Starting September 8, 2012, anonymous comments -- whether for or against the RH bill -- will no longer be permitted on this blog.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Launched on Dec. 28: 1M Red Ribbons for Life Movement

What next for this blog?

Some have been asking me what I plan to do next, now that the RH bill has been signed into law. 

First and foremost, the Church and the pro-life movement in the Philippines have not given up the fight against this law. Challenges to the law before the Supreme Court are all but certain to be mounted in the coming months. 

Second, it remains to be seen how the law will be implemented. It is a fact that the actual implementation of a law often deviates a great deal from the law's original intent, purpose or means. It is still possible that many of the most objectionable portions of the bill will be all but forgotten in implementation, although I'm not really sanguine about this. 

In short: as long as all legitimate and peaceful options have not been exhausted, and as long as the RH law's stay on Philippine law books is unsecured, this blog will stay up. I would like to emphasize legitimate and peaceful, as I don't look kindly either at premature calls for "civil disobedience" or other forms of rebellion. 

Breaking News - RH Bill now Law (RA 10354)

Various sources are now reporting that the PNoy signed the RH bill into law on December 21, 2012. It is now RA 10354. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Fr. Mark Ivo Velasquez on the Catholic Church's "defeat" in the battle over the RH bill

From Fr. Velasquez's blog Ivo's Sanctuary:

The past weeks of final examinations seem to have overexcited my neurons and had pushed me to be especially fertile and productive in the literal sense. The analysis offered by Armando Doronila in the Philippine Daily Inquirer ("The RH Bill Debacle", December 20, 2012 issue) has piqued my curiosity and has set my thinking gears turning. It’s strange to note that precisely in a time when everything seems to settle down for a well-earned respite from intellectual work after the exams, the brain starts to function.

The Doronila’s article provides an analysis concerning the outcome of the recent debate on the Reproductive Health (or otherwise, Responsible Parenthood) bill, which I think would be remembered in Philippine contemporary history as one of the most divisive in society. Centering on the clash between the Catholic Church and the bill’s proponents in the legislature, not only does it recount the facts about the final stages of the debate, but in order to reinforce the author’s point concerning the   ideological conflict between both, Doronila goes back in history, and points out the actuation of both parties in the debate concerning the legislation allowing for the compulsory reading of Rizal’s Noli and Fili in Philippine schools way back in the late 1950’s. In this debate, the Church (vehement against its application in the Philippine educational system) lost the debate, and the novels became part of the school curriculum. But as Sen. Joker Arroyo mentioned in his intervention during the Senate voting on the RH bill, in this 1956 debate, nobody lost face, neither the Church nor the politicians who sponsored the bill.

Doronila also mentions another episode in which the Church took a crucial part, and this was in ousting Marcos from power, effectively ending a twenty-year old regime. Here, the memorable role of the late Cardinal Sin was crucial in calling all Filipinos to the streets, a decision which was not done in the spur of the moment, but something that was taken after intense hours of prayer.  Referring to this episode, the author of the article concludes that “in this role, Church intervention in state affairs was at its best and most welcomed by the Filipino people. It was the height of the influence and power of the Church in the development of democracy”.

He goes on, winding up a rather insightful analysis, commenting on the fact that since then, the Church’s influence has waned, and could not be regained by interventions related to population and its implications related to economic growth and poverty.

Doronila begins with what amounts to a general assumption: “the Roman Catholic Church suffered its most crushing defeat in its collision with the Philippine state in 13 years when Congress decisively voted on Monday to pass the Malacañang-certified reproductive health bill  providing government funding for contraceptives and sex education in schools.” I would say that this could be taken as an apparent assumption, and this could be interpreted in many ways, depending on the perspective from which one may prefer to look at it.

Basically this was one statement that set me thinking. Certainly the votes of the anti-Rh legislators, backed by the bishops and the Catholic laity, were outnumbered by a comfortable margin by the pro-RH camp and the bill’s authors. Tactically, numerically and apparently, the outcome transformed the parties in the debate, turning it from a debate between pros and antis into one between the gleefully victorious and the defeated.

The day the results were officially made known to the public, placing the bill one step ahead into legality, many people expressed their dismay and their sadness on the outcome. Both news reached me as I surveyed the world in the internet. I guess the latter’s expressions of sadness and dismay personally irritated me more than the victory of the Pro-RH camp in the bicameral votations. The day the results went out, I didn’t have that sense of defeat, personally because it don’t see it as such. To express it more exactly, the legislators contrary to the bill lost in the votation; they may have been on the same side that the Catholic Church was championing, but it was the anti-RH votes that lost (as a parenthesis, I congratulate these legislators for being heroic in standing their ground, as much as I respect the rest of the other legislators in the other camp).

I don’t feel that there should be talk of the Catholic Church being defeated as yet, for the simple reason that the law still has to prove itself capable of bringing what it was supposed to bring on. It’s too premature to celebrate. I would grant victory to the supporters of the RH bill as a law if it has indeed been able to make true its provisions, and has uplifted the poor, helped in defending the rights of women, and aided in the true education of the youth. But the mere fact of it’s being passed into law is no guarantee that it will work. I’m not saying that it won’t work, it could be effective…but as the Holy Writ would express it, it would only be through the fruits that we would be able to see the true victory of this bill once enacted into law, and this will not happen at the spur of the moment.

I don’t think the Church has suffered a crushing defeat; a setback in its hold and influence (as the Inquirer would put it) perhaps, but a humiliated  Church, I don’t think so. In the academic jests that we would throw at each other in the residence where I live in, we would debate upon the excellence of our fields: Canon lawyers would pit themselves jokingly against dogmatic theologians, moralists against philosophers, each saying their field is better and the studying the rest is an absolute waste of time. One day they turned to me, the only historian in the residence (there aren’t much of us in the Faculty of Theology, there are only about six of us, and I’m the lone Filipino) and asked me in jest concerning any importance my field would have. I replied smugly, “I don’t need to answer that question. I just have to direct you to the fact that chapter one in all of your respective textbooks would talk about the history of your specializations. Go and deduce the answer for yourselves. We historians cannot enter into your debates; transcending such conflicts, we have the duty to be observers of everything that takes place in time and space”. Verbatim. I suppose I felt like Buddha or some oriental sage, because my companions backed a hasty retreat and went for another companion.

There is a lot to be learned in history, and in a way, it gives you a perspective that helps orient things, and it is only when things are in place could one be at peace. The outcome of the RH bill debate, its impact on the Church and upon its public image in Philippine society, and the analysis afforded by Doronila brings be back to the case of the Protestant Reformation. The Reform wrought by Luther had huge consequences in European history. It was a tragic episode with respect to the history of European unity, as with the Reform movement, that millenary political, cultural and religious unity termed as Christendom was irreparable shattered. The revolution instigated by Luther’s defiance to authority, no matter how corrupt, started a long period of wars, which culminated in the rise of modern states, each with its own handling of religion. Far from being a principle of unity, it shattered it.

