The Philippines stands out as the only nation, besides the Vatican, to prohibit divorce.
Our constitution prohibits divorce and abortion. We are anti-divorce, anti-abortion; we are pro-life, pro-family and pro-marriage under the constitution. The right to life of the unborn from the moment of conception is in the Bill of Rights. But, unfortunately, at one time, the Philippine legislature enacted a bill providing for the implementation of the death penalty for some heinous crimes; but it was repealed much later because it reflected badly on the Philippines, especially among the Catholics.
Has your Catholic faith guided your public service?
I would attribute what I have accomplished to my Catholic faith. I have full confidence in the providence of God. We are told by Jesus how to love our neighbors, and we have to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. It is only by the grace of God that you can say that your life has been fulfilled. Even in our family, our children and our grandchildren are brought up being taught how to pursue this life of faith and service to others.What do you see as the future of the Philippines, which is often called poor and overpopulated?
I am very hopeful for the Philippines and her people. In a recent survey by the University of Chicago, it was demonstrated that, of all the peoples of the world, the Philippines has the greatest level of belief in God. The people’s faith in divine Providence has sustained them, in time of calamity, in time of adversity. So you can see the Filipino people as the most “smiling” in the world. … Even with rising population, this is no problem in my view. We will have more workers, more people and families to work for the greater glory of God.