In a country like the Philippines, it is tantamount to political suicide to antagonize the Catholic Church, especially during election season. This is the self-imposed 11th commandment of many politicians who are fearful of the diktat from the church should they go against their wishes. Fear of repercussions is the main reason why many legislators remain silent with regards to the Reproductive Health and Population Development Bill, popularly known as House Bill 4244 or the RH bill.

The fearful play it safe, waiting for the right time to come in to vote YEA or NAY. Only when the majority is clear and they’ve ensured safety from censure will they cast their YES or NO vote.

Rep. Kimi Cojuangco during the RH bill forum held at the Lyceum-Northwestern University in Dagupan City

At the height of the RH bill forum held at the Lyceum-Northwestern University in Dagupan City on August 19, 2011 attended by college students from various departments, health professionals, the press, including Catholic Church devotees, Congresswoman Kimi Cojuangco who was tasked to discuss the features and salient provisions of the RH bill stressed her steadfast support to the bill as a certain aid to the problems that plague the country.

Rep. Kimi Cojuangco and Dr. Gonzalo T. Duque, Lyceum Northwestern University (LNU) President with students of LNU

The solon’s stance is unpopular with the Catholic Church but she is not threatened. “I am not afraid! I have not violated any Church law for supporting the bill! My conscience is clear!” she said when scathingly asked by one local media if she is not scared of the ire of the Catholic Church especially that election is fast approaching again. “Sana huwag magdictate ang Simbahan sa gobyerno!” (I hope that the Church will not dictate the government) she said. “We respect them, sana they also respect our views”.

Some Catholic clergies are feeding skewed information to manipulate their flock and the public in an attempt to malign the government in the latter’s bid for reforms in population development and health care. They say RH is PRO-ABORTION. It is an outright falsehood! Nowhere on the bill does it say abortion is condoned. It doesn’t matter to them. It’s either that or the condemnation from their superiors.

Abortion is against the law of God; it is a crime punishable by the law of the land. “Under House Bill 4244 it will always be a crime!” the lady Solon said.

While it would be ideal for the religious right wing to maintain the conservative culture Filipinos have grown up with, the reality is that the Philippines is a country evolving to meet the modern and global culture. No amount of prayer can deny or prevent that…unless we dismantle our current democratic system and turn dictatorial. CHOICE is the way of the democratic society. Surely the Philippines is capable of retaining its religion, morality and culture without sacrificing the betterment of its citizens?


By 5thdistrictpangasinan Posted in RH

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