For the Church, the Reform brought heavy consequences. It was a huge blow, and perhaps historically, it was the greatest crisis that the Catholic Church had ever faced since the Great Schism in the fifteenth century, since it constituted a scandalously huge internet within the Church itself, termed by saints and intellectuals as that “seamless robe of Christ”, which the Protestant Reform had torn apart.

The Catholic Church was down, evidently…but that painful episode brought immediately brought forth one of the greatest moments of splendor that the Church has ever had in terms of art, intellectual science, administration, and most important of all, sanctity. The succeeding period brought forth a rich harvest of examples of  lives that mirrored the holiness and the love of God. above everything, this is the victory that crowns them all. The seventeenth century, heir of the woes of it turbulent predecessor, was a moment of unparalleled glory in many aspects of the Church’s life.

I don’t feel defeated in any way, nor do I think that the Church in the Philippines should feel otherwise…aside from the reasons that I’ve expressed above, whatever low moments we may find ourselves in, the Church must always see as opportunities to rise. To feel sad at an apparent setback is an error which the Catholic Church in the Philippines does not have the luxury to commit at this point in time. Her critics and detractors are right when they say that this marks a new period for the Church, and they are equally right when they say that it is time for a humbler Church.

I think that it is time for the Church in the Philippines to let go of any triumphalist tendency that it may have inherited from its prestigious past. It is a triumphalism that we have inherited from the times when bishops and priests, religious and wealthy lay people were the Church. This triumphalism has given birth to a certain clericalism that does not speak true of the Gospel of Christ in contemporary Filipino society. True, the people don’t listen anymore to bishops and priests pontificating in their pulpits. But they cannot resist in listening to Christ, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. People have that erroneous image of the Church as being merely the bishops and the priests and religious. No, they are not the Church. The lay people in themselves  aren’t the Church either. We may sometimes have forgotten that the Church is neither of these. The Church is of God, Christ is its head, and only if we let this word of Christ shine more brilliantly in the foreground, with us priests and bishops and lay people forming the mere background, wouldn’t the people listen more?

The RH Bill debates have merely set, with respect for the Church, the fertile ground upon which to grow stronger, by allowing it to see that its force is not in the numbers that it muster, but in the Truth that it needs to proclaim. For it to proclaim it as such, it needs to humble. Yes, humble, but not humiliated, as the Church’s detractors would have her. A humble Church in the Philippines will speak out all the more, forcefully than ever. A Church that does not base her power in a system of privilege, but on the Gospel of Life, a Church that is prophetic in its denunciation of evil, and active in works of charity, charity which is the only force that can uplift the Filipino, especially the poor, the women, and the youth. 

This is the Church that we are called to be with the help of God’s grace, one which our country needs. And I believe optimistically, that the odds are helping us in achieving that.

Perhaps now you may understand why I don’t think of it as a defeat.

For the record: Carmen Pedrosa on the RH bill, December 2012

For the record, I would like to note on this blog the six articles written this month by Carmen N. Pedrosa of the Philippine Star versus the RH bill. Mrs. Pedrosa is by no means in full agreement with orthodox Catholics who are opposed to the RH bill, which makes her opposition all the more interesting.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Seven quotes on the RH bill

From the Facebook page of pro-life author, blogger and journalist Diana Uichanco:

”Sabi ho ng kabilang partido, kaya daw po naghihikahos ang gobyerno ay dahil walang budget for stretching. Nanggaling na mismo sa kanila ang stretching… eh di kung linagyan pa po ng pondo na pambili ng condoms at contraceptives, eh di you stretch [the budget] further. So alin po ang willing i-sacrifice ng pro-RH legislators sa budget para lang po namin maisingit ang gusto nilang pondo para sa procurement of condoms and contraceptives?
“We can even see that the budgets for education, for tertiary educational scholarships, skills training, livelihood projects, assistance for farmers, agrarian reform beneficiaries, are being cut.” – ZAMBALES REP. MITOS MAGSAYSAY

“It makes me wonder whether there is lack of freedom at present that warrants a new controversial measure that is HB 4244 just to give people a choice that they already enjoy. Certainly it is not prohibited to practice natural family planning or to abstain from sex altogether, nor is it prohibited at present to use contraceptives. Is there any existing law that prevents us from exercising freedom of choice on matters of contraception and abstinence? There is none.” – PALAWAN REP. DENNIS SOCRATES

"The government has no right to fund the purchase of bibles, crucifixes, copies of the Koran etc. because these are [personal] preferences. In the same way, the government has no right to fund the purchase of contraceptives.” – ED SORRETA, PRO-LIFE PHILIPPINES CHAIRMAN

“The RH promoters do whatever they have to do to get these things passed — they spend their money in promotion, in getting journalists on their side, opening clinics to circumvent pro-life laws, wooing politicians who value their own power more than they do the families and culture of the nation they represent. If they can’t get what they want — which is free-of-charge and full access to contraception and abortion — passed democratically, they will use the courts or other non-democratic means to get what they want.” – STEPHEN PHELAN, HUMAN LIFE INT'L (HLI) COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR

“In 1984 was the AIDS breakout in the Philippines and in Thailand at the same time. The response in the Philippines was to promote abstinence; the response of Thailand was to promote condoms. Twenty years later, the rate of AIDS infection in Thailand was 50 times higher than in the Philippines.” – CHRIS STEFANICK, CHASTITY SPEAKER

“They want us to accept from Congress what is contrary to our faith. They ask Catholics to show tolerance for their belief or non-belief, but they show complete non-tolerance for our Catholic belief.” – FORMER SENATOR, FRANCISCO TATAD

“Banal ang pag-aasawa; banal ang pagtatalik sapagka’t ito ay kalakip ng pagbibigay ng buhay na galing sa Panginoong Diyos. Hindi ito laru-laruan na ituturo sa mga bata sa paggamit ng goma, lobo o condom, para iwasan daw ang sakit? Bakit mga bata ang tuturuan ng ganitong laro? Hindi po ba ang tamang ituro sa kabataan ay ang magandang halimbawa ng matatanda at ang kahalagahan ng buhay, ang kabanalan ng pagpipigil sa sarili na ang tawag ay disiplina? Ang tawag po noong una ay kapag may pagpipigil, mayroong disiplina at paggalang at magkakaroon din ng Karakter ang tao. Ngayon ang gustong ipamulat sa kabataan ay ito: gamitin ang goma, maglaro kayo! Ganyan kabarato ang buhay ng tao ngayon.” – FORMER ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA GAUDENCIO CARDINAL ROSALES, at the March 25, 2011 pro-life rally

World Youth Alliance on the Passage of the RH Bill

From the website of World Youth Alliance Int'l: 

December 18, 2012

Philippine Reproductive Health Bill Passed on Third and Final Reading in Congress and Senate

On December 17, after almost 14 years of discussion and debate, the reproductive health bill (the RH bill) was passed during its third and final reading in the House of Representatives, with a vote of 133 in favor and 79 against, and in the Senate, with a vote of 13 in favor and 8 against. Philippine President Benigno Aquino had designated passing the RH bill an urgent matter and called on Congress to vote on it before Christmas, prompting late-night congressional sessions that led to the passage of the bill. The bicameral conference committee is now set to consolidate the two versions of the bill, and then both chambers of Congress will need to ratify the consolidated version before it goes before the President for his final signature.

