Congress to favor the measure but said that he would vote for RH bill if he could.

Castro then appealed to the lawmakers to “obey God rather than men.”

“If we can live to see that our children grow up in an environment of contraceptive mentality and anti-natalist attitude, then let us give up the fight.  If we can, in conscience, grow old and face the Author of Life someday knowing that we did not dare to stand up against the RH Bill today, then let us throw-in the towel,” he added.

“But I know, in the deepest recesses of our hearts, we cannot accept a country governed by unjust and immoral laws.  I know that we cannot accept that the Church, the one Church founded by Christ, continues to be a punching bag of many politicians.  I know that, in the end, we shall stand-up for what is right and true,” said Castro. (CBCPNews)


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