The World Youth Alliance laments the passage of the RH bill. For over four years, WYA has opposed the bill because it relies on the false premise that a government-run population management program is necessary for development.  It also lacks adequate protections for freedom of conscience, pays inadequate attention to maternal and child health, and does not reaffirm commitment to protecting the unborn.  The bill does not properly address the needs of Filipinos, who want measures to address sustainable development concerns that fully respect their cultures, religious beliefs, and values while promoting the health of mothers and children.

As the bill takes effect and is implemented over the coming years, we will continue to work with those legislators and advocates who fought against the measure to push for long-term solutions that actually respect the rights of conscience of Filipino health care workers and that stimulate the innovation needed for sustainable development in the Philippines.   We will push for increased skilled birth attendants so that every mother has access to care during childbirth and maternal mortality drastically decreases.  We will push for increased access to education so that every young person can be equipped with the knowledge and skills to recognize his or her own potential and to contribute to the development of our society and our economy.  We will push for freedom of conscience for all Filipinos, allowing all to act according to the dictates of their own consciences and not to the commands of the government.

We call on young people in the Philippines to join us in this fight.  We call on young people to be aware about issues related to the RH bill—population, development, and women’s health—and to continue to work together to safeguard our local communities from any threats to family and to human dignity. The passage of the bill and the years of debate leading up to it have shown us that our values and priorities as Filipinos continue to be threatened on different fronts. Young people must take a more vigilant and active role in monitoring the implementation of the bill in the next few years and in directing its impact on society, aiming to prevent the violation of dignity that the bill’s provisions threaten to do.

The World Youth Alliance would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people, especially the legislators, who selflessly devoted their time, talent and treasure to fighting a bill that does not adequately provide for the needs of Filipinos. The journey is not over, as we continue to work toward improving the health and education opportunities of Filipinos. We invite you to join us at WYA as we aim to improve the lives of our fellow Filipinos—and people around the world—through promoting the dignity of the human person and through educating youth about positive solutions to the problems facing our world, such as sustainable development, maternal and child health, and access to education and employment.


World Youth Alliance's statement on the passage of the RH bill on second reading can be found here: Philippine Reproductive Health Bill Passed on Second Reading in Congress

The fight is far from over!

From the blog Confessions of a Prodigal Daughter:

Pro-Life lobbyists throw their hands in the air to applaud courageous Pro-Life congressmen 
who voted "No" to the RH Bill (Photo courtesy of CBCP for Life)

December 13, 2012 was the day democracy died (again) in our country.  And it is ironic that it was the very son of the hero who once restored democracy in our land, who actually put it to death.  This is even scarier because at least when Martial Law was declared 40 years ago, people were aware of the dictatorship, but now it is a silent one.  What's worse, some people-- many of them probably unsuspecting-- even celebrated it.  It is such a pity that they did not know they were not really celebrating the passage of the RH Bill, but the resurrection of Marcos.

I am against the RH Bill and although I felt sad that it was passed on second reading, what made me sadder was the process by which it was passed.  "Sad" is actually an understatement as I was already on the verge of tears out of anger as I witnessed how the Pro-RH people railroaded the bill at the House of Representatives in the wee hours of the night.  Aside from the public knowledge that our congressmen were bribed with P280 million worth of pork barrel by PNoy, we also learned while the five-hour nominal voting was going on, that Malacanang sent Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda, Secretary Ricky Carandang, and Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad, to pressure the congressmen to either vote yes to RH Bill or just go home and abstain from voting.  This is nothing but sheer corruption and abuse AND misuse of authority.

One of my Facebook friends tried to justify this, saying that what Malacañang did was just the same as what the Church is doing to the congressmen as She "threatens" them with the Catholic Vote.  However, this is an illogical analogy.  LOBBYING and BRIBING are two different things.  On one hand, the Church (composed of both lay and religious people) came to the House of Representatives as ordinary citizens exercising their right to lobby, and they stayed on the second and third floor galleries of the Batasan Building.  On the other hand, these people from Malacañang were operating inside the South Lounge of the building, looking for congressmen to send home as the fight between the votes became very close, as reported by the Inquirer.  If  Roxas, Lacierda, Carandang, and Abad came as ordinary citizens exercising their rights, they should have also stayed in the gallery where they would have been visible to all.  But wherever they stayed that night does not change the fact that they destroyed the integrity of the Philippine Government as the Executive Branch violated the independence of our legislators.  Nothing can justify that.

Contrary to what another one of my Pro-RH friends said, we are very far from a "politically mature Philippine legislative system," but we are definitely still stuck in a corrupt one.  However, I believe there is still hope-- and a huge one at that.  Considering the tally of votes: 113 allowed themselves to be bribed and dictated upon, 104 stood their ground and kept their integrity, and 3 abstained, those are 104 sparks of hope we got there!  And they could be more come Monday as the 63 absentees cast their vote on the Third Reading.

This fight is far from over.  What our congressmen need most right now is our moral support and assurance that if ever they do decide to go against the wishes of our President, they have the Filipino people to fall back on.  So be with us on Monday (December 17, 2012) either at the House of Representatives (Quezon City) or at the Senate (Pasay City) and show our love and support for our courageous legislators.  This is no longer just a fight for LIFE but a fight for our DEMOCRACY as well.  See you there!

"If we fall from grace, we have only ourselves to blame..."

Form the Philippine Star:

RH bill passage: A humbling moment!
Bobit S. Avila (December 20, 2012)

I look at the passage of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill in both legislative houses in the Senate and Congress last Monday as a watershed in Philippine history as it gives us a not-so-true-picture of the kind of people who represent the Filipino people in the Legislature. I have always looked at these people as nothing but greedy politicians who feed on the poverty of our people, blaming even the poor for having too many children, but never blaming themselves for feasting in the pork paid for by the taxpayers of this country. They call our overseas Filipino workers (OFW) as heroes, but even in honoring the OFW, they mostly get lip service from our politicians.

I look at this RH incident as a “humbling moment” especially for the Catholic Church and the realization that we Filipinos despite the millions that troop to the Feast of the Nazarene in Quiapo or during the Sinulog Week in Cebu City have become mere Catholics in name. I spent a huge part of Tuesday afternoon before the Blessed Sacrament, asking our Lord, “O Lord, have thou forsaken our nation?” I’m sure that God himself was disappointed and I can only ask the Lord to forgive our Congressmen and Senators for they know not what they do!

At this point, it is time for the Catholic Church to get its act together. In this spiritual battle, we have encountered priests and even Bishops who send confusing signals to the Laity about the RH bill. Perhaps the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) should seriously consider ways to strengthen our Catholic faith, and openly support the recent moves to create the Catholic Vote Movement so politicians will take notice.

Meanwhile, allow me to take a post RH bill comment from Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas, Archbishop of Lingayen, Dagupan who said “The Reproductive Health bill has been passed by the Senate and Congress through a majority vote. They might have won through the tyranny of numbers but it does not mean that they are right. It is only a matter of time and then we will see more violations of “Thou shall not kill” and “Thou shall not commit adultery” among our families, our youth and children. If the President will sign this into law, he will give us a moral time bomb wrapped as a gift to celebrate Christmas. This law will open more doors to abortion and more crimes against women.” We are recording these arguments for future use.

At this point, allow me to congratulate the brave Senators and Congressmen and women who fought long and hard and more importantly, kept the faith and voted against the RH bill. They have fought a good fight, but history will judge their actions whether they are right and we are wrong. One thing is sure… Filipinos nowadays are no longer as religious as they were 25 years ago and if we fall from grace, we only have ourselves to blame.

The Greatest Commandment taught by our Lord Jesus Christ is to Love God with all your heart, your strength and your soul… and your neighbor as thyself. But the approval of the RH bill has tipped the scales away from God, whom we should love first, but greed, lust for power and materialism have overcome the people’s Representatives and I’m sure there are many Filipinos out there who are just as disappointed as we are.

In an article by Michael Voris, entitled “Suicide by Heresy” emailed to me, Voris says “When a heresy is left unchecked… people’s minds are poisoned. When their minds are poisoned… they actually lose the ability to perceive the truth any longer and they begin to live a lie.” I used this quote because in order to have this bill passed, the pro-RH Congressmen and their supporters used all kinds of squid tactics and even outright falsehood just to have this bill passed and it saddens me that their venom succeeded.

Where do we go from here? Divorce? Enough already! Even the Liberal Party issued a statement thanking the Senators and Congressmen “for engaging each other to forge a law that truly reflects the will of the people they represent. We thank an active citizenry that engaged our legislators in discourse as regards the merits of the bill. Through it all, the Liberal Party stood firm in its bedrock principles.” It makes you wonder what those bedrock principles are… the lying, the cheating even during the Congressional vote?

How far will the Liberal Party go in its pursuit to keep its power? In Cebu City, the Liberal Party isn’t really a huge party as it has to rely on the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) of Rep. Tomas Osmeña. In the Province of Cebu, it is the One Cebu Party that is dominant. But the Liberal Party has something up their sleeves… they can count on the Office of the Ombudsman to suspend Governor Gwen F. Garcia. Hmmm, no wonder the LP’s are not even campaigning in Cebu… not only will they get rid of Gov. Gwen courtesy of the Ombudsman… they also have the PCOS machine!

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sen. Tito Sotto III explains his vote versus the RH bill (December 17, 2012)

From the Facebook page of Senator Tito Sotto:

Marami pong gumugulo sa kaisipan ko sa ngayon. Pabayaan po ninyong kahit papaano, isa-isa ay mailabas ko iyong mga tumatakbo sa kaisipan ko sa tinatalakay nating panukalang-batas. 

Lumalabas po ngayon, ang gobyerno natin, dahil dito sa RH bill na ito, sunud-sunoran sa mga international organizations. Kakuntsaba pa iyong mga ibang developed countries. Ang hangad lamang nila, pigilan ang pag-asenso at paglawak ng impluwensiya ng third world countries katulad ng ating bansa sa pamamagitan ng pagbabawas ng populasyon natin.

Kung ano pa iyong batas na lubhang humahati sa ating bansa ay siya pa iyong pinaapura ng Malacañang, imbes na inuna sana iyong mga katulad ng hinihingi ng karamihan ng mga kababayan natin na wala namang kumukontra sa atin. Hindi ko maunawaan kung bakit pahihintulutan ng ating Pangulo ang pagkakawatak-watak ng ating bansa para sa isang panukalang-batas na hindi naman tutugon sa suliranin talaga ng ating bansa. Kawawa naman ang Pilipinas. Kung nabubuhay lamang po ang ating yumaong mahal na Pangulong Presidente "Cory" Aquino, ni hindi naka-first base itong batas na ito. 

Ang kailangan natin ay batas na naaayon sa ating natatanging kultura. Mali namang sumunod tayo sa tema ng mga panukala ng ating mga karatig bansa kung salungat naman ito sa ating kinaugalian at paniniwala bilang isang bansang nagpapahalaga sa responsableng pagpapamilya na nakapaloob sa sagradong institution ng kasal. 

To top it all, Mr. President, magsasayang pa tayo ng bilyun-bilyong piso dito sa pagpapatupad ng batas na sisira lamang sa pagkakabuklud-buklod ng ating bansa. Pero isa lamang po ang masasabi ko, pagbutihin sana nila dahil tututukan natin ito. Pirmahan man ng Presidente ito, babantayan natin. Lahat ng--mayroon po akong record dito sa Senado. Mula noong 1992, noong natuntong ako dito hanggang sa ngayon, may mga tatlo hanggang apat na batas ang binutohan ko ng no. Lahat iyong tatlo, apat na iyon, pinagsisihan lahat. 

Una iyong GATT/WTO. Ang daming gumagapang sa akin noon, hindi po ako nagpatinag, binutohan ko ng no dahil alam kong masama sa mga magsasaka. Ano ngayon? Pinagsisisihan nating lahat. Bumuto ako ng no sa EPIRA, tumaas lahat ang kuryente natin. Hindi ba pinagsisisihan din? Ngayon gusto i-repeal. Nilabanan ko rin po iyong Oil Deregulation Law; ngayon gustong ibalik. 

Ito ho, ganoung-ganoon ang pakiramdam ko rito. Malamang pagsisihan po natin ito. Ang malungkot pa, isang parte, ultimo ang ating mga kasama rito, even our colleagues were made to believe the marketing strategy being used by these groups, these organizations from abroad. Iyong pinangangalandakan nilang 11 mothers a day, ultimo sa Uganda, iyon din ang gamit nila, 11 mothers die a day. Hiningan namin ng dokumento, ang Committee nanghingi ng dokumento, walang naibigay sa Committee hanggang ngayon. Ngayon, ang ginawa namin, kami mismo ang nag-research, hindi po ba, binasa ko dito noon iyon. 

Doon sa 2011 na lamang dahil everyday sabi nila mayroong 11 namamatay. Nueva Vizcaya Provincial Hospital, ang namatay dalawa sa loob ng 2011, buong taon. Sa Pangasinan Provincial Hospital ang namatay apat lamang. Sa Batangas Regional Hospital, out of 2,584 births, ang namatay pito. Sa Cavite Naval Hospital, wala. O, hindi ba marketing strategy iyong 11 mothers a day para mapaniwala iyong ating mga kababaihan? Nakakalungkot po talaga. Isipin natin na maraming lugar sa bansa na, lalu na sa Metro Manila, ipinagbabawal na iyong paggamit ng plastik, akalain ninyong isabatas natin iyong condom? [Laughter] Hindi ko maintindihan. Masyado silang marurunong. 

Upon our election as senators of this Republic, my term started in 2010, we took an oath before performing our functions. An oath is a promise to God, we promised among others, to support and defend the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines. We promised to support and defend the whole 1987 Constitution, not just the parts we agree to, the parts the suit our temperament, the parts that were convenient. It was a promise that did not have any qualifications. And because we promised to defend the whole Constitution, we must preserve and protect every part thereof. That is only logical and reasonable. Otherwise, we should not have promised if we did not intend to fulfill the import of our promise. Constitutional provisions, binanggit na po natin lahat lagi iyan.

What is left for us? May Almighty God understand this nation after this vote and forgive us if we do not keep our promise. I vote no to the RH bill, I have kept my promise. And if we approve this measure, may I ask God the Father to forgive us for we do not know what we are doing. 

Thank you, Mr. President.

The RH bill: a moral time bomb

The Pastoral Letter of Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan on the final passage of the RH bill in both Congress and Senate:

Let us move on

Do the supporters of the RH bill really think that they can vanquish the Church?

From Raul Nidoy's blog Primacy of Reason:

The gates of hell shall never prevail against my Church, so proclaimed Jesus Christ who speaks the truth.

Christ's mystical body, his Catholic Church, always prevails against all odds thrown against it.

This is historic fact.

The Roman empire persecuted the Catholic Church and burnt Christians at the stake. A few centuries after, the Roman empire converted to Christianity and Europe became Christendom, a haven of light, building the university system, bringing about the birth of modern science, the Renaissance arts, the hospital system, international law, the human rights movement, and many other precious contributions to humankind.

Napoleon declared that he will destroy the Church, and took Pope Piux VII prisoner. After Waterloo, Pius VII returned to Rome in triumph and took care of Napoleon and his family while Napoleon was in prison.

Prussia waged a ferocious culture war on the Catholic Church in the 19th century called the Kulturkampf. By the mid-20th century, Prussia was no more. And today, Bavaria, one of the targets of the Kulturkampf, is the original home of the present Pope, Benedict XVI, who with his brilliance and simplicity is re-evangelizing the world.

Catholics suffered violent persecutions in Korea in the 19th century. Now, over the past 10 years, Catholicism is the fastest growing religion, having grown by 70%.

Anti-Catholicism has been the called the "deepest held bias" throughout the history of America and its "last acceptable prejudice". However, Catholicism is the single largest Christian denomination in the United States, and it has the fourth largest Catholic population in the world.

During the martial law years, Ferdinand Marcos arrested many Catholic church personnel, raided church offices, and closed down its radio stations. In 1986, Catholic priests, nuns, and laity, instigated by Cardinal Sin, led the historic EDSA revolution that toppled the dictatorship, making "people power" the world's preferred way of radical but peaceful government transition.

While the dictatorship of relativism holds sway over the land, Christians have envisaged that it will one day fall like a deck of cards. While the secular culture of death seem to advance, John Paul the Great has seen this millennium to bring about a new springtime of Christianity. This new springtime will surely come, Benedict XVI is fully convinced, if we Christians remain faithful to prayer, the sacraments, and evangelization and rediscover the beauty of praying with scripture.

God, the owner of the universe, did not come with pomp and majesty. He came as a child, whose victory lies in truth, love and humility. Thus he wins, through his Church, his body, throughout the centuries.

A sign of the times

The RH Bill is a Sign of the Times
Dr. Herbert Rosana

I AGREE THAT THE PASSAGE OF this bill if ever it is passed is a "Sign of the Times". The Philippines is actually late in the trending. The Bible has predicted that the end times will be characterized by apostasy and unbelief. In many countries especially the countries were formerly Christianity held sway, many un-Christian laws have been passed, like same sex marriage and legalizing abortions. For us Christians this is not something to be worried about. This is not the struggle between good and evil, but this are the "signs of the times". We can rest in the thought that God has given us the grace to recognize His Will and gave us the strength to give witness to this truth even in odd circumstances. Even if this RH Bill is passed, it is not something for us to worry. God is in control, only we should be grateful He has given us the strength to be faithful. That is what matters.

For those who accuse the church as digressive and medieval here is my reply: The church stands for what is moral and true. Truth and dogmas are unchanging. The mission of the church is to be faithful to the teachings of Christ. No matter what the clime and time may be, the mission of the church is to live faithfully to the call of Christ. It is not the mission of the Church to follow the trend and fads of this world. Modernity is not the norm. Fashion is not the trend. In fact the church is called to be separate and not to conform to the standards of this world, but to be conformed to the image and mind of Christ. 

For those who accuse the church as a bunch of pedophiles and child molesters here is what I can say: People do commit sins, even grievous sins. No one is exempted, even saints and angels did commit sins. The Church is made up of imperfect people all journeying towards the path of holiness. They were called to be Christians and followers of Christ not because they were holy but because they were sinners and Christ want to give them the opportunity to seek holiness. The Church as an organization is not human in origin, though human in composition. The Church is Divine in origin because the founder is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Thus the sinfulness of the members does not nullify the teachings of the church. Though is someways it can weaken the impact of the message if the bearers are sinners. But in this case I know that the Bishops and Priests leading the campaign are in good standing with the church. There are no known pedophiles leading the anti-RH rallies.

For those who claim that Vatican II Council allowed the laity or empowered the laity to espouse contraceptive mentality and to consider it as sanctioned by the Council, my response is: You have misread the Vatican II documents. You have read it with the lens of your biases and worldly advocacy to suit your agenda. Read it with the Church tradition in mind so that you will hear the right message.

Human Life International on the final passage of the RH bill

FRONT ROYAL, Virginia – The following is a statement from Father Shenan J. Boquet, President of Human Life International, on the final passage of the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill in both houses of Congress Monday in the Philippines. The bill is expected to be signed into law by President Benigno Aquino as soon as Christmas. 

“This is terrible news for the Philippines and for the world. The wealthy Western elites who find in the children of the developing world only a threat to be eliminated appear to have won their most coveted crown. They used their billions to exploit the famously corrupt political environment of the last pro-life and pro-family nation in Asia. 

“Several Catholic bishops and many priests of the Philippines have been strong and vocal in their opposition to this destructive bill, and they have welcomed support from other religious groups as well. We hope that the Catholic Church in the Philippines will redouble her efforts to publicly protect the faithful, and that she will support lay leaders and politicians who will continue the fight on the streets and in the courts. The battle is not over, it is only entering a new stage. 

“It is extremely important that this principle be kept in mind: compromise with evil never leads to unity. Going forward it is worth taking note of what happened when contraception was widely adopted in the United States and there were calls within the Church for compromise with the culture, as if it were the Church’s responsibility to conform itself to the age. (cf. Rom 12)

“First, the calls to fully legalize abortion immediately increased, despite the assurances of the promoters of contraception that its acceptance would lead to a cease fire in the already raging war over abortion. Not only did this cease fire not happen, but there were no grounds on which the Church could effectively oppose its legalization. We now have some of the most liberal national abortion laws in the world. 

“What also followed was not a period of peace and acceptance of the Church. Instead we saw only increased attacks on the faith, the confusion and departure of many of the faithful, and the diminishing of the Church’s moral authority. The compromise that many sought within the Church did not lead to greater collegiality, it led to greater division and attack. 

“The only true unity will occur in charity and truth. We cannot accept false compromises from those who seek the marginalization of the Church and the Filipino family, and those Catholic politicians who supported the RH Bill should know that there are spiritual consequences for doing so. 

“Prayer and fasting remain the greatest weapons in our arsenal, and will help shape the practical steps that must be taken. Human Life International stands proudly with the Church and the champions of life and family in the Philippines as the battle enters this new stage.”

About HLI: Human Life International: For the Glory of God and defense of Life, Faith and Family. Founded in 1981, HLI is the world’s largest international pro-life and pro-family organization, with affiliates and associates in over 80 countries on six continents.  

Monday, December 17, 2012

Missing the point

As I am posting this, it is being reported that both the Senate and the House of Representatives have passed the RH bill on third reading.

Prayer for today

Lord, we entrust to you our country, the Philippines, for the crucial voting on the controversial Reproductive Death Bill both at the Lower and Upper House (expected on Monday, Dec. 17) for the third and final reading. Please bless our legislators with wisdom and courage to say NO to RH Bill. In this Year of Faith, we trust on your special grace to help us win this battle against these modern-day Herods. Lord, we don't know what to do but our eyes are upon You.  

We ask this in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, through the intercession of Our Lady, St. Michael the Archangel, and all the angels and saints in Heaven.

Families Against the RH BIll - Newspaper Ad for December 17, 2012

For the record: Catholic Pastoral Letters on the RH Bill, December 15 to 16, 2012

1) The Pastoral Letter of the CBCP on the RH Bill: 
Contraception is Corruption! (Signed by Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan.)

The same letter, in Filipino:

Ang Kontrasepsyon Ay Katiwalian CBCP Pastoral Statement

2) Pastoral Letter of Bishop Ramon Villena of the Diocese of Bayombong: 
We Believe in God, We Believe in Life, We Believe in Miracles.

3) Pastoral Letter of Abp. Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle on the RH Bill (after the 2nd voting). "Pahayag sa Simbanggabi, Dec. 16, 2012..."

CAP commentary: This is a different and later statement from Cardinal Tagle's statement of December 12, 2012 (See this: Statement of His Eminence, Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, on the RH bill)

In the interests of fairness and accuracy, this statement by Cardinal Tagle -- which mentions the RH bill only in passing -- does not directly tell Congressmen and Senators to vote versus the RH bill. Instead, it simply tells them to "accept Jesus with joy", and reminds them that it is the Word and Wisdom of Jesus that is necessary to form consciences.

Tagle Statement

4) The Pastoral Letter that Archbishop Socrates Villegas penned specifically for his Archdiocese:



My dear brothers and sisters in Christ:

On the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, our congressmen voted on second reading the Reproductive Health Bill. The goal is to rush the passage of the Bill before the start of the Congress Christmas break. The same seems to be the goal of our senators.

I am very pleased to issue this public commendation to our representatives in Congress namely Congresswoman Gina de Venecia, Congresswoman Rachel Arenas and Congressman Leopoldo Bataoil for voting against the Reproductive Health Bill. They are our heroic and exemplary representatives in Congress. They voted to stand up for life. They voted to stand up for morality and decency. They voted as God loving government officials. We commend them for their courageous conviction and encourage you my dear Catholic faithful to support them with your prayers and make known to them your appreciation for their fidelity to our cherished Filipino Catholic values.

The Reproductive Health Bill, if passed into law in its present form, will put the moral fibre of our nation at risk. As I have said in the past, a contraceptive mentality is the mother of an abortion mentality. The wide and free accessibility of contraceptives, even to the youth, will result in the destruction of family life and in greater violence against women.

The Church is your mother protecting you from harm. If passed into law in its present form, it will not take long for the supporters of the Bill to see the irreparable harm they will bequeath to the younger generation. Those who mislead the young invoke divine punishment on themselves. Let us leave to the young a legacy of decency and morality not promiscuity and moral corruption.


Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan

5) The Pastoral Letter of Bishop Leo Drona:
An Open Letter to the Congressmen of the Four Districts of Laguna

Patriarch of the Charismatic Episcopal Church denounces the RH Bill

From CBCP for Life:

Patriarch of the International Communion of the
Charismatic Episcopal Church

Dear Brothers,

Subject: THE RH BILL

I have been following closely the progress of the Reproductive Health Bill in the Philippines. The recent vote in the Congress that gave support to this vehicle of death has grieved my heart and my spirit. How hard it is to believe that by only nine votes there is the possibility that a holocaust will be unleashed on the people of such beautiful islands, with a culture rich in the Christian values of life, children and family. It is also distressing to see that the legislation also provides for fine and imprisonment for those who would spread “as yet to be define “malicious falsehoods” about the bill. Yet, the proponents of this bill spread lies. Children are not the cause of poverty! Industrialized societies that purchased the lies of “population control” as the way to prosperity are now struggling with a insufficient workforce to maintain a growing retired and elderly population. Their economies are collapsing under the weight of bloated pension plans. And, their very cultures are on the brink of extinction. Some are now paying parents to have children. You know, much better than myself, that poverty is a result of civil wars, the remnants of colonialism, social un-rest, greed, and corruption. There is strong evidence that many densely populated countries are developing not because of contraception and abortion but rather by creating new infrastructures, educating the people, creating dynamic free markets, and eliminating corruption in government and courts.

The Feast of the Nativity and the whole season of the Incarnation reminds us again that life is sacred. That children are a blessing. That children are our inheritance from the Father. The wicked will not prevail. The wicked are calling God a liar. Yet, they are liars from the beginning and it is no wonder they call children a curse.

I want to thank you that as Bishops you have spoken truth to your people. That they are not ignorant and so will not be deceived in these dark and evil days. I want you to know that I stand with you, your clergy, and your people, as well as all the people of the Philippines. We will be victorious because Christ is on the throne.

I want to thank Abp. Hines who has stood boldly for life in the Patriarch’s Council and as we have tried to write Canons. He is a strong man of God and filled with wisdom.

This is not a political issue. This is a fight against wicked and evil principalities, powers, and rulers in the heavenly realms. Our weapons are not carnal but spiritual to the tearing down of the stronghold of death. I stand in prayer with you both privately and at every Eucharist when we lift up Jesus – the Lamb of God who has taken away the sin of the world.

Under His mercy,

+Craig, Patriarch

Courtesy of Mrs. Marilou Lorenzo Villavicencio

For the record: Benny Abante after the RH vote on December 12-13, 2012

From the Facebook page of Pro-Life Philippines:


Furnishing you some of my postings in my FB account. Feel free to share.

- - - - - - - -

ABSCBN News: "President Aquino has decided to certify the reproductive health or responsible parenthood bill as urgent. Aguino told reporters that he would like to see an end to congressional deliberations on what he called as a divisive issue before the year ends."

As the RH Bill is now certified as urgent, may I cite the following with urgency...

Art XV, Sec 2 of our Constitution says, “Marriage, as an inviolable social institution, is the foundation of the family AND SHALL BE PROTECTED BY THE STATE.” The Constitution acknowledges that Marriage is a SOCIAL institution. It is therefore not the property of any religious group. However the Roman Catholics are majority in the society, they do not own marriage. The State takes it upon itself as stated in the Constitution to PROTECT marriage. Marriage is NOT a matter of the church but of society - as acknowledged by the Constitution... "it is a SOCIAL institution." Any law therefore, or bill for that matter, in this case the RH Bill, should be consistent with the Constitution. In essence, there should be a clear indication that the RH BILL must PROTECT marriage, especially since the RH Bill claims to deal with parenthood, family and sexual relationship/health. All these things are issues of the family AND THE CONSTITUTION SAYS, MARRIAGE IS THE FOUNDATION OF THE FAMILY. THE WORD OF GOD ALSO TEACHES THE SAME THING. MARRIAGE CAME FROM GOD. HE HIMSELF OFFICIATED THE FIRST WEDDING IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Congr. Antonio Alvarez: Standing up for his faith

The following is the text of the explanation given by Congressman Antonio C. Alvarez on why he voted no to the RH bill: 


Speech of Rep. Antonio C. Alvarez during the nominal voting on the RH Bill on December 12, 2012

Mr. Speaker:

Three months from now, I will be marking my 27th year of uninterrupted service as an elected public official.

In formulating my final vote in this House, I drew mainly upon my experience as mayor for 12 years and provincial board member for six.

For in my years here, that has always been my way of appraising  proposals: to imagine the “implementability” of policies in a grassroots setting.

That is the best test because what I have discovered is that what is good on paper is not necessarily good in practice; what is good in the Batasan, is not always good for the barrios.

So far here are my conclusions:

All the purported things that this bill will do are already covered by a multitude of laws.

Thus, it is not a matter of legislation but implementation.

A barangay council can buy pills and even distribute them like confetti, but no barangay chairman will tell you that the same pills will cure poverty.

He will tell you instead that in the hierarchy of his constituents’ needs, schools, books, roads, water, and livelihood are far more important to them.

Sa bawat araw na ginawa ng Diyos, kadami-dami ang natatanggap kong sulat at text na humihingi ng tulong, mga resolutions na nakikiusap ng pondo, pero ni minsan hindi po ako nakatanggap ng sulat na humihingi sa akin ng condom o pilduras o IUD.

In many areas of my District, the best form of contraception is not the one that is unsheathed, but one that is switched on—and that is electricity.

There are good provisions in this bill, I admit, like the improvement of health facilities, but these are mere reiterations of what a government must do, so whether a government is pro-, anti-, or deadma on RH, it is duty-bound to provide these services.

So whether a woman is carrying a baby on purpose or by accident, through artificial insemination or by immaculate conception, she deserves to have access to the best medical care which should be provided—without the need for an RH bill.

Mr. Speaker:

I vote NO to this measure, and Mr. Speaker, please allow me to cite my last reason for it is also the most important reason for me.

I know that a lawmaker’s religious beliefs must not solely guide his vote.

But I will take the risk of allowing my final vote as a congressman to be shaped in part by the teachings of my Church, not because I believe that they are infallible, but because my final act should be in fidelity with what my Church stands for.

This is also an act of solidarity with my Church as it has come under attack as regressive, as archaic, and as antiquated.

But its past and its present belie this slander.

This is the Church that fought against tyranny, ousted a dictatorship, struggled against repression, and defended human rights.

This is the Church which continues to educate our young, heal our sick, shelter our homeless, and comfort our poor.  

This is a Church that treats people as the most important resource of a community. Unlike those pushing for this bill who treat them as liability.  Let us never forget that the most precious capital of all is HUMAN CAPITAL.

This is the Church whose teachings form our social glue, provide our moral anchor, and whose celebrations, including Christmas, strengthen our bond as a community.

So pray, tell me my friends, with this heritage and record how can I vote against it?

I vote NO to this measure.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Statement of His Eminence, Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, on the RH bill

The vote in favour of the RH Bill in Congress is unfortunate and tragic. But we do not take it as a defeat of truth – for truth shall prevail, especially the truth about human life, marriage and the family. We thank and commend the Representatives of Congress, the Church people, organizations and citizens who worked hard and tirelessly in a variety of ways to expose the flaws of the RH bill, to form consciences and to contribute to the search for the common good. This vote leads us to further commit the Church, specifically the Archdiocese of Manila to the service of the poor, of the family, of women, of infants and children. We will work harder to promote the sanctity of human life and of the human person, the integral education of the youth, the access of the poor to social and medical services, the preservation of the true meaning of marriage, and stewardship of creation. We call on all Filipinos to work towards healing, and journey together humbly and justly as children of God.

Archbishop of Manila
12 December 2012

Source of image

Human Life International on the RH bill vote

From the website of HLI:

FRONT ROYAL, Virginia – The following is a statement from Father Shenan J. Boquet, president of Human Life International, on the passage of the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill (113-Yes, 104-No, 3-Abstentions) upon the second reading of the bill in the House of Representatives of the Philippines. 

"This is a very dark day for the Philippines and for the fight for life and family around the world. The corruption of the legislative process that has been on full display leading up to this vote should trouble anyone who values open and accountable governments. President Aquino and other proponents of the bill have not only shown disdain for the faith that most of them profess, but also for women's health and for the nation's economic future.

"The irony to all of this is that much of the reasoning from the bill's supporters is that birth rates must come down if the Philippines is to join the ranks of the prosperous developed nations. They make this case even though these supposedly developed nations are all suffering a terrible financial downturn due in large part to curtailed population growth, and many are even trying to pay their citizens to have more children. Countries with stable governments, dynamic free markets and educated citizenry are thriving even though they are more densely populated. The RH Bill does nothing to address the nation's corruption, infrastructure and education deficiencies, and thus offers nothing in the way of prosperity other than large cash payments from Western governments and NGOs who see Filipino children as a threat to their own prosperity."

The House is scheduled to have a third reading of the bill on Monday, December 17, and another version of the RH Bill has also been scheduled for a vote in the Senate next week. Philippine President Benigno Aquino, an ardent supporter of the legislation, hopes to sign a final version of the bill into law by the end of the year.

"If this was about lowering maternal mortality rates they would be building hospitals, developing education programs for women and training birth attendants. That is not what they're doing, and this is not about women's health. Nor is it about lowering the rate of HIV/AIDS. This is about stopping Filipino children from being born, and as has been the case in every other nation that has widely accepted the contraceptive mentality, abortion is right around the corner.

"The chances of stopping the bill at this point may seem slim, but nothing is impossible with God. We pray with greater urgency that the Lord of Life will spare the people of the Philippines from joining in the slow demographic suicide of the supposedly developed nations, and will intervene in miraculous fashion."

About HLI: Human Life International: For the Glory of God and defense of Life, Faith and Family. Founded in 1981, HLI is the world’s largest international pro-life and pro-family organization, with affiliates and associates in over 80 countries on six continents.  

LifeSite News on the House of Representatives' passage of the RH bill


MANILA, December 12, 2012 ( – After repeatedly reintroducing the legislation for 14 years, the Philippines lower House has voted 113 to 104 to pass the controversial RH bill at second reading – the most difficult stage.

“This is a very dark day for the Philippines and for the fight for life and family around the world,” said Human Life International President Fr. Shenan Boquet. “Abortion is right around the corner,” he warned.

The bill, which forces taxpayers to fund contraception and abortifacients, was protested strenuously by the nation’s Catholic leadership and faithful, but was pushed by President Benigno Aquino and internationally by pro-abortion groups.

Debate lasted throughout the evening on December 12, and the 113 – 104 vote was taken around 2 am. December 13. The House is scheduled to have a third reading of the bill on Monday, December 17, and another version of the RH Bill has also been scheduled for a vote in the Senate next week.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino, an ardent supporter of the legislation, hopes to sign a final version of the bill into law by the end of the year.

The RH Bill forces medical professionals and businesses to promote and perform a full range of “reproductive health services,” regardless of conscientious objection. The bill promises to fine and jail opponents who spread as-yet-undefined “malicious” falsehoods about the bill, and requires couples to undergo government-mandated RH training and certification before they can obtain a marriage license.

Politicians pushed the move as a necessary measure for population control, and argument that Fr. Boquet dismissed.

“The irony to all of this is that much of the reasoning from the bill’s supporters is that birth rates must come down if the Philippines is to join the ranks of the prosperous developed nations,” he said. “They make this case even though these supposedly developed nations are all suffering a terrible financial downturn due in large part to curtailed population growth, and many are even trying to pay their citizens to have more children.”

The HLI President added: “Countries with stable governments, dynamic free markets and educated citizenry are thriving even though they are more densely populated. The RH Bill does nothing to address the nation’s corruption, infrastructure and education deficiencies, and thus offers nothing in the way of prosperity other than large cash payments from Western governments and NGOs who see Filipino children as a threat to their own prosperity.”

Meanwhile, the Senate has struck one portion from the Senate version of the bill that would have given even young children access to abortifacient contraception without the knowledge or consent of their parents.

While the passage marks a severe defeat for the culture of life, not all hope is lost. 

“The chances of stopping the bill at this point may seem slim, but nothing is impossible with God,” said Fr. Boquet. “We pray with greater urgency that the Lord of Life will spare the people of the Philippines from joining in the slow demographic suicide of the supposedly developed nations, and will intervene in miraculous fashion.”

Manny Pacquiao explains why he voted against the RH bill

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Prayers for Today (updated)

This prayer will remain on top of the blog until the end of December 12, 2012. Newer posts will be below the post immediately after this. 

The following prayer comes from Human Life International:

The following prayer comes from I Oppose the RH Bill on Facebook:


(+ In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen)

Almighty God, we thank You for You willed for us to be the People that the Devil cannot trick, as it did tricked Eve. We thank You for You gave us a Spirit-guided conscience that knew how the Ancient Enemy works, so we can distinguish the works of the Devil from what You want. We are battling today against the RH Bill that promises the bounty of worldly life, the selfish bodily satisfaction and to the delightful heights of personal freedom, but is a sure road to the meltdown of our morality and of the righteous and noble picture of sexual intimacy and the holiness of the body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit and an inseparable aspect of our personhood. It cannot give us the life that You desire for us, a life of self-giving and self-restraint, of sacrifice and of good virtues. Most especially, the FULLNESS of Life promised by Your Son Jesus Christ, a blessed life that remains in Your Love for us, and in our Love for You. We realized that happiness cannot help us. Riches cannot help us. Comfort cannot help us. Personal choices cannot help us, if all of these are received without Your favor and blessings.

We had been outwitted by the Devil again and again, but we acclaim that in every earthly battle against the Devil with You, we can never loose. If it even goes to the point of hurt, offense, getting ridiculed and destroyed, our earthly battle promises a heavenly reward and cheers of the chosen ones from age to age. Whatever happens Lord, as long as we do and follow Your will, in the end we believe we shall receive the glorious crown as victors of the faith.

May our Mother, The Lady of Guadalupe, protect us and meet us along the way, as she meet the worried Juan Diego. May she assure us of the Blessing of Heaven, which comes from her Son and Your Only Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, from your company of the Most Holy Trinity. 

This we ask through Christ our Lord. Amen.